Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Vintage Me!

It's no secret that I am a woman with a past ...

Over the past couple of years I've reestablished contact with my first husband, the boy I met and dated the latter part of my high school years. We married in September of 1981, which seems like several lifetimes ago. (Well, I guess that's because it truly was!) We divorced about five years after we wed. After years of no communcation whatsoever between us, we now email occasionally -- just a friendly "keeping in touch" between those for whom so much time has passed that it is possible to view one another simply as old friends. This morning, I received an email from him, with the note, "Look what my daughter found!" -- and this little beauty attached.

Yes, folks - you are looking at Vintage Jen! This photo is probably circa 1979, which would have made me 17 years of age. A mere child, really -- albeit one sporting the ubiquitous Farrah Fawcett, Aqua-Netted-to-the-hilt hairdo in which I felt so very glamorous and adult.

I am certain that at some point, I would have looked at this photo and flinched at its datedness. But now it only makes me smile.

Yes, vintage me -- the young woman I once was. So uncertain of myself in so many ways, yet eager to reach and learn and grow. I've reached the place in life where I enjoy looking back and remembering who and what I once was. The hairstyle may be giggle-inducing, but overall, it is sweet to reminisce.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Adobe & Lace

I love the juxtaposition of old adobe walls with delicate lace at the windows. The warm clay radiates solidity, both contrasting with and complementing the filmy, ethereal beauty of the lace. Earthiness and refinement -- incongruent, yet equally worked by human hands.

The tranquil domestic depiction above is at Acoma, one of the oldest continually inhabited settlements in the United States. It was built atop a 367-foot sandstone mesa in New Mexico, and is often referred to by a name which needs no explanation -- "Sky City." Walking along the dusty streets of this pueblo, where many live without electricity or running water, it is indeed curious and touching to glance up from one's grimy boots and spy the graceful drape of gossamer lace at the rough-hewn windows. It speaks clearly of one's need to create loveliness in even the most seemingly desolate of places. I remember the "lace at Sky City" well, and in some ways, consider it a metaphoric reminder to be always seeking to impart sweetness to the mundane.


Adobe and lace ... Yin and yang ... Rough and soft ... Common and exquisite ...

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Well. Wasn't THAT Creepy!

Yesterday evening I set about my usual routine of working out on the elliptical trainer, which always entails taking remote control in hand and surfing channels until I find something mildly interesting (or even remotely distracting) to watch for the next 50 minutes. I had missed the first ten minutes or so, but soon became engrossed in "Felicia's Journey", a film that I initially thought was going to be upbeat and heartwarming. The story begins with the introduction of the primary characters -- a young, Irish girl (innocent, save for the fact that she is newly and unexpectedly pregnant) and a middle-aged man who appears to be obsessed with gourmet cooking, music, and antiques. The verdant imagery of the Irish and English countrysides, meshed with lovely, vintage cottage interiors, drew me right in. And of course, by the time I was too hooked to look away, the story got weird. Really weird.

From an online review:

Felicia's Journey, based on William Trevor's psychologically shivery novel of the same name, pokes into the auteur's favorite pits of sexual darkness, spiritual hunger, and human disconnectedness in the story of an exceptionally naive Irish girl (Elaine Cassidy) who leaves her insular home and makes her way to the English Midlands to search for the man she thinks she loves.

Clueless on the grimy streets and, it turns out, pregnant, she crosses fatefully into the insular world of Mr. Hilditch (Bob Hoskins, channeling something of the sheet music salesman he so famously played two decades ago in TV's "Pennies From Heaven"), a tidy catering manager with an insidiously warped interest in "rescuing" the young woman.

I was no longer mesmerized by the pretty scenes, but now riveted by the bizarre story (featuring grainy, flashback film footage of murdered prostitutes), and I could not tear myself away from the screen. The film wasn't at all gory or sensationalized (there was actually no onscreen violence at all), but psychologically thrilling, which is always more unsettling than the all-too-easy depiction of blood and guts. Well, to tell the truth, I don't do gore very well either, but mentally and emotionally disturbing stories almost always prove to be a mistake for me. Especially right before bedtime. I guess it goes without saying that I'm exhausted today, thanks to the nightmares that haunted my sleep.

The film carried its viewer from sweet scenery much like this:


Don't be fooled by the cocoa and cookies! He's coming to KILL you ...


Will you escape???
(I wanted to reach through the screen and somehow drag that hapless girl to safety, before it was too late!)

I guess you'll just have to see it for yourself. And remind me to stick to comedies ... especially after dark!