What Is True

“True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic. It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost, but the urge to serve others at whatever cost.”

-- Arthur Ashe



I love the hour before takeoff,
that stretch of no time, no home
but the gray vinyl seats linked like
unfolding paper dolls. Soon we shall
be summoned to the gate, soon enough
there’ll be the clumsy procedure of row numbers
and perforated stubs—but for now
I can look at these ragtag nuclear families
with their cooing and bickering
or the heeled bachelorette trying
to ignore a baby’s wail and the baby’s
exhausted mother waiting to be called up early
while the athlete, one monstrous hand
asleep on his duffel bag, listens,
perched like a seal trained for the plunge.
Even the lone executive
who has wandered this far into summer
with his lasered itinerary, briefcase
knocking his knees—even he
has worked for the pleasure of bearing
no more than a scrap of himself
into this hall. He’ll dine out, she’ll sleep late,
they’ll let the sun burn them happy all morning
—a little hope, a little whimsy
before the loudspeaker blurts
and we leap up to become
Flight 828, now boarding at Gate 17.

-- Rita Dove



Remember that movie from the mid-90s with Dustin Hoffman where he's suited up in a crazy safety-yellow Hazmat jumper, trying to contain a deadly airborne virus that some baddie at the State Department may or may not be trying to use as a bioweapon??

Yeah, I didn't either. But then my friend Pam pointed out that we seemed to have scaled the Danger Particles Ladder (DPL, for those in the know) this year as we continue our pursuit of deeper jewelry knowledge at the august Fashion Institute of Technology here in NYC.

Here we are last semester, Code Pink:

And this semester, Code Black:

My prediction for next semester:

The jewelry fabrication business is a dirty, particulate-laden jungle my friends. I know from the outside it's all silver dust and sparkles, but jewelry designers risk their lives every day so that millions of women may leave their homes looking and feeling good.

Let not our sacrifices be in vain. When you leave the house, Go Gorgeous!


Get Your Brazil On

Brazilian keyboardist Cidinho Teixeira owns Sunday nights at Zinc Bar. With two hour sets beginning at 9 p.m., he runs a samba trio that’s heavy on the soul and has a rotating pool of seven fine Brazilian singers to prove it. You won’t often hear standards by Gilberto Gil, Dorival Caymmi and Caetano Veloso done with such fire. And unlike some other music venues, the cover is well withing reasonable -- $7!

Zinc Bar
90 West Houston
(at the corner of LaGuardia Place)


Wrapped Around My Wrist

I've never been much of a bracelet person. Necklaces and earrings are more my thing. But as I was preparing for a jewelry party, my mom pointed out that there was scant little in my collection for that all-too-often overlooked area between a woman's hand and elbow.

Sure, we wear watches sometimes, but when was the last time you allowed your pulse point to warm a sliver of silver or gold? Bangles are fun, but bracelets are elegant. And sexy. They draw attention to wherever your hand goes, yet encourage the eye upward at the same time, to follow the graceful line of an arm to the dip of the shoulder where it meets the collarbone.

They can also be strong, establishing a presence that would be too much near the face but just right to let the world know you mean business.

Or maybe it just reminds you that even picking up the mail can be a special occasion when you're wearing a special bracelet, made just for you.



We cannot live, except thus mutually
We alternate, aware or unaware,
The reflex act of life: and when we bear
Our virtue onward most impulsively,
Most full of invocation, and to be
Most instantly compellant, certes, there
We live most life, whoever breathes most air
And counts his dying years by sun and sea.
But when a soul, by choice and conscience, doth
Throw out her full force on another soul,
The conscience and the concentration both make
mere life, Love. For Life in perfect whole
And aim consummated, is Love in sooth,
As nature's magnet-heat rounds pole with pole.

-- Elizabeth Barrett Browning


Pink, Pink, Stink, Nice Drink

You haven't yet heard of Koko and Michael, two promising artists who reside in California, but that's about to change. Mostly because in addition to being accomplished painters, they are also gorillas.

The painting above is by Koko and is her rendition of a photo she saw that contained a valley with a stream banked by beautiful pink flowers. "Stink" is Koko's sign for flowers, "drink" is her sign for water, and she named the painting herself.

The Gorilla Foundation has taken paintings done by these two exceptional reps of the endangered species and made a limited number of digital reproductions available for sale. Reasonably priced, with proceeds going toward the preservation, protection, and well-being of the species, it's no exaggeration to say that collectors and animal-lovers alike are going ape over the prints.

And that's no monkey business.


Food Funk Party

Get your toes a tappin' and your tummy rumblin' at this pre-Valentines hoedown. $20 presale tickets available at Dubspot Cafe, 348 W 14th Street, between 8th and 9th Avenues. For more info and to RSVP, visit myspace.com/foodfunkparty


True Love

I'm on the fence about Valentine's Day. On the one hand, it's wonderful that there is a day set aside to celebrate love. On the other, I believe love is about guiding our actions much more than it is about dinner out and a box of chocolates. Love is for celebrating and acting on everyday -- in how we treat each other, our neighbors, our family and our friends.

Although my last post was about flowers for Valentine's Day -- and who doesn't love flowers?? -- some of the best gifts I've received over the years have come from friends and family who understand the continuum of love and how it is honored by cultivation, appreciation and respect.

This year my beloved treated me and friend to a wonderful workshop called Visioning Your 2008. Lead by Jennifer Carrel, a warm and gently direct personal wellness coach, the workshop encouraged participants to acknowledge what we already know but all too often ignore. It was, for me, about making room inside my heart to hear the voice within.

Thank you, my love, for giving me a tool to re-tune my ear inward. I'm excited about my vision for the coming year, and feeling blessed that you're a part of it.



"For poems are not, as people think, simply emotions
(one has emotions early enough)—they are experiences."
—Rainer Maria Rilke


Organically Yours

Not everyone is into Valentine's Day. And not everyone is into flowers on Valentine's Day. BUT, if that is your thing, why not do the Earth and your loved one a solid by ordering flowers from Organic Style, thereby declaring yourself and saving the world all in one pretty, pink, flowered swoop?

(Yes, darling, that is a hint).

Organic Style is an eco-boutique that offers special gifts that uphold the wellbeing of humankind and the planet. We're not talking macramé either. Beautifully wrapped and delicious organic chocolates, bouquets free of toxic pesticides, eco-elegant clothing and so much more.

Did I mention the Rosa Parks bouquet of Freedom Roses? 10% of the proceeds of every bouquet sold benefits the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self Development.

Love is a many splendored thing.