Finding Beauty in a Broken World

Everyone living on earth is beautiful.

Finding beauty in a broken world can be a tonic for the hard time you’re going through.

Smearing on a new shade of lipstick won’t bring about world peace.

Yet I find myself wearing lipstick on Zoom meetings. This makes all the difference in how I feel.

Now that 3 bags of clothes are gone (I can see my bedroom rug again!) I feel like my load has been lightened.

Fashion is where you find it. I take inspiration from books.

My latest haul from a trip to Barnes & Noble were two books: Anatomy
of Style
and How To Not Wear Black.

The first book features famous models and actresses and talks about their
style preferences. With photos of the women in their standard outfits.

My favorite models featured were Kate Moss and Liya Kebede.

I find this book to be like taffy: sweet candy yet hard to chew. Your
confidence could nosedive seeing the photos of these attractive women.

Too for inspiration I recommend the first book by Scott Schuman The
Sartorialist
. In the book he features photos taken on the street of often
ordinary people dressed in distinctive digs.

This book was published circa 12 years ago. It stands up to the test of time.

I own easily over 15 clothes and style and makeup books. You need to have a
hobby to cheer you up when your city has gone into lockdown. Reading the books gives me joy.

Being able to find beauty in this broken world is nothing to be ashamed of.

Everyone living on earth is beautiful.

Define beauty.

I’m happiest wearing my world indigo hoodie black trainer pants and sneakers
to make a run to the deli.

“You look adorable” the woman behind the counter tells me.

I’ll take adorable over sexy.

I’ll take blogging to the beat of a different drum.

We can’t all have Liya Kebede’s cheekbones.

Yet we can take inspiration from how she dresses and from her humanitarian business ethic.

National Clean Out Your Closet Week

The third week in March is National Clean Out Your Closet Week.

Every year I write about this theme in the blog. The Salvation Army truck driver took off my hands 3 bursting donation bags full of belts, clothes, and pocketbooks.

It is strange to be in the position of having size 2 Petite summer pants become so loose that they no longer fit.

When other size 2 Petite pants are so tight not even a snake could fit into them.

Oh–the perils of the sizing system in the U.S.

That’s why a lot of American women run out of a department store dressing room in tears.

It’s not unusual to have pants and jeans of four different sizes in your wadrobe.

2, 4, 6, 8–no one appreciates the guessing game as to which item will fit when you order online and the box arrives at your door.

On the other hand it is not odd to suddenly fall out of love with the clothes you used to wear.

Goodbye, khakis. Hello, black jeans.

To stay young at heart you should refresh your wardrobe every so often.

The older I get the more obsessed with clothes and dressing up that I’ve gotten.

As a Generation X girl I don’t want to fade into the woodwork.

Millennials can have their avocado toast as they’re so famously accused of coveting.

I’ll take a good coat and boots in this NYC chill that doesn’t warm up until early June.

Fashion is where you find it–and you can find joy in the clothes hanging in your closet.

Donate the items that no longer suit you. Get rid of the pants that no longer fit. Say farewell to the colors that make you look ill.

The spring is here in one week. Having hope is called for.

Editing the contents of our closets can spark joy.

Who wants to spend the morning agonizing because your closet is bursting with items you don’t wear?

Keep the items you love.

Call the Salvation Army truck to take away good-condition clothes that could bring joy to a person in need.

This is a win-win.

Girl on the Left

In this blog I aim to write with punch and passion about the things I adore.

My aim is true: to use this blog to spark joy in followers’ lives. To bring people together. To give unusual insight into what’s going on.

Years ago a guy saw me holding a copy of Left of the Dial and asked if the title referred to politics.

“No. It refers to culture. I played alternative music on the radio that was dubbed Left of the Dial.”

My intent in using the Girl on the Left URL was to get at the theme of living your life left of the dial.

I don’t like that the word Left has been conflated with the Liberal political party.

My goal was to reclaim the word Left in the true sense of being progressive.

Two of the definitions of progressive on the Merriam-Webster online dictionary are:

1a: of, relating to, or characterized by progress.

b: making use of or interested in new ideas, findings, or opportunities.

As an Artist I’ve always been in the vanguard in writing and talking about things that are five years ahead of the times.

My motto is:

Individuality is what makes a person beautiful.

The Power of Identity

A review of this book showed up on another blog this week.

I take inspiration from people with their own identities.

Thinking about this more it’s why I decided not to list (she/her) as my preferred personal pronouns after my name in my work email.

I would rather list Christina Bruni (Chris/Christina) which I’m considering doing.

The focus on gender as a defining factor in who a person is is what I don’t like.

Of course this is where the term non-binary comes into play.

Yet even with that can’t a person choose to identify in another way?

Why can’t a person write in their email Jane Doe (Artist/Activist)?

The point is that I’m impressed with anyone who has the courage or confidence or chutzpah to choose their identity.

Rather than conforming to a traditional role that they’re told is the only acceptable one.

I think it’s time to focus on the passion and personality that each of us brings to the table breaking bread together.

A quote from the Queer Advantage book that should be required reading:

“I genuinely believe that life only works, and success only works, if you’re being authentically yourself…. [The] only way to achieve success is by sticking to what is authentically true to you.” 

Adam Eli, Activist

On Having Silver Hair

Not only is my hair turning gray it’s gotten dry. I’m treating myself to a haircut at a better hair salon in March.

Since I feel my current hairdresser screwed up my last haircut. It seems like my hair color has changed overnight.

My hair might turn totally gray within the next 2 years. Keeping my hair its natural color is my way of making a political statement.

Why would a woman be happy to have gray hair? This hair to me is the dawn of freedom from traditional feminine conformity.

From the rule that says you must remain thin attractive and young for the rest of your life or you’re toast in other people’s eyes.

I confess to staring in my bathroom mirror and eyeing the silver hair that is taking over my head. I’m grateful that my hair is turning silver not dishwater gray.

Dare I say I’m excited to be getting silver hair?

This heralds a new chapter in my life–I’m glad to be turning the pages away from history and writing new scenes.

This is why I’m happy to have silver hair.

When I get a haircut at the new hair salon I’ll post a photo of my shining head of hair.

p.s. – I’m too broke to get the upkeep of a dye job : )

TJ Maxx Jewelry Maxim

I bought this necklace easily over 7 years ago in TJ Maxx.

My mother has told me: “Racism is terrible.” I too have a strong aversion to hate.

As an Author and Advocate I seek to promote healing and recovery. I believe that a person can recover from whatever obstacle they face.

They could be a victim of a microaggression or actual racism. They could have an illness mental or physical. They could have been born on the wrong side of the tracks. They could be not the brightest bulb in the lamp.

Whatever challenge a person faces–whatever obstacle either internal or external stands in their way–I believe a person can rise up and change their life for the better.

The way to fight stigma of any kind is to dare to act true to yourself. To show up as [insert your name here] in every interaction you have with another person.

My M.O. is to show others by acting true to myself that you have the right to be who you are without being hated or judged for who you are.

I ask you:

Why can’t a person decide to love others in the face of being told not to?

Why can’t we refrain from hating and judging people we haven’t met?

My intent is for this blog to be a respite from the real world.

To be a place where followers can take joy in what I write.

Where what I write contributes to making life on earth better.

I’ve decided to take this blog in a more positive direction.

Choosing carefully what I write to send a message of hope and optimism.

Though the year has just begun I believe each of us can overcome whatever struggle we might be facing.

You do you. And I will do who I am. Together we can change the world.

Dreaming and Wanting

Dreaming of making something happen and wanting to do this is a healthy way to grow as a person. Acting to get this goal is the difference. Not saying: “Maybe someday I’ll______________.”

Do it today. I abide by this quote magnet. Leaping without a net can seem like a precarious act that will end in doom. Only I’m going to take the biggest leap of my life this winter.

You haven’t truly lived until you dare do something that terrifies you in the pursuit of achieving your wildest dream.

My go-go goal is out of this world. It might not come true. I will report back on what happened after I take this leap.

I say: wear lipstick under your mask. Dress up even though you’re staying inside. Talk to your true-blue friends on the telephone.

The vaccine is coming soon for more Americans to receive. It’s not the end of wearing a mask to get vaccinated. It’s the start of progress towards the eradication of the coronavirus.

In time life will return to normal. I hold out that this life can be better for all of us. It’s time to be grateful for what we have. And for everyone to have the courage to Leap every chance we get.

Stay tuned. I hope to have beautiful news in the coming weeks.

Feck Perfuction

James Victore the author of this book is a designer who failed at one art school and was kicked out of another.

His work hung in the Museum of Modern Art. He taught at the School of Visual Arts for 20 years.

He bought an apartment in SoHo and a house in the country.

The morale of this story is for everyone–artists and non-artists alike.

James Victore gives readers permission to be weird.

Reading Feck Perfuction gave me a shot in the arm of confidence to dare to be my unusual self.

I recommend you read this short book too.

The morale is in the moral of this story: there’s no one right way to live.

There’s no right time to do something.

The only way to live is to be yourself. The only time to do something is now.

Feck Perfuction is an unlikely font of self-help.

You might be able to check it out of a library like I did.

My thoughts got jangled like a mad wind chime after I read this book.

What Victore has to say is unsettling because he’s throwing down a dare.

Go on–be your glorious Self. There is no one else you have to be.

No Makeup

No makeup has become a thing for me.

Under the mask I’ve stopped wearing foundation.

Not only that I and others don’t want to hear stories that elected leaders Makeup about what’s going on in society.

Nor do I at least want to be told what to think.

On the cusp of 56 I’ve come to realize that only I can decide what’s right for me.

What I’ve learned:

Love and freedom go hand-in-hand. You can’t have one without the other. Liking yourself without limits is the first step to becoming free.

This birthday year I gave myself permission to be an Artist.

I’m compelled to write in here again about the beauty of individuality.

Wearing No Makeup involves letting the real you show through. Even when you are wearing makeup.

Living an authentic life makes sense to me right now.

The world doesn’t need you and me to be copycats imitating what everyone else does and how they dress and live.

In the coming blog entry I’ll talk about the number-one self-help book I’ve ever read.

It’s a book of help for your Self when you live for likes and are afraid to take a stand.

Are you like me tired of the lies and misinformation being spread like wildfire?

No Makeup. It’s something to think about: telling the truth by being yourself.

New Year’s Eve Fortune Cookie

I cracked open this message inside a fortune cookie on New Year’s Eve:

2021 is here.

I firmly believe that change for the better can happen this year.

God didn’t create life on this glorious green earth for human beings to hate each other.

We cannot go back to the way things were in 2020.

Everyone living on earth is beautiful.

Open your eyes I would tell those who cannot see this beauty.

To quote a Nordstrom print advertisement:

An Open Mind is the Best Look.