Kimberly and Jane like to grab snapshots of women themed happenings and hang them on the Double-Mirror Wall where they can reverberate images of good stuff happening with women.  

Umbrellas in Our Hands and Over Our Heads

Once we had Christo, now we have Elizabeth Turk!  An article in the NYTimes celebrates Elizabeth Turk’s ingenious artistry spreading the joy of her moving art installation, “Project: Look Up” throughout the retirement community St. Antonio Gardens in Pomona, Ca. and, of course, to the rest of us.  Christo and Jeanne-Claude embedded blue and yellow sister umbrella installations in the countryside of Japan and California. Elizabeth asked elders to carry hers. We felt our delight from the opening aerial photo of the umbrellas held by residents from a drone shot high above the 31-acre community and then clicked on the kaleidoscopic art show created from video images as they walked and danced around the locations of the property.  First-hand reports tell us the elders loved participated, feeling invigorated as they followed Turk’s choreography. It didn’t hurt to have Louis Armstrong as a finale reinforcing what we already know, our elders with twirling umbrellas in hand – resilient to the end – make great living symbols of “What A Wonderful World It Is” as they create an uplifting reminder of appreciation in the midst of the worldwide pandemic.  We hope there’s an umbrella craze during which folks match their colorful masks with colorful umbrellas and set off a spiraling wind that sweeps past adversity to a new day.  Perhaps that’s what Zhang Yimou had in mind when he set umbrellas against swords in his film Shadow?  It was quite a sight watching a slight young woman with an umbrella outwit a great warrior with a flashing sword and even more inspiring to see a city reclaimed with an army of rolling umbrellas!  Next time we pick up an umbrella, we’ll give it a little twirl and remind ourselves we’re part of a movement for renewal, literally. 

Umbrella symbolizes the canopy of the heavens, shelter, and protection, a persistence of power and dignity through good and bad. An elder might have written the Ornuno Soffre lyrics from Turk’s video. They go like this —

When the day is long
And the night, the night is yours alone
When you’re sure you’ve had enough
Of this life, well hang on

(Michael Stipe, Bill Berry, Mike Mills, Peter Buck, R.E.M.)

In a great profile in the New York Times, Megan Thee Stallion discusses her foray into alter egos as a form of personal expression. We love that she’s comfortable showing us all sides of herself: sexy, sweet, fierce, intelligent. Megan actively talks about shifting from one persona (avatar) to another. The idea of a public persona is not new, of course, but we’re seeing more girls (and guys too) playing with multiple ways of publicly expressing themselves and we believe they’re on the way to a genuine feeling of unification that feels grounded organically in one/self.

We love Stacey Abrams AND her Alter Ego

Jane and Kimberly laughed out loud when they discovered Stacey Abrams was also Selena Montgomery, romantic spy novelist. Of course, fierce fighter by day, tumbler of passion by night. She knew the pleasures of entering the realms of fiction where no dragon was too terrifying, no knight too elusive. Perhaps writing fiction, like Circe’s healing herbs and second sight, provides counsel and keeps her safe?  

What we know about Stacey Abrams – besides her run for governor and spectacular ability to get out the vote in Georgia – is that she’s doing what every woman we’ve known since we were young has wanted to do. She’s changing the world. She’s making the world a place we – we women – would like to live in. She hasn’t shied away from the tough issues; she’s made beauty a thing of feeling; she’s left a sense of wonder whenever she leaves a room, a little like the Lone Ranger. And now, perhaps, we’ve learned her secret. She has one foot firmly planted in the world of make-believe; she writes romantic spy novels!  Seven of them, one even before she left Yale law school. One coming out soon. All grounded political scheming in the personal – relationship, love, and longing.  In novels, an author can explore a world unfettered by the limitations of every day. Abrams’ fictional people, especially her fictional women who are spying, following clues to uncover dastardly intrigues, falling in love, and solving mysteries could easily be seen as part of her desire to seduce real people into feeling the appeal of seeking justice in real life.  But we’d like to think that Stacey Abrams is shoring up her very difficult encounters in real life with regular forays into challenges from her own imagination.  She has a firm grip on her imagination that inspires us to make it part of our life, believe in the ephemeral aspects of our psyches such as intuition and instinct as substantial assets. Belief in oneself begins with imagining yourself into the story you want to tell with your life. Girls, girls of all kinds, are growing up into the attractive, adventurous, lovable, loving women they’re sure they’re destined to be.  Just great to have Stacey Abrams pushing the limits on how large is large enough for women to feel they’re living their myth.  

New Tricks: British TV Crime Series

“It’s all right, It’s okay, It’s all right to be old and gray…” is the theme song for New Tricks, a clever, engaging and extremely well written detective series with three old guys and a dame working magic on unresolved police cases for Scotland Yard. The three men – Jerry, Jack and Brian – are retired ex-coppers, all with special skills that, when blended together are as fascinating as the cases they take on for UROS, a special unit  headed up by a bright, no-nonsense, take charge woman boss – Sandra Pullman – who has an uncanny ability to manage men and police business.  It’s rare to find a TV show that features elders who are tapped for the expertise they’ve accumulated, not their ability to be as attractive as young people. There is one young man – Izzy – who’s part of the squad; he’s black and computer smart but still earning his place, not out shining his elders with his tech agility. The show thrives on intuition, personal warmth and the meaning of the past, sometimes bringing relief, sometimes angst to people’s lives. You never quite know what finding a 20 year old corpse dug up in building improvements, 600 year old bones found by a dog on a walk or a fresh DNA discovery of a wrongly convicted murderer will bring to light – an affair long set aside, an identity long hidden or a skin color that just doesn’t match the evidence.  New Tricks is a play on words – old dogs using new tricks of criminology to solve old mysteries and using more than a a few of their old tricks to out wit new ones younger folks try to pull.  It’s a fun show with incredible writing that leaves you with more than a crime solved at the end.  “It’s all right, it’s okay, it’s all right, you’ve still got plenty to say.”