August 30, 2010


August, A Birthday, And What Matters Most.

It is the Monday after my birthday weekend, which truth be told was more like a full week of celebrating with good friends. My one big "request" as far as celebrations go, was the chance to host a small dinner party and be able to gather some of the wonderful people in my life around a table of food, in a room filled with laughter. On Tuesday evening my friend and I brought together some of our very favorite people, and I was able to cook dinner and make the first of my birthday wishes with a candle on a cake! The evening was a success, mostly because of the open and ebbulliant spirits of the guests, who were all up for having a great time! Even when I announced that no one was allowed to leave until they sat down at the "arts and crafts table" and decorated a t-shirt for me! I must say, this was one of my better ideas ever! An icebreaker activity for the guests at the party who didn't know each other...and fabulous, one of a kind, new clothing for me! It is a wonderful thing to see people return to a place only accessed or revisited with a big colored marker, a puffy paint stick or a pair of safety scissors in hand!


The rest of the week continued in the same spirit, and on the day of my birthday I spent a quiet day with my friend, biking to the beach, swimming and sharing stories of our past and our dreams for the future. It was nearly perfect...

However the entire week had a soft sadness to it as well.
One of Giving Tree Jewelry's most fervent (and fun, funny, fabulous) supporters, and personally, the most incredible friend and support system I could ever ask for, continues to struggle to beat her cancer diagnosis.
It is a scenario that is tragically, all to common, seeing a loved one fight this awful disease.
In the case of my best friend, it has been a long and painful battle, and last week ushered in even more challenges to overcome. So even though I was filled with a profound sense of "joyful becoming" throughout the week of my birthday, I also had a heavy heart.
Every wish, on every candle, that I made this year, was made for my friend. That she know, in every instance, how loved she is, how inspiring she is, and how her ability to be selfless and bring laughter and joy and healing to people, is utterly remarkable, and something I regard as the ultimate manifestation of a life.
With every wish I asked that SHE be brought the same healing, and laughter and joy she has created for so many others.
I am entirely hopeful and positive she will overcome. I just wish I could do more to lift her sadness and struggle RIGHT NOW.
I know wishes alone are not enough. But I made them anyway, and send them to her with all the love and promise of forever friendship a heart can hold.

It was a beautiful, important, changing and challenging August for me.
I am attempting to grow Giving Tree by expanding its base to include NYC. So many new projects are on the horizon it is hard to contain my excitement for the (very soon!) new season. I am also hoping that by personally pushing and challenging and expanding myself (living in NYC!) Giving Tree will prosper by way of greater access and understanding of the art and fashion and culture capital of the world.
And every day, in every way I can think of, I am honoring the unfailing resolve and spirit and purely loving heart of my best friend. I am praying ceaselessly.

Rachel, Late August 2010, NYC

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