Wednesday, August 31, 2011

All the world's a stage

I've been horribly, horribly busy this month. A good busy, but still horribly so. This month my daughter started kindergarten and I started a new job. Needless to say, my thoughts have quickly shifted from my post-laid off existential dreaminess to the practicalities of packing lunches, emergency-pack packing, backpack stuffing, BART riding, traffic cursing, multitasking, and getting getting getting things done. Though, I must say that I love my new job. I really do--it's almost embarrassing to admit this but I swear I think there's a spring in my step when I walk down the halls.... But I can't help but think with sadness and fondness of my poor, neglected sewing machine and all the patterns and fresh cuts of cloth sitting there, waiting to be dusted off and made into something. What happened to my dreams of creating and defining my own path and literally wearing my heart on my sleeve?

Then I re-watched this video of Isaac Mizrahi on TED and I was so comforted. How true that "Style makes you feel great because it takes your mind off the fact that you're going to die." Really! It's not depressing--it's true! And just listening to him ramble on about staying up at night and the beauty of mistakes, and color, puppetry and fighting boredom...he is such a creative genius you just have to smile.

But back to his morbid assessment of style. Why do we have a personal style--whether we make our own clothes or go thrifting for perfect sweaters and boots and purses or head to the mall for something we saw in a magazine? With clothes, there's the making and tinkering and the observing, or the trying on and fitting and purchasing.... And then there's the presentation. We all want to be observed. Even the most timid among us...need, want, desire to be observed. We wear our clothes and present ourselves to convey, to connect, to communicate. It's true that style is an extension of ourselves. With style, we display our emotional selves. Style is expression, and expression is a fleeting moment that is all we can do to defy death.

So all of this is to say that I've come to the conclusion that it's okay for my machine to sit idle for the moment. After all, what is the point of clothes without a player and a stage?