Some days it feels as though my writing manifests like candy floss, out of thin air.
Only it is not thin air at all. It is the sum total of all of the fibrous bits of my everyday life: the conversations with my husband, the midnight hours with sick children, the staring in the mirror, the kind gesture from a neighbor, the heart swells and agonies of a woman moving quietly through her life, trying to do right by the people she loves, including herself.
It is the aftermath of many days of small things: the computation of patterns — both the bruised and the beneficent — in them. Which is to say: I continue to write to make sense of the wild phenomena of living. To cut a codicillary path; to provisionally name the constellations. Ad astra.
I had not known, all those years ago, when I sat down at my tiny white desk in my Georgetown apartment, the one with camel crickets in the basement and my best friend sleeping in the room next door, what I was beginning when I impulsively tapped out the name “thefashionmagpie” and clicked “create site.” What started as unfocused creative effervescence has come to be something else entirely: the firth in which I write to know what I think, and discover, to my continuous shock, that there are other women who feel exactly as I do, or who don’t, and have meaningful feedback on the boat-lengths between us. I do not take lightly your attention, itself a kind of love.
When I wrote that I hope to find more space to stretch in 2024, I should have said that you have paved the way for this ambition. Each time I have pushed myself creatively, I have found a soft landing in you. When I have published wobbly fiction, written about something nearly too-tender to put on paper, aired my dirty laundry in a musing that reveals half-thinking or under-baked assumptions, you have said: “Keep going,” or “Go easy on yourself,” or “I’ve done the same thing.” Thank you for those grace notes.
Christmas is a day of promises come to fruition. We have been preparing the rooms for months now, and are ready for joy’s gilding entrance. When I sat down to write something a propos, I thought first from a spiritual lens but my mind kept wandering over to the foregoing paragraphs, in which I investigate the mechanics by which I have found myself on this test flight I call my creative life. Of how those mechanics are largely driven by your readership. And rather than reform those rivuletting thoughts, I decided to make space for them. So forgive me their possibly ill-timed apparition on this day that is very much not about me, but let me conclude again with a big thank you and a summative, summoning line from Seamus Heaney’s “The Gravel Walks”:
“So walk on air against your better judgement // Establishing yourself somewhere in between.”
Crediting you this Christmas for the airwalk this year, and the past many years, too.
And Merry Christmas!
+The origins of my favorite rally cry (“onward”)!
+”…and then you unzip a pouch and find the now-forgotten selection of rocks your daughter insisted on carrying around for months on end, and you find yourself knee-deep in an emotional archaeology.” More on the agony of watching your children get older here.
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+These coupes are sparking serious joy.
+Top of my wishlist for spring: a Marni tote.
+Love this bold wool-blend throw!
+Wait, these skiier mugs are SO cute! A few other amazing Target finds:
WAFFLE BATH TOWELS IN GREAT COLORS
THIS LAMP, WHICH LAUNCHES TOMORROW BUT JUST A HEADS UP – WILL GO FAST
+Fun glittery socks for just a pop of flair.
+These “iconically soft,” cult-following tees are going to ship soon — buy now if you want before they sell out again! I’ve also heard amazing things about Leset’s boxy Margo tee. One is on its way to me now!
+I mentioned Tarte’s contouring “sculpt tape” in my recent beauty products post, and then I found this $20 mini kit in case you want to test your hand without making a full investment. People LOVE these products! Also found a similar-product-for-less here.