Happy New Moon in January! I hope it’s a lovely one for you, and that any seeds you’re planting for yourself — whether part of resolutions, or just a “Hey, here’s something I need to get on” train of thought — bloom beautifully soon. Here’s what’s been making my life beautiful lately, along with some random thoughts about the connection between radiance, spark and food.
+ It saddens me slightly that new music has become just another source of information I have to “track” and “keep up with” — just another stream of noise that I have to tune out, really, since “tuning out” more and more is my default mode, especially if I want to make something beautiful and worthy to put into the world. I think something about the way publicity is everywhere — on my Facebook feed, Twitter, etc. — it makes it harder to differentiate what is genuinely worth seeking out. I don’t just stumble upon music anymore — I hear about it, then have to decide if something is worth the investment and time to seek it out in a very quick, fast way. Nothing sinks in. I can’t tell if it’s the time, or where I’m at in life. Maybe a combination of both.
But sometimes you click on something, or you stream a track, and it hits the spot. So: I really like this Eddi Front song. It’s moody, elegant, feminine, serene yet slightly dark — she gets compared to Lana Del Rey a lot, but without the quasi-hip-hop affectations and, you know, baggage. I see it more like: if you like Cat Power, or any other moody introspective singer with a lovely haunting voice, you will like her. I do, so I took the time to seek her songs out, and I am glad that I did. Her music fed my spirit for more than a few minutes. Maybe you’ll like it, too.
+ It is no secret how much I love perfumes, and I’m already on the hunt for something for spring. It’s just so nice to smell a bit of vetiver, citron, oakmoss or bluebell in the middle of winter, reminding yourself that things will be all bloom-y and green and verdant again in a few months. Right now my favorite candidate is Stella McCartney’s L.I.L.Y perfume. I love Stella in a way that is irrational — I just feel very friendly towards her because it’s clear she’s hard-working, creative and genuinely woman-centered. She seems like a nice woman to have some soup and coffee with. I really loved her Stella perfume — a lovely dark smoky rose — but it never lasted long on me, and I have a real problem spending a lot of money on some scented liquid that disappears on me in two hours.
L.I.L.Y., I’m happy to say, is a different story. It’s a beautiful floral scent centered around lily, which can get fusty. But here it reads sunlit and radiant. It’s nicely undercut with a truffle note, making it earthy, slightly dark and just a tad edible — though definitely not full-on gourmandish. I really liked it! I have the rollerball — hopefully it holds my interest long enough to invest in a full bottle come springtime! What fragrances do you wear in the spring? Please tell me — I’m genuinely curious!
+ It is funny what people suggest when you tell them that “radiance” is your vague guidepost for 2013. Champagne really is the most popular suggestion, and I am wholeheartedly onboard with this. But, to go the other way, people also love to tell you to go on some kind of “cleanse” or drink lemon water with cayenne or do a raw food fast or something like that. The logic is: clean up your insides and you’ll glow from the inside out. Now, I have done a raw food diet before: I did one last year in January. It was nice, but it did not change my life. I felt lighter but did not feel significantly stronger or more vibrant or vital, really. Maybe it’s because I eat pretty healthy in general. (Outside of my weakness for salty potatoes, but I don’t have them that often, so I should be okay.) But despite the lack of impact that these specialized ways of eating have on me, I thought I’d try something again this year: you know, just mostly plant-based foods, very little carbs and proteins. Just for a few days. A smoothie in the morning, non-processed foods, soup and salad for dinner, that kind of thing.
Well, what do you know: I didn’t make it. Part of it is that I’m pretty active: I run a lot, and you need more fuel. But I realized, I just don’t like feeling hungry a lot. I need a hearty breakfast, not a bunch of liquified fruits and veggies, as delicious as the smoothies are. I think hunger, even in the short term, is anti-radiance, anti-life, anti-pleasure. They work for some people, maybe, but not me. I need a strong, solid diet if I want to feel strong and solid enough in my life to do what I need to do and accomplish what I set out for myself. So I read stuff like Crazy Sexy Diet and that Beauty Detox Solution business, take what works for me (I do think it’s better to avoid high-sugar foods in big quantities) and then fuck all the rest of it that creates hunger. I’m not motivated by feelings of denial, scarcity and deprivation in life — they create fear and judgment. I run towards happiness, pleasure, genuine zest.
I think food is better when it’s healthy, but it should equally be pleasurable, whether that’s eating with loved ones, having a bit of delicious Shiraz with your evening supper, or a fat dollop of Chocolate Overload ice cream. I don’t think pleasure is at odds with healthy eating — I think maybe people have such disordered, tortured relationships with food because it’s so far removed now from pleasure. (I’m not talking about serious eating disorders here, but the strange miasma of guilt, should-think and obligation that surrounds eating and food, especially for ladies.) I think everyone has their own set of food rules for what works for their life and their body. So now I’m been dwelling on what works for me: kind of like my own manifesto for food. Thinking about it; will share a bit more in the future once I’ve, uh, digested the thought a little. And now I’m off to eat my fluffy scrambled eggs for breakfast and drink my delicious hazelnut coffee!