I spent most of Wednesday in tears. My sister and mom had just sent pics — they were all dressed up in lipstick and pearls, watching the Inauguration together, glasses of champagne in hand. A perfect way to celebrate that historic day.
I, on the other hand, was having trouble getting out of bed. Or making breakfast. Or doing anything that didn’t involve staring into space or breaking out in spontaneous tears. I was the puffy-eyed, snotty counterpart to their celebratory selves.
I cried through Kamala’s swearing-in (and her huge, kid-in-a-candy-shop grin at the end), and through Joe’s speech. For even in that moment he seemed like a Joe, like a regular, decent, honorable guy, and it’s like I had forgotten how it feels to listen to a regular, decent, honorable guy speak. There were loving glances and comfortable interactions between the families, and the whole thing felt like getting a bear hug from Dad.
I walked away when Garth Brooks sang Amazing Grace (my Dad’s favorite song), and went and ugly-cried in the bathroom. I then tried to busy myself in the kitchen, making lunch, pretending I wasn’t a total mess, but was pulled back to the TV when I heard the words, “We’ve learned that quiet isn’t alway peace.”
Wait, I said. Who is that?
It was, of course, Amanda Gorman’s absolutely epic recitation of her poem, The Hill We Climb, a shining beacon of light I could never have hoped to see at the end of these last four, terrible years.
“And yet the dawn is ours” she said, her eyes shining with joy, her hands dancing along with her words, “before we knew it / somehow we do it / somehow we’ve weathered and witnessed a nation that isn’t broken…but simply unfinished.”
By this time, we had gathered back around the TV. Never have I been so thankful for virtual school. The four of us stood, arms around each other, watching, enraptured. I sobbed into the top of Pax’s head.
“The hill we climb / if only we dare / it’s because being American is more than a pride we inherit, it’s a past we step into…and how we repair it.”
Yes, I whispered into his hair, yes.
Most of you, of course, know how this ends. It ends with us, tears streaming down faces, hearts full, basking in the warmth of her glow, the power of her message. It ends with the quotes that are all over Instagram, all over Twitter, all over FB. It ends with:
our people diverse and beautiful will emerge,
battered and beautiful
When the day comes we step out of the shade,
aflame and unafraid
The new dawn blooms as we free it
For there is always light,
if only we’re brave enough to see it
if only we’re brave enough to be it
You can read her poem in its entirety here (or watch Amanda herself). You can also pre-order her book, The Hill We Climb from Bookshop.org (I just did).
This moment — her words, her recitation — is one of the most beautiful things I have ever witnessed. It was clarity and purpose and love and direction. Part of me can’t believe it — I can’t believe that we (us!!) might actually get to be the ones who finally — after hundreds of years — we might get to be the ones who usher in real change. The ones who will finally tend this new dawn into bloom.
It’s us, guys.
I am hopeful.
Bernie’s mittens. Of course his mittens are completely sold out (and the woman who made them is basically out of the mitten business — here’s a cute article about her and Bernie’s mittens)…but I actually have a pair verrrry similar to Bernie’s — also made out of recycled sweaters — bought here in Michigan’s UP. Go give some love to UP North Mittens — she makes mittens for men, women and kids, and all of her mittens are both gorgeous AND warm (lined in fleece). These are my favorites.
Brings SO MUCH joy. I’ve been using Colleen Rothchild’s Tahitian Monoi body scrub in the shower these past few weeks (after — ahem — stealing it from my sister) and it smells…like a spa. Like one of those elusive, high-end scents that only spas seem to get right. The ones that transport you away somewhere, but…gently. With a hint of something amazing you can’t quite place, leaving your skin super soft and barely scented. And it looks like Colleen is having a sale — 25% off everything with code 7YEARS. I mean sure: snap up the cleansing balm and retinol oil and eye serum we’ve raved about for years, but OMG don’t freaking overlook the scrub.
Found similar. My white Sweaty Betty puffer (first seen here with my chunky boots) is long sold-out, but small biz Shop BURU just dropped a white puffer with all kinds of similar vibes. AND(!!) she just added a pair of on-trend chunky chelsea boots in the most perfect olive color.
My fav sweatshirt. Remember that seriously cool Lululemon sweatshirt I featured recently (here)? It’s on final sale, and something I’ve been wearing the heck out of. Looks cute with both leggings and denim…and might make a good beach sweatshirt this spring/summer.
Allow me to introduce you…to Souk + Sepia, a Black-owned boutique I recently stumbled across. They’re having a site-wide sale (20% off EVERYTHING with code HOLIDAY20) and…wow. There’s the sexiest sweatshirt I’ve ever seen, a seriously cute sweatshirt dress, a very glamorous puffer coat (perfect for those who like to show off their waist) and a victorian-inspired frock that is calling my name (blame it on the Bridgerton). But seriously, Gang, peruse this site like it’s your homework. There’s a ton of good stuff, and the price points are shockingly good.
The prettiest ski gear. I just got lost in Backcountry’s magazine-worthy layouts for ski gear, separated by color. There’s one for blues, reds, and earth tones, and it’s just so fun to browse. Now this gorgeous peachy-pink helmet and goggles are on my wish list.
Laura thinks someone needs to own these earrings. They’re Cult Gaia’s meta earrings and I vote Scotti.
History is fascinating. I recently went down a filibuster rabbit hole, and found it very interesting. For example, I hadn’t realized that filibustering (once a rare event) is now applied to almost every bill on the Senate floor. Apparently even Alexander Hamilton had his doubts, calling it a “poison”. This NYT piece goes into the origins of the filibuster, how it was once used, and how it’s used now. A worthwhile read.
Oh hey, teachers. To quote @biracialbookworms, “this is where you put your admiration of a young black woman into action.” If any of you could use some lesson plans surrounding Amanda Gorman’s poem, PBS and NYT both have you covered.
You won’t be sorry. Just go watch this insanely amazing sea shanty rendition. Yes, really.
I’d like to recommend another Michigan company that has awesome upcycled mittens. And other great items. Highly recommend this woman owned business http://www.baabaazuzu.com.
Omg. My husband has been into Sea Shanties for years and he is so thrilled that the rest of the world is having a moment with them. Can’t wait to tell him they are even on my fashion blog LOL!
Shana, I did my homework and… wow. Those colors, those waistlines, those PRICES! I kept thinking, “What’s the catch?” If I hadn’t blown my clothing budget on Naadam’s cashmere sale I’d totally play in their sandbox.
Like you, I cried through the inauguration! And tears streamed when Amanda Gorman read her poem. Wow. And I woke up the next morning feeling hopeful and lighter. Love your commentary. Don’t stop. And of course, love you and the other ladies’ fashion tips.
Me too! I ugly cried all day long on inauguration day and woke up feeling so hopeful! I didn’t even know what that feeling was at first. I think we’re going to be ok.
I was hoping you could tell me how the sweatshirt dress you have above runs..not sure what size to order. Love reading your posts!
Lucyblueknits.com is another great website for buying upcycled wool sweater mittens. Love that you are essentially getting a one of a kind pair of handmade super-warm mittens. A few Christmases ago that was my gift for all the girls/women I had on my list.
I was happy and at ease with the inauguration as well. What an awesome feeling. A weight I didnt know could be lifted so easily, was gone. Even with the challenges we still face. I had hope. I always appreciate your posts and this is one of my favs. Thank you for sharing your feeling recenly with the BLM movement and also trying to promote small and Black owned businesses. Way to use your platform! Thanks from the west coast!