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Influences

4 May


I feel so incredibly blessed- to be married to my best friend, to have such amazing friends and family, to live in this beautiful place…. It’s amazing to think about everything that has conspired to bring me to this exact moment in time. Here are some things from my early years that have influenced and shaped me:

I. Senecio, Paul Klee, 1922
I used to stare at this image for hours, appreciating its innocent beauty but sensing there was something I wasn’t seeing, something I didn’t understand. Only now do I see the old man’s face where once I only saw the child’s.

II. Navajo Yei Blanket
My mom spent a year teaching special education at Borrego Pass, a remote Navajo reservation in Northwest New Mexico near Grants and Gallop. I remember setting off into the blue distance to embark on unknown adventures with my sister and brother, and winding our way home by the trading post to buy Black Cows.

III. Sacrifice & Indulgence, Mario Torroella
The Torroella’s are our oldest family friends. I used to love attending their annual Christmas Eve fete and feeling ever so sophisticated admiring the beautiful art while eating olive oil drenched artichoke hearts.

IV. Au Bon Pain
If I were to stage a play of my childhood on a shoestring budget, Au Bon Pain could foreseeably serve as the single set backdrop. So much of my life unfolded here at this French cafe, the epicenter of Cambridge culture. I can always return and see the same cast of characters that held court there over twenty years ago.

V. Provence 55, Elliot Erwitt, 1955
I still dream of this picturesque Provencial scene that had a prominent place beside our dining table.

VI. Madeline
A Francophile from 4, I adored the story of Madeline: her sassy attitude and penchant for trouble with red hair to match; her covetous wardrobe of Mary Janes and pinafores with sweet Peter Pan collars; her charming paramour Pepito, the Spanish Ambassador’s son; her lovely puppy, Genevieve.

VII. Upstairs at the Pudding
As a little girl, I was in awe of my sister and her friend Charlotte, who wore pink Chanel skirts from Filene’s Basement and wrote fabulous plays in the style of Tennessee Williams and could not abide Katharine Hepburn. Miraculously, they always made me feel very much a part of their group as we strolled through Cambridge discussing flower faeries and secret houses and tendrils. I always loved going for Sunday Brunch at Charlotte’s Mother’s Restaurant and scoffing at the well-coiffed Harvard boys of the Hasty Pudding Club over virgin mimosas.

VIII. The Godfather
Faced with a deluge of entreaties, my mom took me to see the twenty-fifth anniversary re-release of The Godfather. At the time, Mario Puzo was my favorite writer and the mafia was my favorite genre. Children are very funny without realizing it!

IX. Garden of the Gods
I was born in Colorado and will always have the spirit of the West coursing through my veins.

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