San Francisco photographed May 22 through the glass at Coit Tower, Telegraph Hill.
Am off to San Francisco for fun and adventure at the BlogHer conference, where I'm looking forward to seeing some of my favourite bloggers and meeting new ones. I will remain in San Francisco for nearly two weeks to see friends and enjoy my favourite American city. Prepared posts should appear in my absence. Will try to blog live from time to time, although my laptop stayed in Paris. But my cameras will be with me, so watch this space!
This beautiful 18th-century bonnet belonged to Marie-Antoinette's daughter. Marie-Antoinette's duchesse satin shoe is to the right of the bonnet. The historical items are part of an astonishing museum-quality private collection at a family chateau in the Loire Valley, France.
The former Queen of France's shoes and monogrammed and embroidered garters. At left is her daughter's bonnet. Click photos to enlarge.
Faded grandeur of 17th-century hand-stitched slippers. Wooden and ivory crucifixion figures of Christ and gold gilt angel wings are stuffed inside the shoes.
A bouquet of roses for you, with many thanks for your good wishes and encouraging words.
The FISA fight continues
This week the Senate is debating and voting on a bill giving AT&T, Verizon and other telecoms retroactive immunity for their role in cooperating with the Bush administration's warrantless spying on Americans. Chris Dodd, Russ Feingold and 11 other principled senators are trying to strip the immunity clause from the bill.
Please telephone Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid at 202.224.3542 and ask that he pull the FISA "compromise" bill, which will let AT&T and the other telecoms off the hook. The bill also effectively would quash the numerous class action lawsuits currently pending against the telecoms.
Last week Chief Judge Vaughn Walker of the Northern District of California issued an opinion in Al Haramain v. Bush, one of the cases challenging the National Security Agency's warrantless wiretapping program. The court held that FISA preempts the state secrets privilege and that the president's authorities under Article II of the Constitution do not give him the power to overrule FISA. The Electronic Frontier Foundation said the court decision "dramatically undermines key arguments for telecom immunity" on the eve of the Senate vote.
"Be bold and mighty forces come to your aid. Until one is committed, there is hesitancy; the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elemental truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to one that would never otherwise have occurred. A while stream of events issue from the decision, raising in one's favour all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would come his way." - E.H. Murray, Scottish explorer, Himalayan expedition.
Some fun-filled adventures coming up this summer, involving travel and leaps of faith.
A leap of faith requires courage. It means considering the worst-case scenario, but still going ahead. To me, trusting a positive outcome implies belief in yourself; in the ideas of magic and possibility and in the kindness of friends and strangers alike. A daring leap of faith encourages the universe to shift to help realise one's goals. Taking a risk suggests: "I'm willing to try - let's see what we can accomplish together!"
Despite high hopes, it can be a little scary to jump off the deep end. I've just bought a new camera, because my next leap of faith involves collaborating on a book with one of France's premiere antiques dealers. This is a woman of impeccable taste and elegant style, who happens to own - and sell - some of the most wonderful antiques and collectibles imaginable. Hmmm, this could be dangerous. (Note to self: Do not bring any antiques home with you!) Shooting begins Wednesday...wonder if I can figure out how the new camera works by then?
The second leap of faith begins next week in San Francisco. First, there's the BlogHer conference at the St. Francis, where I'll be sharing a room with this inspiring poet and meeting these twoamazing women in person, among other fascinating bloggers.
And that fabulous gypsy Alex and I are hosting a Sunday brunch for more than a dozen creative, talented women, most whom we have never met. Then I'll stay in San Francisco for another ten days, spending time with my dear friends Tangobaby and Studio Wellspring, who already have a few adventures planned, at least one involving magic tricks!
I'll also be seeing my friends Susan, Deirdre,Brenda Walton and Joan, who owns the fantastic spend-all-afternoon-there store Timeless Treasures (photos in an upcoming post). Plus I'll be meeting several Bay Area blogging friends for the first time. And my daughter Jordana may fly out for a few days. My head is spinning, just thinking about all the excitement!