Springing Forward

Historically I never stay down too long. There is something in my nature that beats back dark despair with a burst of frivolity and crazy. For this Nine Cent Girl that avenue back to light often involves some sort of photo shoot. Go back through my past posts in the fashion category and there is the sense of bursting from every photo. Not quite quiet desperation but most certainly standing on the edge. It was the same this week. War for one. Continued COVID fatigue another. General unease about the future of our planet under the direction of demagogues a third. Let’s not kid ourselves with naming one. They stand shoulder to shoulder in our Senate and rule with a recklessness I would not allow with my ninth graders. So, to combat ALL OF THAT, I allowed for a few hours of play.

Call it sassy. Call it attitude. Call it filtering out all realism and bringing forth imaginative light and fun and possible expressionism that lift us up and out of the foot of snow that fell in swirling gusts over a night and day and night to help block out the ground. Block out anything I did not want to see. Block out what might scare me. Bring forth the joy.

Is silk the very best? Make it a scarf from Bellagio on Lake Como and you will feel nothing short of magnificent. The feel, the flow, the fluidity of the fibers are ready to transport you. Indeed. Of course on days like this, I open my lipstick satchel and pull out one of my mother’s fabulous orangey reds, then don her mink hat, toss a strand or two of Hawaiian Kukui nuts around my neck, and complete my look by sliding two vintage bakelite bracelets up my arm. A sheer black shift moves with me even as the temperature dips. It is here my friends that you will find nothing but the widest of toothy smiles and… delight.

Today I am fortunate to play. While so many suffer from one end of the globe to another I skip in the opaque light and remain shadowless. There are numerous reasons to let worry and anxiety dominate your vision, but today I choose to ask them to sit to the side while I smile and dance. This is always due to my privilege or my good fortune or my choice. One this day, with Spring on the horizon, it is all three, so I make a break to shine in that.

If I could remain in the light I would. We all know that is not what life allows for especially since we crossed into the 2020’s. These years challenge our very souls to endure more than they can and ask us to rise to a level of resilience that breaks many. I yearn for the easy from time to time when sunset rays cajole us into effortlessness joy. I cast them as top filters when we bring the photo shoot inside. A glass of vino, lime green pants and a favorite top from Prabal Gurung for Target. Color pre-spring is gold. Can we shine bright?

Andy Warhol inspired a whole colorized movement now co-opted by the likes of Instagram, translating the ordinary into something more sublime. Heaven knows that is what we all need right about now. Praying for Ukraine will need more energy than words allow. In fact, this whole planet demands us to spike our collective direction immediately. Perhaps I am naive to think I can lift up out of this horror but right now I have to try, even if it’s in the most superficial of ways. Even in my own living room. Even here with you.

Whatever it takes, right? Michelle’s refrain ignites me still, “When they go low, we go high…” And so I do. High art. A higher vantage than the day to day routine. Just higher than I thought I would ever need to raise myself to. Always further into this delight.

In play I trust we just might survive these base strikes to arrive on lofty plateaus above.



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