The more I read about Michelle Obama, she comes across as warm, thoughtful, and normal, which is part of her genius because she has navigated some arduous obstacles and was in the eye of the storm for eight years. Here is someone who is not remotely interested in or all that comfortable with fame, but she did the personal work (therapy?) in order to exist with it, so she could tour the world and inspire us. She knows we need her as a feel-good symbol; she knows we need to amplify the energy of her generous spirit, and so she leans into a role that she never really aspired to in order to uplift others (me!!!!). She’s also a gifted public speaker with a brilliant mind, but I feel like she is so relatable that you forget you’re dealing with one of the top minds of the country. (This is the Michelle mythology I’m just making up, but it feels right.) On another note, she’s the cutest dresser. I love her clothes. I read this fascinating piece on her stylist’s work in preparing her wardrobe, and the article details how they were always thoughtful to choose designers of diverse background, US-based. You can look at color and cut to support the event, and find that balance to be attractive but not so loud that it calls too much attention to itself. This is a job I would be TERRIBLE at, but it was a wild read. (I know one mom who dismisses fashion and always wears sweats, and I’m like dude, your clothes telegraph your identity to society and I’m no fashion head, but I respect that there is craft that goes into it. And now I ALWAYS compliment her sweats.)
I see Ruth Ginsberg as being similar too — someone normal going above and beyond for the sake of the rest of us. Not that that there is anything ordinary about serving as a Supreme Court justice (Kavanaugh aside…ugh),but the woman is like almost a hundred and she still goes to work, never mind showing up after three broken ribs. She should retire and go sailing, but she’s determined to outlast the current Presidency. That is bloody remarkable. (Incidentally, my high school teacher Mrs. G. went to high school with Ruth Ginsberg and used to talk about how she was smarter than Ruth. Of course, I wonder now if she always mentioned because she didn’t feel like she quite measured up. I can so relate to that.) While Ruth Ginsberg is not known for her sartorial choices, she does discuss the elaborate lace color around the Supreme Court robe. Maira Kalman painted a beautiful version of it. (Scroll through the story til she gets to R. Gins.) The robes all come from Paris.
The Parkland kids are another set of people who make me feel it’s not all crud out there. The way they call adults out on BS and hypocrisy is amazing. They remind me of being young in the way Lorde’s first album did–that sense of invincibility (though that may not be the right word when these are all terrorism survivors), that absolute belief in their point of view, their raw honesty. Their passion and organized protest gives me tremendous hope for the future (I do not wish to discuss gun violence in this post because it’s a whopper. Our society has gone insane to think this is okay. This collective amnesia makes me mental and I I wonder if I should just not send my kids to high school.) I no longer think the next leader is from my generation. I think they’re among these children, young people like Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez. Desmond Tutu gave the Parkland kids and their March for Our Lives organization the International Children’s Peace award recently and said that he is in awe of these children, and this moves me so f*ng much.
I see these individuals as modern-day saints. They remind me it’s not all completely hopeless out there, and we do have some good people around.
Also I found an old bag of apples in Wonder Twin Girl’s backpack. Fermented, acidic. Thanks girl! What a treat!