She was born under the sign of Libra. From her earliest days, she was pedestrian-stopping beautiful, alert and engaged with the world around her. She showed a preference for balance and simplicity in toys, textures, tones.
Her future interest in creating combinations that brought pleasure to the eye, the palate, kinesthetic senses could be predicted by her tea-parties with dolls and imaginary playmates, her earliest cookie-decorating, her natural love of dance. The latter went beyond leotards, although those also offered her infinite opportunities to elaborate.
This granddaughter came with her own directions, as did all the thers. In addition to her love of beauty, she loved peace, well-being, a society without pain. Her fifth birthday came weeks after Hurricane Katrina. She set up a lemonade stand on the sidewalk to raise money for the suffering community. And of course she decorated it to increase its attraction to her customers.
As she grew, she practiced one skill after another – dance moves using her body and breath, artist’s skills of drawing and painting, expertise in working in a range of media from designing pottery to jewelry to t-shirts. She felt a natural affinity for technology and used it to make a compelling presentation or an effective sign. She loved the marriage of form and function.
When she was twelve, my husband and I took her to Paris. She studied the street fashion, from shoes to scarves, carefully taking in ways in which the former complimented an outfit and the latter could be tied in seemingly infinite ways. By the time she returned to her middle school, she had abandoned any commitment to conformity. Her natural instincts for elegance and harmony shone through.
Throughout her childhood, concerns for people and their well-being have accompanied her love of creating, decorating, improving the sensory harmony of all that surrounded her. She has found ways to use each to embellish the other.
Now a junior in high school, almost a grown woman, when someone spilled paint on her new white shoes, she first surveyed them in dismay. She reflected. And then she decided how to respond. She was not about to add them to a landfill or even to donate the nearly-new shoes to a shelter. Instead, she got out a set of her sister’s paints and went to work. The shoes you see were the result. She loved both the activity and the result. As usual, the shoes that made a statement set her heart to song. Indeed, love is real.