THANK YOU, all you wonderful visitors of our a little crazy (in a good way) cozy cottage by the sea! If all visitors were as sweet as you, I'd have them any day. :)
I have quite a few outfits to share with you. I'll do it one by one this time. Not every post should be overloaded with pictures, right? So here is the first one for you. But before we go any further, I just want to share this Marlen's look which stole my heart (as she often does). Isn't she adorable? Just say yes!
This year, Justin and I (and Anna when she can join us) are working on getting to know as many little local theater groups as we can. I am a huge fan of small businesses and enthusiastic groups. I am not very much for big corporations. I know that some of them also start as small cozy and soulful places where people really love and care about what they do. But more often than not, as they start growing, they loose their heart somewhere between green banknotes. And quite honestly, there is nothing sadder than that. It happens to all sorts of businesses, not just stores. It happens to cultural and educational organizations, including theaters as well. You probably all visited a big famous show at least a couple of times. You know that it can be extremely well done, with lots of impressive stage effects, amazing sound and light quality, wonderful signing voices and acting talents, and yet it can leave you with a somewhat plastic-y feeling after all. It does not have to, but it just happens way too often that it does.
And I understand of course that yes, everybody wants to succeed at what they do. But you simply cannot replace a true inspiration (comes from the word "spirit"), deep feelings you have for life that you feel urgent to share with the world, with just professionalism and just funding. Spirit should come first - always, in any situation. When you feel touched by something, when whatever you read or look at leaves your heart feeling warmer, kinder and more alive - that is always spirit, soul that touches another soul. When you find yourself oohing and awing over the special effects or "high quality", it is most certainly very well marketed professional skills and funding. I am not against them - they are all good things too. But they are secondary compared to the genius of a soul. We see reminders of the admiration of the professionalism and marketing and all this worldly success all the time, practically every minute we spend in the outer world. And very very little not only praising, but recognition of the soul, spirit, true inner genius which creates what we all crave the most - true beauty.
For that genius to come out (which is, I believe, inside of all of us, we just aren't used to thinking this way), we don't need many years of fancy education, though a dedicated time spent on education or self-education in the field we are passionate about, is always beneficial. For that genius to get out, we don't need a huge pile of money or the approval of any kind of "authority" like a big production company or publishing house. For that genius which is hidden inside of us, we only need one thing - to look inside of ourselves, without looking around or looking back or looking up to someone or something. Only one good long honest look inside of ourselves. What is it that thing I am dying to do, maybe for a few years, or maybe for my whole life? What is that thing that brings a fire out of me - a good kind of fire, not the one that burns all around, but the one that creates a true beauty, that touches, that gives me and maybe someone else a hope, a source of light, tears up eyes a little, all in a good way, gives me this longing to live, to love, to create, to just feel all the wonderfulness that is inside of me?
Maybe it is singing, or dancing, or acting, or making costumes - then maybe I get all my courage and join one of the many little local theater groups where people just like me, probably without fancy education and a great set of skills, living a life very similar to what my life is, get together and create something beautiful and share it with the world, maybe only a small part of the world, like a few dozens or a couple of hundred people in my community, but those people will be deeply touched by all the effort and all the dedication, and all the talent and all the heart I and other people just like me put into our little production, without big funding, without expecting to become rich and famous, just because of love of what we do and for the love we feel inside.
Or maybe it's writing that I am dying to do. And even though it would bring so much joy and pride to see my name printed on a hard cover book, taking its place somewhere between Jane Austin and Leo Tolstoy, I don't know just yet how to get there and maybe I never will know. But I can write a short story or a little post in my blog, and I can write about all that matters to me, and express that great feeling of beauty that I see in the world, and my heart will sing, and maybe someone else's heart will be touched too, and in the large scale of things, it really is all that matters, because it is genuine.
This was my The Sound Of Music matinee outfit which was wonderfully performed by a young local theater group Auburn Community Players (since 2010), featuring both professional and semi-professional adult actors and amazingly talented children. I think I cried on every second song, and I was not the only one in the audience who did. I encourage you to check out your local community theaters, there is a good chance that you will be amazed at how much heart they put into their productions. I am also very deeply touched by the community support, real support, gratitude and praise they give to their local talents. Flowers and standing ovations are not something you see even in big popular theaters these days.
All the clothes are remixed from my closet.
Blazer - Lane Bryant
Skirt - Christopher and Banks
Silk blouse - thrift shop
Shoes - Dansko
Purse - via TJ MAXX
Crystal earrings from Russia