This is my favorite manicure thing, although it looks better, I think, when the line of color is thinner.
I did a sheer pink with purply-cherry tips for Valentine’s Day.
You can also have your manicurist draw a very thin line of white, black, silver or gold between the two colors for even more zing.
This is my favorite manicure thing, although it looks better, I think, when the line of color is thinner.
I wrote last week about feeling particularly depleted after giving a very personal sermon about my father. I thought I would share the link here so we can talk about how much intention, preparation and discipline it requires to mine our own painful memories and experiences for the work of ministry.
In this sermon, I tell a story about my father breaking down crying one night the year before he died because he prophesied that he would die, and he was grieving the loss of seeing me grow up to become “an amazing woman.”
“You’re going to be an amazing woman and I’m not going to be there to see it,” he said.
It was the worst thing anyone has ever said to me, or could say to me. It shattered me. So, how does the fifty year old minister retrieve that memory, mine it for pastoral wisdom, and share it with a congregation thirty-four years later?
First of all, I think, she does wait thirty-four years so she can tell the story without choking up or going into trauma mode.
Second, she tells the story only because she feels it has something deeply spiritually valuable for the congregation, and not for therapeutic reasons.
Third, she writes out the story and tells it aloud several times the week before giving the sermon to assess whether or not she is able to preach it without revealing so much vulnerability to the congregation that they will feel compelled to worry about her emotional well-being.
Work it out in therapy or with a spiritual director before you bring it to your congregation, or to your ministerial Facebook page, or to your church group e-mail! Please. It is not fair to bleed all over people.
It’s one thing to shed a tear or two, because emotion is real and physical and it surprises us. That’s okay! What is not okay is to manipulate our communities by going before them in obvious distress in a way that makes them feel that they are obligated to comfort or take care of us. That’s manipulative. When I am in a congregation when this happens I just think “Oh no, honey, get a therapist. Get one quick. We are not here for this.”
Henry Nouwen changed ministry forever when he wrote The Wounded Healer. However, our woundedness is not best or wisely applied to our work when it has not been thoroughly processed and is not adequately supported by our subsequent understanding and emotional integration.
I will never “get over” that conversation with my father. It pains me still. It broke my heart.
But my pain, relatable as it may be, was not the pastorally useful part of the conversation. I felt, therefore, that it was my spiritual responsibility to hold this story in my heart until such time as I could, if I so decided, sift out its insights and lessons for consideration by my community.
I hope I did that.
Now: visuals! The fun stuff! My hair makes me look like a pinhead and my stole is askew in the back, but you can see how I have left my robe unzipped a bit at the top because I LOATHE the unflattering neckline on me. I don’t have enough neck and I have too much chin to carry it off. Working on it! I may just get the robe neckline altered.
Kisses of peace to you as you integrate your most painful stories and mine them for shared pastoral wisdom.
You know, we have talked about the importance of all of us checking our teeth after eating to make sure that stray chives aren’t working their way into our supportive pastoral smiles, but here’s one I hadn’t thought of that Devoted Pigeon, The Rev. Dr. Wil Gafney, posted on Facebook today:
When eating a sesame seed bagel before presenting, check after each bite for seeds stuck to your long wear lipstick like PeaceBang taught you.
Yes! Indeedy, yes! Surreptitiously, though, when we’re with the community to whom we are presenting. I feel like I do this most coffee hours. By the time I finally make it into the fellowship hall, I am experiencing the post-service blood sugar drop and mental fogginess that only a bit of protein and carbs can fix (“God, give me the strength not to reach for the sugary coffee cake!” is my prayer). We often have seeded bagels and I grab a quarter of one, dab on a “schmear,” and get the first bite into my face when someone engages me in conversation. This launches the Ministerial Coffee Hour Challenge:
“Smize” (smile with my eyes) to indicate attentiveness while busy chewing. Don’t smize too much or risk looking wild-eyed and deranged.
Maintain eye contact while chewing — try to remember not to actually smile and show poppy seed or cream cheese teeth.
Try to time verbal response between bites while still not recovered from post-service and post-post service blood sugar drop and spiritual blitzedness.
Use napkin to both hold the bagel segment and delicately dab at lips.
Make mental note to make actual note of what people say so I can remember it, while accepting that I won’t remember it.
Ask everyone to please remind me of whatever ew were discussing via e-mail because I won’t remember it.
Head to coffee table and hope there’s still some caffeinated java left.
Darlings! Wait no longer! PeaceBang has indeed followed the boob-ha-ha (as opposed to a brouhaha or a bro-ha ha) following Susan Sarandon’s Festival Of Inappropriate Sharing at the SAG Awards, during which she was the presenter of the In Memoriam segment of the show.
That last detail is very important, as, were it not for that detail of her obligations to the occasion, I would have simply ignored the tempest in a teapot, saluted Miss Sarandon for being fabulous and fun, and moved onto something more newsworthy.
However, here at BTFM we live at the intersection of ritual, public image, professionalism and feminism, so Miss PB finds this a perfect opportunity to talk about a few of her favorite things: bras, honoring the dead, and fabulosity!
Here is Susan Sarandon, whose age (69) has been brought into the criticisms of her cleavagelicious outfit:
I absolutely agree that maturity is a concern for clergy in considering how they shall attire themselves. I absolutely do not think it a concern for movie stars, who have an entirely different set of objectives when deciding how they want to dress. Which is to say, “Shut it, haters.”
Piers Morgan, who is neither a friend nor someone about whose career I know very much or care at all, has been dragged all over feminist blogs for dragging Miss Sarandon on Twitter. But here’s what he said:
And although other hate-Tweeters made ageist and insulting remarks about Miss Sarandon’s body and sartorial choices, Morgan, to my knowledge, kept his critique focused on the inappropriateness of dressing as she did for what was essential a funeral portion of the event.
I hate to outright agree with Mr. Morgan, so I won’t.
I will simply suggest that if the glorious Susan Sarandon wanted to do a shirtless look with a suit, she could have done it a lot better, and I don’t think this outfit really worked that well.
The suit is by Max Mara and in and of itself is nice, but not slaying me. The jacket is fine but the pants aren’t an elegant cut. It’s a little informal, but this is the SAG Awards, not the Oscars, so no big whoop:
She’s fun and sexy and looks great head to toe, but the problem is that the bra she is wearing under the suit isn’t pulling its share of the weight. [Insert joke about holding up its share of the weight here: I don't have time to think of one!]
Now, let’s talk about a bit about the well-established history of visible bras in the entertainment world and salute them. First, Madonna’s bullet bra by Jean Paul Gaultier that you must remember from her Blonde Ambition tour:
Girls just wanna have fun! And pointy boobs!
It was a fantastic moment in the history of show business attire and it left a lasting legacy. Miss Gaga? Will you step in here for a moment, please?
Now, obviously Miss Sarandon wouldn’t want to don something as insane as those bras, which were created for stage shows and have no connection to what Miss S. was doing at the SAG Awards. Nor am I suggesting that Miss Sarandon should have gone out for something as throw-down as Rihanna’s Swarovski-encrusted number here, which –again– is a costume:
Some actresses like to blur the line between costume and outfit, and some of those actresses are even Susan Sarandon’s age, and some of them have shown a lot more of their breasts in public than Piers Morgan and other critical observers would tolerate.
So, ignoring the sexist, ageist critics and also refusing to line up with the “BOO YA WOMAN POWER -YOU HATE BOOBS” feminist bloggers, whose arguments seem to me to be misleading (accusing Piers Morgan of things he didn’t say and also failing to engage the important cultural question of how to dress appropriately to introduce an In Memoriam segment of a show), let me conclude that I found Sarandon’s outfit disappointing for the occasion not because she showed too much cleavage but because her bra was too tailored and informal, and looked like a regular bra.
The end result wasn’t chic and sexy, but “Huh, what happened here?” with a bit of “Hey honey, if you were going for shocking or ‘look at my great cleavage, world!’ this wasn’t the time to do it, when you had funereal honors to bestow.”
A little tweak on the bra and I think the outfit could have been formal enough (although certainly super cleavage-focused) to respect the formality of an awards show and her role in it.
Let me show you what I am suggesting:
Now, because it has come up so often in the conversation, let us engage the question of how much “hike” factor a visible or invisible bra bestows upon its wearer. Like it or not, this factor of fit and tailoring is an important detail any woman in the public eye has needed to consider — as central to preparing for an occasion as considering the length of a hemline. Lifting the ladies is an important part of the history of fashion and costuming, and I am sure that Miss Sarandon’s preferred level of lift is something that she is intentional about, as her chesticular assets have been a central part of her career since she debuted in “Rocky Horror Picture Show.” It was not without strategic aplomb that she Tweeted this iconic image from that film to Piers Morgan in response to his comments,
Brilliant. She knew exactly what she was doing and having unapologetic fun doing it. “Remember who I am!” For those who aren’t Twitter users (and why not?), #TBT is a social media tag that refers to “Throw Back Thursday,” when folks post old images of themselves or friends. The idea of a #TBT is to post something significantly aged as to elicit an “Awwww” from those who see it. In this case, Sarandon’s fans cheered at the sight of her in that much earlier bra — a BELOVED of the generations bra — and “loved” the image in the many thousands and retweeted the image at least 5,000 times.
A great moment of attention for a great actress, and for us, a teaching moment in how tricky it is for anyone to make unconventional sartorial choices during rites of passage.
For us, though, any time we’re standing at a podium or being framed in a photograph as a centerpoint for any rite of passage (think wedding photos), the primary visible element should never be our bare skin. That’s a rule you can frame and put over your mirror in the closet.
Forgive me. I have not been very Muse-inspired to blog lately.
I am taking advantage of a weird little warm spell to get outside and soak up some Vitamin D when I’m not working.
I am trying not to get caught up too much in the news. Trump, Cruz, Clinton, Sanders. All the bickering about them among friends. Aiieee.
I am preparing for Lent. LENT? Already! What are your thoughts, pigeons? How are you preparing to prepare?
I am thinking a lot about death, because that seems to be a thing that’s happening as a result of turning 50. I preached a fairly devastating personal sermon this past Sunday about the complicated legacies of fathers — both the Father God whom we inherited (or rejected) from Western Jewish and Christian theological tradition — and my own father, who was an atheist who died in 1983 when he was fifty and taught me that if there was a God, that God was strictly within me.
I did not believe my dad, because I had no real sense of that inner divine (just ego, which I instinctively knew was something different), but I worshiped him in place of that God he rejected. I found God myself when I let my father die a second time as an object of veneration.
Anyway, I don’t usually preach such personal material and it left me fairly crushed and quiet both in the preparation and the aftermath. The delivery itself was fine and forthright, as I do not believe in bleeding all over the congregation or using preaching as proxy therapy. Yuck! Work it out with your shrink or Spiritual Director! But sharing my story in an entirely composed way took a lot of discipline and I’m feeling depleted as a result.
This old lady wants to know how many of you are using bifocal contact lenses and do ya like ‘em?
I’ve kind of made a fashion thing out of having fun and quirky reading glasses (magnifying power just +1.0) but the blindness without them, and the constant sliding either actual spectacles or readers up and down my nose, to the top of my head and in and out of bags and cases is driving me cray-cray.
Another thought I’m grappling with lately is that everything that is possible to say has BEEN SAID. I may feel this way because I read too much.
Aren’t I a barrel of laughs? Just a shipping container full of monkeys, am I.
Do check in. Your dreary correspondent longs to hear about your image, leadership and hair challenges and triumphs.