You didn’t get to heaven (but you made it close)

Pierre Reverdy’s dedication of Main d’oeuvre for Gabrielle Chanel in 1949: 

There, Coco most dear
Is the best I have made
Of myself
With my hand.
Ill- or well-made
I give it to you
With my heart
With my hand
Before going to see
On the darkest path
Whether they damn
Or forgive
And you know I love you.

(Harder to post this time of year and using the shared family computer. End-of-year salutations to all… xo)


December 29, 2009. Tags: , , . Uncategorized. 1 comment.

Homeward Bound


Of course, I always do.  Image via somethingchanged

And counting down the days. Sleep ins. Brothers. Helping Mum in the kitchen. Not feeling guilty about not going running because I’m allergic to the air in that part of the country and get all weirdly asthmatic real quick. Totally transparent boys. A fireplace. The garden where my cat is buried. The fish & chip store we’ve been going to since before I was born. The spa pool! Friends who knew me when I was crushing on Chris Warner and waited for it to pass.

I just found an old email from one of my high school friends, from when I went to NYC.

“LUCKY! is it like Home Alone?????”

None of this Sex and The City bullcrap. And that is why I love her.

December 14, 2009. Tags: , , , , , . Uncategorized. 1 comment.

Our Spontaneous Heroine

I have girls boarding school stories on the brain tonight.

Just watched the trailer for Cracks which looks amazing. See how beautiful and ominous it is? All muted tones, and bright eyes and careful bodies, and some dangerous undercurrent no one will quite acknowledge.

And I’m currently reading The Getting of Wisdom thanks to the fabulously cheap Popular Penguins. I picked it up from a bargain bin when ostensibly shopping for a secret santa because the two sentences on the back pushed SO many of my buttons:

“…the coming-of-age story of a spontaneous heroine who finds herself ensconced in the rigidity of a turn-of-the-century boarding school.  The clever and highly imaginative Laura has difficulty fitting in with her wealthy classmates and begins to compromise her ideals in her search for popularity and acceptance.”

That’s some fine blurb writing right there. I would bold all the words that grabbed me, but it’s pretty much every single one longer than four letters, apart from ‘ensconsed’. So far it’s enjoyable enough, but only one paragraph has really grabbed me (doesn’t  hurt that it uses my name), after a teacher tells off a student for having “a real woman’s brain: vague, slippery, inexact, interested only in the personal aspect of a thing”:

And then, all of a sudden, just as if an invisible hand had opened a door to an inner chamber, a light broke on her. Vague, slippery, inexact, interested only in the personal – every word struck home… It was but too true: until now, she, Laura, had been satisfied to know things in a slipslop, razzle-dazzle way, to know them anyhow, as it best suited herself.  She had never set to work to master a subject, to make it her own in every detail. Bits of it, picturesque scraps, striking features… were all that had attracted her. Oh, and she, too, had no intelligent curiosity.  SHe could not say that she had ever teased her brains with considering why the earth went round the sun and not the sun round the earth. Honestly speaking, it made no difference to her that the globe was indented like an orange, and not the perfect round you began by believing it to be… it was clear that her vaulted cleverness had never existed, except in Mother’s imagination.”

Not crazy on the sexism, BUT, I have no discipline for learning. Good thing its nearly NY Rez time…

how DO you do your eyes like that?

December 13, 2009. Tags: , , , , , , , . Uncategorized. 4 comments.

The Writer

Alicia ReyImage by Alícia Rey:

The Writer

In her room at the prow of the house
Where light breaks, and the windows are tossed with linden,
My daughter is writing a story.

I pause in the stairwell, hearing
From her shut door a commotion of typewriter-keys
Like a chain hauled over a gunwale.

Young as she is, the stuff
Of her life is a great cargo, and some of it heavy:
I wish her a lucky passage.

But now it is she who pauses,
As if to reject my thought and its easy figure.
A stillness greatens, in which

The whole house seems to be thinking,
And then she is at it again with a bunched clamor
Of strokes, and again is silent.

I remember the dazed starling
Which was trapped in that very room, two years ago;
How we stole in, lifted a sash

And retreated, not to affright it;
And how for a helpless hour, through the crack of the door,
We watched the sleek, wild, dark

And iridescent creature
Batter against the brilliance, drop like a glove
To the hard floor, or the desk-top,

And wait then, humped and bloody,
For the wits to try it again; and how our spirits
Rose when, suddenly sure,

It lifted off from a chair-back,
Beating a smooth course for the right window
And clearing the sill of the world.

It is always a matter, my darling,
Of life or death, as I had forgotten. I wish
What I wished you before, but harder.

Richard Wilbur

December 12, 2009. Tags: , . poetry, writing. Leave a comment.

Sydney Highlights

Taking Mum for her first cocktail ever at Astral Bar, on top of the casino, with beautiful night time views over the whole skyline. Mum had something with passionfruit and egg-white froth, and mine was all smashed raspberries.

Lounging by the pool in hazy summer warmth, reading slowly and stopping to think when I got the characters names mixed up.

Catching up with friends who are on their way to conquering the world and totally deserve it.

Insane foodcourt/supermarket hybrids (neither word does it justice) where they have an entire counter devoted to chocolate dipped fresh fruit.

The Alannah Hill store.  All pink and chandellaires and poofy cushions and subversive girl music.  Fussy tops with bows and pearls and frou frou skirts.  Ridiculous salesgirls tottering about with tiny straw hats and white lace stockings and super high heels, exclaiming over the tiniest thing.  I think I want to move in.  I left with a pale pale apricot frou frou skirt and a cream and very proper fitted cardy with tiny dark studded beads.

This is how Alannah Hill makes you feel (and those are clothes from her latest collection).  I can’t believe I didn’t spot the oversized bow headband instore. Want want want.

December 9, 2009. Tags: , , , , , . clothes, food. 5 comments.