Friday, January 28, 2011

Measure for Measure

T.S. Eliot writes of measuring out life in "coffee spoons", which would be quite appropriate for me, I suppose. But then this stack of magazines came in yesterday. I couldnt believe this tower of books; pages upon pages of art I've handled, words I've edited, each page read by myself at least five times. I realized my life can be measured out by stacks of books. I have a huge collection at my home and in my father's home, and every month it seems like I am contributing to making more and more of these stacks with my writing, my name inside of them. These are the things I will leave behind.
The stack of magazines will be going with me to CHA this weekend. Hope I see you there : )
The stack of books above are gifts I received for Christmas. I think a book is always a beautiful gift, like flowers. These gifts prove that the people who gave them to me know me so well. I want to thank one of my best friends in the world, Michelle, for giving me The Gospel According to Coco Chanel (which I have been eyeing for a long time). And I want to thank Hector for giving me the collected poems of Pablo Neruda and Frederico Garcia Lorca.
Sometimes I worry about what I will leave behind in this world - a pile of dust, a full closet, drawers of jewelry. I have been measuring myself against men like Eliot, Neruda, and Lorca who leave behind volumes and literary prizes. I have been measuring myself against women like Chanel, who left behind a legacy and a fashion house. But I'm slowly beginning to realize that it does no good to measure oneself against others.
I read some of Neruda's work the other night for the first time since college. I don't know why, but I felt like I needed a poem. I hope that someday my words are read by the person who needs to hear them most; that the stacks of books and magazines I leave behind don't collect dust, but instead can be gifted to someone so that they might mean something. I hope that when all is said and done that I am of good measure.
Hope your weekend is full of good reading.


  1. Although you are much to young to be pondering such thoughts, i can tell you one thing that you will leave behind; a string of artists who very shyly submitted work, the whole time thinking, am i good enough? With your passion, you fashion (didn't mean to rhyme) it into a most amazing product which we can proudly say we're a part of. You validate us and you nourish us. And it's only been what, 26 years? Imagine what you'll be leaving behind the next 50+ years!!! Yes, i tink you'll measure up :)

  2. Ohhhhh I just adore each and every one
    of those wonderful magazines !!
    I want to go to CHA soooo bad !!
    Have fun !


  3. That you even ponder such a thing means you have left bigger footprint than you know. Thank you for the encouragement you so generously share.

  4. I couldn't agree more with Julie and Rolanda...
    Thank you Beth.
    Just catching up on your blog.-'s today.


  5. You'll leave behind words and images and your name!! And loads of people who love you.

    Anyway...I want to tell you that having seen the Coco book right here on your blog, I got it and am reading it. I love it, even though I shudder at all the French accents used incorrectly and a few typos. Still, I don't let that get in the way of my enjoyment.

    Colette xoxo