Tuesday, April 26, 2005

I have been "on the road" for what seems months though I was only in Seattle three days; but three after six in L.A, has left me numb. I returned last night and went to the store at 7:30 a.m. this morning. Visual overload. If someone had told me years ago that I would be buying clothes for others, I would have laughed. I see myself as a slob. But more than several people, strangers included, have told me that I know how to dress, that I am "well put together". I don't believe it. Clothes have never been that important to me. Am I telling the truth? I don't know. I do, like my daughter, love beautiful fabrics, unusual designs, bright colours. But my hair is most often a mess, my nails are chipped, and I haven't changed my earrings in three months. Are these signs of a fashion plate? I am a writer, damn it.

But when I was in the store today, two sisters came in. One is a television personality. They were like children, looking, touching, laughing, wanting to try everything... and almost did. One went crazy over a Texan line and screamed "Oh, these are too beautiful." (And I admit that I felt a little smug... and wanted to tell that I was the buyer... and was happy that Walter was in the store and overheard all. Oh it is nice to gloat once in a while.)

And there were some visuals that involved nudity not clothing - on Sunday - when, after market, Helen and I stopped in at the Seattle Art Gallery and saw an exhibit of contemporary Chinese photographs - that were much more interesting to my mind than the most exciting clothing line. One picture, in particular, sticks in my mind. It was a male nude, back to viewer, standing tall, legs together, and on his lower buttocks, down the back of his legs is blood, as if he is having a period. The text beside the image says that it refers to male envy. There were more referring to androgyny but I am too tired to explain... I can't decide whether to drive up to Whistler tomorrow and work, without interruption on my script, for three or four days, or to try to do the work at home. I'll see how easy it is to work here in the morning and then decide. I did sit by the water early evening and read a little about Teresa. "Disillusion me with truth," the saint begged a close friend. She believed we all need "soul-friending." At the moment, all I need is my bed.

Saturday, April 16, 2005


"It takes even more than this to make you cry
or laugh
when you are old enough
to find a forgotten snapshot of yourself,

take it up in your hands,
hold it close to the light,

discover slowly
and for the first time

that once
long ago
you were almost


Yesterday I crashed, stomach felt sick, body felt tired all over, achy, bruised almost. So I put aside the orders I was working on and reached for poetry. I want to incorporate some into my script but half my good books are in France. Sad. (And yet I do feel privileged to have this second home.) And I have been flipping back and forth from my writing to my buying - both creative - and satisfying...

But I push myself. Los Angeles was a whirlwind as markets always are. They demand incredible concentration. And then there was Gill, arriving by taxi, an independent young woman, whose beauty astonishes me more because she is my baby, the imp who followed me round, who held my hand... In LA on Melrose, she reached for my hand again. I don't know how to describe the love I feel for her and how I admire the life she is designing for herself. I would like to have her courage.

Jung wrote that "Children are driven unconsciously in a direction that is intended to compensate for everything that was left unfulfilled in the lives of their parents." I wonder if this is true. I used to think that this was unfair, too much pressure. Why couldn't my parents have lived their own dreams? But now, as I sit here thinking about my children, I wonder if parents are springboards? Our barometers? We need their dreams to find our own.

Last week, in my journal somewhere, I wrote that I felt doors were closing on me. I am too old, too tired, to start new adventures. Life is such a struggle as it is. I feel the urge to sit down and cry a thousand tears - god, I sound ridiculous to myself - I need a break from my brain - I need to do nothing - but how am I to take a break when I have two weeks to write a rough draft of a script, go to another market in Seattle, write orders, make arrangements for the workshop in France, and clean up all here - business and home - so I can leave light for France at the end of May?

Monday, April 11, 2005

Model Daughter in Los Angeles

Model Daughter in Los Angeles
Originally uploaded by Barbara Y.

Not much time to write but wanted to send word that Gill made it safely to Los Angeles and has been our lovely model. The only trouble is that every thing looks gorgeous on her.

She did take a day off to explore a motorcycle cafe with her cousin Sarah in Malibu yesterday and last night, too exhausted to leave the hotel, we all congregated, including Helen's actor cousin, Greg, and we had a simple meal by the pool. Life is tough. We are just about to leave market. Helen leaves in an hour and Gill and I are heading to Melrose and some other LA hot spots. Tomorrow, we lie by the pool. Home Wednesday. I am happy.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Gill writes, in her latest blog, "I'm always surprised to find that when I exercise simplicity the result is unforced, unpretentious, effortless, and honest."

I have been practicing simplicity, uncomplicating my life, doing little outside the home, and suddenly I find I have time for the little things, like sewing and ironing, paying bills, making travel arrangements. I don't feel breathless although I'm accomplishing a fair bit. I have also spent countless hours researching Saint Teresa theories in relation to Jung's ideas. This is not an easy project for a woman who calls herself an agnostic and who is trying to find her self through dreams and writing, reading and playing.

Is it strange that Teresa, living over three hundred years ago, felt the same need for self-knowledge, gained by simple living, without frills - who was driven to establish as many convents and friaries as possible so small groups of women and men could live in peace, have time for meditation and contemplation (called prayer) so they could better know themselves - and ultimately God? (And what resistance she had to overcome!)

"Wouldn't a person look foolish, friends, if you asked him who he was and he didn't know, had no idea who his father or mother were or what country he came from? If this seems stupid to you, know that our own stupidity is incomparably greater when we do not strive to know who we are... We have heard that we have souls... But we rarely consider the soul's excellent qualities or who it is that dwells within her or how precious she really is. And so we don't bother to tend her beauty. All our attention is focused on the rough matrix of the diamond, the outer walls of the castle, which are none other than these bodies of ours."

Teresa is giving me much to think about.

On Sunday evening, I took a break and went to Anatolia Souvlaki with Helen, who was away for my birthday. Anatolia is Helen's old restaurant, now owned by her ex, who was playing and singing Greek music with several friends. We ate a wonderful assortment of Greek dishes, washed down with a generous serving of Retsina. Towards the end of the evening, I climbed on the table and danced a few steps. I felt compelled. (Several years ago, I told myself that every table I danced on would bring me closer to freedom.) Even though I felt slightly self-conscious - there were other diners - I had to climb on that damn table. Our conversation was about freedom, about "being independent of the good opinion of others". Another woman present said she thought, based on my writing topics, that I was free of other's opinions. I only wish. Isn't it strange how some people view us? She/he don't see below the surface, don't see the fear that lives inside the gut. Still I see that the last fifteen years of furious writing and searching have eased the pressure slightly. But when I can climb on a table, dance my heart out, and not give a damn who is watching, then I will know that I am who I am and it doesn't matter what the rest of the world thinks about my symbol for freedom.