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Selfie, Day 4

Self-portait as Baryshnikov’s Lover

How do you hold on to a man with such disdain for gravity? It’s not that he’s out of my reach; it’s that it’s so difficult to reach him. Those mournful eyes hover over me like a hot air balloon. I don’t know enough Russian to explain he’s got the Rapunzel story upside down. We are tethered by the most frail of strings—true love. It is hard to know which kiss will be a scissor, which will be a knot. I would like to blame it on the language barrier, and it’s true, our bodies do not speak the same vernacular. He would like to tie him to his wrist. I would like to tie him to the curl of my back. It is true that we also cannot agree which language to use when we speak of absence. Or how to describe the difference between how his body hollows my bed and how my body hollows his bed without using patryonimcs or patois. What is true: we can both walk gracefully from point A to point B. What is true: we can both walk gracefully together from point A to point B. What is true: We cannot agree on when to start or how long to take or what to do after. It’s difficult to hold on to woman who has such disdain for the gravity of the situation. It’s not that she’s out of his reach. it’s that it’s so difficult to know if she wants him to reach her.

Selfie, Day 2

Self-portrait with giants

Today I am rife and ripe with giants. Their footsteps echo like fog, land like fury. To which untidy rooms of my body the giants are walking I’m not sure. How far a giant can walk I’m not sure nor how tenderly. What is known is more than one giant strides and sidles inside of me. Carcass, one calls me. Beloved, one calls me. As the day lies breaking they name me gift in quiet conversations punctuated by the noisy flapping of my heart against the streaked window of my chest, bemused and dazzled and baffled by its own reflection.


“These vagabond shoes are longing to stray…”

Tea at the Morgan, including Mrs. Morgan’s sugar cookies and a pot of Harney & Sons English Breakfast

Self portrait with walking sticks. Somewhere on East 34th, heading toward Madison Avenue

We ran into the Spring Street Mural just a few steps down from the Jen Bekman Gallery where I saw Sarah McKenzie’s show Void. I felt very art smart when I asked if she had any works-on-paper for sale (which are usually less expensive than works on canvas).

Still Life on Spring with Street Art

Ceci Cela is a French bakery on the Lower East Side with a tiny little sit-down-space squished in the back. It is hands-down one of my favorite places in NYC. For lunch I had a baguette with ham and brie. For dessert, a doppio espresso with tiramisu, which I suspect was actually a baba au rhum as it had raisins.

This mural was across the street from an old cloistered church. It felt like one minute we were in NYC, the next we had stumbled into Europe for just a block or two.

Many years ago I ran into a man I used to know—Todd, a clarinet player—near the West 4th basketball courts. He told me he was working at Cafe Wha? and I should meet him there. He was a very good kisser, but I couldn’t understand what he was saying so I nodded and smiled and never saw him again. But I always keep an eye out for him when I’m in New York.

Jimi and me and music, sweet music…

“People stop and stare/They don’t bother me/For there’s no where else on earth that I’d rather be./Let the time go by I won’t care/if I’m standing on the street where Matt Dillon lives.”

Musings (4/20/10)

I would make a self-portrait every day if I could. No. I would make a self-portrait every day if I dared. In terror of narcissist, self involved, navel gazer. I inevitably lean toward the confessional. To be seen is to exist? If I dared: To be seen is to exist.

Musings (3/29/10)

I’ve been pondering the idea of “uniform” lately. Periodically, as I read Vogue or some other fashionista rag, I happen across an uber-stylish woman–like Aerin Lauder–who subscribes to the uniform theory. That is, she has a particular look from which she rarely wavers because it’s always flattering and takes the guess work out of getting dressed. For some women it’s always wearing a patterned shift dress with tights in the winter and sandals in the summer. For others, it means having a closet full of a zillion interpretations of the class white blouse and classic black pant. For others still, the “uniform” is a limited palette. I read at some point in New York magazine that Renaissance Man-designer Karim Rashid only dresses in all pink or all white.  Not only does the uniform simplify the whole getting dressed thing, but it brands you with a strong visual identity.

So my experiment for the next few (months, years?) is to try the uniform. I’m limiting my basics to shades of black, white, or grey (with the occasional lavender piece cause really I just can’t NOT wear my favorite pants). I’m not banishing color entirely—that will come in the form of accessories and outer layers. I’m interested in focusing on the visual interest that can come from layering textures and creating stark contrasts. I’m also interested to see what happens if I not only limit my palette, but also limit the number of items in my closet. Can one really stylishly get by—as Lucky magazine would have you believe—on only a handful of basics that you mix and match willy nilly each month?

I’ve been dressing this way for about a week now, and I have to say that I feel more myself in a way. I actually don’t own a ton of black, white, or grey so the limited palette is forcing me to be extra creative in putting together an outfit, and that seems to be really feeding my all-around creativity. It’s also making me appreciate color more—the richness of my  turquoise pashmina, the fleshiness of my peach scarf. And yes, I am loving that I get to indulge my love of  oh-so=Parisian black/white stripes  (as in the above outfit, which features three different stripy layers). Of course, it also means that I have to pay more attention to getting my laundry done each week, a task at which I am already failing miserably. Sigh . . .

So what are your thoughts on the uniform? Do you have your own version? Are you for and/or against? Would you committ hara kiri if someone told you you could only wear this or that color from now on? What are your fashion musings?

A Picture a Day (2/7/10)

“Self-Portrait, Third Day Indoors” (Sligo Avenue, Silver Spring, Maryland)

Fly: To float, wave, or soar in the air. “I cannot leap tall buildings in a single bound. I cannot fly with these stories strapped to my wrists.”

A Picture a Day (2/6/10)

“Self-portrait with snow and colorful hat” (Living Room, Silver Spring, Maryland)

In this photo, snow is only snow. This is, in fact, a story- about my vanity. Catching a glimpse of myself in the webcam as I turned away to look out the window, I decided to look  left rather than right, so that the left side of my face–with its darker patches of hyperpigmentation would not show. Then, I used the touch-up tool, to remove some hyperpigmentation fromthe exposed right side. If I knew how, I would have erased my double-chin. I’ve never thought myself particularly vain in photographs. I am she of the bright and cheesy smile no matter what. What has caused my vanity to leak  out here when I am the one holding the camera? I suppose we all are storytellers and liars both . . .

A Picture a Day (1/26/10)

“Self  Portrait as a Reflection” (Starbucks, 11th and E Streets, NW, Washington, DC)

“There was no such person. . . [She was] invented, like an author creates a character.” (Richard Avedon)

A Picture a Day (1/24/10)

“Self portrait in bed with coffee after getting dressed” (Silver Spring, Maryland)

Today I look a lot like my mother. (Some days I look a lot like my father. And, surprisingly my youngest brother and I look a lot alike though we are half-siblings.) My mother’s friend has told me that I am the most like my mother. My sister says she is the most like my mother. What I know for sure is that my mother and I both think coffee is a comfort food (I’ve been drinking it since I was in single digits, using the instant that was always on the bottom shelf), and we both have a serious jones for jewelry.

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