Social Misperception and the “Greying of Your Spirit”

Stopping by the Newsstand before leaving Park Royal South and leafing through some Women’s Magazines:

“As we age we fall apart.” – Bullsh_t!!  As we age we stop learning at school, stop working out or playing sports.  We keep eating out… and drinking beer, wine, juice, and lattes, all laden with calories.  The preservatives laced into conventional foods bulge the middle outward.  No exercise leaves the muscles painful and the bones in poor condition.  No new ideas result in a flabby brain and slowed thinking or forgetfulness.

Stop believing the bull in women’s magazines about aging; the mags with the ads for all your body, mind, and spirit pains.  The articles are written primarily to promote the advertisements that fill you with unnecessary fears and tell you you need manufactured pills, medications or surgery.  Take action!! Keep your mind, body, and spirit healthy by avoiding the behaviors that harm them. Take responsibility for your life by following nature and nurture.  Avoid conventional stores and commercial products and tune out old wives tales… enjoy the freedom of being your own boss and running your own life.  I dare you to throw out your television and newspapers if you will.  I overhear more people talking about these as an absolute waste of time and invasion into their free time to think, read, paint, socialize, walk/run… take photographs, choose a new pet, phone a friend.  Your choices are unlimited… try some new ones.

I shake off the negativity from the “media salad” and start across the tiny bridge that connects the parking lot with the playing fields.  Walking home past the fields with a view to the ocean, I like seeing the beaver’s bare-stick igloo, and the way it displaces the water, causing new patterns of mud to form along the edge of the creek.

While visiting the mall I was keen to study a young Iranian woman in Artigiano early today.  She had it!!  Voice, power, posture, flash, tan, probably much cash; and she had only a few accessories that differed from mine.  Lime green richly hued T-shirt, white leather belt, her shirt was tucked in; hot heels, jeans, wavy, glossy black hair, attitude, cellular, dazzling teeth!  We both had designer sunglasses and my jeans are the cool Acne brand.  I could try a colored T-shirt, white belt (later I bought a red patent one made in Germany), high heels, and better handbag.  My hair is dramatic in the opposite way  and I’m fine with it.  I don’t like cell phones and don’t use one.  I could be taller with heels but she’s taller than my 5’6″. Stunning woman teaches me a lesson:  Shut up and Show Off !!

I had caught sight of myself in a plate glass window with a mean-spirit behind it and it threw me a reflection of my expression sagging.  I fell into disbelief and hurriedly turned my head and thoughts back to the soft pink lighting of the powder room at home and the mercifully flattering reflections emitted from a 1960’s mirror.  The mirrors in the make-up and clothing departments in stores are cuttingly cruel; a tired, worn, dark, expressionless face appears out of my stare and I’m forced to try on new colors and styles to become the mannequins  and the women on posters surrounding me.  Once in the door at home, I tried on the black capri-length tights and top I bought…  up-to-date and sexy.  I needed these.

"Oh My... perhaps I should have added this too!"

Grateful for hairpins to keep my hair out of my face, off the back of my neck, and above the bathwater.

Copyright © 2010 Nicole Rigets


Candy Pink… Pink Bow

I awake from a dream holding onto Julie with my arms wrapped around her waist.  I’m saying that my Mum is just wanting to buy as much time as possible before she dies of cancer.

In this dream I see a leopard print jacket with a candy pink, pink bow, at the top of the neck – who’s touching my clothes?

The walk to Ambleside is littered with abandoned logs.

A collage collects along the low granite wall where the seams of blacktop meet with the rock.

The wind presses forcefully against me like a new lover.  It takes all my strength to walk forward into it.

The clouds spit at me and a crow sprays white splotches across my black umbrella.

I leave the library on my way home with three heavy books curled into my arm none of which I want to read when I get home.

My Mother’s apartment building shivers in cold grey as I walk by.  I let the wind pull my hair across my eyes so I don’t have to look into the dark empty windows where she once resided in warm lighting.

I tell myself all along that nothing matters but the feeling of being under twelve today and noticing how connected I am to all of nature as I walk home in fluctuating weather conditions.

Once inside I put on something warm, wipe the bird doo from my umbrella and brew bancha tea.  I ignore the days’ old rinsed dishes and the clean laundry waiting to be put away.  I can’t scrub a sink or address an envelope right now.  I turn the ringer off on the phone, and relax into nothing.

"Sleeps in Neighbor's Treetop as I Dream"

Copyright © 2010 Nicole Rigets

Lamped in Animal Forms

Black coffee seems too serious for this read; let’s make it a latte to accompany a copy of Abigail Ahern’s book, “A Girl’s Guide to Decorating.”  Ahern’s shabby chic meets industrial high tech is lacquered, textured, papered, booked, lamped in animal forms, cushioned, collected, colored, diverse, rich, and mighty.

She advises: “Have Something that seamlessly holds it all together.  ie. a paint color, textural feature, or a personal choice of furnishings.”

Stacks of books arranged beautifully make excellent plinths for displaying favorite objects.

"I adore this photograph and the over-the-top tabletop"

Pairs create balance.

Equalizing with Chairs, Lamps, and Stools

What kind of mood do you want to set; cozy, glamorous, formal?  Something that is often overlooked is levels of lighting in a room. Lighting contributes so much to the inner realm. I have always advised hiring a professional lighting designer to make sure you achieve the look you desire.  To start: mix table, pendant, and floor lamps to mingle the light.

Intimate
Distinctive
Exactly the Right Portion of Yellow

Ahern offers ideas for all seasons and settings… when zoning in multi-use rooms make space feel more intimate by concealing areas you don’t want on view.  Use a decorative screen, free-standing bookcase, or a group of large plants to provide a simple partition.

If a physical barrier seems too obtrusive, lay different rugs in separate zones to give each area its own personality.

I chose these tips for the kitchen from her book:

Push button catches on kitchen cabinets eliminates the need for door handles… this is the answer if the room is tiny!

Glass test tubes with cork tops can be filled with spices and set into a metal rack.

Elongate kitchen cupboard doors.  This is a simple and inexpensive trick that looks indulgent and luxurious.  I’d like to see these cupboard doors painted in Warhol colors.

Ahern likes the way dark smoky colors bring sophistication.

The use of lime, primrose, and hot pink

Here are a few more of Ahern’s color palettes:

  • Burnt sienna, damson, raspberry and pink.
  • Nutmeg, stone, pink, pecan, and chocolate.
  • Bronze, azure, deep grey and pearly white.
  • Salmon, buff, ochre and sage.

I like to collect paint chips and turn them into assemblages on the blank face, white pages of journals with jazzy covers.  Scissors, glue stick, imagination and possibly even a thin black felt pen:  now I have all the tools I need to keep me busy for hours.  I like to take these things with me when I go downtown so I can experiment with shape and composition over a coffee and a chocolate almond biscotti.

Copyright © 2010 Nicole Rigets