Let the beauty we love be what we do. There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground. - Rumi

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Eunice Johnson – Tribute to a Trailblazing Phenomenal Woman

From Wall Street Journal

Recently I picked up the Wall Street Journal and flipped to the fashion section.  Believe it or not, this paper has a fabulous style section, almost as good as the New York Times (in my opinion).  There was an article about Eunice Johnson, wife of publishing company owner John Johnson and also the owner of Ebony magazine and Jet magazine go to’s for African American news and information for many, many years. 

She was a fashion icon.  She would travel to Europe and see the latest collections and bring the styles back to the states for African American women, in the fifties.
She created the Fashion Fair Fashion show that traveled around the country raising money for scholarships for the United Negro Fund, Boys and Girls Club, and other charities.

I love blogging.  I love most fashion blogs, even though my blog isn’t a fashion one. So when I read the article about Mrs. Johnson, it was just on for me.  I was in fashion heaven.  I can’t help myself.  I felt like I had to honor her.  She was a pioneer.  A black woman with a beautiful strong sense of style back in the day, the day being the fifties, I find that awesome.  I am now in love with this woman. She actually oversaw the fashion show until she was 93 years old.

Currently, it is in the works to produce a retrospective of some of the dresses she collected at the Chicago History Museum.  Curators are going through all dresses (there are more than 7,000) to put together a show.  I bet it will be fantastic.  I hope it travels to Los Angeles, that other museums see the value of showing what she collected.

She was a phenomenal woman.  She was a frontrunner and a trailblazer for African American women, and all women.  She had a vision, she stuck to it and made her dream a reality. Hard work, perseverance, and believing in oneself are all necessary to achieve any goal. My hat off to her, she inspires me. 

Also from Wall Street Journal

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Reciprocity and Unconditional Love

clay, tissue paper, on wood

“You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when
you give of yourself that you truly give.”  Kahil gibran

What does the word Reciprocity mean?
In my mind I envision an island culture where people are trading what they have for something they don’t have, like seashells for coconuts. I first heard this word in a cultural geography class, thus that vision of the word sticks with me: is of people trading stuff.

In a relationship what does reciprocity mean? How does it work? What happens if it doesn’t work?
To me reciprocity means if you ask me to scratch your back I’ll do it because I might want you to scratch my back the next day.  It means being willing to do caring things for one another, even when one is tired.  It’s like unconditional love. There are people we have an easy time unconditionally loving. We accept them the way they are: idiosyncrasies, temperament, character, past behavior, it doesn’t matter.  These are people that touch us in some deep way.
People we have some deep connection with that has no rhyme or reason.  It just is.  Lucky are those among us who have married that person or have them in their life already. 

In the past I have found it difficult to receive what I am giving.  In past relationships it seemed that mostly I was the giver, imbalanced with recieving.  The little things I asked for like having my back scratched (personal but true) were hard to receive.
So as I move forward in my life and reflect on what is important to me in a relationship, one is reciprocity in tangible caring gestures. 
Maybe I am off center or don’t understand the basics of human relationship, but knowing someone is going to be open to listening and doing  and caring is important. 

I tie reciprocity into unconditional love because if we love someone with no restraint, or conditions or boundaries, love someone just as they are, we are experiencing reciprocity: giving a great gift of life.  Many of us didn’t get that gift when we were young, we put all kinds of stipulations, controls and boundaries on what kind of love we will or can accept. Many of us aren't even aware that we do that.
Reciprocity ties into the concept of if one gives, one receives, I wholeheartedly work to apply that principal to my life. 

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Like Water

but no one can do it?

- lao tzu

I love waterfalls.  
I love water.
It's sound soothing.
Touching it calms.

Water makes me feel light and buoyant.

These are water features around L.A.
These water features make me feel like I 
could be somewhere else in the world.
On an island, a beautiful tropical paradise.

Saturday, May 19, 2012


watercolor on watercolor paper

Learn to limit yourself; to content yourself with some definite work;
dare to be what you are and learn to resign with a good grace all that you are not;
and to believe in your own individuality.”

I strive to be graceful.  I strive to be easy, calm and clear.  I strive to let the yucky stuff roll off of me without dragging me down.  I strive to be at ease in my body.  I strive to be at ease in my mind and my spirit.  
I am not always successful but this is my goal.  It happens in life that situations come along that challenge us to our core.  Each one of us is here having an experience on this planet.  We each have the choice to take the high road or low road in what we do in respect to how we treat each other.  I am having an experience with my son's father that is making me reflect on these qualities.
Grace, state of grace, being graceful in the face of adversity, drama and challenges is admirable in anyone.  I continue working on that in myself.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Everyday should be Mother’s Day

Making the decision to have a child is momentous.
It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking
around outside your body.”

Posting an entry about Mother’s Day just slipped past me.  I had already planned the things I was going to do that day.  In the week prior to Mother’s Day I ruminated on what I wanted for Mother’s Day and how I wanted my day to go. 
Mostly I wanted an easy day.  A stress free open-ended kinda day.  A day to do the things I like to do: workout, relax, read something.
I made phone calls and sent texts to all the moms I know.  Mostly at this place in my life I want to love the people I love and be at peace inside myself.

I count my blessings.  I am thankful for the health of my sons. I do work I love.  I am stepping out of my comfort range. 
To all the Mother’s out there I say: honor yourself.  Love yourself, find your joy, find joy in the everyday experiences of raising little people to grow up and be big people.  Thus, everyday should be Mother's Day, honor what you give in the world.