When I went into my late Friday afternoon acupuncture appointment with Phil, I was dragging. He said, “How are you doing?” I told him, “I’m exhausted and I have low self-esteem.” For two days I’d been saying things to myself that I didn’t quite believe but they were in my consciousness! How the heck did they get there? I was hoping there was a specific acupuncture point in my ear or on my foot where he could place a needle and make those feelings go away.
True to His Philness, he made just the right points before I even got on the table. He said, “Brenda, everyone feels dragged down. We were in survival mode not knowing which direction the fires were going to go. There was so much unrelenting stress and uncertainty. That doesn’t just go away. We’re going to be feeling this for a while.”
Mighty Phil is mighty smart. I instantly opened my heart to greater compassion for myself. And then we were on to our usual topics: sports talk, family stories, and what’s on Netflix. He told me about having dinner at Jon Miller’s house (the Hall of Fame Broadcaster for the SF Giants) and watching baseball with him in his TV room while Phil and his family were evacuated. Being a big Jon Miller fan, I insisted he’d hit a pinnacle in sports fandom. He asked about my Dad in Minnesota and I told him the latest thing he said that I had to write down. Dad was certain of his imminent death last week (at least for 30 minutes or so) but he told me, “This morning I was ready to throw in the towel but then the Fargo Forum came so that was helpful.” Phil was gleeful that a newspaper had the power to save a life. It wasn’t long before we were filling the treatment room with laughter. He said, “Oh Brenda, we have so much fun.” And it’s true. With Phil I get emotional, physical, and spiritual support all wrapped in one.
Heading back to my true self
Maybe it was the treatment (and a nap on Saturday) that lured me back to my true self, the one that appreciates nature and routines, weekend puttering and decluttering, and fashion and beauty. My zest for creative outfit building for myself has been masked since the fires but it showed itself again when I got the idea to put together a monochromatic double denim outfit. There’s something quite calming about an outfit that shares pieces in the same or nearly the same hue. That’s how I felt in my cuffed denim jeans, my silk watery print dress and my lighter colored jean jacket.
The silk dress made me feel feminine. When you’ve been on high alert, it’s nice to feel calmer, softer; open to the moment, not fearful of it. That dress was a soothing tonic.
Bringing on the double pendants to go with the double denim
I wasn’t sure if the quartz gold-colored pendant I put together with Erin’s help would work on my dress without crushing it in front but it didn’t. I had a slip under the dress which helped give it some weight. That pendant alone was too heavy looking for the outfit though so I added the heart pendant. It seems appropriate, right?!
Something about wearing those two pendants sent my brain the message that I’m coming back! Back to myself! I added a bee pin to my jean jacket next to the pearl pin. A lovely client surprised me with the gift of this pin. She’s moving out of state and we had our last appointments, for now, last week. I fell to pieces when I opened the ribboned box. That’s another thing that happens: tears flow easily and sometimes fiercely right now. The tears were of appreciation and adoration for her and the simple pleasure of getting to do what I do for so long. It was emotional!
To finish the ensemble I added a couple of thin bronze bangles and my Lanvin vintage ivory bangle. I love how the Lanvin bangle echoes the color of the pearls in the pin. It’s just kind of sweet, don’t you think? I had my mustard-gold plaid scarf with me which was handy when it started to get chilly. I like how it chimes right in with the gold-colored pendants: one big happy, bright family.
Finding our footing when so much was taken away
Part of the recovery from this catastrophic event is the pure joy of seeing people you love, people you haven’t seen since all this happened. Russ and I were sitting at the bar in El Dorado Kitchen getting a bite to eat when I saw my heartthrob, Kay. I met her through my daughter Erin who’s crazy about her too. Anyway, she works at EDK.
“Hey Gorgeous,” I shouted out when I saw her at the end of the bar picking up a drink order for her customers. She stopped what she was doing and raced over to where I was sitting. I got out of my bar stool in time to fall into her outstretched arms. We Were So Happy! We held on tight packing every ounce of love into that hug. I kissed her cheeks and then kissed them again. “The last time I saw you was on Facebook with your mask over your face,” I said. “I spent five days in Petaluma eating and drinking. I’m so happy to be back in Sonoma!” she said. One day it would be interesting to get an accounting of different people’s evacuation destinations.
I hated to let her go but she had customers to serve. I turned back in my seat and there were two glasses of champagne in front of us. “Where did these come from?” I asked our bartender. “It’s from Kay,” he said. I don’t know which split second she used to make that happen but that champagne never tasted so good.
We sat there as the restaurant got more and more packed. Russ asked the bartender, who had the brightest smile ever, how business had been. “This is the first night it’s come back strong,” he said.
Russ and I soaked it all in. It felt wonderful being in this familiar place with conversations happening at every table. I’m sure many of those conversations were about the fires but people were together again, not scattered all over the surrounding areas or even in other states, trying to find safety.
I’m so happy that people are coming back. I had the feeling in the middle of it all that once the fires were over that people would flock back to this wonderful valley. I think it’s happening. And if I have the privilege of seeing you on the street, expect a big long hug from me!
How do you feel about monochromatic dressing? Does it make you feel calmer or more sophisticated? Tell me how you really feel!