The purple breeze
Sings through the jacaranda
And wings away,
Leaving the shadows to flower
The purple breeze
Sings through the jacaranda
And wings away,
Leaving the shadows to flower
Pour M. F.
A symbol of transformation into beauty and grace, butterflies carry a special spiritual meaning in Japanese culture as the carriers of the souls of the dead and, in that sense, as the key to unlocking the mysteries of life.
Also a symbol of womanhood and romance, the butterfly is a common motif in Japanese women’s clothing both modern and traditional such as kimonos and yukata.
Both the white butterfly as a symbol of selfless and eternal love and the black butterfly symbolizing transition, renewal, rebirth, make this faux wrap Hanae Mori silk dress one of the most elegant pieces I have owned. I found it on eBay and remember I have waited anxiously for it to arrive, not because of the possible symbolism of the print but because of its meaning in Mori’s beautiful and feminine designs and because it evoked my first fictional style icon, Maddie Hayes. I was a big fan of Moonlighting and Maddie’s easy, soft and ethereal elegance. In my mind the beautiful silk butterfly spiral would envelop me in the same classic, womanly silky chic.
Over time you realize what you are not, and I’m not the kind of womanly woman that can carry a wrap dress or silk charmeuse pastel outfits, for that matter.
I hope this dress has reached M.F. already, I hope she was thrilled when she unwrapped it and I hope that putting it on will make her feel beautiful and true to herself.
I am true to my identity; I keep trying to be myself. I am Japanese, in Japan there is this beauty by itself which has been nurtured by tradition—fashion is an international language. What I have been trying to do is to express the wonderful beauty of Japan using international language.
Irene Lentz (women)
Arlington Valles (men)
This is a somewhat obvious choice for this week because it’s Easter. Around here we do not have “Easter Parades” and there’s no tradition of Easter bonnets (which is an absolute shame). I wished we had imported this instead of Halloween. We do keep the tradition of wearing brand new clothes as a symbol of renewal and probably of remembrance of “fast-fashion free” times. Despite the lure of new clothes and chocolate eggs, I never liked Easter, I’ve never thought about it as a time of joy. I blame this on the nuns at school and the suffocating weight of tradition in Catholic countries.
Easter Parade is not one of the movies shown around here on TV during Easter break, most probably because in this case Easter just serves as a context and not as a theme. Trumpeted as the “happiest musical ever made”, even if its making seems to have involved quite a lot of suffering and unhappiness), this is the perfect antidote for whatever gloomy feelings I might nurture for Easter. There are 17 Irving Berlin songs, in this movie, stunning dance routines, and a world “in which, it seems, no man leaves the house without top hat and tails; all the women, meanwhile, swan around in fabulous gowns and fantastical Easter bonnets.”
There is Ann Miller playing Nadine ( I couldn’t help myself) who matches her outfits to her dogs (or probably the other way around).
And there is, of course, Fred Astaire!
I’m choosing escapism for Easter!
References and Photos
And so it was I entered the broken world
To trace the visionary company of love, it’s voice
An instant in the wind (I know not whither hurled)
But not for long to hold each desperate choice.
“The Broken Tower” by Hart Crane
Her appearance is incongruous to this setting. She is daintily dressed in a white suit with a fluffy bodice, necklace and earrings of pearl, white gloves and hat, looking as if she were arriving at a summer tea or cocktail party in the garden district. She is about five years older than Stella. Her delicate beauty must avoid a strong light. There is something about her uncertain manner, as well as her white clothes, that suggests a moth.
He is of medium height, about five feet eight or nine, and strongly, compactly built. Animal joy in his being is implicit in all his movements and attitudes. Since earliest manhood the center of his life has been pleasure with women, the giving and taking of it, not with weak indulgence, dependently, but with the power and pride of a richly feathered male bird among hens.
Look at these feathers and furs that she come here to preen herself in! What’s this here? A solid-gold dress, I believe! And this one! What is these here? Fox-pieces! Genuine fox fur-pieces, a half a mile long! Where· are your fox-pieces, Stella? Bushy snow-white ones, no less!
Pearls! Ropes of them! What is this sister of yours, a deep-sea diver? Bracelets of solid gold, too! Where are your pearls and gold bracelets?
Compliments to women about their looks. I’ve never met a woman that didn’t know if she was good-looking or not without being told, and some of them give themselves credit for more than they’ve got.
The poker players–Stanley, Steve, Mitch and Pablo-wear colored shirts, solid blues, a purple, a red-and-white check, a light green, and they are men at the peak of their physical manhood, as coarse and direct and powerful as the primary colors.
“And if God choose,
I shall but love thee better-after-death!”
Why, that’s from my favorite sonnet by Mrs. Browning!
I can’t stand a naked light bulb, any more than I can a rude remark or a vulgar action.
I never was hard or self-sufficient enough. When people are soft-soft people have got to shimmer and g1ow-they’ve got to put on soft colors, the colors of butterfly’ wings, and put a paper lantern over the light …it isn’t enough to be soft. You’ve got to be soft and attractive. And I-I’m fading now! I don’t know how much longer I can turn the trick.
I don’t want realism. I want magic! Yes, yes, magic! I try to give that to people. I misrepresent things to them. I don’t tell truth, I tell what ought to be truth. And if that is sinful, then let me be damned for it!
She has dragged her wardrobe trunk into the center of the bedroom. It hangs open with flowery dresses thrown across it. As the drinking and packing went on, a mood of hysterical exhilaration came into her and -she has decked herself out in a somewhat soiled and crumpled white satin evening gown and a pair of scuffed silver slippers with brilliants set in their heels. Now she is placing the rhinestone tiara on her head before the mirror of the dressing-table and murmuring excitedly as if to a ‘group of spectral admirers.
Well, it’s a red letter night for us both. You having an oil millionaire and me having a baby.
A cultivated woman, a woman of intelligence and breeding, can enrich a man’s life – immeasurably! I have those things to offer, and this doesn’t take them away. Physical beauty is passing. A transitory possession. But beauty of the mind and richness of the spirit and tenderness of the heart-and I have all of those things-aren’t taken away, but grow! Increase with the years! How strange that I should be called a destitute woman! When I have all of these treasures locked in my heart. I think of myself as a very, very rich woman! But I have been foolish-casting my pearls before swine!
He takes off his hat and now he becomes personalized. The unhuman quality goes. His voice is gentle and reassuring as he crosses to Blanche and crouches in front of her. As he speaks her name, her terror subsides a little. The lurid reflections fade from the walls, the inhuman cries and noises die out and her own hoarse crying is calmed.
Whoever you are-I have always depended on the kindness of strangers.
’In this dark march toward whatever it is we’re approaching,’ Blanche raises the flag of magic against the crushing disappointment of reality in her “worn-out Mardi Gras outfit” and the costumes are absolutely brilliant in creating this fantasy world, showing us someone trying to survive the decay and decadence of her own life and not being able to cope with what the world has thrown at her. And that’s how a trunk full of flowery dresses and rhinestone tiaras can help you survive as long as you keep away from the brutes, maybe you’ll be able to not only tell, but also live what ought to be truth. ( And this in no way an endorsement of post truths or a glorification of mental illness)
References and Photos
in time of daffodils(who know
the goal of living is to grow)
forgetting why,remember how
in time of lilacs who proclaim
the aim of waking is to dream,
remember so(forgetting seem)
in time of roses(who amaze
our now and here with paradise)
forgetting if,remember yes
in time of all sweet things beyond
whatever mind may comprehend,
remember seek(forgetting find)
and in a mystery to be
(when time from time shall set us free)
forgetting me,remember me
e. e. cummings
Photo: Warsaw, 2012
“The Verb to Be,“ a Poem by André Breton
I know the general outline of despair. Despair has no wings, it doesn’t necessarily sit at a cleared table in the evening on a terrace by the sea. It’s despair and not the return of a quantity of insignificant facts like seeds that leave one furrow for another at nightfall. It’s not the moss that forms on a rock or the foam that rocks in a glass. It’s a boat riddled with snow, if you will, like birds that fall and their blood doesn’t have the slightest thickness. I know the general outline of despair. A very small shape, defined by jewels worn in the hair. That’s despair. A pearl necklace for which no clasp can be found and whose existence can’t even hang by a thread. That’s despair for you. Let’s not go into the rest. Once we begin to despair we don’t stop. I myself despair of the lampshade around four o’clock, I despair of the fan towards midnight, I despair of the cigarette smoked by men on death row. I know the general outline of despair. Despair has no heart, my hand always touches breathless despair, the despair whose mirrors never tell us if it’s dead. I live on that despair which enchants me. I love that blue fly which hovers in the sky at the hour when the stars hum. I know the general outline of the despair with long slender surprises, the despair of pride, the despair of anger. I get up every day like everyone else and I stretch my arms against a floral wallpaper. I don’t remember anything and it’s always in despair that I discover the beautiful uprooted trees of night. The air in the room is as beautiful as drumsticks. What weathery weather. I know the general outline of despair. It’s like the curtain’s wind that holds out a helping hand. Can you imagine such a despair? Fire! Ah they’re on their way … Help! Here they come falling down the stairs … And the ads in the newspaper, and the illuminated signs along the canal. Sandpile, beat it, you dirty sandpile! In its general outline despair has no importance. It’s a squad of trees that will eventually make a forest, it’s a squad of stars that will eventually make one less day, it’s a squad of one-less-days that will eventually make up my life.
Translated from the French by Bill Zavatsky and Zack Rogow via The Paris Review
Original Poem can be read here
Photo me by F.M.
Para que ela tivesse um pescoço tão fino
Para que os seus pulsos tivessem um quebrar de caule
Para que os seus olhos fossem tão frontais e limpos
Para que a sua espinha fosse tão direita
E ela usasse a cabeça tão erguida
Com uma tão simples claridade sobre a testa
Foram necessárias sucessivas gerações de escravos
De corpo dobrado e grossas mãos pacientes
Servindo sucessivas gerações de príncipes
Ainda um pouco toscos e grosseiros
Ávidos cruéis e fraudulentos
Foi um imenso desperdiçar de gente
Para que ela fosse aquela perfeição
Solitária exilada sem destino
For her to have such a slender neck
For her wrists to bend like flower stems
For her eyes to be so clear and direct
Her back so straight
Her head so high
With such a natural glow on her forehead
It took successive generations of slaves
With stooping bodies and patient rough hands
Serving successive generations of princes
Still a bit coarse still a bit crude
Cruel greedy and conniving
It took an enormous squandering of life
For her to be
That lonely exiled aimless perfection