Yesterday was very cool. I really liked it. It's strange how you can get to know people in one day, but as I look at this picture of Jamie-the-photographer and the Jacqueline-the-editor of Romantic Homes in my kitchen, I really miss these two! I miss you guys!!! That was fun. A big photo shoot is so long and so intense that by the end it's impossible not to feel like you've just hiked the Grand Canyon, swum the Channel, or made an entire Thanksgiving dinner together. There are moments when things are precarious and tense (the light just will not cooperate, it just won't), and there are always lovely, surprising triumphs (you look at the thumbnail and it is simply magical, so much better than it looks in real life, somehow). The light is one of the most important elements in the day, and it is fickle, teasing, restless — it never sits still for long, and while that heightens the tension it also brings the promise of an even more beautiful moment, in a few minutes, maybe. Maybe not. We are all at her mercy, in a way, so scoring big feels extra sweet and tinged with a kind of rosy grace. We look at the thumbnail and we go, "Ahhh!"
To answer the people who've asked, I honestly don't know how magazines find their locations; I expect that these editors just ran into me on-line somewhere and then called me. I've been so busy lately with all my various store closing/booth opening/creative bill paying projects, but when the phone rings with opportunities, no matter how busy I am, I really do try hard to reshuffle the deck and say yes to the ones that appeal to me or that I feel I can do a good job with. As I grow older (I'm not that old, but, you know, older than I was before, at least), I realize (over and over and over) that the point of the thing, any thing, is the experience of the thing, not just the end result. I guess that sounds pretty obvious. You probably already know it. But it wasn't obvious to me a few years ago when I was a book editor myself, for instance. I would get so focused on the book and so stressed out about it that I'd practically make myself and everyone else crazy. I would often grow to hate the experience, and then when the book came out, I'd actually be too busy working on the next one to even look at it. Can you imagine? I've lost sight of the "experience" many, many times since becoming self-employed, as well. I want to make good things, but I also want the experience of making the thing (whether it be a handbag, a meal, or a photo spread) to be, you know, a nice time for all of us. To actually be truly enjoying it while it's happening and not just getting through it, somehow. I've written about this before (BRS — Broken Record Syndrome, but as I said, slow learner, me) — here in May and here in June, about how things were for me in autumn 2005 (a hard time) — and I probably will again. It can't always be a nice time and everything, I know, but . . . doesn't hurt to try, right?
When I was in college, the chair of the English department, who was one of those phenomenal women who had been around forever and knew everything and also happened to be my advisor, had this little embroidered quote above her desk. It said, "There is no solution. Seek it lovingly." I used to look at it all the time. I thought it was the most bizarre thing. I seriously couldn't understand it. I thought it was illogical at best, or just plain confusing. I never forgot it, though. Makes perfect sense to me now. There is no solution. Seek it lovingly. Okay, trying.
I'm so glad I said yes to this experience. I think it was one of the highlights of my year: I had a great time and I feel really honored by the photos they took. I saw most of them and I was thrilled. Our visions were so in synch, and that was very cool. I also feel that our missions, our theoretical missions, are the same: We are all interested in attempting to distill the soul, the real heart of what is special, even spiritual, about home and daily life. Sometimes it's hard to do that on deadline, etc! But that's what it takes. I felt the integrity of our intentions keenly. It was a wonderful feeling. Romantic Homes magazine has gone through a redesign recently, and I am very interested in watching it evolve and grow. It's exciting to be included in the endeavor. These are my kinda peeps. This article will be out in the March issue, hitting stands February 6.
And as promised, I'm now going out on the town, so Chez Paulson can enjoy her well-deserved little nap. Thank you, sweetie. I'm proud of you. Good girl.