There was a time a few years ago when I left every material possession I had behind (to be taken or not by others), other than the clothes on my back (and front) and was driving in a banged-up borrowed car to meet my friend on the beach. I was crying cathartic tears the whole drive and when I got there, she (ok, it was Courteney Cox, if you care) hugged me and asked if I was okay and I said, "I have never been better. Other than the other times in my life when I have 'lost everything.'"
I don't know if any of you can relate to this, but there is a thing that happens to me when I am alone and without my usual physical toushstones: Time and space compress, become non-linear, and all of the other times that I have felt this way are NOW and I have all of my other past and future naked (metaphorically) lonely selves for company. It is kind of Wrinkle-In-Time-ish -- which my daughter is rereading now, incidentally, and that makes me very happy and proud. It has happened to me less than 10 times in my life.
As I've mentioned, I didn't give Charlotte anything material for her birthday this month (other than that Chuck E. Cheese's party, which was, I know, a materialistic sell-out debacle nightmare greedy horrible instance which I single-handedly engineered and am responsible for in all of its horror).
I also REALLY REALLY don't want any "things." The "things" I already have are weighing me down and I don't like that. By the way, I am not in any way judging other xoJaners or you if you want or need things -- this is just me.
The gifts I have received recently by people I hadn't made this policy clear to and which really meant a lot to me were:
Mother and Daughter mood rings, given to me by my Jane Radio producer Lynda. In this photo, I am "calm" (huh?!?!???) and Charlotte is "happy" (yay!!!!!!!!). I also particularly like this shot that I took (as always) on my phone because, only if you are old like me, you may remember those commercials for some dishwashing detergent where they showed two hands and said, "Which is the mother and which is the daughter? We bet you can't tell." And because in this picture it is so dead obvious which is the older hand and because I love my wrinkly hands. They remind me of my mom and my life. Ok, back to good gifts....
On my birthday, I was presented with these iPhone friendly gloves from Muji. I didn't have gloves and now wear these all the time and think they look so cool even if you didn't want to use them with a piece of electronics. I've been thanking Olivia for them nearly daily and just found out when I went to write this that actually they were a gift from my wonderful Olivia, Madeline, Julie AND Helene. Thank you all so much and I'm sorry that I didn't properly thank you all before this.
What I do want around me this year (and always) is LOTS OF COLOR. I took this pic at my friend's house because I loved the colors and textures so much. Note: I do not need/want a phone or a couch.
Preferably, those colors will come from nature! What can I say, my parents were/are both painters and a lot of my mom's paintings growing up involved flowers. Sometimes when I see a flower like this one here, I get really close up to it and stand there for like five minutes so that my eyes can drink in the colors. People wonder. PS: It doesn't work to do that with a photo like this. It has to be in person.
Never underestimate the power of Sticks and Stones. Oh man, I get flushed just thinking about the rocks some past loves have given me. Wow, he/she picked that up in a field or a wood (heehee wording) just for me?? Can we have awesome sex right now?!!!!?! (Note to Bryan: As you are considering gifts for me, you may want to avoid sticks and rocks.)
My favorite "things" are hand-me-downs. Almost every day, I wear or carry something that once belonged to a friend or pet or family member. I feel their energy (I know, NEW AGE-Y) and presence with me throughout the day and that's awesome. It really helps if the person has worn or held it for lengthy periods and not just re-gifted it. I can feel the difference (can you?). If it is something the person made (like a T-shirt or tie-dyed tights) AND worn, that's kind of newer for me and a tall order, I know, but all the better.
This shirt is a hand-me-down from my niece, Lilly, and is too small for me, which makes me love it even more. I feel like she is hugging me when I wear it. Corn-ball?
This Dries Van Noten jacket is from C. Love. She just handed it to me the other day and says it is from before we met (which means OLD) but that she doesn't end up wearing Dries any more and knows that I will (which I WILL).
These bras are from C. Cox, as is about half of my wardrobe. If you saw us together, you might not think we would wear the same sizes, but we do across categories (pants, shirts, coats, even bras) -- we just wear them very differently.
I also like hand-me-downs from my male friends A LOT but I think you get the idea and I have name-dropped Michael Stipe enough for a while, as you have let me know (THANK YOU, MICHAEL AND THOMAS, FOR LETTING ME BE THERE WHILE YOU CLEANED OUT YOUR CLOSETS THIS WEEKEND AND ALL THAT CAME OF THAT!).
So now for what I really want: To get rid of some "things." Here is a photo of my closet today. It is stuffed full of so much stuff from the last 25 years or so that I just end up wearing what's on top over and over again (which is fine too -- I'm all for re-wearing). There are nice designer items in here -- from the days when designers would send me so much stuff for Christmas every year that I had to take it multiple times daily from the Jane magazine offices to my then-townhouse or it would be too much to carry in one trip. There is cool old stuff. There is stuff you could sell on Ebay, if you care to. There is whatever you want to take off my hands.
I would love to get rid of about 2/3 of this. Who wants to help and why? Please respond in the comments and I will meet you in my closet after the New Year.
Lots and lots of love and peace to you. I hope you get whatever material or non-material things you truly want, and I believe that you will.