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  • Wayfinder's Quest Post #86: Post-apocalypse homecoming

    Flooding, overcrowding and lack of good options for lipstick on Pearl Street: Still the world's best hometown.

    Wayfinding: an experiment in magic. We do it together!

    Coincidences (aka signs of Forming)

    Many similar small coincidences this week, including more poets Chief among them: David Whyte. I went with the signs and got his book Pilgrim. Not properly into it yet, but 200 friends can't be wrong. Plan to investigate this thoroughly.

    Also, as can still happen in Boulder, although the place is so very much more populous, I spontaneously met someone I'd been at Boulder High with. We hadn't known each other there, because I ran with the stoners and she with the in crowd. But it was a lovely connection, and gave me one of those periodic comforting shots of "see how much high school don't matter?". 

    Fabulous. May everyone who suffered in high school experience the same - or better.

    Updates on past experiments

    More in-person meetings with clients this week. Though they're not exactly clients anymore. You can't predict when clients will become friends, and it's hard to say where the line is. I really do love almost all my clients. Love them wildly, in fact. But sometimes I can look back and see how we've actually become friendly, and it makes life even richer. 

    And then you meet for breakfast and it's like you've always done that. 

    Also, while in Boulder I visited my favorite shop, Max (no relation). The staff there are very, oh how shall I say, encouraging, and I had a wobbly moment when I tried on a Suno blouse and couldn't get a good fit until I went down to size 0. 

    I almost bought that shirt while under the spell of the number on the tag, because while I know I'm not a real size 0, I used to be a size 18. (It probably goes without saying that the "0" there reflects some kind of industry size deflation. Like grade inflation, only the opposite. As my ex-husband would say, That's how they getcha.) 

    So it is no small thrill for me, clothes shopping. I have bought more than one sub-useful item because of the endorphin rush of seeing size "4" on a tag. (To say nothing of the name "Suno" on the tag.) But as I rotated for the mirror, I realized there was something nurse-y, something scrubbs-y about that shirt. And I felt it in my gut. Even while wobbly. Even while the staff was kinda egging me on. Even on my way to my mother's (who, rather conveniently, lives two blocks from Max).

    Victory!

    Oh, and speaking of Boulder, my family all stayed dry, which, thank you, Jesus. But we went on some flood-inspection walks, and holy crow: it's hard to take in. The city Open Space and Mountain Parks department is estimating $250 million in damage. That's just parks.

    I did expect a rather apocalyptic scene, but what I found was a lot of activity. A lot of new signage ("DO NOT TAKE SHELTER HERE.") Mud has been formed into mountains. Lots of yellow tape and heavy equipment. The mall is a small example of the work being done:

    They had reopened Mt. Sanitas, except for the valley trail, so I took a hike up there. Lots of rubble. Much more scrambling than you would normally do. The way down made for some adrenaline spikes. And then I saw the valley trail, which was clear, except for a single river of boulders, like the one that made its way down Boulder Canyon (minus the cars that were swept into town along with the giant rocks there).

    It is a miracle that so few people lost their lives. 

    Anyway, I came down the Dakota Ridge trail to what used to be the top of Hawthorn, where it meets the so-called Goat Path:

    Gah. That was a street.

    Even so, I was overflowing with appreciation for being in a place where everyone has free access to hiking like this. A few blocks from the center of town. I always grumble about how big Boulder has gotten, how no one says Hi anymore in the street, and how all the little places I hung out are gone, but dear Heaven, if I lived there, I would be up on Mt. Sanitas every day

    So when I was talking last week about moving to Portland, Maine? That was before I went to Boulder.

    Imagining

    Now then. I have not had a leather jacket since 1983 or thereabouts. And I would really like one.

    Specifically, a nice long-sleeved Rick Owens jacket. (That shop Max gets them every season, and they're all brilliant. Really simple, really serious zippers, really big collars, really understated everything else.)

    It will not surprise you to hear that this is an item one must save one's pennies for. They cost several times what a Suno blouse does. 

    (And I tried them on for size. Rick Owens does not indulge his clientele by deflating their sizes, just FYI.)

    You may already have divined this: I love clothes. They thrill and delight me and I love to play with them. I love to get in my closet and try out new combinations of things. If you let me in your closet, I want to do the same. 

    I love to pull everything out of my closet and rearrange it according to different schemes. This is stimulating and soothing and delicious all at once. I love to get up in the morning with enough time to ask how I want to feel today, and put on the things that will encourage that feeling. And I love to make enough time at night to prime my imagination with a few possibilities, and set them out for the morning.

    I also love my closet. I just love it. When we bought the house we live in now, which is a hopelessly tall up-ended shoebox of a four-story place that is altogether 32% stairway, my husband fell in love with the view and the height and the openness and the light. I fell in love with the closet. Sometimes I'll just stand in there and wonder and smell the perfumes and squeeze the fabrics. 

    Sometimes I'll just hang out and read in my closet. It's really very tiny, but there's room enough to cross your legs. 

    Sometimes my husband will come upstairs and pop his head in the closet and say, I knew you would be in here. (He has his own closet, by the way. It's the saddest little closet ever, which I'm pretty sure he's never noticed.) 

    Remember how in The Talented Mr Ripley Jude Law shows off his new "icebox" to Matt Damon, and he's just crazy about it, and he hugs it, and he says to Matt Damon: I could fuck this icebox.

    That's a bit how I feel about my closet.

    So when I mentioned on Facebook the other day that I was fixing to do a little class called Into the Closet (for people that want to play dress-up and dress to un-repress, as Sarah Seidelmann says, and don't necessarily want to go shopping but want to go a little bit wild - or a whole lot wild), I offended some people. Mostly people that would never in a million years want to take such a class, no matter what it's called. But still. I don't want to offend.

    Because I only have love for closets, if what's in them is clothes and jewelry and perfume. So if that sounds fun to you, I'll be sending out details soon. Make sure you're on my list, eh?

    Your turn, darling

    If you're doing a similar wayfinding experiment and want to report results, or have a closet update to share, leave a comment below.

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