A friend said recently that I'm writing my posts as if no one was reading. In a way, it feels like that, especially today: if you are in American, you're probably not. You're either cooking, or trying to get out of work in time to get on the road, on a train, to the airport, in time for dinner, in the middle of the afternoon.
And here in London, you'd never know Thanksgiving existed. I bought up one of the six cans of Libby's tinned pumpkin last week: any ex-pats now in the area - and there are many - are basically screwed.
I think of the flip side that Jonathan Adler was talking about, the flip to his bling side: the craftsman in his soul. The potter. Jonathan was a 'production potter' for five years. I asked what that meant and he said 'I produced pots, by hand. Night and day.' He said he was basically unhire-able: he just made pots. I asked if he knew the St. Ives school of potters, and he, too, had been there. To Bernard Leach's (as shown here). That's what I was dreaming of last night: his studio. His pots.
That's what my husband and I want this year: not more shoes. We want to find a pottery studio in London, to take a course. We have been collecting pottery for years: now it's time to get our hands dirty.
Last night I kept waking and having images: of these shots I took with my husband, a few years ago in St. Ives, or of Georgie and my lovely friend Estelle (Serendipity2307), in Regent's park. That's me, in the black swimsuit, years ago, shot with my dad's Pentax on timer. I was thinking of something a friend wrote yesterday, about 'doing service.' How he'll hold a door open for people, and they won't say thank you, but he'll thank them, for allowing him to 'do service'.
Each morning, I try to think of the things I am grateful for each day, because I believe that that attitude of gratitude is the core of what makes me a happy person. The attitude of want, envy, jealousy, competitiveness, backstabbing, bitchiness, and all the things that can become exploited through the fashion blogging world - that 'I need those shoes' 'I'm jealous of your legs' mentality - that idea that our blogs are like the X Factor, and there is only one winner.. it is all so toxic, and so poisonous.
So Thanksgiving, for me, besides being a sacred holiday for my family - it felt like we OWNED Thanksgiving, growing up - it was our special time, and also my father's birthday - Thanksgiving is for me the sacred time to look back, to reflect, to look forward.
This year, I am grateful for all the things I don't ever want to take for granted: my life, my health, the life and the health of all the people I love - and who love me. And there are so many, so very many, in varying degrees.
I am grateful that I can still move around, and dance, and swim, and relish in nature, free from pain, free from danger.
But I am also grateful to my enemies: the people who once pretended to be my friend. Who I helped, did service for - people at magazines, large companies, who had wanted me to work for free - and the ambitious bloggers, whose photos I shot, whose 'profiles' I helped raise, even at times doing someone's logo, masthead.. I even spent a day, home in bed with the flu, designing magazine layouts for a girl who wanted to be an intern, and instead of thanking me, she wanted more: changes, and contact names, and then when I saw her at fashion week and asked her if she had anything to say to me, she just looked at me in surprise and said 'I already said you did a good job.'
All those hours, thousands of emails and cupcake get togethers and photos, photos and photos, for people who now want to harm me, who want me banned from fashion week, who want to turn people against me, and all I ever did was finally step away.. I am grateful to you all. Because you have helped me realise, this year, that I am stronger than I thought I was. That I have a voice, and that voice will not be shut down.
I'm grateful, too, to the two girls at Spanish Elle, for ElleGate: it was just a year ago, come to think of it. They might not have ever said a proper apology, or come thru with any financial compensation for me or Roz, but hey- they brought the most wonderful friend, a Spanish lawyer, into my life, and they showed me how much support there was from people like you. Out there, around the world. The love I received far outweighed the pain. Living well, I always feel, is the best revenge.
I love this quote: "Forgiveness is NOT excusing what the other person did. Its refusing to be defined by what they did."
I was thinking about when I studied karate, in NY, a lifetime ago, with my then boyfriend. How we'd say 'please teach me,' then have a nice little punch up, and then say 'thank you for the lesson.'
I am grateful to my enemies: you have helped me define who I am, and who I don't want to be. And what, in the end, really matters.
I am grateful for all my experiences, good and bad, happy or sad. They all have helped me to grow, and, I hope, to better be able to serve my fellow man.
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone: today I shall roast a free range chicken, and make all my favourite dishes, stuffing and pumpkin pie and cranberry sauce, a mini Thanksgiving for my grateful husband and very grateful cat (he loves chicken), and I will think of you all, my lovely friends, with gratitude, and wishes of health and happiness.