A Dress of Longings

I once wrote that a person should do at least one thing in her life that takes her own breath away. That's my friend, Sue Monk Kidd, commenting on her recent supernova of a novel, The Book of Longings.  Her last few books left me breathless, from The Secret Life of Bees to The Invention of Wings.  But, Sue tweets, this is the one - this great daring story - that really takes her own breath. 

I have to confess I feel the same way when I look at this picture, the one just above with proud, sovereign Nara from Thailand letting the rivers of intricate hand-embroidery flow over her into the dark.  I want to say WOW in 52 different languages when I see this image.  I want to say:  this is my favorite anything we've ever designed at Ibu.  I want to say, to lovely Nara, to the dress, to the design team at Ibu, to the embroiderers and seamstresses in Pakistan - I want to say, for this tiny moment:  You've taken my breath away.

But then, I want to say it to you.  To you, the loyal allies and supporters who have stood with Ibufor 5 years, who have stayed beside us while taking hits from Covid, who have listened and led and loved and been a part of every move we make:  you take my breath away.  

That we can do this - that we can stay united and engaged and strong and committed and more ambitious than ever - while the world sustains gashes to heart and mind and bears a litany of disaster; that we can stay hopeful while things everywhere burn and roil; that we can stay one while so many insist on staying divided - THAT takes my breath away.  And to be a part of it? It makes me weep, to be honest.  That I can be this lucky.  That I can know you and can touch, through you, the face of this woman in Pakistan, this beautiful face above, whose hope, for the first time, because of you, lies within herself.

When Sue Monk Kidd presided over my wedding 18 years ago, in a tiny garden on a tiny island near Charleston, she gave me and my husband a charge.  An assignment, uniquely ours.  Feed the world with beauty, she said.  It is what you long to do in the deepest places of the heart, she said, knowing us well.  So go forth, with all you have, and do that. 

I offer you this dress in that spirit, offer you everything at Ibu in that spirit, offer up everything I do with that heart.   I want to feed the world with beauty.  And so, perhaps,do you.  So, let's go forth and do just that.  Let's do it together.  Let's be fearless.  Let's take our own breath away.  

to you and you and our movement, now, like never before ~

Susan Hull Walker

Couldn't resist a face mask out of the same intricate embroidery.  Time to make your respect for others look beautiful.