Issue #139 – The Discomfort Zone
Things might look good where other people sit. We run into friends who read this newsletter, see us on Oz, belong to our Fb groups, and know about the Women’s Summit we’re planning for Fall. “Y’all are killing it!” And yet … it feels like we are dog-paddling the high seas in search of solid footing. We are stretched thin, trying to keep calm and carry on. It’s like the line in Brandi Carlile’s ballad The Story, “All of my friends who think that I’m blessed. They don’t know my head is a mess.” It’s also very true we have much to be grateful for. But, woven into the wins are profound losses. Today (and always) we mourn the passing of John Hudson, beloved father to Amy Hudson Parker The What Chief Executive. Amy’s dad was a beautiful, kind, and gentle man, an angel in this life and the next.
Take a moment to reach out to the people you love. In the end, it’s all that really matters.
The What List
July 25, 2018
by Gina Pell + Amy Parker
100% Editorial picks. No pay for play. Ever.
The Dark. There are no guarantees in life but pain and loss are pretty much a given. We recently came across an article in Psychology Today called From Loss To Love that explores the sweet side of loss that comes from opening yourself up to pain and joy.
The Light. If you’re looking for a lighthearted flick to watch with your squad, try Amy Schumer’s I Feel Pretty. It’s silly business but also a serious reminder that radiant confidence comes from the way we view ourselves. Rolling Stones calls it “quietly revolutionary.” And speaking of positive perspectives, Key & Peele are back with Psycho Clown, a comedy bit about making the best out of a horrific situation.
The Art. If you love Beethoven, or classical music, here’s a gift of the complete sonatas played by world-renowned pianist Andras Schiff. It’s a highly original series that combines lecture with recital and teaches you how to really listen. H/T to Ava Roy from We Players, another creative genius who is directing Caeser Maximus, an adaptation of Shakespeare’s Julius Caeser, at the Music Concourse August through September. Tickets here.
The Life. Two memoirs of note: Hourglass: Time, Memory, Marriage by Dani Shapiro, poignant and poetic self-reflections of a long marriage and creative career. And then there’s Love And Trouble: A Midlife Reckoning, Claire Dederer’s raw, gritty take on being a less than perfect woman, daughter, and wife.
The Trip. Our friends at Oliver Guide relaunched their website so you can search with ease whether you’re looking for a family trip to the Grand Canyon or a grownup getaway to Positano. You can also create your own travel guides to share with their community and your own friends.
SUMMER IN PROVENCE
Last month we shared a house with our friend Nellie, pictured here running joyously through fields of lavender. It was the first time we visited this beautiful part of the world, which is a little like Napa with a splash of 16th Century Tuscany blended lovingly into a gorgeous, heady perfume that captivates every sense. Even the air is an intoxicating mix of lavender, lemons, cinnamon, and honey. We arrived at dusk and picked up our rental car with much trepidation as the two-way roads looked narrow and the electronic highway toll booths were intimidating. We drove over an hour to the small, hillside village of Bonnieux. We took wrong turns, backroads, and confusing roundabouts but the drive at sunset was achingly beautiful so we couldn’t complain. Early the next morning we woke to the full splendor of our surroundings. I nudged my nine-year old daughter and said, “Come quickly to the window! It’s like we’re in a movie.” Jetlagged, she rubbed her eyes and shuffled out of bed over to the blue shutters. She peered out at the verdant valley below, a patchwork dotted with varying textures and shades of greens, purples, and yellows. “No mommy,” she said awe-struck, “it’s like being in a painting!”
This trip was a dream trip come true but if you don’t have the luxury of travel, you can always bring a little Provence into your life with the scent of lavender (continue reading here …)