No, there is nothing that can replace the serendipitous joy close physical proximity affords. Scrolling through my Instagram feed has its own benefits, I’m sure, but it does not result in the kind of joyous accidental closeness that shared sidewalks and streets and grocery stores do. It is a poor proxy for friendship maintenance. But what else is to be done?
The glorious day my parents finally caved to my manipulative whining and added MTV to the list of our available TV channels - thus freeing my sisters and me from suffering through endless and truly mind-destroying episodes of VH1's Pop Up Video feat. Duncan Sheik Barely Breathing - coincided, magically, with a sick day home from school. At 10 AM, Channel 52 went from static to transmitting a clear picture of Carson Daly's face, and ahead of me stretched a long day to lie on the couch in the warm sunlight and eat cinnamon sugar toast, to watch MTV Jams and read Seventeen magazine in the ad breaks. In this memory I believe I feel the pure, unadulterated joy of youth.
Coming home with a baby for the first time was a completely overwhelming experience. I hadn't been around one at all since my teenage babysitting days. So there I was, too afraid to let Henry cry to take a proper shower, let alone change into a shirt without spit up caked on the shoulder. And I found myself feeling completely untended. So one vain day, I decided that with the right accessory I might feel more put-together.
Here’s what I know: the simple practice of exercising keeps me from winding myself into the boa constrictor of my mind, it keeps me from falling asleep at the television every time my infant goes for a nap or agrees to be strapped into her rocker. It recalls me back the animal simplicity of my weird self. So without further ado, I present to you my favorite exercises.
It was too hard to think about beauty this past week, too much to ask of ourselves. At this remove - though our minds are as jammed as they've ever been with spinning wheels, and despite the fact that we're still not sleeping so great - not thinking about beauty is a kind of failure we are not prepared to admit.
"I know the cure for everything: Salt water...in one form or another: Sweat, tears or the sea." –The Deluge at Norderney, from Seven Gothic Tales, 1934
I would trust Baroness Karen von Blixen-Finecke - or, if we're to go by one her better-known pen names, Isak Dinesen (author of Out of Africa and Babette's Feast, the latter of which I am personally crazzzzy about) - on this one. No doubt about it: salt water, in one or several of its forms, will cure what ails you. Sea salt will also do all sorts of other things, all of them practically alchemical or just plain regular magic.
According to Greek mythology Aphrodite was born from sea foam, probably fatherless and most certainly motherless. On Olympia Monthly, if I’m especially full of myself (which, due to this week’s round of not-so-bad sleep training, I am) she has two mothers: Lydia & me. Image via NASA.
Every year, as summer comes to a close and the trees start to turn, I dream of finally becoming a really impressive cold-weather dresser: the kind of girl who wears a coat and a scarf and boots and yet magically somehow doesn't look like she's given up/is maybe wearing pajamas beneath that parka. It's a big dream, and one I don't ever seem to realize.
Thinking about SLEEP all month has led to some unexpected revelations. Besides it being actually one of my favorite activities, I've discovered it's also, in some ways, my most active activity? THINK ABOUT IT.
Part of the three month-long extravaganza that is our HOLIDAYS ISSUE includes, as it happens, a blogging holiday for us, too (see above gif). Lydia will be poolside somewhere in Italy (and obviously useless), and Barbara will be slightly busier having a baby and moving house and hosting her family, both old and brand-new...
It’s easy to get worked up about Frida Kahlo (1907-1954). In the wake of the massive physical tragedies that befell her she was an amazing painter. She was a great Surrealist, and her work (especially self-portraits) continues to inspire contemporary artists - not to mention the selfie movement. So it's no surprise Ishiuchi Miyako’s Frida (on view in London at Michael Hoppen Gallery until 12 July) has been an internet sensation.
There’s nothing weirder than leaping forward and back in time on long-haul flights, gaining and losing the handfuls of hours otherwise taken for granted. If it were possible always to travel from east to west I think I’d be even happier than I am staying put. But the dread of a red eye home to London, however, begins to weigh on me even before I leave on the first leg. So when it comes to the time loss type of jet lag, I’ve found there to be two possible antidotes to related suffering...
A a cache of clocks, a bevy of bezels, a trove of tickers, a storm of sundials (?)...whatever you'd like to call it, we've rounded up our favorite and absolutely most useful time pieces for you here, for adorning your wrists, towers, ring fingers, and lipstick cases (!).
Pictured: an Art Deco pendant watch of gold, platinum, emeralds, onyx and enamel, by Cartier. Via Beauty Bling Jewelry.
Many a sweet couple in a long distance relationship has of course spent an evening at home together side-by-screen. Asleep. But sometimes more action is required, and usually so is dinner. So when you're looking for more, here are some ideas for feeling closer.
Some people love the spring. But I'm afraid I'm sort of frightened of it. The wind, the rain - the whole sky moves constantly, leaving me mostly ill-dressed and sort of uncomfortable. I'm used to thinking of it as long-lingering winter chill rather than a harbinger of the summertime, freedom from coats, irrepressible SUNSHINE. But I think I'm starting to get better at coping with the clouds.
Dominique de Menil was the graceful, spiritual heiress to a French oil services fortune who used her wealth to establish my favorite private museum. She collected the objects and artworks she loved most because she passionately, irresistibly needed to. Here's an introduction to this super cool lady in anticipation of tomorrow's post about her fascination with the color GREY.
Before I was born my mother was in great agony of spirit and in a tragic situation. She could take no food except iced oysters and champagne. If people ask me when I began to dance, I reply, 'In my mother's womb, probably as a result of the oysters and champagne - the food of Aphrodite.'
- Isadora Duncan, American dancer (1878-1927)
Isadora Duncan was right about at least one thing: oysters are indeed the food of Aphrodite, as beautiful to eat as their pearls are pretty. And though their homes are humbler than the gifts they reveal, once emptied of their delicious, briny bivalve dwellers, these crusty grey things lend themselves to an untold array of artistic, as well as practical, applications.
The French have long known that to wear a gown in grey is to dress in that perfect (and elusive) nexus of classic sophistication and subtle surprise. No one will entirely expect it, but at the same time it is really the only answer to that interminable refrain of But what do I wear?! Existing in the wide and nebulous middle ground between the black cocktail dress and the white wedding gown, a grey dress is inherently versatile, and infinitely adaptable to all occasions and moods between those two stark monochrome poles: as right and reasonable in a disco as at an inauguration...