I fell in the park the day before the Winter Solstice.  A hidden patch of ice under the newly fallen snow captured my osteoporotic bones, and I rolled into a bundled ball to the ground beneath my feet.  I instantly felt a dull pain in my right rib area.  Slowly I got up, relieved that I hadn’t fractured a hip or something equally horrifying.  The discomfort from my fall did not stop me from walking home, but I had not totally escaped injury.

Early the next morning I was off to yoga and grateful that I was able to complete the class, allowing a lifeline intact.  Only by coming to the edge of pain in certain movements, and drawing back to prevent further injury.  A dance of mindfulness in and of itself.

The next day the furnace went out in my home.  On a Saturday afternoon.  Several emergency diagnostic visits later, nothing was resolved.  Monday, December 24th revealed a furnace needing replacement and I was told that installation could not be scheduled until Friday.  Was this a conspiracy to cloud a holiday season?

I hunkered down in my bedroom with the door closed, in the company of a space heater.  Drawing back into my home, leaving every faucet dripping to prevent the pipes from freezing.  I couldn’t think of abandoning my sanctuary, leaving it unattended in its wounded state.  Urban camping of sorts, monitoring the space heaters during the night, and leaving for errands during the day.  However, composing an outfit  on Christmas Day and visiting friends with Camille was a welcome relief, as the warmth of friendship is a perfect antidote to any struggle or chill of the soul.

Survival became the mode as the temperature in the house dove to 30 degrees, which was warmer than the near zero reading outside the brick walls of my beloved Denver Square.  I withdrew, gathering, using every reserve, searching for a new source of heat.  I neutralized myself from emotion, as crying, or laughing, even sneezing was met with pain.  A retreat in my geography and my inner self.  I’ve noticed over the years that at times my home reflects my internal state, as though it’s a living, breathing entity.

On the morning of the day after Christmas, I surrendered deeply in child’s pose at yoga, knowing that a fifth night in a cold house would test my resolve.  I began thinking of those that survived the recent east coast hurricane,  the homeless, people across the earth without warmth or protection, their dilemma not easily solved. I was in awe of their strength and resilience.

A second opinion upon returning home from class provided a furnace and an earlier than expected return to warmth and a new sense of appreciation for my home, the many gifts in my life, and my emerging ability to independently find resources when my world presents obstacles or barriers.  As my home was restored to health, over the next few days my bruised rib healed to the point of allowing nearly normal self expression.  To laugh or cry with abandon!

Photos by Camille.

In celebration of The New Year and my return to health and warmth, The SC wears a vintage veiled cocktail hat.  Full faced veils offer protection, safety and distance from the outside world, with their delicate weaved layers and their tendency to obscure.  Surely this is a temporary reflection of my recent need to neutralize and draw within, along with the intention to have a little fun on the last day of 2012.

Vintage veiled cocktail hat – vintage store, red organza jacket – Brigitte NYC end of business sale, black satin skirt with drapey details, sleeveless black turtleneck sweater, long black fingerless gloves and black suede booties – consignment stores, rhinestone earrings, pin and black velvet belt with rhinestones – estate sales.

May your 2013 be warm and glorious!

Happy New Year to all over at Visible Monday HERE, with Patti’s invitation to ‘close the year out together.’








  1. Sorry to hear of the heating crisis, Judith. I can’t imagine a colder and more inconvenient time for the boiler to pack up. Glad to see you remained fabulously stylish and drop dead gorgeous despite the catastrophe.
    Wishing you all the best for 2013 and thanks for your continued friendship across the miles. xxx

  2. First, you look radiant! I don’t use that word lightly…never to describe just an outfit, only b/c your inner strength and vulnerability shines thru with your photos and words.
    I’m so happy that your home has heat and you’re healing from the fall.

    Wishing you a Happy & Healthy 2013!
    Thank you for always inspiring me!

  3. Oh Judith, what a week you’ve had! I love your description of our living breathing homes. It’s so true. The things our walls witness contain much more than we can remember ourselves.

    The red shrug jacket just billows with warm radiance which you need right now. You’ve come out of your “nest” in a new light!

  4. You looked fantastic, Judith. Red becomes you.

    I wish more women wore cocktail hats. A friend used to wear them in the evening, usually for special events like a concert or play. She stopped because she grew uncomfortable with stares, comments. I hope she’ll regain her confidence and wear them again. I’ll direct her to your delightful blog!

    Cheers and hope you’re back in ‘action’ soon.


  5. I remember falling with a thud on ice a few years ago – it happens so fast. I’m glad to hear you’re okay and still able to do your yoga! Such a shame about the furnace, but like you, I can’t imagine how storm victims have been managing – no heat as well as houses torn apart. I feel very lucky to live in a mild (though wet) climate.

    You are always elegant and an inspiration!

  6. Oh gosh, Judith, what a trying week! You are a real trooper, and I love your loyalty to your house. We’ve survived similar situations with the help of our gas logs, which you remind me to appreciate more.

    I did a very ungraceful sidewalk smack a few days ago in NYC. Wandering around looking happily at everything but where I was going, I tripped over a rise in the sidewalk and fell like a tree. Heh. Luckily the down maxi coat I borrowed from my sister, aka the sleeping bag, saved me from scrapes, but boy, am I sore 😛 Glad you are feeling better.

    Your organza jacket reads fun and joy 🙂

  7. What a week of tribulations, dear Judith! So glad to hear the furnace is replaced and the bruise healing. I bruised a rib a year ago and remember how much it hurt to laugh! You are gorgeous in red, and in your elegant hat. I wish you a peaceful and loving New Year.

  8. Sorry to hear about your fall, and your furnace. Glad things seem to be getting back to normal. Yes, warmth is very important. You look so lovely in your photos. Have a safe and happy New Year.

  9. What a fascinating allegory! Cold and ice, falls and bruises, retreat and resolve, then the return of warmth and emotion and life in colour!
    I am sorry you had a lot of difficulty to contend with, Judith, but thank goodness you have your heating back, your bruises are healing, and you are showing us your fabulous outfit. The hat is, of course, spectacular. I see the veil as adding a little sensual mystery, rather than something to retreat behind, but that must be my little-used romantic side popping out for the new year!
    I thought the red ruffles were a scarf but I see it is a jacket – and what a jacket, how dramatic and flamenco-esque!
    Wishing you much love and happiness for 2013, Judith, I look forward to following you through the adventures of another year. xxxxxx

  10. Ah, Judith, I am always inspired by your posts, and this one is no exception. Your words, “the warmth of friendship is a perfect antidote to any struggle or chill of the soul,” could not be more fitting for me as I reflect back on this year. Friends have truly been my salvation. The year has been a challenge, but I am not broken and look forward to the new year fast apporaching. Building strength, flexibility and endurance … my intentions for 2013 are both spirtual and physical. Of course, I will strive to live these intentions in a stylish manner! — Best wishes in the coming year.

  11. know that Bob and I would always offer you a warm place to sleep! What a brave girl you are, and spring will come…we wish you the best New Year filled with love and laughter. Blackeyed peas and collard greens at our house, all New Year’s Day, Stop by!

  12. Oh, Judith, I feel last year and broke a rib, so I know how painful it is and then to add a cold house on top of it, just YUK! I wish I lived nearby to offer you a warm room to stay in. But you always take the YUKKY and teach us loving thoughts through it…the thoughts of the hurricane victims and others is a place so few of us go when we are suffering. Thank you for you reminders and for being such a great example to the rest of us of what a woman of Strength and Dignity looks like. Happy New year…may it overflow with joy!

  13. Oh dear, what an ordeal! I’m so glad you have heat now and weren’t seriously injured. That red jacket is stunning. You look fiery and defiant of life’s tribulations.

  14. You are the embodiment of the saying that “it’s not what happens to you in life that matters, but how you cope with it”. I am so glad your rib has healed, and that you have heat and as we head into a new year, you are welcoming it in your usual elegant fabulousness. Did you buy that awesome red jacket when we were in NY? If you ever get tired of it….
    Warm wishes for a prosperous new year filled with love and laughter.

  15. Oh Judith, I am so thankful that your injuries were not worse than they were. And doing without heat is a real challenge. We had an ice storm that took out the power a few years ago. It was cold and one certainly learns to appreciate heat and light after missing it for days.
    I hope that you have a very happy new year in 2013.

  16. Oh my, you leave me speechless with all that has happened. And with your photographs. The close-up of you surrounded by that perfect globe from your veiled hat looks beatific or mystical or surreal. Especially in light of your fall on ice, injured rib, and unheated house – to end up looking like that. You’ve got some powerful mojo working.

  17. Dear Judith,
    I am so happy to hear that you have surmounted your recent problems and are about to face 2013 with heat and health!!
    You are a beautiful person and deserving of the very best that this universe has to offer.
    Be well and enjoy a very Happy New Year.

  18. Oh, Judith, what a time you have come through. I am thrilled that warmth has returned, your bruises are easing, and that you are feeling your way back into full range of physicality in emotion. Your attunement to the symbolic is so powerful, one of the many things I appreciate about you and your blog. You are a vision of motion and fiery mystery here! Happy New Year!

  19. I love the look of the lacy orb on your head. Well, I love the whole outfit, especially that punchy jacket with flower-petal arms. Gorgeous. This would be a good one for Ari’s colouring book! How fun is that?!
    What a year. Clearly you are a survivor with tenderness. I’m glad you are warm again and not injured badly from your fall. Happy New Year!

  20. Oh dear Judith, you would think in a country as advanced as yours, somebody would offer an emergency service to get a new heater in before Christmas. I am glad you survived. Everything came at once it seems.
    You look so brittle with your small figure. The outfit you are showing is perfect. Again.
    Love the jacket and the skirt. And of course the hat.
    Soon I will show you some hats on my blog as well. Even an old fashioned top hat. You will probably be the only person to appreciate it haha.

  21. You’ve probably got the warmth, but I send you all the heart warming I can across the sea. And wish you a Happy New Year. I am always pleased to read and see what you have found in the wardrobe. Want the best health for you in the new year. In the bottom image you look like a flower with red petals in the snow – beautiful.

  22. My dear Judith so sorry to hear of your heat related challenges. I completely agree with you that our abodes can mirror our inner life. Even thinking on the subject, I realize how true it is. The public spaces in my small home have been restyled this week to celebrate the New Year with family, while the personal space of my bedroom is a sea of chaos….

    I wish you much love in the coming year! Thank you again for sharing your wisdom and lovely soul!

    I send you much love!

  23. Your resilience is remarkable, always inspiring. The way in which you conserve your energy and heal is a lesson for all of us. You look beautiful and I’m glad you’re feeling better. XXOO

  24. You draw me in, and leave me with wisdom and understanding. I’m so glad you are a part of my warmth and nourishment borrowed on this planet. Wishing you a safe, and sage 2013, SC.

  25. So glad that you were seriously hurt in your fall! Having been lucky enough to escape injury after having 2 falls myself this past year, I can identify with that feeling of “what happened?!” when you find yourself unexpectedly on the floor. And the loss of warmth too at this time of year. Boy, that would be enough to test my patience! I’ve also had that experience of the heating packing up at the coldest time of year. What is it? A furnace conspiracy?

    Love your red organza jacket. What a beautiful froth!!

    Hope 2013 brings you wonderful and magical things!

    Much love from England,
    Rosemary from http://www.foreveronthecatwalkoflife.blogspot.com

  26. I’m so sorry I’ve only just seen your post and it sounds like you had a hard Christmas! You poor thing to bruise your rib and then have to cope in a cold house, those horrible times brought on by accident and bad luck do test our very mettle don’t they. It sounds like you coped with it all in a very meditative, mindful and graceful manner. I also find yoga to be my saviour when my body hurts, it’s such a caring practice for oneself.

    Very pleased to hear that your rib is returning to health and that the heat has returned to the furnace. Your outfit looks both warming and delightful. What an unusual and gorgeous jacket, as if made from flame itself. Wishing you a very happy 2013!

  27. Hi Judith!

    What a brave person you are- you coped with grace and wisdom –
    Happy NY to you beautiful Lady- I’m so relieved that you hip is fine!

    Ariane xxx

  28. I’m sorry you had all that to deal with around Christmas. You made me understand why people refuse to leave their homes when disaster strikes, it is our cocoon of comfort that houses so much of what we love. I’m glad that the fall was not too serious and that your resilience seems to just get stronger. I really admire your strength and determination in taking care of yourself. The red shrug is your superhero cape and you really handled this crisis beautifully. May 2013 be very good to you!

  29. Hi dear Judith,
    May I wish you a Happy New Year despite all the trouble you have had recently ? I always admire your strength and your energy no matter what. Does this come from yoga or from hat-therapy?
    I used to practice hat therapy too many years ago when I was working in Paris – near the Galeries Lafayettes (Feeling blue? only one remedy: hat try on session in the Galeries L. !!! more efficient and less expensive than any pill)
    I wish you the very best for 2013, with many hats and many scarves. Take good care of yourself.
    Sending you very warm wishes from Florida (go check outside: the ice and snow all around is already melting)
    Anne Touraine (Playing with Scarves)

  30. Sooo much identification in what you wrote ! However I shall freely admit you handled being heatless///just having a space heater, w/ far more personal insight and stamina than when I had my own experience (another story, that one) …. & I love ur look, especially the veil!

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