Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Split Milk: Ode to Fabulous, Creative Women

Thanks to Diana Whitney for including me in your article in the Brattleboro Reformer!

November 22nd, 2011 by Diana Whitney as published in the Brattleboro Reformer

Desha in action, photo by Diana W.
This one goes out to all the amazing women in my life who inspire me EVERY DAY with their creativity and passion. Desha Peacock in action Just Saturday night I went out to a gala Fashion Show– WILD NIGHT ON THE CATWALK– where my friend Desha Peacock hosted the Red Carpet scene. Desha is a blogger and has her own TV show and there she was, all decked out in designer sequins, interviewing models and guests in her enchanting Southern accent, looking like she could be on E! or something. Except Desha is one-of-a-kind, not a plastic Hollywood-clone– she’s funny and warm and drop-dead gorgeous to boot, an authentic, artistic, tres-chic Vermont-transplant. (Plus she’s the loving mom of an adorable 5-year-old who plays with my girls!) All dolled up and (finally) someplace to go!

Diana Whitney ready to go WILD!
Yes, on Saturday I actually WENT OUT with a group of women friends and felt alive surrounded by their fun energy and sheer good looks. (Everyone looked HOT that night, clad in tight frocks and freed from the usual drab VT uniform of jeans, wool, and clogs.) These women are strong and smart, they have both children and jobs. They give to their families, clients, patients, customers, and/or students every day. They also somehow, despite the demands on them, despite being tired or down or sick or lonely sometimes, find creative outlets in their lives. (read more...)
H. is a talented landscape gardener who creates beautiful spaces with flowers and shrubs (she also knits one-of-a-kind children’s clothing).  L. gardens with passion and drive and opens her generous heart and warm home to share with friends and family from all over the country. O. makes handmade quilts and sews dresses for her daughter and paints oil and watercolor landscapes in a makeshift home studio. D. has started her own grassroots volunteer organization that provides support to women with new babies.  A. is a genius with food and cooks gourmet meals for her friends– both intimate birthday dinners or rockin’ big house parties.  P. weaves fabric and scarves on her own loom and still, sometimes, writes a poem or two. The list goes on…

These are only a very few of the talented, inspiring women I know. None of them are getting awards, accolades, fame or fortune for their efforts (at least not yet)– but that’s not the point.  The point is simply to create, to express yourself, to be in that flow state of doing what you love (even if it’s an hour, every week or month).  If I could I would pay homage to each and every woman who is LIVING WELL– not perfectly, of course, not like some celebrity, happy-family, get-rich story in People magazine, but as best as she can, often stumbling, sometimes dancing, one day at a time.

I must also give a big shout-out to my more renowned artist friends– Tiffany Hilton, an amazing potter who runs her own business.  Her smooth, robin’s egg blue hand-thrown mugs are my favorite for drinking hot chai.  And Evie Lovett, a world traveler whose latest photography exhibit (backstage with drag queens) opens minds and moves hearts.  And Suzanne Kingsbury, a brilliant novelist and editor who inspires other writers (like me) to express themselves through words and take joy in the creative process.

Photo by Julia Sabot of Diana Whitney & her child
Then there’s my incisive mentor and kind friend, Robin Westen, stellar writer and spiritual yogi and overall wise-woman. And of course, my one and only sister, Julia Sabot, photographer extraordinaire who bravely picked up and moved across the country to take a new job as an associate photo editor at a fabulous design magazine.

So often, we women are damn hard on ourselves.  Self-laceration is our default mode.  We feel we need to be all things to all people, as Elizabeth Gilbert smartly observes in a recent article about failure.  We expect daily greatness in our work, our relationships, our parenting, our homemaking, even our yoga practice!  And then we condemn ourselves for not having airbrushed, perfectly-toned bodies on top of all we do.

Well, I don’t want perfection in my friends and sisters. Perfection is boring, cold, inaccessible.  (“Perfection is terrible/ It cannot have children,” wrote Sylvia Plath in a poem).

I want my friends to be the imperfect, unique individuals they are. When I see them, I see big smiles and warm arms, not the few wrinkles (endearing) or the little muffin-top (sexy) they might occasionally worry about.

THANK YOU, Fabulous Women, for being you.  Thanks for helping take care of my kids, lifting me up when I’m down, listening to my worries, and encouraging me in all my endeavors.

So now I want to know:  Who are the women who inspire you?  How do your friends give you support?

About Diana
Diana Whitney is a freelance writer, yoga teacher and mother of two in Brattleboro, Vermont.  In February 2009, Diana emerged from The Baby Cave and started writing Spilt Milk, a bi-monthly parenting column in The Brattleboro Reformer and The Rutland Herald.  She’s now a commentator for Vermont Public Radio and a lovely friend.


1 comment:

  1. I love your Blog site. I see there is fashion hope for me too, thanks to you....


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