Monday, February 28, 2011


As some of you might have already noticed, I have been updating my blog less frequently in the last month. A month ago I approached the blog with an enthusiasm to connect to people and to write about whatever thoughts were brewing in my mind at the time. However, after revealing too much of myself a few weeks ago in a post, I lost steam for the blog. This is quite interesting and a bit disturbing to me considering I will begin teaching a blogging class this Thursday at the Open Mind Center. I have really struggled with the fact that I am not maintaining my blog and yet I will be in the position of encouraging other people to create blogs. However, there really is no need for me to see any sort of discrepancy here, because although I am backing off from my block at the moment I still find keeping a blog to be an incredibly creative, therapeutic and overall growth producing experience. As I have said before, keeping this blog has been one of the biggest and best gifts that I have given myself. However, life is a process of ebbing and flowing, and people change and energies at times are redirected. Right now I am feeling very internal and do not feel a pressing need to share my most intimate thoughts, feelings, and experiences in a public arena, and that's okay.

I am focusing more on writing articles and on my first writing love, my journal. My passion for writing always expressed itself in the journal, and I always felt that I was my best as a writer while journaling. A few years ago I started reading the diaries of Anais Nin, and while reading them I experienced a tremendous amount of encouragement and inspiration in discovering the value of a diary as a legitimate means of self-expression and creating art.

When it is time for me to re-emerge from my cocoon I hope that you will still be here for us to share this space together. I really never know anything from one day to the next. Who knows, I may be ready to regularly post again sometime later this week. I can only speak for how I feel today and how I have felt over the course of the past month. As I am writing this, I feel the need to delete and erase it all, because I do not want the bond between us to be broken. So, let's just say that I am taking a mini vacation and will be back soon.

Much love,


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Delicious Foreign Films

Watching foreign films, French films specifically, never feels like I am wasting time. When I am watching a film by an auteur director, such as Roehmer, Goddard, or Truffaut, I feel as though I am contributing to my education. What education you may ask? My film education of course. It's as if I am enrolled in grad school film classes and I have been assigned to watch these films. So, I'm doing my homework and it's homework that I love to do. Watching a good French film also makes me feel like I am ingesting healthy food.

Over the past weekend, I watched two movies that I had already seen, but that still had the power to leave an indelibly sweet impression on me. I watched a British film Enchanted April, and Claire's Knee by French director Eric Roehmer. What is it about these movies that touches me at the level of my soul? They definitely have a quality that is lacking in American films; they embody a certain simple elegance and tranquility that has a very soothing effect on my mind and emotions. There is an absence of music to tell you what you should be feeling, which I find quite nice. I love music, but there is something extraordinary about watching a movie where you can hear the sounds of nature, i.e. birds chirping in the background. Enchanted April was set in an Italian castle and a great deal of the film takes place outdoors in the springtime. The mountains and water play a predominant part in Claire's Knee. The visual beauty combined with the sounds of chirping birds creates an experience within me that sets everything right between me and the world.

Unfortunately, in my opinion, many foreign films try to follow in the footsteps of American cinema. When I watch a movie I want to be transported into the world of the characters, which includes having a somewhat authentic experience of the country they are in. However, when you have a foreign film that tries to mimic an American film you lose the quality of "otherness" of something different and unique to that country. What you get is an American film starring French or Italian actors speaking in their native tongue. I get to see American movies in America, so when I watch a French film I want it to feel authentically French, not like a rip off of what is done over here.

Let's close this post with some charming French music that I was recently introduced to; I think it's the beginning of a new love affair.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


Music has a certain powerful quality that stops the chaotic flow of my thoughts and settles my mind into that sweet and delicious space of my heart. Sometimes I forget about how much I need music to remind me of who I am. Apparently I loved music even when I was a baby, my mother wrote in my baby book that I responded to music by dancing and obvious joy.Although I may have never been proficient technically at playing music, my essence has always been musical.

For most of my life music was like air for me, I needed it to survive. Over the past couple of years, for reasons that I cannot remember, I abandoned music and took refuge in books. At times while reading, I feel that I almost reach that same level of joy and knowing that I experience with music, and at those moments I feel satisfied. Last night my husband turned on James Taylor radio on AOL, and I found myself back in that place within myself where there is nothing but the present moment and all of my life made sense. I closed my eyes and I was carried back to the best part of me. Those moments contain such clarity and happiness that I question why I don't listen to music more often. Music has never let me down and throughout most of my life it was my closest and most intimate friend.

When I feel scared and overly cautious about life decisions I can put on music that has the opposite qualities. I can reach for a piece of music that is confident or quirky and be reminded of my own innate confidence.

Music is the link to my soul. May I remember to reconnect with my soul every day through music.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Fashion Eras

I recently found the pilot episode of Thirty Something on Netflix. I was delighted, as TS used to be one of my favorite shows. Twenty four years later and I still like the show, but find the themes bore me and apparently I have a decreased tolerance for yuppies. Yuppies aside, what bothered me more than anything were the clothes. In one scene Patricia Wettig had on a green sweater that appeared to have several small balls attached. Then there were the shoulder pads. What were women thinking in the 80's? Why did we think that it was a good thing to look like line backers?

My favorite television shows generally come from the 70's. There are only two shows from the 80's that I remember with great affection, the first being Thirty Something and the other was the Days and Nights of Molly Dodd with Blair Brown. However, I find the clothing from the 80's so visually distressing that I don't think that I can handle watching another episode of Thirty Something.

At least as far as the twentieth century goes, I think that the 80's was hands down the worst time for fashion, the 1930's and 40's were my favorites. What are your favorite and least favorite fashion eras?

Sky and Snow

It was still dark outside when I dropped her at carpool. I drove to get a cup of apple cider, the sky growing slightly lighter. A perfect white covered the branches of the trees and the rooftops. Snow. Beautiful this time, but not obstructive. On to the dry cleaners and it is still dark, but still with that magical glow surrounding me. I have broken habit by exploring my world in the early morning hours. I like it. My heart and mind feel at peace finally.

Thursday, February 10, 2011


This week I haven't maintained my blog as I usually do. I feel little need to write and share at present. Last Friday I chose to make myself vulnerable in a post, and I ended up regretting it. As I have mentioned in earlier posts, there are some things that I wish to keep to myself, however, sometimes I just really want to connect and to update the blog. If I don't have anything to write about then I take whatever is relevant in my life at that moment and I write about that; that's not always a good idea. I think that it is best to check in with myself and use a bit of intuition in order to know if something feels right to write about. In my need to just write something to keep the blog updated I may overlook an intuitive feeling that tells me not to post. My post last Friday received a well meaning comment that created even deeper feelings of vulnerability for me. We all read from our own points of view and we all have our own interpretation of what we read, and sometimes those interpretations are accurate and sometimes they are not. The commenter doesn't know me and misinterpreted what I was going through last week for something else. I ended up taking down the post, and I'm glad that I did. Everything does not need to be shared.

This week I am not drawn to keeping up the blog; I think that this is fairly common for many of us that have blogs. Sometimes we don't have anything to say, but we feel that we must in order to maintain our blogs and keep our readers. This week I feel more inward and I don't have much to say. I'm hibernating for just a little while. I may even come back tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Who is Your Favorite Author?

Over the course of the past few months I have had the good fortune to have heard some great authors speak. Last night I saw Alice Hoffman, author of Practical Magic, speak at the Margaret Mitchell House. I told Ms. Hoffman that had I seen the movie Practical Magic first I would have never read any of her books. Luckily I read the book before my aborted attempt at watching the movie. Someone in the audience asked if Ms. Hoffman has had any input into the film version of her books; she said that she has not. One of my favorite Hoffman books, the River King, had it's ending changed for the movie. I was strangely relieved to hear that she had no say in what happened to her work once it was in the process of becoming a film. I say strangely, because I absolutely loathe the movie Practical Magic and I'm glad that she had nothing to do with the project. The movie captured none of the the beauty and flow of Hoffman's prose and completely masks her brilliance and unique voice as a writer.

I am not a person that asks for autographs and I don't tend to be overly impressed with celebrity. However, I could not pass up a chance to meet my favorite author and have her "bless" my writing notebook with her signature. Ms. Hoffman asked me if I write fiction and I told her that I write articles, but that I want to write fiction. Her response, "then you will write fiction." Unknowingly, she gave me what in Judaism we call a bracha, a blessing for my writing.

Who is your favorite author? What is it about their writing that speaks to you?

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Have You Changed Since October?

How have you changed since October? A couple of posts ago I mentioned that I have changed since I started writing this blog in October. I still have the same chronic anxiety, fear of social situations, and self-doubt that at times completely paralyzes me, however, even with all of that I feel that I have changed and my life has grown richer. Things that were important to me in October aren't important to me now, and vice versa. I have become more interesting as a person now that I am interested in more things. I am learning about who I am and who I am not.

More things that I am learning: I am not a team player; I don't play well with others; I am not a teacher; I am not a leader; I don't want to be in charge of anyone other than myself (it's challenging enough just dealing with me), I am not a good listener.

In the past, like a week or two ago, I entertained the idea of what it would feel like to be a boss. Maybe if I were the one in charge I would be less anxious in certain situations. I was so off on this one, it is unbelievable just how far off I was. In August I started teaching Hebrew School on Sundays. I thought that it would be pretty great to have my own classroom and to have some sense of being in control. Hebrew School has taught me just how fallacious my reasoning has been all these years that I fantasized about being in charge. What I have learned is that I am not a teacher, and I don't like being in charge. In fact I am absolutely horrible at being in charge. I am not assertive and hate being in a position of telling people what to do and trying to maintain some sense of order. It's unbelievable how wrong I have been about myself.

Whenever I would take a personality test or a job test I would answer the questions under the false assumption that I enjoy working with people. What an earth was I thinking? All of the evidence accrued through years of work experience obviously points to the fact that I hate working with other people. My anxiety becomes so intense that it becomes hard for me to function. Working in corporate America? Forget about it, that most definitely is not me. So it turns out that I have been answering test questions incorrectly for several years. I am an introvert as much as I might want it to be otherwise. I am a person that does best working alone far away from other people.

Before I hit twenty I was very clear that I wanted to do something creative with my life. Somehow along the way I lost sight of what I really care about and value. I tried on someone else's identity, and it turns out that it looked terrible on me.

An old friend of mine that I hadn't seen or spoken to in several years told me that she couldn't believe how much I have changed. She thinks that I am dynamic, confident, and outgoing. When I hung up the phone I was completely baffled. However, some people actually do see me that way, so I'm sure that exists somewhere inside me. Perhaps I am a mixture of both.

I see myself a bit clearer than I did in October, although the glass is still pretty smudged. I hope that by April I will feel differently than I do now. Mental evolution is such a fascinating process; I love it.

I'm curious if other people notice changes in their internal or external lives in a very short time. How have you changed since October?