I attended a Jewish bris for the first time in my life the weekend before last. I was so moved by the ceremony, and by my dear friend, the new mother to the beautiful newborn at the center of it all, who, after the ritual was complete, tried to say a few words, and then held up her hand and offered: “I’m just overwhelmed with emotion right now.” I’m sure she was bearing witness to an intense web of emotions at the time, but one of them, I will boldly assume, must have been tied to the enormity of the tradition into which her son had just entered. The rabbi explained that the Jewish bris as a rite of passage has taken place, relatively unchanged, for nearly 4,000 years, passed down from generation to generation. Hearing that, and seeing this perfect baby in front of us (so little — 7 days old!), gave me a funny, fleeting feeling of seasickness, of disorientation–a zooming way out–followed by a deep sense of rootedness. The feeling of being one little speck on a grand continuum of people making their way through their own lives, dappled as they may be with tragedy, triumph, heartache, and happiness, but joined in a singular belief in God.
It stirred something in me.
I reflected on the many lineages I–we–embody everyday, even without knowing it, from those closer-in inheritances to those much further beyond our ken, those traditions and tendencies we’ve absorbed unaware from the generations before us.
Mr. Magpie tells me I have inherited my father’s exacting, cerebral quietude and his intensity of focus; I see my mother in the way I use my hands, over-organize my life, and (I say hopefully—because my mother is a paradigm of motherly nurture) interact with others. And surely there must be something both Mr. Magpie and I assimilated from the many, many entrepreneurs in our respective families that has led us to be the risk-taking business-builders we’ve become: Mr. Magpie’s father started his own men’s clothing store years ago, and several relatives a generation back on his father’s side of the family did the same; my great, great grandfather founded The Baltimore Sun newspaper, just to name a few.
There is an incredible Ted Talk by the “edupreneur” John Hunter where he talks about seeing his mother in himself, of being a “continuation of her gesture.” Well-put. This in turn calls to mind (perhaps oddly) an essay I recently read in this slim volume of thought pieces by Rebecca Solnit, “Grandmother Spider,” where she explores the many systematic ways that women have been silenced and omitted from history, and specifically hones in on an anecdote where a young female artist was upset to learn that an art critic had positioned her within the allusive context of male artists before her. Solnit interprets this anecdote from a gender standpoint, but also notes that the artist “knew she came out of hands-on work, out of weaving and all the practical acts of making, out of cumulative gestures that had fascinated her since bricklayers came to her home when she was a child.” In other words, the artist felt she was being forcefully positioned in a lineage that was not true to her artistic development, being tethered to references that were not her own. Solnit then says — “Everyone is influenced by those things that precede formal education, that come out of the blue and out of everyday life. Those excluded influences I call the grandmothers.”
My point in raising this is not to embark on a conversation about gender inequality, but to draw a deeper line under the observation that was brought to such an emotional head last weekend: that, in so many ways, we are all extensions of the many gestures of those who have gone before us, whether they are visible or invisible to us in our efforts to acknowledge them.
There was something deeply moving to me about bearing witness to the continuation of a gesture many millennia old in that love-filled home in the Chicago suburbs last weekend. Something honorable about watching this little babe join his tribe, of catching a glimpse of the beautiful lineage he has now joined.
And because there’s no ideal transition from something as heavy as musings on a bris (!! HA!), I’ll just dive into 10 pretty things on my radar today. But first: don’t forget I’m giving away the CUTEST pair of BaubleBar earrings (see me in my pair hereeee) — just leave a comment on this post and follow me on Insta. I’ll announce a winner tomorrow on Instagram via Instastory! YA!
Holy hell. French line Chatelles has the COOLEST customizable flats and I NEED A PAIR. I think I have to have some of these monogrammable smoking slippers ($254), or maybe these dotted ones ($386), or, OK, maybe these tasseled pointy-toed beauts ($232) from their latest collection of new arrivals. With any of these shoes, you can choose to add a tassel of your choice OR add your initials. I am D.Y.I.N.G.
Guys. This Rochas dress ($2,275). It is sunny perfection. I want I want I want. #Thatpricetagtho. I happily came across a similar style in a happy marigold color for $228 here. (BTW, I’m currently obsessed with marigold.) I am torn between the $228 version linked or just going with that floral Alice McCall beaut I featured last week. Either way, something yellow and floral is in my future. (More rad florals at the bottom of this post.)
I’ve featured Marysia’s lovely scalloped bathing suits many, many times over the past few seasons (I own the Antibes bikini and loveeee it — PSA: it does run small), and am contemplating my first one-piece from them (does this mean I’m turning into a mom?), either their classic Mott ($334) or their cut-out variation ($339). BUT FRIENDS. Lucky for us, Target has a very similar, derivative version out and available for a cool $39! I like it in the mint and that salmon-y pink.
The Eames chair is a pretty celebrated chair style (you’ll find it crop up in beautifully appointed houses the world over), so I was delighted to find this well-priced version ($73) in a rainbow of lovely colors. The perfect accent piece to any room/office. Would also look great around a kitchen table.
This origami top ($68) is so elegant and feminine. I’m envisioning it with jeans and some great flats for every day, or a ladylike pencil skirt for a work event.
I guess I’m into robin’s egg blue + other pastels, because these lovely and well-priced Cuyana crossbodies ($115) caught my eye. If you’ve not yet purchased from them before, they make absolutely gorgeous pieces that look far higher-end than their price tags suggest–the butteriest leather, the most gorgeous colors, and everything personalizable!
These monogrammed notepads ($25) from Etsy store LoveLucyDesigns caught my eye. Love the design of the monogram — looks like Goyard or something? The store also has some adorable childrens’ stationery, like these Peter Rabbit invitations ($55) and these monogram tags ($42)
I love these hand-painted tole cachepots/planters ($42 for hydrangea print; $54 for lemon pattern). Such a pretty way to liven up an orchid or little potted plant from your local Trader Joe’s (great great source for affordable flowers!)
Florals, florals, and more florals. This Equipment blouse ($280) is the perfect spring statement piece. Apologies for the redundancy in posting these a few times over the past few weeks, but this pretty little dress ($98) and this one, too ($73) get the look for far less. Love both.
Yet another statement shoe to add to the lust list: these $349 Club Monaco beauties. Less expensive than the Gucci floral slides that started it all ($695) — but pricier than the Sam Edelman floral slides so many of you have snagged ($120)!
Finally, a few other miscellaneous picks:
+This striped bodysuit ($45) is calling my name.
+Cool shades ($45).
+I’m probably the last person on earth to read this, but I just started reading Liane Moriarty’s Big Little Lies. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you probably know that Reese Witherspoon is starring in a TV series based on this book, so I thought I’d give it a whirl. Curious if it will live up to Le Hype.
+Just replenished my supply of my all-time favorite body lotion ($23). This stuff smells like heaven and works like a charm.
+My mom just snagged these beautiful pastel pink flats ($89!). So ladylike!