Category Archives: Beauty

Today’s One Thing

Do one thing every day that scares you. Eleanor Roosevelt

That Eleanor Roosevelt was quite a lady. I hardly ever take this advice. Most days, I do the things that I do most days, and very few of them scare me. True, some of them used to be scary.

Shaving my legs. Using the oven. Cooking without a recipe (ok, that one still sometimes is). Crossing the street. Navigating the city.

But now, I do all these things without a second thought.

I did something this week that scared me. I took the bar exam. The bar is one of those necessary evil things. If you want to be a lawyer, you can’t go around, you can’t go over, you have to go through. So, I went through it. Having conquered that particular large and scary obstacle (you know, fingers crossed), I started to ask myself: I wonder what else I can do.

That, my friends, is a powerful question. It turns out I have a lot of possible answers. I bet I can start blogging again, and keep up with it this time. I bet I can write a letter to a friend who moved away and tell her I’m thinking of her. I bet I can find an awesome bar at which to watch the Opening Ceremonies, maybe with some help from my darling husband. I bet I can take better care of myself and schedule the doctor’s appointment I’ve been meaning to schedule. And finally, for today:

I bet I can ride my bike almost 6 miles to meet a friend for coffee.

Six miles on your bike is not actually that far. For serious cyclists, I’m sure it’s barely a warm up. I am no serious cyclist. I have a bike that I sometimes use to get around town (when I can motivate myself to carry it down the stairs), but I rarely fo further than about a mile or ride longer than about 15 minutes. This ride would be almost an hour, and oh, did I mention it’s been crazy hot around here.

This scared me. My husband thought I was nuts. But, emboldened by my recent discovery that I can, in fact, take a two-day-long standardized test, I was determined to do it. So I left early this morning, before the heat was too bad, and rode my bike almost 6 miles to meet a friend for coffee. It was hard.

She brought her baby girl, who proceeded to climb all over us and eat blueberries with her tiny fist and be generally adorable. Tiny fists of blueberries make it all worth it.

I then did not bike home, but took my bike home on the metro. Hey, I’m overcoming things that are scary, but I don’t have to overcome everything all in one day.

I hope to keep up the blogging. I have missed it. Post coming soon on what else I’ve been up to!


Healing Love and Soap

Some beauty for your Friday. The workday’s almost done.

This whole sustainability thing is, for me, about more than just loving the planet. It’s about loving each other. Sustaining community, if you will. I’ve found some people who are all about that and I wanted to share them with you.

hello. i love you.

So this is so cool. The community of Magdalene is a community of women who are have survived prostitution. They run a business selling beauty products that are good for the earth. So planet sustainability AND community sustainability all at once in these little bottles. I love it.

They have this to say about themselves:

Magdalene stands as a witness to the truth that in the end, love is more powerful than all the forces that drive women to the streets.

I think we can all say the world needs more of THAT.

I first heard about Thistle Farms on NPR right before Mother’s Day. (That was some excellent timing on that interview, whoever planned that out). Their hand soap made the perfect Mother’s Day gift. You know those times when you need a present to wrap up, but want to support something awesome at the same time. This! This is for then!

Also the soap smelled really good.

I used to work for an organization that used job training to help get people off the streets. They did it with culinary training and have a for-profit arm that provides catering services. It’s a similar idea Thistle Farms, and I think they both show why community sustainability is so important. Giving up on people wastes their talents. Training and creating opportunity means more good things in the world, more lives that are lived fully, and really, I’m pretty sure, more total love in the world.

The Thistle Farms people don’t know me. I’m just a fan from afar. I salute their willingness not to give up on people who society at large gives up on, and for creating something beautiful and wonderful and sustainable.

Their motto is “Love heals.” Just now, I can’t think of anything truer.

Have 7 or 10 dollars? Go buy some soap!


Beauty: Mary Oliver

I got a wonderful birthday present yesterday – a book of poems by Mary Oliver. I am no Oliver expert. I confess that I did not know who she was until yesterday, but today, I am a fan. A newly-initiated fan, but a fan nonetheless.

Since obtaining this wonderful book, I realized that I had heard Ms. Oliver’s words before. She is the author of this quote here, which I had seen painted on wood in Eastern Market a while back. It’s lovely:

Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

If this life is anything, it’s certainly wild and precious. And when it’s too-much wild and too-little precious, I think poetry can be a way to find the precious in the wild.

And so I commend to you the glorious Mary Oliver, who gave me these words today:

When it’s over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.

She’s wise, this one, and I’m planning to let her teach me. But mostly I’m planning to bask in the beauty of well strung-together words. And enjoying it immensely.