*Image above via Dorset Walled Garden.
I am three quarters of the way through Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic. I relate to so much of what she writes, and especially her injunction to (paraphrasing) “just get out there and create something — don’t let anything hold you up. Don’t let good be the enemy of done.” I have exercised this principle daily for decades now, and while I can’t speak to the quality it’s yielded (that measure is in your hands), I can say that writing volubly has given me purpose and at the same time freedom, playfulness. I am not writing across a tightrope, all high stakes and gasps. I’m here in the unbound soil and grass.
I did have trouble swallowing her thesis that ideas exist outside of humans — that they visit with us, inhabit us, and, if we are not ready for them, go find another willing host. At first I thought she was writing metaphorically but over time the writing ran to the literal. I don’t think I can accommodate the premise intellectually but saying that does put pressure on other beliefs I hold that cannot be “proven” in a material way. I’m inclined to just leave that nest alone, but I do have one point I want to make: I have felt throughout her writing a willful — almost steel-minded — distancing of creator from audience that I do not feel accurately represents the dynamic, at least when I am writing. Perhaps that’s because of my medium: personal essays with immediate response from Magpies in my comments, DMs, inbox. Gilbert seems to paint the artist alone, self-absorbed, writing only for herself, with ideas flitting in and out. But I write with readers, and memories, and the sounds of my home in Bethesda in my room. I do not connect to the solipsism she paints. All that said, I applaud her direct inquiry as to where creativity comes from — it is brave to go there, where the earth gives way beneath and we must engage in the metaphysical and the only true way to capture what’s happening is through sorcery-like phrases like “big magic.”
Have you read the book? What do you think?
Next up on audiobook: Katie Couric’s Going There.
+On not fighting what may come.
+In praise of a normal day.
+These words are worth a revisit every so often.
+It’s OK to not know where you’re headed.
+A lot of times, the critics are louder in our minds than they are in real life.
+When my husband gave me an envelope containing the world.
+I did end up ordering these raffia loafers, like many of you — and just discovered they are on sale for $70 right now!
+Pretty $40 beach caftan.
+Solid and Striped also has a ton of cute beach dresses/cover-ups — I love this fun fish print one.
+Weezie is generously sending their adorable terry cover-ups for kids — I can’t wait for them to arrive! Perfect for throwing on after the pool or a run through the sprinkler.
+I just can’t say no to a perfect white dress.
+Also having trouble saying no to this gorgeous Loretta Caponi — wish I was wearing it for Easter.
+Love this boxy oxford in the wide blue and white stripe!
+I have been in bed with a bad bug the past few days (not COVID) and aside from craving oranges, I have been spraying myself incessantly with Caudalie’s Elixir. It just feels SO good on my achey, hot body. This is also fantastic for “setting” makeup — I like to spritz it on to sort of “soften” the overall look. Also great afternoon refresher.
+These woven platforms are a great way to nail the platform trend without breaking the bank.
+Mini has this wee ones bow in the “taupe” color which is actually a pretty gray-lilac color — so unusual and sophisticated!
+This Big Sister sweatshirt would be cute for a new big sis.
+This ruffly white top is just so pretty. Horror Vacui/SEA vibes.
+I love the new neckline style on this smocked dress — so many smocked dresses go for a fluttery neckline or poufy sleeves and this feels fresh.
+These scalloped towels are gorgeous and not as crazy expensive as other similar styles!