swimming.

February 12, 2010

i started fortydeluxe for women. specifically, a group of women i asked some time ago to be part of a book project i am working on about women in their forties. i envisioned a place where we would all check in, share anecdotes, find inspiration, or empathy, bemoan our changing bodies and parental lifestyles. a place where women could come to see we are all in a similar boat – one that is perhaps a different shape, bigger or smaller, lavish or simple, but a boat all the same. floating on a shared sea, hitting rough waves, soothed by the occasional glassy calm, encircled and rocked by a similar set of currents. dare i say it? …a life boat.

so i had this picture. and then life got nutty and my business began to fall apart and i was scrambling to get work and i launched the blog with a small little posting to say I Am Here and Come Visit Me and then i wrote again, and again once more, and then some more on top of that, and suddenly it was just mine, this blog, and people – a few of them – visited, and asked for more, and left sweet love notes occasionally. warm, kind, lovely love notes.

as all these things are taking place, these life things, thoughts of the book float through my mind. this book that i love and believe in and have had on the back burner for what feels like so long because my life as a parent and worker bee is just so busy and full and time is this amazingly precious commodity that i miss and long for and realize i’ll have to somehow find more of to get done what i so desire to get done. wow. run-on sentence, long exhale.

january arrives and brings a week or two or three where rain storms and flooding and mud slides and tornado warnings are hitting california hard. i leave work early on a tuesday to pick up maya from school so i can pick up wonderful estranged husband from work so we can all drive together to orange county for an appointment with a pediatric eye specialist. i am one minute from having left the office and my car is being blown to the right and the rain is coming down in huge sheets and there is so much water on the street that cars, the non-SUV cars, are sitting in it up to the windows. it takes me forty five minutes of driving through this crazy ocean (yep! there’s that metaphor again) to make it to maya’s school two miles away. i’m on the phone with ricky, in moments i feel really scared, and there is no way i can get to maya and rick on time and no way we are getting on a freeway.

i find a parking spot, cancel the appointment, and duck in to a coffee bar that i love, to dry off, catch my breath and get warm. the cafe is strangely empty, there is water running down a few of the walls, and in this amazing moment, i am face to face with a woman i don’t really know, but who knows me, and who doesn’t want me anywhere around her life and her love, but there we are. she is so pretty and smells like freshly-washed hair and i am looking in her face and all i want to do is hug her, this woman who feels such animosity toward me. so i do. i hug her. a breath of time passes, and then she wraps her arms around my waist and hugs me back. she hugs me back. we talk, watch the rain, i have to hug her a few more times, and she lets me.

i am washed over by this feeling of utter joy and gratitude for who women are. i’ve said it before but seriously, can i shout it from the rooftops for just a moment, this saturating, awe-filled, inspiring place of being surrounded by the most amazing of creatures? in one breath i can name twenty women who drop me to my knees as i have the privilege of witnessing their beauty, brilliance, empathy and deepest soulfulness. their journey, singularly and collectively. and i get to be here with them, on this shared path where we cook, and create, and listen, and wipe away tears from our little one’s faces and the faces of our closest friends. where we love our men, our women, our families. we hold each other as we welcome new lives to this world, and we wrap our fingers around the thin wrists of those who are leaving us. we share wine with our neighbors, go-go dance in the living room with our kids, look in to each other’s eyes over the tops of coffee cups, and use our hands to soothe, comfort, excite, and express. we love. women love. and we love well.

you know what this means. i have a book to put together. for somewhere, these women, with their beautiful, aging faces, their time-shaped gestures, their clear eyes and clearer hearts, their gorgeous bodies and brilliant minds, need a place to celebrate and be celebrated. i think i’m just the girl for the job. say hello again to fortydeluxe, the blog. book coming soon? i’ll do my best.

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10 Responses to “swimming.”

  1. patti lautner Says:

    I love that you hugged the woman who was upset with you. And that she let you hug her again and again. That’s the greatest image. I will keep it with me for days I’m sure. Women are great.

    Love you squint.

  2. fortydeluxe Says:

    love you patticakes xo

  3. wibroe Says:

    Looking forward to a book, but still waiting for the Jackson-Lucy Bean storybook to be published as it deserves to be.
    Best of luck Babycakes!
    Lisa

  4. Edric Says:

    I’m guessing that men get a discount on this women book thing?

  5. cousinted Says:

    Beautiful, as usual! You continue to awe me with your lovely words………..

  6. javier Says:

    After this book you should writte another one about how to be 50 women in just one
    Busy Love,
    Javier

  7. Juds Says:

    Kerri, once again I read you blog and am in awe of your ability to write. Please move forward with the Jackson/Lucy book~!

  8. Melly Bel Says:

    I heart u! Lovely writer,mama,friend,coffee hound. C u this week.
    -Mel


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