Sunday, February 20, 2011

I Shall

"I shall still lose my temper with Ivan the coachman, I shall still embark on useless discussions and express my opinions inopportunely; there will still be the same wall between the sanctuary of my inmost soul and other people, even my wife; I shall probably go on scolding her in my anxiety and repenting of it afterwards; I shall still be as unable to understand with my reason why I pray, and I shall still go on praying- but my life now, my whole life, independently of anything that can happen to me, every minute of it is no longer meaningless as it was before, but has a positive meaning of goodness with which I have the power to invest it." -Tolstoy, Anna Karenina

I have finally finished the novel and although there are slow parts you must trudge past, the humanity necessary to make great works of art is ever present in Tolstoy's writing and attention to character. There is not a single character you can fully love all the way through or hate all the way through, as it is in life. These characters display vulnerability and provide moments of honesty (such as shown in the quote above). Even Anna Karenina, who for the most part is a weak, self-pitying character induces one's sympathy at one point or another. As I was reading the final part I wasn't quite sure what to make of the seemingly out-of-place attention to Levin's questioning of faith and existence, but by the end it seemed as though this was the only and perfect way to end a novel based on human relationships and suffering. After all, existence and relationships depend on some form of faith, whether it be faith in a god, an art form, or yourself. In the end, what I appreciated most about this classic is that Tolstoy's voice is so effortless it's as if this story is not being written but actually lived.

plus, favorite purchase of late (the picture doesn't even do it justice):

Friday, February 18, 2011

Contemporary Style Icons

Camilla Belle

Penelope Cruz

Milla Jovovich

These ladies could pretty much wear anything and it would look amazing. Stunning and stylish.

P.S. Just noticed 2 out of 3 of these pictures plus my background features popped collars, guess I'm into it!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Mango + Anna

I'm on a budget as I am moving to New York in a couple of months, BUT I have a list of items I need to get before I leave. Sure, they are not entirely necessary, but if I want to look professional during my job search and don't want to hurt my eyes when New York summer roles around then I definitely need a nice pair of slacks and some sunglasses right? So I thought I would browse for some sales. I ended up ordering these simple slacks (in black):

marked down from $60 to $16!
And these sunglasses (not in black):

I only felt bad for like two I can't wait until they arrive. I hope the pants fit me since I've never purchased pants online and all of mine seem to be different sizes!

As for Anna Karenina, I'm almost done and at an interesting point when one of the characters actually admires Anna's infidelity which makes me hate Anna's character more and that character less (Don't ask). I seem to be reading slower lately but hopefully my new healthy diet will help boost my concentration (I've given up coffee, alcohol, and dessert...and I feel great!)

Since I have two months left in San Francisco, my future posts will probably revolve around things I'm going to miss about San Francisco (A LOT), and later, things I love about New York (assuming I love anything about New York :P).

Later skaters.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Lindbergh + Rilke

After falling in love with Manifest Destiny by Peter Lindbergh in this month's Vogue I decided to look him up and put the name to the photographs. I know, he's kind of a big deal but, better late than never! What I found is that he is responsible for some of my favorite images.

What I love about his images are the simplicity or, in some cases, absence of clothes. Although clothes can be works of art and a means of creative expression, they can also be masks covering the person underneath. Lindbergh's photographs seem to go beyond fashion and into the personal.

His photos remind me of one of my favorite letters by Rainer Maria Rilke, 8, in which he discusses the importance of acknowledging sadness and the transformation that occurs within. One of my favorite quotes in it is: "Do you remember how that life yearned out of childhood toward the "great thing"? I see that it is now yearning forth beyond the great thing toward the greater one. That is why it does not cease to be difficult, but that is also why it will not cease to grow." It reminds me of the notion that we always want more, more, more. However, it is suggestive of improvement rather than indulgence. There is danger in remaining static and beauty in change and transformation that Lindbergh, in my opinion, visually expresses.