Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Analogy of the Train

When is the right time to let someone know that he or she isn’t “the one”? I’ve recently been turning this thought over in my mind like a pancake on a low-flamed griddle.

And then it came to me like most realizations happen to come, in a metaphor (see pancake reference above) while talking to a friend on gchat. While my realizations typically come in the form of metaphor they usually occur while on gchat, in the shower, putting on lotion or walking. I was trying to explain to her how if you aren’t totally sure of someone you’ve been seeing, it feels a lot like you are on an Acela-paced train headed towards a brick wall. Or down into the quagmire of the Louisiana gulf coast. Or veering onto a track that you know will suddenly end, dropping you off a cliff. The train itself is comfortable enough with plushy velvet seats and brass spouts spewing Ghiradelli hot chocolate into porcelain tea sets. You feel safe and warm and cozy, however, like a teacup rattling ever so slightly a small and nagging sense of impending doom stirs in the place just right behind your heart and below your belly button. You alone are the only one on the train in possession of the knowledge of what lie ahead. Do you tell anyone? Do you risk everyone losing it? What if you don’t know for sure that it will happen? Can you trust the subtle rattling in your teacup heart? Is it a phantom shudder? Are you sure the brick wall isn’t a tunnel? Did you just imagine that salty whiff of marshlands and bays? What if the train doesn’t switch tracks? You keep breathing, sipping your hot chocolate letting the smooth sweet tang of the cocoa linger on your tongue.

The question is do you risk telling someone that you know they aren’t the one and derail the train yourself? Or do you keep quiet letting time run its course, hoping the leaks and cracks and subtleties of decay will soon show? I am not sure hence the overwhelming number of question marks speckled throughout this post. In truth maybe the analogy doesn't work as well as, say, Plato's allegory of the cave or the Cherokee parable of the Two Wolves. Perhaps it is too dramatic; equating the end of a relationship to that of death. (There are many things I have claimed to be in my life, but never "rational.") The problem here - if there is a problem at all - is mostly guilt-based with a love of the fantastic and extreme. (How Puritanically American of me, no?) What is the problem of two people enjoying eachother's company with no specified "end" goal in sight? Does there always have to be a goal? Must it always be so black and white (black tux, white dress) and end in Pachelbel's Cannon?  Must it end at all even though marriage isn't in sight? Where is the harm in the pleasure of the process? Or as Elaine Sciolino notes in her book La Seduction,
"Seduce me with a delicious meal and a glass of excellent wine, a promise of romance, an intoxicating scent, and a lively game of words. Have you done me harm, or have you led me to a place where I find freedom to enjoy and savor the best life has to offer? And if in the process you also serve your own purposes, isn't it - as long as I understand the transaction - a fair trade?"
I see though that the harm might lie in the withholding of information from the other person; information that could possibly enlighten (and hurt) the other person and cause them to rethink the time they spend with you. It seems there is a fine line between telling the truth for truth's sake, telling the truth to make the truth-holder feel less guilt, and telling the truth for the sole benefit of  giving the other person all the information to use at their discretion. But it leads me back to my original question... when is the right time to tell them? After how many "dates"? How much time do you allow to go by before you break the news? Right before the train is about to hit the wall, as soon as you know, or at some point in between?

What do you think?

Friday, September 14, 2012


... to the weekend

(I'll drink to that.)

What are you up to?

I am going to finish watching Sabrina, attend a gala to support this rad foundation, and hopefully make this tart.

Links I Like

No, not this kind of lynx... But check out at that stare! Watch out, Tyra

How do you want to be seen?

Recent photos of space (How cool are those polar mesopheric clouds?? That blue.)

Best animated movie I've seen in a while (free on Netflix under Just for Kids)

This. Song. Frank Ocean, I heart you.

I want to go to Iceland with Andrew & Carissa !

Salt that smells like violets? The art of harvesting fleur de sel

Perfect dresses for fall, with black booties and a leather jacket! Here and here.

Who is your celebrity alter ego? Mine is Rihanna... nailed it.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Photo Diary

A Bug's Life aviators
Drinks at Devon to celebrate 29 years (of marriage!)
Ugh, cutest baby on the block? Yeah I'd say so
Water fire sunset
USPS mail girls
Alina doing her "Like, whatever, I can throw my drink on the floor
because it's my party" pose

The 2012 Pantone Fashion Color Report
(Ultramarine Green & French Roast, swoon)
It's all in the family
Spindly sculpture near the Rodin exhibit
Flowers & Flags
Les petits chocolats from Scoop DeVille

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

To Speak of Heroes

'our mind is a virgin forest of killed friends.
And if I talk to you with fairy tales and parables
it is because you listen to it more sweetly, and you can't talk of horror because it's alive

because it doesn't speak and moves
it drips the day, it drips on sleep
like a pain reminding of evils.

To speak of heroes to speak of heroes: Michalis
who left with open wounds from hospital
may have talked of heroes when, that night
he was dragging his foot in the blacked-out city,
was screaming feeling our pain 'in the dark
we go, in the dark we move...'
Heroes move in the dark.

G. Seferis, Teleftaios Stathmos

Nobel Prize Laureate Georgios Seferis wrote this poem about the horror of war and those heroes that die in its wake. I read it for the first time in my Mediterranean Studies class in college and was immediately taken with it the way you can be sometimes taken by a fast-moving train zooming by so quickly that if you blinked you could have missed it. The way it tears through your consciousness, ripping up the rotted old floorboards of your mind clearing the clutter, afterward leaving your thoughts to settle dumbly like meandering specks of dust. What was I thinking before? It doesn't matter and somehow there is only a feeling in the chest, a moment of stillness and reverance and oneness. The moment in which you are sitting on the painted duck-green bench becomes illuminated; you are suddenly aware of your thighs on the wood, the feel of your feet on the uneven cobblestone, the sun casting iridescent flecks of auburn in the hair of the man sitting beside you who moments before was just tapping away at his cell phone. You now sit - the two of you - breathy and alive and aware looking into eachother's eyes, brushing the hair from your mouth and acknowledging the other in a bowl of silence.

That's the way I felt when I read this poem and the way I felt the morning of September 11th. And didn't everyone? Doesn't everyone remember exactly where they were, in place and time and space, the moment they first heard or first saw? I was in 8th grade in my first class of the morning, Language Arts, sitting in the front row near the door. Our teacher Mrs. Riley welcomed us with a somber look and without saying anything turned on the TV mounted in the upper right hand corner of the room. The teacher, the fourteen or so other girls in my class and I watched as the punctured towers released billowing clouds of black-grey smoke. I remember thinking, of all things, that I had never seen so much smoke in my whole life. I kept clinging to the color grey, amazed by its ability to be one color but so many colors all at once. I noticed the differences in the grey of the clouds, of the smoke, of the towers, of the tie of the newscaster. I remember feeling confused, stunned, suddenly uprooted. I don't think I realized at the time that the images meant death, that people had died or were actively dying as I sat there watching in my plaid kilt and new school sneakers. I don't think I knew people were still in the buildings, that the buildings were going to collapse, that people were diving from the buildings, calling their wives and husbands for the last times, that firefighters were trudging up 90 flights of stairs to a black death. All this I didn't know or couldn't fully grasp until college when I took a Sociology of Disaster course where we studied the logistics of what had happened inside of the buildings that day. That people in building #2 were told to stay where they were because it was an "isolated incident," that the people who didn't listen to the announcement and left were walking in black stairwells, stairwells that kept ending and leaving them off at different floors to find another stairwell, grasping in the dark. As the poem notes, to imagine or to even speak of the horror of that day for those involved seems futile.

" and you can't talk of horror because it's alive

because it doesn't speak and moves
it drips the day, it drips on sleep
like a pain reminding of evils.

To speak of heroes to speak of heroes... "

thank you.

Delta Rae

I don't think I've been this excited about a band since my best friend discovered the Spice Girls in third grade. The other day while driving in the car I heard Delta Rae's "Bottom of the River" on WXPN and my whole soul was like "oh yeah." They're positive, "pop"-y (with a heart) and sort of have a folk sound similar to country music (with a brain ;) They also remind me of Glee a little bit.

I would highly recommend listening to their whole album here. And maybe come with me to see them at World Cafe Live in October?

Also, I love the cover art for their most recent album, "Carry the Fire."

Probably because it reminds me of my favorite Parisian vintage ad print for the French bicycle, Cycles Gladiator.