Unchosen Freedom

June 16th, 2013


Diana and The SC took to the streets and decided to do a series of photo shoots throughout Denver over the next few weeks.  After all it’s summer and easy to navigate the city, searching for spots that we love.  Today we settled on Cheesman Park HERE and its Walter Scott Cheesman Pavilion, which is just minutes from my home by car.

Unlike the brilliant and dearly departed Nora Ephron, most of the time I feel good about my neck, next to the columns built in 1908.  They both have an interesting and intriguing patina.  Patina is such a beautiful word.  Many of my friends didn’t make it to 70 to have any feelings about their necks.  I think I’ll flaunt my neck like any self-respecting Crone and leave my inner ageist below the radar.  Too bad it can’t be excavated along with other self-limiting beliefs that linger within the collective unconscious.


The vintage multicolored Pucci blouse with yard sale black leggings and pencil skirt, along with estate sale jewels, provided a contrast to varying shades of the Pavilion’s marble. The black headwear by Brigitte NYC is made of a verging on transparent fabric and an infinite number of shapes can be created with its supple form on any given day, depending on mood and inclination.  One interpretation is just the tip of the iceberg.

Which brings to mind the comments and questions regarding the headwrap in my last post. To begin the wrap, I centered the edge of the scarf at the nape of my neck and pulled both ends toward the front of my forehead, tying knots and draping/tucking folds until it felt right.  Every time I wrap a scarf it turns out different and I play with it until I feel satisfied.  Similar to the fabric hat that I wore today in that it molds to my head almost like a piece of clay.  Perhaps that’s how it feels to build a sculpture, which I have never done, so I hesitate to draw a comparison.  But maybe this is just another form of sculpture.


Though my life is moving forward and backward, at times I think about how my daily activities are radically different from two years ago.  My purpose and focus have been extremely altered.  This is an unchosen freedom to do whatever I visualize on any given day, but it comes with a price.  Will I always feel intermittent survivor’s guilt?  When will I be more accepting of the impermanence of life that I vividly recognize and navigate moment by moment?  Now I see that impermanence has always been a fact of life and accepting that is the ultimate freedom.


Photos by Diana

All of this has been brought to mind by the largest wildfire in Colorado history.  Over 460 homes have been burned to the ground and there is a collective melancholy in the air, along with the smoke that covers the blazing Colorado sun, irritates the eyes and emits an odor that infiltrates the atmosphere from time to time, even though the fires are miles away.  Sometimes it seems that the  fires are leaping from the next block. And in a way they are.  Like Istanbul.  I have a friend there.  She makes headwear.


The estate sale vintage suede slingback heels adorned with multicolored beads.

The SC is off to join the party at Visible Monday HERE that the gorgeous and creative Patti created at Not Dead Yet Style.

29 Responses to “Unchosen Freedom”

  1. Jennifer

    I love your comment about the self-limiting beliefs that linger in our consciousness. How true!! Thank you for explaining your scarf trying magic! It looked so lovely. I want to try it.

  2. Melanie

    Stunning colours and stunning location. I love that you will be taking photos with Diana all over the city of Denver for these next weeks. I didn’t know about the fires and it is shocking how easy it is to be out of tune with such tragic events. I wish for big rain in Colorado.

  3. Trina Grandinetti

    Acceptimg the ulitmate freedom, awe, that is so beautiful said. What a brilliant post, comparing scarfs with sculpturing. You have such a great way with words. Beautiful, beautiful blouse, it is simply stunning.


    I cannot get enough of your beautiful inspiration, dear Judith.
    The bigger photos let me see and feel closer to you.
    How I long to meet and hug you tight.

  5. Marla

    Beautiful colors in your top. I love to read your writings. Just beautiful.

  6. Emalina

    I love what you’ve written about accepting impermanence as the ultimate act of freedom, so existential and so true. A hard philosophy to live out, as you say, but one so vital and rewarding.
    You are a real inspiration to me Judith – your hard won wisdom and willingness to engage with the world shine out of your words and your images. That pucci shirt is magnificent, in all its many colours, and many thanks on the advice for creating a turban hat!

  7. Patti @ NotDeadYet Style

    Beautiful writing, SC – you invite me to contemplate all the unknowns that lie ahead, for each of us. And how lovely you look in your Pucci blouse, given center stage by your black skirt. Fabulous! And yes, let’s all love our necks a little more today : >

  8. Vix

    Your writing is incredible, Judith! I adore your attitude to the inevitable ageing process and how you relish each challenge life throws at you. You really are an inspiration.
    That blouse is magnificent! x

  9. SizzleandZoom

    I noticed the shoes right away in the second shot. Love those and the Pucci blouse is gorgeous. Colorado is my my thoughts and I hope it is contained by
    the time you see this.

  10. Curtise

    The shoes and that fabulous Pucci blouse were surely made to be together, and together with you, Judith! And how interesting that the hat can be made into different shapes – I like that.
    Impermanence and change… yes, they are inevitable, and exciting when chosen, more than a little frightening when forced upon us…
    I didn’t know about the fires in Colorado – I seem to remember similar tragedies last year, but this year is obviously even worse. Your description of the smoke and melancholy casting a pall over the state is eloquent.
    Take care – I look forward to future out-on-location photos. xxx

  11. Paula

    We read Nora’s book in book club, and most of my friends, who are mostly in their 50’s, hate their necks and don turtlenecks! Personally, that just makes it worse! But I am not a turtleneck person, and I hide other parts so–I guess we all have something. And we are never happy with our bodies, are we?; not even at 16!

    Tis true, we are lucky to still be alive to be able to love or hate–necks or whatever.

    Love the shots! xoxo

  12. Holly

    That blouse is fab and I can’t get over that fantastic hat!

  13. Rosemary Murphy

    I LOVE the Pucci blouse, absolutely divine.
    70 and a scraggy neck? Pah! You look just as good as your blouse! I’m a 1943 baby like you and a scraggy neck is the least of my problems. I’m banking on style, personality and attitude, all of which you have got in spades.

  14. Sunny

    Great style, great colors and a “cool” had. Thanks for showing.
    Have a good time.

  15. Linda

    Always inspired by your insights into life, Judith, as well as your wardrobe. Today’s outfit is so structurally chic.

    Yes, I do sometimes feel sorry for my poor, aging neck, but the feeling is fleeting. We are indeed so much more that how we look.

    So glad have found your divine site. 🙂


  16. Shelley

    There are so many statements in this post that I find inspiring, particularly “Now I see that impermanence has always been a fact of life and accepting that is the ultimate freedom”. You have such a brilliant way of articulating the emotional challenges you have been through (and are going through). I’m so glad you kept that blouse – the colours are gorgeous! I will attempt a Judith-style head wrap one of these days and post the results.

  17. Ann

    Oh Judith this is a touching post on many levels. I enjoy seeing your photos in the landscape of Denver. And of course your outfit is lovely. I especially like your your skirt leggings combo with the most fabulous shoes ever! The work impermanence couple with freedom is true wisdom. Thanks for sharing your life through your blog.

    blue hue wonderland

  18. Jan Graham-McMillen

    Your neck is lovely and strong right along with the rest of your beautiful self. I love the analogy of the very beautiful but patinated columns. Like lovely marble striations … I’ll always remember this image and your words. As you say, so many don’t live long enough to worry about their necks.
    You were to late to offer Nora any solace, but you sure made me feel happier about my neck … now I’ll just have to fret that it’s so short! (Less to wrinkle, I guess…)
    Great, great outfit … so in love with the evocative print blouse, and the tights and skirt look so downright cool. The shoes! Unlike a lot of vintage that is revived, these look brand new and up to the minute!

    Tough times in Colorado, as we were hearing from Dan’s sister (She lives in Westminster.) Thousands evacuated… please stay safe. So happy to know you have lots of friends and resources if you need them.
    Stay safe … glad to hear all is well.

    And when you figure out how to surrender to complete acceptance of the impermanence of life, let me know. I suspect our resistance is what keeps us going sometimes … perfect stasis is death, we know. If that’s the case, then that’s just another issue to wrestle with! As long as we’re wrestling, then we know we’re living and not just alive.


    Holy crap, you are such a beautiful and classy lady. You reflect every inch opulence!


  20. Tamera

    Judith your posts always make me think and reflect and grow! Thank you for revealing your heart to us.
    You look AMAZING in the Pucci blouse–and those shoes are just stunning and perfectwith that blouse!

  21. Spashionista

    Judith, every time I lose heart I read your posts and find courage.
    So many with my condition of Cerebral Palsy are unable to speak or show the world that they matter. I wish they could all see you shine and flaunt your beauty!
    You are right about impermanence. As George Harrison wrote, “All things must pass”. Accepting change with grace is the most difficult part of being alive.
    I’m glad you are still with us. At this point I don’t even have to tell you how divine you look; it’s a given 😉


  22. Anne-Marie Bruun

    Black and pang-colors (I do not know if it’s the same word in English) are fantastic. I think that sometimes it’s a little hard to welcome the joy. I do not know if I express myself well, but I understand what you have written. I love the beautiful colors. Absolutely beautiful. And incredible beautiful shoes

  23. Tess

    Looking Good Judith! Love those shoes! Great set you chose!

  24. Little Bit in Love Misfit

    Well, I’m a little bit in love: with your blouse, your shoes, your hat, your pics, your smile and your wonderful words. Every post is poetry. Thank you.

    Sarah xxx

  25. Sylvia @ 40PlusStyle

    Beautiful outfit as always. You know hum much I adore that tunic/dress over pants look! Love the colors and your hat is divine. As always I’m marvelling in your writing as well. At the moment I can relate to the smoke of fire as Singapore has been in a haze all week, only it’s from (deliberately lit) fires from Indonesia. Let’s hope the fires in Colorado have ended. Very much looking forward to discovering your beautiful state and city soon…

  26. Greetje Kamminga

    You say things so beautiful, I can feel your feelings. Or at least I think I can.
    As for your outfit, I immediately recognized your blouse as being quality and expensive. Then I saw the word Pucci…. Well… what more proof do you need.
    Your slingbacks are also very pretty.
    Another great combination. And as always, with a brilliant hat.

  27. Susan Partlan

    A moving post Judith, and you look beautiful in Pucci.

    Your process is an inspiration. Impermanence is always an unchosen freedom for me. I do not want or delight in change but do pursue it when it is necessary and accept it when it is inevitable.

  28. Mrs D

    You look beautiful in that photo where you look very pensive…
    that Pucci shirt is fabulous, what a find!
    Accepting the impermanence of life has to be one of the hardest things in this life, whether it’s regarding ourselves or all our loved ones.

  29. Sue @ A Colourful Canvas

    Thank you for sharing your technique for scarf wrapping. I do appreciate that it is an organic process, but still so helpful to read the steps that you follow. You look lovely in these photos, and I find this to be yet another inspiring headwear piece.

    Forward and back…I think as long as we are fluid and moving, then we are in a position to be accepting…

    Sue xo

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