The following is a line from a reeding we did in class [we were to choose the line(s) that spoke to us from the larger piece], and my accompanying response:
“The trick is to leave yourself behind,
to disguise yourself
in the unselfconscious body
of a woman you always meant to be..”
– From “In Another Country”
This line speaks to me because I want to be “that woman,” the unselfconscious one that I think someday I’ll let go enough to find. I’ll release a bit of control, loosen my white knuckle grip, and embrace all things intuitive. I’ll figure out what I actually like and don’t like vs. what I “should”- the “shoulda, woulda, couldas” that guide me. I’ll be more spontaneous. I’ll love without so much hesitation. I’ll make definitive choices and deal with the outcomes head-on, in a timely manner. But what if – until I can truly reach this point – I could adopt a disguise as recommended in this piece? I’ve often tried to approach uncomfortable situations as an actress, stepping out and shedding my multiple inhibitions to assume the role of the woman in the unselfconscious body. Do I dare leave that which allows me the illusion of self-control? Fear of the unknown keeps me thwarted, from embodying the woman I mean to be, the one I wish others to see me as. If I take on this guise, would it eventually either meld with my old, fearful/timid persona or completely take me over – a make-over of the grandest, least superficial sort? Either way, seems like a win. One step closer towards being the woman I aspire to be.
#nowplaying Wilco, Wilco A.M.
I’m now three weeks into my Writing+Art class at PNCA. I am enjoying it very much and have made a nice little post-work routine for myself in the hour I have before heading to class at 6:30. Just being able to say &/or write “class” in relation to myself again feels really positive. It has been great to get my hands dirty during the art projects, to forget the thoughts that plague me all day, to NOT be in front of a screen. Since writing– what I’d consider my ‘hobby’ in life – has been strictly a solitary activity for me thus far, it’s also nice to be sharing and reeding what I’ve scribbled in the company of a small group of people.
During the first class, we read a short piece by Stephen S. Hall called “I, Mercator.” It is dense despite its short length, the kind of reeding where you find yourself underlining so many sentences that eventually entire paragraphs and pages are marked up for frequent revisiting. What resonated most with me from Hall’s writing is his assertion that none of us ever travel – near or far – without some sort of map. Our personal maps are constructed from nature and nurture, and pull from memory, nostalgia, and visceral desire to form the latitudes and longitudes that guide all of our actions and decisions [most of the time, subconsciously]. The following excerpt speaks to the need we all have for a “home base” of some sort for our wanderings:
“…we need some secure oasis of order, even if only a memory (or a fiction), as a home port for our various explorations, our attempts to make sense of the unknown. This is the place we call “home,” which appears on page one of every private atlas. Home can literally be home, an abode, or our notion of family, or even a comfortable spot apart from our dwelling place, like work; whatever it is, home is where the lines are straight, the order clear, where even disorder seems predictable and the displacements tolerably temporary.”
I guess I love these lines so much because quite simply, I wholeheartedly agree with Hall and can relate to needing a “page one” for my own life’s atlas. Where it is for me I don’t exactly know how to explain, but I do know it isn’t a physical place, but rather an idea of family but also of extreme autonomy. I might even say it is the possibility and comfort I see in a blank page. I feel safe there and my thoughts make more sense when I acknowledge them in writing. I also think that each person’s page one can be fluid, morphing and adapting as we grow older, hopefully also wiser.
I imagine that moving often as a kid or moving far away as I did in young adulthood can really affect the idea of “home.” I know it has for me, yet I still feel strong ties to where I grew up in Indiana. Which brings me to a recent acquisition. You didn’t really think I’d let a whole post go by without some bling action, DID YOU?! #offended
When I saw the array of State Quarter rings in the glass case of jewelry at the downtown Animal Traffic, I knew one had to be mine. I inquired about an Indiana version and although none was already made, the extremely helpful woman offered to get in touch with the designer – AutopilotEmpires – and have one made for me. SWOON!
I picked it up a few days after reeding the Hall piece and my mind immediately linked the two. Surely my affinity for home state memorabilia is more than just an obsession with accessories and ephemera, right?
Before I sign off and leave you to ponder your own 1st page, two important occasions to note [important only to me, yes, but hey, it’s MY blog!]:
1. May 1st is my journa-versary. Don’t ask why/how I remember, but on May 1, 2002, I started very purposefully documenting all my days. I have many journals from before that date and there were definitely very consistent writing periods in my youth, but none as purposeful as the past 10. TEN. I don’t recall what, if anything, sparked such a desire to diligently document, but I’m sure as hell glad I did!
2. The first weekend of May marked one year in my current apartment. Cheers to #6!
Until next time,
First: HAPPY ST. PATRICK’S DAY! Hope you are getting pinches in all the right places and ordering multiple dark brews. It’s practically an order from POTUS, after all! I love this photo.
Since it’s been a few weeks, I’m going to resort to my favorite way of info sharing: the bulleted list!
- I filled a journal: November 18, 2011- March 4, 2012
- My birthday was on 03.07.12. It was a good day filled with sunshine, calls to family, friends, and tons of “‘cuz it’s my birthday!” splurges. Rightly so.
- I am blissfully overwhelmed by the pile of magazines awaiting first my gaze, then my scissors- thank you, mother! Seriously, the stack is growing seemingly by the day. It is the most glorious “problem” I’ve had recently and I picked up a binder and folders – project alert! – to start the what’s sure to be lengthy task of organizing and cataloguing [pun intended?] the hundreds of clippings I’ve collected from various publications over the last few years. I can’t justify keeping the entire issue, although I wish I could, so I just take the bits and pieces I like the most and feel like I can repurpose for cards, collages, etc.
- I am registered to take a class at Pacific Northwest College of Art [PNCA] starting April 17th called Writing + Art Making. Is it possible to go wrong with those two topics? I hope not, as I definitely need a jolt to the right brain.
- I saw the documentary MissRepresentation at Portland State University as part of a free screening and discussion sponsored by the school’s Center for Women, Politics & Policy. The film explores the often degrading and demeaning ways women are depicted in the media and how these portrayals shape us as we grow up and mature. I’m still thinking about it….. a lot. Yes, I know all documentaries are biased and statistics are manipulated to support the accompanying claims, but so much of what I saw spoke to personal experiences I’ve had. I’m bringing this up not to get preachy, but rather to announce a shift in my blog. Not that I ever dwelled too much on the negative, but from now on, PoseCity will only focus on fashion in terms of the positive [as in, no more criticizing appearances].
I love that it looks like a mechanical pencil and the bubblegum shade of pink!
Have a very safe and green holiday! Much love.
I love the idea behind this book, New York Diaries via Powell’s:
“New York is a city like no other. Through the centuries, she’s been embraced and reviled, worshipped and feared, praised and battered—all the while standing at the crossroads of American politics, business, society, and culture. Pulitzer Prize winner and New York Times bestselling author Teresa Carpenter, a lifelong diary enthusiast, scoured the archives of libraries, historical societies, and private estates to assemble here an almost holographic view of this iconic metropolis. Starting on January 1 and traveling day by day through the year, these journal entries are selected from four centuries of writing—from the early 1600s to the present—allowing New York natives and visitors, writers and artists, thinkers and bloggers, to reach across time and share vivid and compelling snapshots of life in the Capital of the World.”
Here’s how I discovered this book:
Oh Twitter, my love grows by the day! I will definitely scout this title at Powell’s sometime this week. Learning and reflecting on history by way of journal entries fascinates me and reminds me of one of my favorite quotes by Anais Nin, “we write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.” After all, what better way to gain understanding into the past – in this case, a specific city – than through the eyes, minds, and hearts of those who were there?
I know it would be tough to locate as much material on other cities, but it would be so cool to have a book like this for many important locales in one’s life. Portland Diaries… let’s start now, peeps!
What does it take to give ourselves a so called “breath of fresh air?” A new perspective on an old, seemingly familiar topic, a “shot in the arm” [figuratively, of course]? I’ve written here about ebbs and flows in so many areas of my life; creativity, relationships, passions. All of this seems extremely natural to a certain extent, however admitting a “low point” is difficult and can often feel like a confession of sorts. Yes, I love to write and specifically, I love to write about style/fashion/personal flair, but YES, I abso-fing-lutely admit to periods devoid of interest and originality. My wise father, as I shared a few months ago, suggested that, when faced with “writer’s block” type moments, I soldier on like an athlete, intent on facing the next opponent/assignment. Sometimes that thinking helps pull me out of slumps and sometimes it doesn’t. I’ve been in the midst of a lot of introspection lately; it’s sort of inevitable when one is alone as often as I am. I have the luxury, really, of observing myself at my best and at my worst, when no one else is around. At times, this is maddening and provides nothing but an endless list of flaws; other times, I really learn about myself and what makes me tick, what I like about myself and how I am most productive.
On a larger scale, though, I’ve been struggling with being motivated and inspired to write. How can I possibly be enthusiastic about a topic that at many times recently I’ve felt “over.” It’s always been difficult for me to write about/promote supporting local businesses & locally produced garments when I am often financially unable to practice what I preach, so to speak. But I have a commitment, one that I’ve examined many times and come to the conclusion again and again that it is worth keeping for multiple reasons.
So why am I feeling renewed? Well, as per many instances in my life, I have my family to thank. As I mentioned in previous posts, my sister visited me last weekend. We walked all over this city, pounding the pavement, stopping in familiar and unfamiliar destinations. Throughout it all, my sister kept saying how lucky I am to live in a place where so much is accessible on foot. Her city, she says, is lacking the boutique and independent retailer scene that in Portland is so vast that it’s almost overwhelming. Showing her around, I felt a sense of pride that I haven’t in far too long. I thought about all the reasons I moved here in the first place and how different Portland is from where I grew up. Obviously, it has its flaws like every city, but being with my sis recharged my PDX luv battery; I have a voice [a quiet one, but a voice nonetheless] when it comes to showcasing the many local gems in this city and I take that very seriously.
Another boost recently came in the form of some much coveted face time with the masterminds behind the site I contribute to. They are partners, a coupling that I so incredibly admire, but do not envy. Theirs is a relationship that is intertwined in the personal and professional world, a distinction that I want to keep separate in my life, but certainly appreciate when others can make it look so damn easy. My bosses, if you will, unveiled a new editorial schedule and included me in the conversation; it was so rewarding and valuable to hear it face-to-face and feel the relief and excitement surrounding change. Their confidence in me helped to perpetuate the fresh energy from the weekend. I am intimidated by the new schedule, don’t get me wrong, but I am also excited; a feeling that I’m all-too eager to welcome.
In what ways do you experience fresh energy? When do you know if a task and/or commitment is stale beyond revival?
Hair update: I scheduled an appointment for next week at Gold + Arrow salon, an establishment I stumbled upon running errands during my lunch break. I’ll bring this image of Ms. St. Vincent as a guide, unless I weenie out of course….
OH and one more link before I go; all the aforementioned alone time & introspection can inevitably turn towards what I want out of a partner, if I want a partner, what the fuzz do I want, etc. My friend posted this article, “All the Single Ladies,” from The Atlantic which I found incredibly interesting. The notion of the “Cleaver Family” unit is so recent in history, yet is the uniform model society clings to to fit all couples. In the past, the author tells how people married for much more practical reasons. I don’t want to make statements on marriage or come across as judgmental towards others who have “taken the plunge,” as I know it is a source of pride & joy for many [worked out pretty well for me, clearly], and I certainly don’t count it out of my own future. What I most related to was the author’s assertion that women should feel independent and successful on their own before committing to a relationship where the expectation is to have all of her needs met. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket, ya know?! Most times easier said/written than lived, but so it goes for most wise notions.
Until next pose; keep it fresh and foxy peeps.
#nowplaying Sumday– Grandaddy
FYI: For all intensive purposes, I am declaring THIS my one-year anniversary post!
I’m feeling quite reflective on this day, August 28, 2011, as it is the very day one year ago that I took an evening walk prior to going out to dance myself clean, and felt a rush of creative energy that has since been unmatched. I know that those type of “eureka” moments are rare in life and I am grateful to have had a few so far that have been transformative in various degrees. When I reread my FIRST POST today, I gazed upon my words with a silly smile, like I wanted to reach out and pat myself on the shoulder and say “good on ya, Reed.” I still have no direction for this mode of thought & image capture, a very loose style guide, no real promotion, and at the core, it has and will always remain an endeavor solely for myself. We all need selfish outlets– safe places to unload the crazy that goes on in our minds– so that we are able to be more present in the tasks that require a selfless attitude [like at work or with a partner], and this has very much been that for me.
So yes, being an outlet is the main reason this still exists, all 98 [this being #99] posts and countless photos and links, but there are two other reasons I want to *quickly* touch on because they are both somewhat unintended results of actively blogging.
1. Writing: Starting a blog has taken my writing to a whole new level that I never could have imagined a year ago. From here, I gained the confidence and momentum to pursue more public outlets: The Neat Sheet > GalTime > Wearever The Weather > Neighborhood Notes. It’s been a journey of self-discovery and anxiety-inducing deadlines, but very much worth it.
2. Portland: I love this city. True, the name of my blog and what it is about has always been Portland-centric, but really hitting the pavement and shopping and meeting people [specifically SB and all she has so generously shared with me] has only reinforced how lucky I feel to live here- most of the time, of course. There better be a good reason for living so far from the ones I truly love, and I do feel that Portland is where I am supposed to be for now.
For these reasons, and countless others, I am grateful for this tiny space, an unrecognizable speck on a speck on the back of a speck of the World Wide Web. Thank you to any and all who reed.
Much love and to many more years of writing– CHEERS!
“This has happened to me at times in terms of preaching. You have written some wonderful pieces, but, as you are learning, every writer struggles with this. Although I’m not the baseball fan that Sarah is, the advice for hitters in a batting slump is to keep swinging—so writers keep writing.”
Of course I’ve heard similar words before, but on that day, from him, they felt especially powerful. Thanks, Dad!
Also: I love this outfit. I have a major weakness for menswear on woman, and this jacket is the perfect mix of masculine and feminine [the structured shoulders are nicely balanced by the shiny fabric on the cuffs]. Am going to try my best to recreate this look. Thank you, Vogue, for the continued inspiration!
I am behind on nail pics, so here is one from a few days ago [left] and my current motif. I like these photos because they show a bit of what else I’m wearing- ring(s)- and help me remember what happened that particular day. While writing in my journal, I often wish for the ability to “upload” a picture- either of my current surroundings, outfit, or just something of interest- and then I realize “DUH” that’s why you have a blog [we all have our moments].