We Remain Unchanged

A Fable
Dear ____________ {Insert name here}
Looking at you is like looking at a wilted rose.  It blossomed, bloomed and now remains the same.  And you remain the same.  Beautiful, untouched, always there.  Though time and circumstance now divide us, you were once there for me, or so I thought.  It seemed you cared for me when no one else did, or so I thought.  But sometimes time doesn’t move past you.  It moves through you and it helped me see you in all your glory, in your hey day, in your truth, and now in your decay.  In some ways I wish we could endure and conquer but I know if that were true, I would walk away.  Because although we are both growing, in some ways we remain unchanged.  In the mirror I see myself and what could have been me, if we were to become a real family.  But what is actually revealed brings more satisfaction.  A plant cannot grow without water and grow I did, with what ever water you provided.  For that, I thank you.  

A Lesson
There are some people who come in to our lives for a reason, some that stay forever, and those whose time with us passes by all too quickly.  Friends, family, lovers, whoever they are, wherever they may be they all deserve some words of gratitude and thanks.  No one is perfect.  It’s the imperfections that make us all so wonderful.  But it’s also the imperfections that cause us pain, that cause relationships to end, family members to stay out of touch, friendships that fall apart.  But before we see that imperfection, there is also usually a glimmer of hope and some faith in every relationship.  For every person that has moved past you in one way or another, though you may or may not have told them how you really feel, there was no doubt a moment of understanding shared between the two of you.  A moment where you looked into each others eyes and smiled knowingly about something, someone, somewhere.  For those moments, give thanks.  Because at the end of the day, really it’s those moments of understanding, of sameness that should be remembered in any and all relationships.  There was once something you shared together and that sharing allowed you both to grow, whether you choose to accept it or not.  We often think about what we regret, miss or didn’t do.  But look at what you did do and perhaps you’ll remember a perfect moment shared between you and that someone who, for however long, loved you.


Confidence is a Killer

America is obsessed with being skinny, losing weight and waif-like female icons who probe us to be thin.  What ever happened to the concept of women being beautiful and shapely?  The 2002 film with the same title starring America Ferrera popularized that catch phrase “Real Women Have Curves”.  So, where are these real, curvy women? Is the industry finally changing it’s ideals of what constitutes beauty or are we once again diluting ourselves to believing that they are?  I like to, perhaps naively, think that our culture is finally embracing the idea of being healthy, beautiful and confident no matter what your size or or shape.  But maybe I’m just one of the thousands of women who are endlessly being fooled by fashion, female icons and consumerism.

We are constantly bombarded by images of beautiful women advertising brand names.  Models and celebrity endorsements run the market and dictate what we purchase.  It’s unfortunate but as consumers we’re always judging ourselves and what we see on TV and in ads.  The skinny obsession must have begun sometime in the 80’s with the workout movement and our desire to become healthier.  But over the years it has seemed to back fire.  I imagine the intention was to provide women with a greater sense of self esteem but with the 90s the idea of healthier looking models like Cindy Crawford, Claudia Schiffer and Tyra Banks shifted to the waif like ideal of Kate Moss.  Waif-like movie stars endured as well- Meg Ryan, Wynona Ryder, Jodi Foster.  Yes, fashion and hollywood dictate what we consider to be beautiful.  It always has and it probably always will.  But has the industry really changed or is that just what we like to tell ourselves.  Looking at the fashion industry today, the ideal body type for a model has become thinner and thinner with male models looking less muscular and more like their female counterparts.

There will always be a handful of female icons with either waif-like figures or a more voluptuous physique on the cover of magazines and in films.  Fashion icons, models and movie stars will always have varying shapes and sizes.  And the industry that pushes forward their fame will also always pushed them to look a certain way.  What’s considered beautiful is constantly changing.  And the celebrities we see on the screen will almost always look a certain way.  It’s beyond our control to dictate industry standards of the perfect body type and image.  Although it often is, the idea of what one finds sexy, should not and cannot be dictated by an industry of money hungry individuals.  Hollywood will probably never change it’s idea of what sexy is.  However, there is one ultimate definition of the word that can be agreed upon world wide.  Being the “ideal” weight for your body type is not sexy.  Trying to conform to society’s standards is not sexy.  Confidence is sexy.  Confidence is hot.  Confidence is steaming.  Confidence is a killer because no matter what your shape if you have confidence you’ll always come out on top.

My short list of actresses with killer curves and killer confidence are:

1.Christina Hendricks
I watch Mad Men and Christina Hendricks’, Joan Harris every Sunday night at 10pm.  When the show first began airing, Joan was only supposed to be a guest star.  But the character became an instant smash and the sultry Joan was written in full time.  Christina Henricks is among a handful of actresses today who don’t feed into the skinny obsession.

2. Kate Winslet
I consider Kate Winslet to be the ultimate beauty.  She’s sophisticated, graceful and has a figure most women would kill for.  We first fell in love with her in Heavenly Creatures.  Titanic drew us in even further and the affair has continued since.

3. Jennifer Lopez
In 2000 J.Lo wore a very low cut Versace gown to the Grammy’s.  The world fell in love with J.Lo and 12 years later our admiration has endured.

4. Scarlett Johansson
Scarlett Johansson has the body of a greek goddess, the mind of a nuclear physicist and claims she doesn’t work out.  But with comparisons to Marilyn Monroe aplenty, I beg to differ.  Whatever she’s doing to keep that hourglass shape is working.  Keep up the good work, Scarlett.

5. Sofia Vergara
One thing that screams confidence is a sexy comedienne and I can’t think of a sexier funny lady than Sofia Vergara.

These women are beautiful, voluptuous, have smashing bodies and killer confidence.  They’re inspired and are inspiring to others.  We admire the Christina Hendricks and Scarlett Johansson’s of the world because they are proud of their figures, have the confidence to show them off and the balls to tell anyone who thinks they need to change to F-off.

The Most Massive Characters

A Fable

There was a girl who cried all night.  She cried until her memories were too far behind her to cry any more.  She wept a sea so deep the water almost drowned her.  She finally looked into that sea and saw a small island in the distance.  She drifted to the island.  Her efforts to purposefully dry her eyes didn’t seem to work.  So she sat on that piece of land and continued to weep.  She wept for hours.  She wept for days.  She wept for weeks.  She wept for months.  One day, she opened her heavy eyes.  The tears were gone. She looked down into the clear blue water, the water that had formed from the tears she had cried, and she saw sea life below.  Fish swam in schools, weeds swayed back and forth.  The tears she had cried created an ocean filled with life, filled with beauty.  The sadness had been so consuming that during her time spent alone, she had not been able to see what she was creating all around her.  But in fact that sorrow had given her reason to produce life.    

A Lesson
During times of hardship we often fail to notice the beauty of life forming around us.  We’ve cried so deep, we seem to have suffered so long that we fail to see the joy around us and the life that continues to grow out of our suffering.  By looking at our wounds, we’re able to trace our steps and see the larger picture forming around us.  It’s really the tears and pain that force us to want to better ourselves as humans.  The first lesson of Buddhism is that life is full of suffering.  And to be honest, without the lows, the highs wouldn’t feel very great.  It’s living with the highs as wells as the lows that produce the greatest outcomes.  Kahlil Gibran wrote, “Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.”  Next time you begin to feel as if you’re drowning, remember that without character there would be no story and without a story to tell, a lesson to pass on, or a high followed by a low, there would be nowhere left to go.