Wednesday, October 19, 2011

After the Party


In the last two weeks we felt the loss of both a cultural icon and a long-time friend.


Both deaths caused me to pause and consider.  Lucky, and aware of it, I was relieved and reassured that  I am doing what I want to be doing.  What I think I should be doing.


You might have seen Steve Jobs's Stanford commencement speech and while it acted like heated oil to several kernels of ideas, most significantly it made me wonder what I would do if one of my boys wanted to quit college and start some crazy business in my garage.  Or be a fisherman, as one claims he will.


Sharing this with a friend at dinner he wondered, "If he's happy, what difference would it make?"  "It's important to live up to your potential," I replied and he asked further, "But how do you know if you are?"


Then he rose to pull the chicken from the oven leaving me with a mental party favor that I've carried around since - setting it on the counter here, loading it in the car there.  We won't know, I suppose, any more than these artists knew their work would live for centuries.  At the time they were just making brushstrokes on wood or silk or porcelain.

All images from Exotic Taste: Orientalist Interiors by Emmanuelle Gaillard and Marc Walter published by The Verdome Press.  The book includes hundreds of images of rooms and objects influenced by the Far East, India and the Islamic world.  It's stunningly beautiful and if you have a strong connection to Chinoiserie or porcelain or unbelievable tile, it is a must.  All images Marc Walter.  The publishers provided the book for review.

13 comments:

mary said...

Hi Patricia, This is a great post--I have wondered about "how do you know?" so often...I don't think that there are any easy answers. But I do know that when I am able to bring love and acceptance to any situation (this is really hard for me as a quasi type-A personality), the end result is positive. If I let even a pinch of judgement into the equation (this applies to self-judgement as much as other-judgement, not so much. I love this book, I'm going over to Amazon right now.

HeartWings said...

Thank you for this posting. I am currently raising my 15 year old daughter who has decided to be a Marine. This is so foreign to me, I am the creative/artist/designer/chef....you know the score. Today she got her first promotion to Private First Class in the Marine R.O.T.C. and I have to say, I feel very proud of her. This would not have been my choice for her, but it is not mine to make.

I love what your friend said about how do you know if you are living up to your potential. We can never know the inner going's on of another person, no matter who they are. But we must give them the space to create who they feel they are and to go where they are led.

Faith said...

Well said. Thanks!
ps..look forward to seeing the end result of the dining chairs...

Anonymous said...

Wow! This hit home for me. I insisted my two children get their college degrees and then do what they wanted!!! I just couldn't help myself. They both graduated. :) One followed with work in their degree, the other is doing what he wants. I rest well knowing they can take care of themselves in this crazy world. I do admire parents that allow kids to follow their dreams after high school but I just could not be one of them until after college!!

Dalai LIna said...

That is a tough one. You just want your kids to be happy, but they have to find their way there. It is so hard not to do it all for them.

Jennifer @ Belclaire House said...

Great post and beautiful images! I worry about these things with my little man and he's only one!

Grant K. Gibson said...

Beautiful posting.

My Dog-Eared Pages said...

This post was presented in such a smart way... I loved it! And, these Orientalist interiors are just amazing. ; )

Miranda said...

Thanks for a lovely post and a thought-provoking -- perhaps THE most important and thought-provoking -- question.

Interior Design said...

Oh wow! The vases are killing me. Very beautiful!

LXV said...

"We won't know, I suppose, any more than these artists knew their work would live for centuries. At the time they were just making brushstrokes on wood or silk or porcelain."

My Dear Mrs. Blandings, Your words are the very reassurance I often need most to continue my own work. I was brought up to do my work as though it would, but the way the world is now is so disheartening I am grateful for encouragement wherever I find it. Thank you for this and for the splendid vases, particularly the shot en garniture. I believe opulent beauty to be life-affirming.

Mally said...

Hello Patricia,

I found you through my lovely Twitter friend Leslie Carothers, and I am so grateful for that. I love the way you write, which is obviously the way you think. That's it, your blog is a delight. I will be avidly following from this point on! Mally Skok

Jennings and Gates said...

Great post. My parents were, to put it mildly, surprised, when I informed them, in successive weeks, that I had decided to quit my sorority, change my major from Fashion Merchandising to Political Science and become an Army officer. Best thing I ever did. Ever. One can't know one's own potential or possibilities at 19, let alone know someone elses. I'm grateful that my parents did not make it difficult for me to seek mine.