This is a piece I wrote back in 2011. Seeing as it is October and I find myself making some changes, it seemed a good time to dust it off …
I am collector of hats. Not the fancy fashionable ones. No, I am talking metaphorical hats here. I wear many in my life and, more specifically, in my avocations/occupations, both the ones that earn me money and the ones that don’t. (Yes, I have some bargain bin hats but I love them just the same!) Lately I have taken to wearing multiple hats at the same time. This seems to be making my head heavy. You would think that this head-heaviness would motivate me to pare down my collection but it doesn’t seem to work that way.
Classically October is a big “hat” seeking month for me. I get restless and want to DO stuff. Take some classes, make big changes, and be bold! I look around at my collection of hats and none of them seem good enough. Usually I just dive in and go get more, but this year I pause and ask myself: What’s with the hat hoarding, Luisa? Read more
I have never fancied myself much of a collector. That (seemingly) fanatical drive to seek out and amass Barbies, stamps, ornaments, etc., is beyond me. Plus, I can be a tad fanatical about throwing things out and de-cluttering, so collecting does not appear to be in my nature.
Or so I thought.
Lately, I have realized that I do have one specific penchant for collecting. My loot, the thing that I seek: amazing experiences. I collect memories.
This realization helps me relate to other collectors. I understand that there is comfort in surrounding yourself with things that have meaning for you, whatever those “things” might be. Read more
While browsing through a quaint bookshop last week, drawing my hand across stacked paperbacks on a table, I touched down on Hadley Freeman’s Life Moves Pretty Fast: The Lessons We Learned From Eighties Movies (And Why We Don’t Learn Them Anymore). I picked it up for a perfunctory flip-through and knew instantly it would be coming home with me.
If you, like me, were a movie-loving teen in the eighties you were lucky! Many now classic films were released, many of them with teenagers as the lead characters. This is when my love affair with the cinema blossomed and I came to know the power of film to connect us, enlighten us and make us feel less alone in the World.
In Life Moves Pretty Fast, journalist Hadley Freeman uses interviews and commentary by writers, directors and actors along with her own personal insights to explore the lessons of these films. She discusses them with reverie, she is a BIG fan, but she also puts them in a social and cultural context that absolutely lit me up. Several times I had to slap the book down and say to myself: I never thought about it like that!
For example, the first chapter is about Dirty Dancing. I’ve seen this movie dozens of times and consider its main characters Baby (Jennifer Grey) and Johnny (Patrick Swayze) personal friends. But I never saw it as having a uniquely feminist point of view. Here Freeman quotes screenwriter Eleanor Bergstein:
“…I wanted to make a movie about what it is like, as a young woman, moving into the physical World, which means the sexual World,” says Bergstein. “So you get those shots of Jennifer looking up with her big eyes and then about a hundred shots of Patrick. I remember when we were in the editing suite and people were saying, ‘Why do you have all these shots of Patrick?’ I’d say, ‘It’s because that’s what she sees.’ The film is through the female gaze and most movies are not.” Read more
Lisa Olson is the creator of 8 Days Workshops, which are a lovely blend of creative writing, personal retreat, soul searching and connecting with similar souls. All done via email and Facebook so they are accessible for everyone. She also happens to be one of my closest friends. Here she shares about a delightful new tradition we’ve started. Plus, a writing prompt!
Several months ago my dear friend Luisa and I decided to plan a monthly Fun Friday. What is a Fun Friday you ask? Once a month, usually on a Friday (sometimes on a Wednesday if we can’t get together on a Friday; but those are called Wonderful Wednesdays), we adventure to a place we normally would not go. A place that inspires our senses. We’ve visited museums, art galleries, toured gardens and more. We top it off with a delicious lunch.
This month we visited Cricket Hill Garden in Thomaston, CT.
Neither of us are gardeners, (though I’ve often dreamed of being one), so that was not why we went. We went because a friend of Luisa’s recommended it, the weather was beautiful, and being out in nature is a surefire way to get inspired.
Should you find yourself stuck with a pen hovering over your notebook or your fingers perched over your keyboard, unsure of what to write, may I suggest trying one of the following prompts:
What is your favorite flower? Why? What memories does it conjure up for you?
What does being out in nature do for you? Do you love it? Hate it? Why?
I’ll be blogging about past and future Fun Fridays & Wonderful Wednesdays on 8daysworkshop.com.
Check out Lisa’s next 8 Days Workshop which starts June 20th and is hosted right here on luisatanno.com!
Pen to Paper: An 8 Days Creative Writing Workshop