I’m not really sure how to describe bliss. It might be mostly exhaustion. It’s when life is so full with a little bit of everything that there is barely enough down time to reflect. It’s never giving up on my dreams and creating action steps for my intuition …. It’s having complete blind trust in good things, not in a pre-destined God kind of way, but in a way that just squelches fear, and conserves energy. It’s leaning into fear and following the heart palpitations, too … It’s about loving every part of my life now, not waiting for a more perfect version, or a different time … And then it’s the small things, like these 4 or 5 feet clear waves with hues of blue, on our vacation … The small views, the one of three yellow lupines … The trick for me is to really absorb these moments, really feel them, breathe them in, not take them for granted …. Grateful grateful.
I’m late to getting to know the music and person of Barbra Streisand, but what I know I have adoration and respect for … Any time a smart female artist uses her voice to be authentic and political. Talk about someone who has followed her creativity, intuition and instincts all her life, and what an amazing life journey. Thank you K for bringing this video to my attention ….
It’s been a beautiful exhausting week, learning how to trust deep, still movement and carving out those delicious moments of landing … Learning something always, every step, every piece of motion in my life. G and I finally did the thing that has been on my to do list for us, watch together, both Brene Brown TED talks, since, well, since so much. I need him to know about her, her books about Imperfection, showing up, courage, innovation, change, vulnerability, change … And to listen to her own story, her own beautiful way to tell us about her own vulnerability (and courage innovation creativity change.) Concepts like when your “life ends”, as in when you try to engineer staying small … And how at some point her life did “end” … The courage it took for her to follow her heart.
On another note a friend of G’s woke up several months ago paralyzed from waist down, happily married, amazing career, mother of a 14 year old and it turns out it’s some rare spinal disease and there is talk of a year left to live … WHAT. We carry our heavy hearts. Again and again, I feel pointed towards this need for shaping our lives in courageous creative authentic connecting lives, without waiting for a better time ….
I encountered in my world again, yet again, some crazy assed bullying … For some reason, I know there is one, I keep needing to revisit what this feels like against me … I know by now that there is really no power in it, no real power, but it does create this repetitive blinking light for me of what does a thing feel like. And late last night I realized something more … ::
It occurred to me with this woman’s horrible lame attempt at bullying me - that everything, absolutely everything, boils down to voice, and I think that bullying is one of the lowest levels of attempting to have Voice … When I think of the people i’m meeting in my life who I don’t even really have any relationship with, I am able to observe and realize even when the try to involve me, it’s really about them, and their journey on figuring out voice. The socialist in me wishes everyone had what I think are American elite white even, privilege, to have coaches and spiritual guides … Of course if society were just shaped and designed better, that would change, well, everything, but I’m very aware that coaches and Spiritual Directors cost money and these spirit guides have changed my life …. S would say that I changed my life, not she, of course yes, it’s true, my heart sought something and I made things possible, even without huge financial advantage, so okay … It’s really not about the money.
It’s about the kind of curiosity you have, and where are you willing to take that curiosity … Being curious enough to learn about anything, including what our intuitions are pushing us to do …
And believe it or not, but knitting and creating color with my hands, knowing I’m going to give these away (am SO behind in making one of each for me), gives me incredible time to just Be …
Here’s the latest …. Colors I would never had chosen if they were not on sale and now I LOVE them … Steamrolling my way to Christmas, this task slows me down to a delicious ponder, synthesize, let inner things become, get out of my Thinking head space, stop making lists, and best of all, sometimes even G reads a book to me, for total adorableness. :) xoox
For the record, I don’t think I could be any happier …. I don’t know, maybe I could be? … Is that I said to G this morning as we re-enacted being bunnies. Making him giggle continues to be a high point in my days, considering I am the natural giggler in this mini family. Standing out in the garden in my bathrobe, following K’s instructions that being barefoot on a cement patio is still a ground nature-act and watering our totally pathetic end of “summer” garden in the amazing sun adds to the inner beaming. S and M have always said “enjoy the process” and this is the beginning of just that, a huge inner shift and me being aware of it …
AND, an amazing sky to boot. xoox
The more I read by Elizabeth Gilbert and the more I listen to her speak, the more respect I have for her. Elizabeth has a decided and dedicated spiritual quality to her ability to be real, and choose words, stories, stories that become lessons. Not just her big novel ideas, but in the day to day work around feelings, emotions and creativity … She isn’t totally academic, and she isn’t entirely woo-woo, either. And yet she is academic and also has some ideas that are out there … (I’m reading Big Magic and it doesn’t all resonate with me) … But about her out there ideas, I love that she is tries everything on for size. That’s the work of writing and/or being creative. I love this idea of “learning how to come home [to yourself]”, because that’s the sacred space we all have, the big inner trust, as we create both our lives and our art. The place from which we speak our inner truth and create our thing, and externals don’t matter.
Here are her words about what coming home is for her::
For me, that home has always been writing. So after the weird, disorienting success that I went through with "Eat, Pray, Love," I realized that all I had to do was exactly the same thing that I used to have to do all the time when I was an equally disoriented failure. I had to get my ass back to work, and that's what I did, and that's how, in 2010, I was able to publish the dreaded follow-up to "Eat, Pray, Love." And you know what happened with that book? It bombed, and I was fine. Actually, I kind of felt bulletproof, because I knew that I had broken the spell and I had found my way back home to writing for the sheer devotion of it. And I stayed in my home of writing after that, and I wrote another book that just came out last year and that one was really beautifully received, which is very nice, but not my point. My point is that I'm writing another one now, and I'll write another book after that and another and another and another and many of them will fail, and some of them might succeed, but I will always be safe from the random hurricanes of outcome as long as I never forget where I rightfully live.
She is both spiritual and academic, rawly poetic and perfectly poised, sermon-like and historian … This lecture is bliss. But more than anything, her internal compass, her honesty, her transparency about her process, her willingness to not please everyone, is a rare precious moment in time, and I’m so grateful to be able to be a witness.
As for the work that must be done to be in this sacred space called home, you do it “by putting your head down and performing with diligence and devotion and respect and reverence whatever the task is that love is calling forth from you next.”
This, is a great sermon. Maybe that’s what TED Talks are, good sermons for creative souls …
Gratitude abounds …. xoxo
I created some design artwork last week with a hint of abstraction in one version, and now I run into this abstract concept by painter Paul Klee … How fabulous it is when someone tries something new, make you think, someone who played with an idea … What a beautiful and creative way to convey ‘centrifugal forces’ … I love the kinds of conversations that happen around art and design. What a a thing means, what it evokes, and how it lives in our lives, both in the commercial world and personally, just for inspiration …
Paul Klee …
"Centrifugal Forces", 1929
New wool colors arrived today, giving me yet another life goal of something I want to routinely build … To collect wool just for the colors!, have a bookshelf, maybe with glass doors on them to close, with lights maybe, too commercial? … Just another field of visual delight in my home, yum. For the first time I love teal over red or orange and blues … So my gratitude comes for loving so much this hand craft knitting because it’s in my mind just as powerful as yoga, but gets much less credit. I love that I know my German Great Grandmother was a huge knitter, so was Grossmutti, and Mom had her time when she bought raw wool, made working space in our basement, to wash it, comb it and spin it … If any of us forget why wool is so expensive … ! And you can make things to wear, to give away, and play with colors, a tangible Connector of Hearts …. Easy easy, doable and spreadable love and magic. xoox
Ja honey-ies, this week the most amazing things happened. One piece was a ritual monthly phone conversation with a dear friend, beginning, quite frankly, with all her grumpy being-real glory. Just jumped right in there with where she’s at and it was not delighted-with-the-world. How can it be with current miserable politics, and especially politics of the day and week? (That will be a separate post, which may or may not go onto my pegboard, the boundary work I am doing these years, this Administration.) What was amazing was the kind of authenticity my friend and I continue to build with each other. Of course I love that we both felt a mutual commitment (a Yes!) to nurture the friendship in spite of the fact that I moved to the west coast and coming up with creative ways to make that happen - mostly involving a one hour phone call usually once a month … What I love most is the level of trust that happens to actually in fact just be authentic, even it means expressing Being Blue and just UNINSPIRED. So that’s how we started this phone call. Not any anything fluffy or extra padding … Then we stayed with it … The commitment to stay with a connection … This is what I love about intimacy of all forms. Our conversation started to float … New ideas were formed, things we couldn't have predicted … And more than anything, new ideas that were connecting, healing, life giving, funny, just all around MORE … The measurable notes of this conversation I wish I had written down (but was knitting), because there IS more to be said, spiritually speaking … And meanwhile, it was just a drink of water from an oasis in the middle of a desert East and West Coasts … Which at the end of any day, any of my days, is the intangible thing I’m always going for … Thank you C, for today’s words and deeper harmony ….
My gratitude for today is this. And also the most splendid hike G and I took on the Coast this week … Visual proof of joy and gratitude here ::
How does a thing feel? It feels amazing to finish a creative project … All I have to do is sew in the ends and one scarf and it is ready for Christmas … Having never actually worn one before, the verdict was, after much in house pondering, skepticism and light sarcastic amusement ending with ‘you’ll figure it out’, is that I do actually love this scarf. I am able to give it the design AND function stamp-of-approval that G always asks of me … It hugs your body well without encroaching on your neck, it gives your neck warmth and continues the warmth onto the front of your body … It’s light weight but not so light that you feel like you are wearing a feather for show, this feels like an actual piece of clothing … It’s so much about the colors and which colors - the most exciting part … Knitting is beautifully meditative, and this pattern is a perfect mix of needing to concentrate and count and being able to just go … I also knew that once I cracked this pattern the first time, the ones I knit next will be faster. Tracking time on the 2nd Earth colors scarf, now half way done, I’m on day 8, with a end goal of 14 days, cutting my total knitting time down from six weeks to two. :) And yes, I am enjoying the process … More than that really, totally loving it. xoox
Blue Wool, ridiculous excitement, these colors just arrived ... Just so happy to have knitting back into my life. I’ve missed it so much and life has felt off kilter without it. I think this is a living metaphor in my life … My new thing is for every one that I give away I am knitting one for me. The fog is rolling in at 6pm most days, which is another slice of heaven, and G somehow coming up with new skill, cooking. <3. His super power is in the way he seasons things …. Love love love love.
Some times it’s the tiniest of moments that are so totally pure in joy and maybe I’ll even add the word Awakeness, that they create the most amazing overall stillness and contentedness, it becomes for me an ongoing trust and love …. G and I walk by this house almost every day and today their bushes are in the shapes of hearts. No. Way. Have we missed them all along or is this a new creation? In any case, I’m loving the synchronicity that someone else loves hearts so much that this idea happened in their garden. Taking heart shapes to a whole new level. I have a new life goal, seriously … xoxo
And the lime tree, and the little rows of succulent plants, and the potted plants we always see which are STILL gorgeous, and the white stones, AND the amazing new green growth on the huge green mystery tree …. Just love and am grateful for THIS moment. xoox
The question for me always, is the spiritual angle, because everything has to do with soul. The spirit and soul of life, the meaningful stuff … What does a thing feel like? Intuition, yes, in the quiet moments of my days, and what does a thing feel like as it happens … Or the thing I know my parents taught me, too, to wait until something emerges, a truth emerges, not to decide right away … I love this because it ties in with my more recent learnings about how not to react … Observe first. Which is not the same as being distanced or un-engaged, it’s learning how to experience a thing and not let it devastate or derail or affect you … More of a boundary, or protective womb … an energy field … a kind of like a super power.
Recently the topic of Paris came up in conversation which made me think of my memories of Paris ::
It was a spontaneous trip to visit my youngest sister for less than a week while she lived and studied there for a year. My dream design job in Manhattan ended when the amazing company closed its doors suddenly for personal reasons, not bottom-line-financial. Being in between jobs is the best time for us Americans to travel, it’s usually our only chance to get as much vacation time as Germans do … so I immediately booked my flight to Paris when my sister said yes to the idea …
What does a thing feel like? As I learn with bigger awareness to build a life, this only one life, as I imagine a fulfilling one with connection and meaning - which is very different from designing and controlling it - I go back in time to this little (un paid) vacation with my youngest sister in Paris …
This trip to Paris to have one-on-one time with her was pretty much a honeymoon without the honeymoon component - marriage, husband, rite of passage (sex) … Visiting a country without speaking the language is not appealing to me - I like the feeling of having some language control in Germany - so having E be my personal French-speaking tour guide was the best thing ever. Visiting her during this massive challenge in a French university, and hearing about all her challenges and successes … And having her show off to me her whole world - grocery stores, bakeries, cobble stone streets, university, friends, neighborhoods, subways … She picked me up from the airport and we arrived to her adorable studio where her prepared homemade French onion soup and wine … Having my little sister to myself, all her intelligence, massive observation skills, sense of humor, persuasive conversations (for example talking me out of a nap after flying all night and arriving at 6am … Instead to walk it out, walk the city that first day … !) I remember we called our German Aunt G in Northern Germany who just flooded us with love and adoration that we were taking sister-time like this for each other … Ja. I LOVE that I still have this visual reminder of where we walked every day, her idea to draw on the maps with a visual Key … :) We walked and walked and walked to museums, I bought a ridiculous number of art postcards, took photos as always, we sat in cold cafes with views, and created the fabulous memory of how American were we, that a 3 hour French dinner meant not pleasure but running out of conversation and being fine with wanting to leave after an hour … An oh thank god, you too, moment between us … I loved her sarcastic observations about French banking customer service or lack of it, and and better yet French men, and even French boy babies:: “Future asshole French men”. Out of the mouths of babes, my kid sister, where DID she come up with this stuff? (Beam.)
I think my sister is known for her fierce intelligence and the professional success. As enormously proud of her as I am, what I love about her are all her ways of seeing and describing a thing - God, anything - when she can be absolutely real, which I think maybe is not a space she can often have … There is intelligence but there is more emotional intelligence. There is her version of polite society humor but better yet, there is her real humor. There are the ‘safer’ life decisions, but I know too that when things go wrong, like her time in the Peace Corps - when she writes, it comes from her heart and intelligence, we can only give her our full attention with complete awe and adoration and respect. And love.
My only regret with this trip is that I didn’t follow her around and record every single word, image, facial expression, nuance … Or that I didn’t journal my way through the trip (only 5 days!), and collect every morsel of delicious wit, love, humor, social political environmental emotional observation … I am actually a little jealous of her husband, because that was the disruption of our sistership. I’ll just name it. Only because I can’t have that time back, two single sisters, very bonded, in spite of our 12 year age difference … Life is not a straight line, of course … My gratitude is that I had a lot of time with her to myself, the peak of which was this beautiful, beautiful art and thought and food and wine and talking and walking time in Paris …
As usual, I don’t have answers to how these webs of life on different coasts and create one unified thing, but I do know how a thing feels. So I’m going back in time to get it, this feeling, to remind me, how a thing feels.
I’ve been told that vacations are special, that of course THIS was special precisely because it was a vacation. Ja, no. I’m not accepting that.
Living in Northern California has opened me up the idea that normal daily life can be as good as a vacation, every day. The elements of this vacation that I am absolutely Intent on bringing into my daily life is that level of meaning and connection … More of it, not because I’m a princess (I totally am) but because life is short.
Create the meaningful. Create the magical moments where you are just amazed you get to hang out with that person.
This was magical, my trip with my sister to Paris … xoox.
So the question for me is how, can I create … More … in spite of things that look like obstacles, but by now I’ve learned that obstacles are usually only things we create in our minds …. So, here’s to more of this kind of quality of life ….
And grateful for all, as always … even The Mess of a Thing.
A date actually … G and I were hard up to finding something that felt like a date this week, intentional time slow time together - so we went to Target to by tp and Dayquill - my announcement, “this is a date, stop rushing and enjoy the moment with me.”
When we left the store we got this … :) xo
I'm remembering 9/11 living in the lower East side, working at Macy's, and having just had a vacation in San Francisco, one of my many litmus tests to come back ... It was just another normal workday for me as a designer, but this time coming up and out of the subway in the morning people were still figuring out details, word was out that another small plane - like before - had hit the world trade towers ... Slowly news came through, it was so strange to have to try to be productive through this .... Someone on our floor knew which floor on Macy's had the view of the trade towers, so every half hour everyone popped up to what was happening. And so I never saw the towers fall, just that first there were two, then there was one and then there were none. Completely impossible to absorb the horror. To learn that all modes of transportation in and out of Manhattan were sealed, all tunnels, bridges, roads, everyone walked, including people walking home from Wall Street to Queens ... Amazingly one of our family friends in Iowa got through the phone lines to me in my office ... The stories are endless, but I especially remember the amazing number of acts of bravery, help and kindness that came through ... The people who went back in to get more people out ... I remember also that there were New Yorkers who because of 9/11 loved NYC more than ever, and then people who were spooked for life by the intensity ... I remember my friends were finally able to buy a condo because someone from Georgia reneged on his real estate signing, after 9/11 he wanted nothing to do with NYC ... That was my time to leave and live in the peaceful green that was Pennsylvania ...
My mind believes that events like this happen rarely and never near me, but this one was close. I'm also so grateful I am here.
I got this one right. My life long love for opera, even the desire as a teenager to become a professional opera singer ... O the emotions and expressiveness! The countless stories of my parents loving opera, the operas box sets, the operas they went to in Germany as a young couple, I think even NYC on their honeymoon .... (Fidelio?) ... Loving opera was one of the three things I had on my dating profile, and I remember feeling pretty hopeless about this, even wondering if I just DATE a professional opera singer to cover that one. Years later, now, this is my 3rd time going to the SF Opera in Golden Gate Park and the experience just makes me feel whole. I chose this, I chose to be here with this, I created this space in my life, I followed the signs to this ... No more faking it at some baseball game or maybe even going to Church to get my people-fill ... The magical part is that G, my heavy-metal-loving-boyfriend, comes with me, and, is content ... All the years I had these rules of how my love life should go, how the guy should "match" me, and all or most of my tastes, play Barbie and Ken ... And what an odd rule that is. When the fit of people is much more mysterious and magical to explain academically or with my thinking brain ...
I love how he and I are learning how to carve out meaning and inspiration together, connected to our individuality ... This day was filled with amazing pieces - the music, the park, the weather, walking, picnic food and wine, people-watching and seeing how other people are playful with clothing and picnicking, the affectionate moments, and the silence of everyone in the park listening to this music, sort of a sacred stillness to me, also because we are experiencing something bigger than ourselves ... Sitting outdoors being sung to ... It was just a perfect sweet and savory introvert day ... xo
In an innie and outie sort of way .... xoxo
See, this is why I want certain people to just visit me. The weather was even perfect in normally more foggy Daly City today, and as we drove up to San Francisco, it's road side view like this that inspire me to my core, and it was just one thing To See, of so much beauty to take in. In fact, I think it's just that I want all my beloved loved ones to move here to the Bay Area ... My dreams are in a non-pushy, surrendering, lovely sort of way of course ... They are a tiny bit selfish - I miss you all - but mostly they are about unity and knowing how much you would be inspired too ...
Damnit. I knew I forgot something. I forgot to state in my Intentions that part of my dream design job will include enough money to have a wool and knitting budget. The universe (me, I know) was CLEARLY confused and now I am pulling out that journal to LITERALLY put another bullet in my (seven heart shaped) pages says "This job will also provide me with a wool and knitting budget!" Just like I had to clarify with the universe, which is me, being REALLY clear about things that are important to me, down to the details, that I wanted to meet the love of my life by 2017, not whenever... :) Remember that I rolled my eyes at my Spiritual Guide when she teased me about forgetting to be specific about the year, and it didn't happen until I was clear. You think I'm stoned, but I'm not. This is the thing about doing exercises like this, it's not a crazy thing randomly coming to you, it's that you have to be really clear about what is important to you. So you also have to be aware about yourself. It's not selfish, it's treating your time on earth like it's sacred. This is what feeds me, and then it pours over with love ... Speaking of which ::
I am completely in love with this Drachenfels scarf - the original Drachenfels is a stone formation high up along the Rhine near Bad Godesberg - thank you Dad, and I am grateful that I got to hike this two times in my life ... The scarf was created by German woman Melanie Berg, with her lovely design interpretation which she describes as paying homage to the dragon of the legend of Drachenfels, imitating in her design the the scales of the dragon ... Soaring joy, I tell you, when I look up what other people are using for colors. The perfect thing to make as gifts and tailer each one to the color favorites of that person. The problem is that I want to make one of each of these as a gift AND for me ... I can see why I would want a wall of shelving at home and a collection of wool just for the art of it ... Arranged by hues ... Sigh.
And another story. Two years ago, I started this scarf pattern 7 times and ripped it out, started over. Every single attempt something other than a triangle was happening. I'm all for mistakes, but there's a limit. In the span of ONE year I started this scarf 7 times. Reading patterns is new to me and just because I made a crazy knitted farm blanket 4 times, I still found this pattern a challenge. I started it in January and put it down completely in December and thought, wow, I'm done with knitting. After the years of knitting, designing multicolored sweaters without a pattern the German way, gifting them to my loved ones as gifts, I'm done. This year I reached out for help - my knitting wiz friend C who successful finished this pattern, and my Mom, who declared that she also loved this pattern and would try to help me.
Somehow ... four weeks ago, I started this pattern and it just came. Yes I had to ask a few questions, yes, I had to look up what KFBF means, and find it the continental way of knitting, but there really was no effort. The satisfaction was deep ...
It occurred to me that the year that I was strangling this pattern alive, I was also in the midst of doing the hardest spiritual work of my life which was dismantling my ego. Oh, it sounds so complicated, but ego is when we get our way in life every fucking time and we just think we are amazing. But of course we do it with humility so that at the end of the day we still have friends. So I didn't get my way. I didn't sail into San Francisco and land the $90,000 design job even though I had recruiter leads tell me they didn't get it. That's a way to dismantle my ego. I did this thing and had a LOT of people watching me do it. My brilliant plan to my perfect life which was about to get more perfect didn't work according to my design.
And then I learned to love my Wad of a life anyway. Sure I had the good fortune of meeting my Spiritual Guide here and had already loved working with a Spiritual Director and a therapist, but I had to pick one and the one I ended up working with in a focused way was the woman who suggested so many things, but one crucial idea was that I wanted .... Me.
The reason I believe that I met her is that it's only in our vulnerability that we connect with other people ... Perfect people are annoying.
I remember our family friend Phyllis, now no longer living, telling me two years ago, that when she first met my beautiful mother in the early 1970's, that the only reason my mother wasn't completely annoying with her beauty and perfection was that my mother has a beautiful heart. My mother also is perfect: she is beautiful, the kind of beauty where you don't have to wear make up, she is charming, she is skinny, she has beautiful taste in clothing, she decorates her house beautifully, she is a chef, she is a baker, knitter, learned English late in life with a small base in school, she is a contractor, a hiker, she can make butter, she can spin wool, garden gardens, compost ... she can do anything if she puts her mind to it. Okay so maybe one of the things she doesn't do so well is figure out where that cement hump is in a parking space and often drives over them, but otherwise, may I just add that even her two sisters have had a little envy and it's been interesting watching that sister competition. The point is, perfection kills connection.
In my vulnerability and general falling apartness I made the most amazing friends. The people who stayed with me, the people I found, the people who didn't judge me, the people who saw my Wad and decided to love me ... It's the only thing that matters to me. Of course it's how I found G. For years I dated and showed up as perfect woman, and for all my love of finding Realness, I lived in a totally superficial level without knowing it. You don't know things until you start living on a heart real level and you can't do that until your ego gets the shit kicked out of it. You may think you are an open person, I did, but that openness and complete love can't happen with perfect-living. It just can't.
Do I want to live that kind of pain again? Um, not really, but I do know that it's ALWAYS an invitation.
I know today that the years of pushing myself into a design job failed because this was WAY more important. This, my life, my heart, my soul, my sense of self being happy because of the Wad that I created. When I can look at my path and love it. The difference now is that I have Intentions and I have things that are important to me. Wool, for example. But my life is not about controlling the thing anymore. Even on my shitty days I have an inherent sense of trust in EVERYTHING. It's not a huge sense like when you graduate or get married or have a baby - or get a huge job! - when the whole world comes to you and loves your success. It's a tiny sense of trust that I can every day come back to this tiny moment, my sacred spaces. In a flower, a garden grown veggie, a written word, a tiny walk, a stone with a pattern on it, the feel of wool while it's cold out, the fact that I didn't kill G's asparagus plant, work with what I have. Because someday I may have cancer and then I'll have to find different things. I don't know, maybe running around naked more at home ... There's gonna be more pain and I don't what it's going to be, but I'm going to have to do more idea-flipping.
So here I am. Knitting a scarf with ease and love, when it was once the bane of my existence. Let this be the working metaphor to rest of my life ....
This writing and title is version 2:
Wow. All I can say is thank you Ashton Applewhite for braving this topic of ageism, thank you for TED Talks for bringing it to your stage, and thank you to my local AIGA SF organization, of which I am a member, for supporting the topic within the design community. Link here.
People who have the courage to talk about things that general society doesn't have the courage to talk about are always my role models and inspiration. I am posting this precisely because of Ashton's courage. Wow.
It has absolutely been my experience, much to my shock. The AIGA's first sentence of introduction is even more stunning to me because it explains my shock living in this (lovely) liberal culture: ".... (ageism) is considered to be acceptable even by many who are against other forms of prejudice & discrimination in the workplace." Yes. How can people be so unaware? This 12 minute talk is packed with right-on facts, perspectives, positivity, humor, the politics of ageism (how capitalism feeds into it) and the best concept of all, "ageism is prejudice against our own future selves."
What I wish for is what the AIGA SF asks of this workshop, "Participants should leave with the beginnings of a personalized action plan." Mine is to be more transparent with my own voice, here and now. In my own way, raise awareness and make it public. And to highlight and remember another one of Ashton's sentences, "Culture is fluid" ... Only if we voice it. We can't fight the "isms" without being out there to raise universal awareness. What Ashton advocates is real, true, wiser AND smarter and just better for everyone.
A day later I come back to this post after G and I had a conversation about it and the Ted Talk ... I am so deeply grateful for having this partner who can help me focus my brain cells ... Someone who can really See ... Remember that our decisions can be minuscule, and that influences happen all the time, and how we react is everything. His main question to me is, "Is this idea empowering me, is this idea helpful?" I see what he is getting at, the push towards ditching it completely if it's bringing me down, which it was. And so my answer is this. The empowering part - which is also my favorite thing about feminism - is that my experience was vocalized by someone other than me. I didn't have to carry it alone. Another thing feminism does for me is raise awareness of behaviors, so that is what I love love love about this TED talk and Ashton's presence, the AIGA SF's workshop. Raising awareness, changing behaviors, language, and creating connection.
Identifying with ageism is out. Thank you G for being specific: 'ageism is a nominalization. A word to describe an idea, but it doesn't exist as a thing that everyone has, it is very non-specific.' There is no ageism, but there are ageists. There are always unaware people and aware people.
Just like anything in my day - if I focus on this negative, it WILL bring out the negative. We always have to chose who and what we let in. The freedom, my freedom, is with my choice, my mental choice. For me I choose not to focus on ageism, but continuing to find true people, people who line up with me. Freedom is a very small intimate space, but if I learn how to carry it around with me everywhere, then it's infinity ...