For those ignorant of Honour
The Look in the Mirror Experiment.
(From the What the Hell is your Problem Kit - A Kit for Uptight White People)
colour preview here: http://issuu.com/veronicagrow/docs/kitforuptightwhitepeople
purchase here: http://www.blurb.com/my/book/detail/2597718
Take a full length mirror, and look in it. What do you see? What are you wearing? How do you stand? What sort of expression do you have?
Linda Grant’s book, called “The Thoughtful Dresser” sees not caring about the way we look, as being “a sign of depression, madness or resignation to our imminent death.” That might sound quite drastic, but, making an effort in how you dress, no matter how small, is the first step in learning about honour, because you are honouring yourself, and others. When you honour yourself, you feel happy and generous. This gives you the energy to make a small difference by conducting small acts of kindess for others too.
Who best to illustrate this philosophy of honour, than my amazing friend Jasmine. Jasmine understands honour due to her background. She is half persian, and half irish american. Her mother Alison and Jasmine honour life to the full with their love of dress and artistic living. Everyday is a fun and fully artistic adventure to team the right colour, with the right accessory, and colour shoe and lipstick, so that an incredibly unique and beautiful vision emerges. They always both look incredible, and people always stare in wonder. Seriously.
Long ago, back in the seventies, Jasmine’s mother Alison, married a handsome and intelligent persian man with piercing eyes, when it was not really the done thing for a bostonian catholic girl to do. But she went for it. And so the legacy of honour has been passed on from mother and father to daughter. They all treasure and honour life itself with their every breathing moment.
One of the lovely persian traditions of honouring life is that of always having a beautiful display of fresh fruit and nuts on the table in gorgeous containers, to help guests feel honoured, and also to enhance the very gift of life itself. I am sure that this was a tradition that the dutch picked up on in the 17th century, with their love of the still life and memento mori and of course tulips which originate in modern Iraq. So I have included a photo of Alison’s stunning crystal used to beautifully present fruit. (sorry there was no fruit when i took the pic, but you get the idea)
I have also included a picture of the incredible interior of Alison’s apartment, and also Jasmine’s balcony in Aman with its dreamlike atmosphere. Jasmine created this with cheap furniture from a market, but just look at it. I think her collection of fabrics speaks volumes about her excuisit eye for the unusual and beautiful. Both Alison and Jasmine are also natural born storytellers and wordsmiths.
After marrying her Persian man in the seventies, Alison lived in Tehran. After the revolution, Jasmine was born, andthey worked in Saudi Arabia, where Jasmine learned Arabic as a baby. Then they lived and worked in Kuwait for approximately the next twenty years, with Jasmine being educated at Yale. She is fluent in Arabic, Persian and English, and is now a full bright student at the Royal University of Jordan in Aman, where she is creating intricate and sensitive Arabic script, tiles, and art. She has also curated important pan arabic art exhibitions for Yale. So honourable in her relations is she with others, that she accumulates an incredibly large and colourful array of friends from USA and the middle east.
stay tuned! Although hectically busy, between flights between Boston, and Aman Jordan, Jasmine is going to do her best to do a post on her notion of “Honour”. She is a incredibly creative and magical storyteller, and it will be a captivating screed. Good luck Jasmine and I send to you my honour you and Alison are very inspiring people to many!!