It's hard to believe I took these photos only a week ago: today is grey and the world feels very quiet, just home, me and the cat. Altho I have many other images I want to show you from London's Fashion NIght Out (I hear it's NY's turn tonight - and New Delhi's) for the moment I want to take a break from fashion. Sort of.
Maybe it's because my birthday is coming up (Monday) or it's the anniversary of my father's death (Tuesday) but this time of year has always felt quite special to me: a time to take stock, take inventory, look back, look forward. Stop and be present. Stop and be still.
My parents were teachers. My childhood was one big Learning Experience: happy, at times sad, but always about learning and growing and realising we have choices. My parents' methods were new: together they were optimistic about a bright new world, and they lived their beliefs, every day, and they taught me well. And even though we don't have children of our own, to pass this onto - or perhaps because we don't - I can't help it: teaching is in my blood.
Speaking of blood: mine is Jewish as well as Christian and I was talking with my friend Natayla, who is Egyptian and Muslim and blue eyed and fair, and how Ramadan just ended, and today is the Jewish New Year and while I don't know if anyone in my family is particularly marking today, I'm glad that I've got these quiet moments to pause and reflect: on the families who lost loved ones in Iraq, in Afghanistan, on 9/11, of all the hundreds of thousands of souls who are displaced and without homes in Pakistan, and just for the moment, I don't care about what shoes I wear this fall, or what colour will replace camel as the new black. (Altho, to be honest, that side - the artist in my soul - never really leaves me: I like these shots for the duo of pink against tan skin and the terra cotta of the pool tiles.)
This girl reminds me exactly of my younger sister, when she was that age. My memories of childhood are all sunny and technicolour. We had the best childhood anyone could ever ask for. (Oh how funny: that's Elvira and Maddy in the background).
I'm so grateful for what I have, and for what my parents taught me, for the heritage they have passed onto me, through the way they lived their lives, and how my mother continues to live her life: with courage, with kindness. She's got class, and grace, and dignity.
I know what matters, and I know - even with my father not alive in this world - separately, and together, I know they love me.
Even in sadness, I still tend to focus on something that's beautiful, even if it's simply the kindness of one human being to another, which is why I'm putting this version of the song here: if you have the time to play this all the way thru, it was done by someone who simply calls herself Mary, from Florida, and it's quite moving, even if it is a bit political.
It's funny: the idealistic dreams of the Woodstock Generation haven't changed all that much. We still, after all, want the same things: peace, and love.