Sunday, July 5, 2009

I'm going to tell people I'm turning 25 again.

My birthday was yesterday. It was lovely. I spent the day outside biking around and eating a picnic on a rock by the water with many friendlies. I also turned an age of significance. People told me the years that are multiples of 7 are usually important. 7, 14, 21, 28, 35, 42, 49, 56 and so on. They're supposed to signify milestones in your life. I guess 7 is when a child starts to become self-aware and a functioning little person. 14 is the most hellish year of adolescence. 21 is when you technically become an "adult". 28 is when you should be an "adult." 35 is "if you're not an adult by now, you're in deep kaka." 42 is when you finally start to chill out and mellow after having been an adult for some years. 49 is so very close to 50, but you've still got a year to enjoy being younger than a half a century old. 56 is when you're body and mind start to slow down. Aches and pains may be more frequent. 63 is when you're retiring or retired and maybe you've got little ones to look after again. Or maybe you're rejuvenated and can finally do all that travelling you've been waiting to do once you finished working. And so on, and so forth.

For my birthday, the lovely Anni got me this book by Miranda July and Harrell Fletcher. I love Miranda July's stuff anyway, but I especially love this book. The original project was a website that was started seven years ago and had various assignments that people completed and then documented. The book is just a snapshot of some of the amazing entries people posted.

One assignment I particularly love is #55: Photograph a significant outfit. Remember exactly what you were wearing during a recent significant moment. Maybe it was the day that your boyfriend broke up with you, or the day your nephew was born, or the day you decided to become a vegetarian. It should be something that happened in the last six months. Lay out what you were wearing on the floor, as if you are dressing an invisible, flat person. Tuck the shirt into the pants, the socks into the shoes, etc. Don't forget the other things that complete your outfit such as jewelry, purse, hat, etc. Do not add anything extra like a wig or a mask--just the clothes you were wearing. Stand on a chair or table and photography the clothes from directly above. Not from above at a slight angle, but so that the camera is pointing straight down. Send us the photo, along with the importance of the day, for example, "What I was Wearing When I got the Phone Call About Grandma Marris Dying." Do not write on the actual photograph, and make sure your photo is in focus. Note: avoid moments that you knew would be significant and so dressed accordingly--such as graduation or Halloween. The outfit itself does not need to be significant, it is just what you happened to be wearing when something of emotional significance happened.

This is mine from the past few months... I wore this the day we did cartwheels on the street. I remembered what it was like to laugh and play with someone. And that was when I knew one thing in my life was over and something else began.

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