teach your children

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.


Anonymous said...

That's a lovely post. Happy new year with peace and love. - Lisa (Dot US)

Unknown said...

Happy New Year Jill. Your words moved me. Speaking from the heart and saying what we wish everyone would feel...wouldn't this world be a happier, safer more beautiful place if everyone understood these teachings. Tony and I have tried to raise Jesse (16) this way...though he has a lot of hate in him too...hate for right wing fanatics, hate for intolerance, hate for bigotry his list goes on... that's not great either.
This New Year I wish you and your family good health, much happiness, peace and love.

Love Food said...

Lovely post and beautiful pictures.

Lydia xxx

Style Odyssey said...

Early wishes for a happy birthday, Jill! Do you have special plans for your day? You must do something good for yourself; it will help balance the sadness of missing your dear dad.
Speaking of special, these photos are. A child caught in the action of living life. Tanned skin, pink dress, playing in the water...what joy expressed!

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Hi, also the pix remind me of you or Amy when we were growing up...so great!!
love, Sheila

Lucie - A Taste Of Vogue said...

Happy birthday girlie! your blog is wonderful =]

Unknown said...

this is such a sweet post



Style At Every Age said...

Beautiful, moving and thought provoking post. Lovely. xxxxx

Nat said...

lovely post! it's my birthday on monday too!! also, my trip to london next weekend coincidentally coincides with LFW! will probably do nothing fashion related but its nice to know i will be there during all the excitement! hope you have an amazing birthday!xx

Anonymous said...

One of the best songs ever.

Love the photos, the sentiments. This time of year makes me think of those things plus, probably because of starting school, I think of new beginnings to.

Best to you, anniversaries are always bittersweet in cases such as these.


Life in Israel said...

Thank you Jill for this and may you be blessed with another year of health and happiness (and great style).


Anonymous said...

hallo Jill!
at first i would like to thank you very very much for adding my profile to your blogroll and i'm full of happiness that you like it:) i'm sure there's a lot of blogs in this "lovely blog world" but i supposed that the most of them are nothing worth...for me the most important thing is the originality, to be original in all those things we do, so i'd really prefer originality than popularity that's why i dont wanna concentrate only on fashion, i've an interest in so many other things like
an abstract art, architecture, literature, people and their views on life, music, books, vintage theme, la boheme time etc...the list of things, i like is loooong, maybe even longer than your blogroll:)
but as i said i'm very glad because of adding:) and forgive me please my english and my gramma mistakes (i've studied german language so i can talk or write german or polish very well but with english it's harder, but i'm still workin on it and want to be better, more communicative)
you asked me if i'm from Poland so i say: yes! I am and it's...hmmm...let me think....you know Poland is very original and different country, to the 1989 we've had comunism and you can still see the traces of that system, they are visible to the current time almost everywhere but you can take also many interesting photos too, that's an advantage:)

i will visit your blog very often and comment your posts so we'll be in touch:) thank you for these kind words (you said myy photography is excellent but you have to know that i've not studied photography, i learn that's all alone at home and this is my beginning , my first 'steps', hopfully everything goes ok:)

(i've got at moment a technical problem with sending messages via gmail so i can send you messages only that way)

best wishes to you and see ya! :)