Monday, November 7, 2011

distance = speed x time

How fitting that I write about vintage, because my head seems always to be stuck in the past. Not only the distant past, but the still-smell-it-and-taste-it-on-your-tongue past of the weekend.

This morning when I woke up I was feeling quite moody, a bit romantic, exceptionally gloomy and dreamy and sad...morose even. So it's no wonder that as I got dressed I found myself drawn to this soft, vintage velour bolero of bruised turquoise blue and dusty pink paisleys. The last time I wore this somber yet subtly audacious spectacle, I paired it with the shoes in this post--making a definitively different statement than the dusky gray flats I'm wearing today.

It's been years since I felt inclined to slip on this tattered homespun bolero. Maybe because it feels frivolous, or maybe because it is falling apart in places, with its exposed, unfinished hems spilling out from beneath an otherwise haughty, somewhat imperious facade. Every time I see it patiently hanging there in my closet, I think of the fashion-design or art-school student who labored over the details and construction of it. Who no doubt spent hours on it, and whose earnestness and sartorial aspirations were likely abruptly abandoned in favor of a more practical yet fitful career in retail or waitressing or accounting. I wonder about the choices she has made after that day when she dropped off her unfinished sewing project, and where her path has taken her since.

But mostly, I find myself wondering about time, change, and distance; about bridge crossing and recrossing and the lengths we will go to seek out that which we desire or believe in; about the expectations, hopes, fears, and surprises that come with arrival; and about the many circumstances out of one's hands that ultimately lead to departure. And how the speed of fleeting moments can create a universe of distance between two people.

I think about all the events and emotions that fell into place in order for me to obtain this sweet little handcrafted bolero. And I can't help but wonder whether it was a choice or an inevitability that I would wear it again years later, on such an appropriately beautiful, gray, and bittersweet day.