I came across a spectacularly moving post by the wife of a victim of the 9/11 terrorist attacks reflecting on the 20 year anniversary of the tragedy. In it, she writes with poignant directness about her grief, describing it as “a tenacious and liquid emotion [that] finds any crevice in our hearts and souls and seeps in there, just waiting to burst through at the slightest provocation. A smell. A sound. Familiar handwriting on an old card. A duffel bag in the attic. And a crisp September morning shared by strangers, each with their own story to tell. Then suddenly, driving on the highway or checking out groceries, that grief bursts into any empty space.” There is more, and I cried while reading it — especially the words she would say to her husband today — but I’ll leave it at that, and applaud her bravery, and salute her.
On a truly trivial footnote, I was startled by her use of the Latin word “desiderata” in the piece, as I was not familiar with it. It means “something that is needed or wanted,” but the most common hit on the Internet when searching for the word led me to a 1927 poem of the same title by Max Ehrmann. It occurs to me that this poem may be known to everyone the world over but me, and if so, I apologize for my dilatoriness. However, if you are among the uninitiated like myself, It reads a bit like speech-making for a graduating class, but in the best possible way. It drinks like tonic: bracing, vaguely medicinal, but with a pleasingly sweet finish. My favorite bit runs as follows:
“Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.”
Beautiful reminders, all, but especially: beyond a wholesome discipline / be gentle with yourself.
+I especially need to hear these words when fraught with mom guilt.
+I love this new all-natural-colored LL Bean tote!
+My new favorite recommendation for a fall function — Ulla vibes for $120! I have been receiving so many inquiries about what to wear to fall weddings, which brings me so much joy. I’ve been keeping this section of my shop updated for you.
+Ordering this doormat for our backdoor — on sale for $39!
+This shacket is major, and $50! I like it in the plain ivory or brown/white check.
+Intrigued by these straight-leg ponte pants from Spanx.
+This blouse is one of my favorite snags for fall — have been wearing it a ton already, and it’s on sale! I layered mine under joveralls for apple picking the other day!
+Gingham masks for fall.
+Love this pink fitness dress.
+Drawn to this alternative to Dudley Stephens: even thinner material, and the pockets add interest.
+OK, this ivory dress!!!! Love the detail on the straps in the back.
+These tapered utility pants have been flying.
+Kind of drawn to Ugg’s new mini silhouette?
+Cashmere ballet slippers! These look like a dream.
+Love this simple taupe gingham tablecloth (under $30).
+Pretty gold dress.
+OO this table lamp is fantastic.
+Cutest corduroy dress for a little love.