April 26, 2011
April 26, 2011
I really do take him everywhere I go. Even when faced with the considerable hassle and cost of flying I am still determined to include Bello on the family visit. Luke and I even raced back to the house to pick up Alan, Bello’s pinstriped teddy bear that we suspect of being a Republican. We knew Bello would appreciate Alan’s company in the belly of the plane.
April 24, 2011
Wow. I have a lot of emotions coming together. Suddenly my heart is full of big feelings after many months of relative calm. This is the day of fertility and I am very aware of the various lives I have led. I have been teetering on the fringes of a prior life for some time now. It is easy, and so comforting, to gaze lovingly on those dimmed stories. And to use them as a shield to keep at bay whatever might come next. Because I am profoundly afraid of the next life. I can barely look it in the eye. Now that shield is crumbling in my hands.
Gosh. See! I’m totally spun out. And I leave for Santa Cruz tomorrow where everything originates.
“Don’t cry because it is over.
Smile because it happened.”
April 22, 2011
Luke asked me if I thought it was possible for two people to be alone in a relationship. At 37, no I don’t think so. I am always comparing, referring, reacting to my past. Even if I don’t realize it. Yes, Luke and I are sitting alone at the dinner table. But we are not here, with each other, by accident. If your first love becomes your heart’s barometer for what love is, then you are always working from this point. My choice to share company with Luke is in part because he is already familiar to my heart. He has home in him. And so did Kenya. And Adam. And Sarah.
I think I am out here creating a whole new life but maybe I’m just seeking out and finding comfort in what I already know.
April 22, 2011
“The next phase of your life will be an excellent time to unbreak your heart. Here’s what I mean by that: You will have extra power to dissolve any pain that still lingers from the romantic disappointments of the past. You’ll be able to summon acute insights into how to dismantle the sodden and unnecessary defenses you built to protect yourself from loss and humiliation. You will find it easier than ever before to forgive and forget any close companion who hurt you. So get out there, Capricorn, and launch the joyful process of restoring your love muscles to their original potency.”
April 21, 2011
I am low. I barely move, sleep more hours than I am awake, have little appetite, no social drive, I am emotional and sad and don’t know when it will end. I have a cold sore that makes my face ache. I am PMSing. Overwhelmed with work. Worried about Bello. And just received news from a loved one that makes me feel strangely abandoned.
It is also a peaceful state. My mind is not overactive, like usual, and feels oddly contented. My body is happy to walk slowly. I am patient. And present. In an achy fog I laid in the grass by the pond and didn’t mind the raindrops hitting my face and running down the creases of my neck.
April 19, 2011
It is never easy.
I am producing Spring 2011 right now. Pushing everyone to hurry, letting them know I am working with a deadline, feeling stressed and anxious about how much it all costs and whether it will be done on time.
So far I have encounter mess up after mess up. Typical.
First all of the fabric, over a thousand yards, was shipped from LA to my house in Portland when it was supposed to be dropped off in the Bay Area. All on my Fedex account.
Next a get a call from my manufacturer saying that the fabric is too short for the prepared marker. I have the marker re-made at great expense. A couple of days later I get a call from my manufacturer saying that she just noticed the width of the fabric is even shorter then she thought and the new marker would not work. Could I get another marker made?
The shorter fabric width means that I will run short of fabric.
New purchase orders have to go out today. More money for the guy who shipped to the wrong address and screwed me on width. Thanks, here’s another order. Because he has what I need. And I need it right away.
I am so frustrated!
None of this has been my doing and yet all of it is my mess.
April 19, 2011
What a weekend. I am wiped out.
On Friday night we hosted a dinner party to celebrate Luke’s 30th birthday. Twenty dear friends came bearing edible gifts- amaranth encrusted salmon, fried plantains, black rice, asparagus with lemon, parsnip and hazelnut galette, and for dessert homemade banana icecream with peanut butter, avocado icecream with coconut milk and a summer fruit pie. We crowded around a room-sized farm table to share the bounty.
The next night we hosted a serious dance party for Ayni’s 30th birthday. Our craziest dance party yet and most likely our last. The DJ was convinced to turn the music off at 3:30am and only because our neighbor was about to blow the house up. The same neighbor was back at 8:30 the next morning literally banging on the front door and subjecting me to a lengthy belittling. The two travelers that slept on our couch were kind enough to do dishes for over an hour while Sarah and I reassembled our home.
These were solidifying nights that showcased the depth of our community.
Turning 30 is scary. It can be quite unsettling to reach a point, a peek, and to look down the mountain on either side. You see, very clearly, what paths you took on the way up. And now that you’re here, with everything you need, you have to chose the one road that will take you back down the other side. This road is wide and well established. It is your legacy. Ahh, 30. Nobody slips by you.
April 17, 2011
April 13, 2011
I posted four “new” items on the Shop.Filly page. These pieces are actually from an older collection that I designed during a very joyful time of my life. It was summer time in Missoula, Montanna and I was staying at the house next door to my sister. She was due to give birth any day. I set up my studio on the screen-in back porch and sewed while she sat radiating a surreal heat- a blush of womanhood that colored everything around her. I was taken by her powerful roundness and surprised by her sensuality. I designed for her and the life she was strong enough to carry from the spiritual world right up to the doorstep of that back porch. I love that collection and only have a few pieces left. I offer them as a tribute to new life and body joy. Around and around we go.
April 12, 2011
I am going to write this post and get on with my day. It has been a hard morning.
Last night I decided to cancel Bello’s appointment. I was in a literal panic at around 12:30am and didn’t know what to do. The idea of sending Bello in to have his abdomen cut open and an organ removed seemed like the wrong decision. He is old and his body is expressing fatigue in many ways. The lump on his spleen is just one of them. To sign him up for major surgery at this stage feels aggressive and crude. It feels misplaced. If I am putting quality of life first, then he would rather take a trip to Salty Dog for a rawhide (which is what we are doing today instead).
Josh and I got Soupy and Bello when we were in our mid-twenties. We took them into our lives as if they were our children. We have loved them with all our might and then some. They are more than dogs. They are our family. And they led us to become better people.
So Bello has a mass on his spleen. ok. I will love that part of him too. He is whole today, round, furry and in my bed staring at me instead of in the hospital.
Today we are together.
April 12, 2011
Thank you to everyone that has been purchasing from Shop.Filly. Every cent is being put toward Bello’s health. When I see an order come through I drop my head to my chest and feel like crying. Your timing could not be more appreciated.
Tomorrow he goes in for a splenectomy. Not only will this remove the mass but it could help him generally feel better once his insides aren’t so crowded. If you think of it tomorrow, send an old round brown beloved dog some wishes of good health and speedy recovery.
April 12, 2011
April 9, 2011
Yesterday was spent waiting for the call. I loaded Bello on to the longhaul bike with the platform in the front. The panniers were stuffed with a blanket, coffee, a book and my journal. We headed to the biggest park with the plushest grass and the most potent dog turnout. It was an unusually hot and sunny Friday afternoon and once I laid down I couldn’t get up. With one ear to the blanket I stared at Bello and let tears and sleep come as they pleased. Around us dogs of every age and shape performed carnival acrobatics in the sun.
I am Bello’s parent. And I will use my mightiest powers to keep him safe and happy. I will shield him from every conceivable threat so that he will feel secure and grow old peacefully. But his death, whenever that may come, is not his enemy and should cease to be mine. What am I fighting and fearing and hating when I battle his death? It is as much a part of his precious life as his first breath.
And so even though the vet called to say that the mass is benign, and I performed Olympic splits across the room and screamed Benign! Benign! Benign! into Bello’s face, I am trying to keep the day of his departure dear to me. And to love the last pinch of his life as I have the last eleven years.
April 8, 2011
Bello is eleven. Or twelve. He has been everywhere that I have been since I was twenty six. He has seen me at my happiest and in my deepest despair. He hates it when I cry. He loves it when I dance. He should have been a mama dog.
Bello was feeling poor yesterday. Slower than usual and a little unsteady. I noticed his gums were pale so I dropped in for the last appointment of the day at Broadway Veterinary. Xrays showed a mass on his spleen. Today’s ultrasound showed it to be the size of a baseball. And tomorrow morning I will hear the results of the biopsy. Over the phone. The news. Please, please, please, please let it be benign. oh please
Dogs die. If they didn’t there would be dogs everywhere! But Bello… I was hoping he could live forever.
Because I’m not sure how to live without him.
April 8, 2011
April 3, 2011
I was first introduced to Irene Lutzig when she emailed me about a dress.
So I think the last time I wrote a stranger a fan letter was age ten when I had a precocious Audrey Hepburn fixation. But I just bought my second dress of yours this afternoon (I bought my first about a year ago not long after I first moved to Santa Cruz from New York), and for some reason felt moved to let you know how incredibly happy your clothes make me. Last year I saw your dress in a store window and had to try it on… and then I had one of those amazing rare moments where I try on a new dress there’s that shiver of recognition when you meet a new best friend for the first time — perfect dress made exactly for me. It was more than I could afford, but I bought it anyhow, and it’s one of my few happy memories of my first lonely months in Santa Cruz (I love the idea of stories attaching themselves to dresses). I still wear it all the time, and it’s still perfect.”
Irene is a filmmaker, and a very good one, and I was nervous about writing her back. Would I live up to her experience with the dress? We were lucky enough to hang out a couple of times at Friends of Filly gatherings before she moved to Cambridge to teach at Harvard. Recently she sent me a book. Who does this?! California is a beautiful little novella written by Amra Brooks. It contains stories of Santa Cruz that strike my heart.
Today I was picking out colors for Fall 2011 when I realized the color palette I was attracted to was spelled out on the cover of the little book. I share all of this for two reasons. One, Irene is a rock star. Two, moments like this confirm the theory I just wrote for the Filly Space page. Nothing is accidental. It all matters. Even the slim little novella finds its place.
April 3, 2011
April 2, 2011
Erica, a wonderful woman from San Francisco, was the first person to order from Shop.Filly. God it felt good to get home from yoga and check my email and see that folks want this! I shouted and jumped around. I gushed to Sarah. I called Luke. I felt that my decision to sell online was instantly confirmed and that this is the right direction.
Thank you Erica, not only for the order but for what felt like a kiss on the cheek and a high five.
April 1, 2011
April 1, 2011
I miss two weeks ago. Two weeks ago Luke and I were living the good life which, at the time, was not as good as the Really Good Life we lead this past summer. And it’s true, the summer was amazing… picnics galore, riding our bikes all over town while eating fruit, swimming like every god damn day! So, yeah, two weeks ago was just alright. But it was still waaay better than right now. Two weeks ago we got to actually hang out together. That was before I got really sick and he got really busy. I now long for those nights when we would make a great meal and laugh for hours.