Sunday, August 17, 2014

How to Make the Most of Your Clothes

Emily Spivak’s Worn Stories takes clothing to another level. The book is a collection of people’s sentimental stories behind the articles of clothing that have special meanings to them. 

You can write your own worn story or collection of worn stories. Think about an article of clothing or an accessory that has a special memory attached to it. What emotions does it stir up? Who were the people involved? What words did you hear spoken? What do you see when you look at the item or visualize it? How does the item feel in your hands? If this item had never come into your life, would things be different?

Now brainstorm: Make a list of your brief thoughts about the questions. You can include your thoughts on all of the questions above, or focus on responding to only one of the questions. When you are finished, look over your list. Then select the ideas that would make a poignant story about your treasured item.

Write from your heart, and allow your passion to envelop your story. When you write from the heart, there is no wrong way to do it. Just remember that writing is communicating. Make sure you communicate your purpose, and when you're finished writing, don’t forget to go back over it and make corrections. The length is up to you. It can be one paragraph or many paragraphs. Don’t be surprised if a book is waiting to be written.

If you still have the clothing or accessory, take a picture of it, and include it in your story. If you don’t still have the item, recreate it with descriptive words that focus on the senses (see, hear, smell, touch, and/or taste) and emotions: velvety, ethereal, exquisite, scintillating, disheveled, and exuberant. A thesaurus is a great resource for finding fascinating words.

If you will eventually give this item away, consider giving the gift of your story along with the item. The beholder will appreciate the item and understand why it is special to you.

My most special item of clothing is my wedding dress, which was the catalyst to a new beginning in my life.

My wedding dress story--
Although it is lacey, scintillating, and delicate, when I caress it with my hands, its exquisite work is surprisingly rugged to my touch. The dress reminds me of the letting go and the joining to. I let go of Mama and Daddy’s hands and joined my hands to my husband’s hands. Out of that conciliation, we began our own lives: a journey of mountains and valleys and plateaus . . . a journey of sunrises and sunsets . . . and a journey of us becoming someone's mama and daddy. 
My wedding dress has survived 33 years and has lived in 8 different closets within 5 states. When I think about how that has been possible—being married for over 33 years--I think about one of the most beautiful passages that has inspired me along my journey:

1 Corinthians 13--Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil; Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth; Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

What article of clothing do you treasure? This is the story in you. Share it.


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