Wednesday, March 7, 2012

refinement rather than fashion

This is the third line of Ellery's poem. And since it is the third month of the year, perhaps I should venture here next.

Refinement vs. fashion.

Well, since I am not much into fashion, this one isn't too tricky for me. Refinement sounds cheaper, which I like.

First, let me prove that I am nowhere near a fashionista: I went shopping with a friend of a friend, who is a model, and a gorgeous one at that. I guess they all are. And we tried things on in separate dressing rooms, but then stood side by side looking at ourselves in the mirror. Well, really, I think we were both looking at her. Her tiny bod, and her perfect face, and the whole package of it would vault any woman into the dangerous land of coveting. Ya. Stand next to that. She did, however, offer several suggestions for me and my "closet" to which I responded:
-no, too much work
-nope, too many layers
-no, I'd look like I'm trying to look 20, which I'm CLEARLY not
-nope, ridiculous, even if it IS in style
-no way, TOOOOO expensive! Seriously?!?! 150 dollars for a t-shirt!?!?

So, I will wear what I like, what is relatively inexpensive (unless it promises longevity, then I'm all for spending a bit).

But refinement inspires a different dilemma: On first impression it smacks of British snobbery, like you should say it with an accent. On further thought, it brings about images of breweries and processing plants. Or maybe that's refineries I'm thinking of. Lastly, I conjure things I don't particularly care for, like fancy teas, perfect table settings, all the things my Stager (meant to be pronounced with a British accent btw) made me do to my house that took 1,000 hours. (But they worked, btw, first show = contract. Damn, we really are moving to Canada. I'm not ready.)

I suppose that refinement means taste. Proper stuff. Even though I associate it with snobbery, it does indeed have its place. I know I should teach my boys to eat with utensils instead of their fingers. But. I do make them wash their hands beforehand. Okay, most of the time. When I remember. Okay. Really not all that much. So, they'll be miserable failures on their first dates.

Perhaps I'll break it down: "re" means again, repeat, back to the original place, again, as in "reincarnation," reinvention," "remember." And "fine" equals delicate, finest quality, highest good.

The word implies things/peoples/ideas that are improved, excellent, polished, and this process involves the removal of impurities and unwanted elements, clarifying by making small changes...

Like the solar flare which is currently causing us to rid ourselves of bad stuff, according to some of my metaphysical friends who believe in the energy levels this solar flare is creating... apparently it is challenging us to rid ourselves of extra baggage, and only a few of us will. And those of use who do rid ourselves deal with the discomfort of it.

Yes, it a pain in the ass to rid myself of all the extra stuff in my house,
Yes, it is painful to cut myself off from people I love and know who love and know me,
Yes, it is uncomfortable to look honestly at my own weaknesses,
Yes, it hurts to examine my faults, bad habits, selfish tendencies,
Yes, it sucks to admit that aforementioned weaknesses cause other people harm.

But. If I want to be refined, I fear I must.

The truth will set you free... that was Jesus.

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