Panta Rhei.

By: Jen Shoop
"Everything is a flowing."

Over the weekend, we attended a birthday party, and one of our friends asked the birthday girl what her “jewel” from the year was: what had she learned?

On the eve of my fortieth, I find myself drawn to similar introspections and accountings, and they all seem to loop back to the mantra: not everything resolves to a fine point. The tender-footed awareness that I must find ways to let go. That I must cease fishing from obstinate isles, as Ezra Pound put it. What energy am I displacing by waiting for the explanations, the apologies, the endings, the final words? At some point, I must find peace by releasing those misplaced expectations. The agonizing truth is that the letting go isn’t a spectacular one-time drop. There is no ceremonious toss into the water, no burning of the artifacts. Letting go is in fact a series of intentional goodbyes. A building up of muscle. The recurring chorus: “That hurts // it’s OK // I’m still here.” The plodding, near-invisible way we develop strength by repetition. A friend told me that it took her a year to grieve the ending of a relationship: 365 days of slow, considered letting-gos.

But, take heart: everything is a flowing. Panta rhei. I press this to my cheek when I re-live Tilly’s final days, and flail against hurt, and equally, when I watch my children playing in the front yard. In ways good and bad, nothing will be the same in a year. So instead, we dive into the present, and we look at it as a beginning rather than a middle or an end, because is there any other way to live where our feet are?

Here, right now, are the blooming front-door hydrangeas, and the dog in our lap, and the chorus of children’s voices through the screened door, only this-young today:

life re-making itself.


*Panta rhei is a quote attributed to Heraclitus, meaning “everything moves.”

+More on letting go of hurt feelings.

+On writing about loved ones.

+”Stay a little longer” — are there any words more beautiful?

+On making everything important.

Shopping Break.

This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase through the links below, I may receive compensation. 

+Do I need these white eyelet shorts? I think yes.

+Get the trendy crochet look with this Anthro cover-up!

+Still on the hunt for a ray-less tan, I ordered these tanning drops many of you recommended.

+Camp socks for kids!

+If you like the Reformation look but not the price tag, check out these cute pieces from new-to-me label VRG GRL: this linen floral ($111!) and this gorgeous linen maxi skirt.

+Dorsey just released a new version of their riviere bracelet — so chic!

+I love body oils on my shoulder / decolletage during the summer — just ordered this shimmery formula from European pharmacy brand Nuxe to try. My go-to must days is Osea though! (More of my summer skin prep favorites here.)

+So many cute new arrivals at Sezane. I love this bubblegum pink tee dress, this striped button-down in the red-white-blue, this adorable broderie anglaise romper, and this raffia tote.

+Quiet luxury personified.

+Love the design on this tee.

+My favorite summertime mask.

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2 thoughts on “Panta Rhei.

  1. The Nuxe oil is gorgeous on but very scented, and will get all over furniture/stain white clothes! It’s a classic but I prefer it for pool days since I always forget I have it on my legs

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