In the country I am currently in the clock has changed and a new day is upon us. A decade and I thought have I become that much older? When that changed to eleven I thought have I become wiser? Suddenly thirteen years are upon us and I wonder if I have just built a fort around the sorrow and adapted. This year feels quieter, more tense. It could be that I’m in the skies now so I feel it more keenly but the air is different and I’m waiting for September to be over. We seem to teeter on the precipice of yet more change. So I wonder this year have we become wiser or just older and set in our ways?
I will smile at the sun, thank The Lord for the ones I love. I will go into the briefing room, and I will fly out of Dubai with love in my heart. There may be quiet tears shed but I will do my best to do what we Americans have always done, to carry on, and never let the flame of memory burn out.
“Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth and danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings; Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth of sun-split clouds, — and done a hundred things You have not dreamed of — wheeled and soared and swung High in the sunlit silence… —And, while with silent, lifting mind I’ve trod, the high untrespassed sanctity of space,- Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.”
We are the stars in the night sky you look out at your windows and wish upon. We jet from one continent to another carrying the lives of hundreds of people. We carry their hopes, their dreams, their tears, and their smiles. We know they are more than their seat number. We raise each other up when times are hard and we offer comfort to strangers and accept their struggles. We listen, and we love without boundaries. And when we are called home, flight attendants fly higher and we fly faster. My heart grieves for the Malaysian Airlines family today. I grieve for my brothers and sisters senselessly taken from our skies and I know that when I look out the windows tonight and all night there will be new stars in the sky and I will know their names on my heart.
I pride myself on always having words to describe something and yet they have failed me, I feel at an utter loss to describe the glory of this gown.
The romantic in me notes the symbolism of the butterfly. The metamorphosis from a child to a married woman. This gown reverberates with life and brings tears to my eyes.
I worry that sometimes I am to sensitive. I find that in my line of work I often have to think of the costume as it’s own entity, wondering about the life of the person who these items once adorned lead to so many questions. Many times I have wished that I had not pursued those thoughts to find out more on their life. I have been moved to tears of sorrow and anger at the unfairness of the treatment of women who came before me. I have discovered that they were prisoners in their beautiful silks, ensnared in brightly woven textiles, pinned alive and struggling for all to admire until at last they accepted their crepe veils and widows weeds before leaving this plane a broken being.
Yet I find myself hoping with every fibre of my being that whoever this woman was she had a beautiful and happy life. That the butterfly that graced the bodice on her wedding gown symbolized more than decoration, that it was true freedom from the cocoon. I’ll never know for sure but I will hope.
Bunka Gakuen Costume Museum
If it is possible could I please request a translation on this gown also: アール・ヌーヴォー期のドレスで、胸を張り出し、腰を後方に突き出したＳ字型スタイル。胸には模造パールで蝶を表しているが、この時代には昆虫をモチーフとしたアクセサリーなども多く見られる。スカートの裾周りにはコードを入れてシルエットを整えており、細いウエストから裾に向かう波のようにうねった曲線が優雅で美しい。
I don’t normally bother you all with stories about my life but I think what happened today taught me something important and I hope you don’t mind if I share it with you.
I had a really big meeting at Covent Garden, I made it to Waterloo from Surrey and I was cutting it a bit close. The thing you have to understand about London is that everyone is in a hurry. Always. You are always trying to get that extra second in, catch that first tube, get on the train right as the doors close, rushing, always rushing. Londoners never slow down, we can’t because we’ll be late. But for what? If we always rush through life then we forget the important things.
I’m not saying I’m not totally guilty of rushing, and today was no different. I was racing down the stairs at Waterloo to catch the Northern Line when I saw this woman at the bottom with a baby pram. Tiny, blonde lady struggling with a huge pram, smiling at her baby and trying to get up just one step. Men and women alike walked right past her which upset me. My feet started walking before my brain caught up and my mouth opened automatically and I said with my atrocious southern accent which echoed and surprised some of my fellow passengers ‘Hang on there I’m comin’ down to help!’
I figured trains come and go, this is London you can always blame being late on TFL. I grabbed the other end of the pram and smiled. What struck me was how apologetic and shocked she was at me helping her. She kept saying ‘Don’t worry, go for your train. Don’t you need to catch the train? Please don’t be late for me’ and when she realized I wasn’t leaving she started telling me how kind I was and thanking me and just going on about kindness. I smiled at the little baby and said ‘Hello!’ and she giggled. When I turned to go down the stairs I heard her say to her daughter ‘See when you grow up I want you to be like her’. Pretty much set the tone for the rest of my day. I waltzed around with a smile on my face.
Acts of kindness, no matter how small make a day better and brighter. There is no reason to struggle alone, we are put on this Earth to support each other and to constantly work to make this world something more. I didn’t want gratitude, I didn’t help her because I wanted to be some sort of hero, or thanked for being kind. I did it because it was the right thing to do.I hope one person saw what I did and paid it forward.
I am telling you now because I hope one of you reads this and pays it forward.