If you haven't visited the thoughtful, popular blog A DESIGN SO VAST, written by Lindsey Mead Russell - her ongoing dialogue of the journey through the challenges and epiphanies of everyday life - then I urge you to do so today. Lindsey is one of the muses of my life, a steady voice, stunning writer, parent, wife, and wise and generous friend to many. What she offers in her writing defies categorization. She is perhaps best described as a lightning rod for practical truth, for the kind of candid, unflinching honest empathy that describes surviving in the trenches in the companionship of a trusted friend. A "battle buddy," as my son the U.S. Naval Midshipman would say. Yesterday her blog featured a questionnaire named THE PROUST QUESTIONNAIRE. You can find this fascinating list of questions and register answers on her blog at www.adesignsovast.com/2011/02, or click above under the picture of Katy, McDuff, and me on the cabin steps at Priest Lake.
This funky questionnaire seemed worth reproducing here because it is thoughtful in the kind of way that helps define us to ourselves. Sometimes we need that. To see the outlines, dark and firm on the page, that prompt us to color in the subtleties. To think about ourselves and daily living in a way we have yet to explore. If it's true that you are how you live, then truth lies in the obvious. So for today's blog I am going to answer the questionnaire for myself here for you, and invite you to do so for yourself, or to me, or on Lindsey's blog.
Here is Vanity Fair's The Proust Questionnaire: What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
Late night worry. Despite knowing worry presumes the future, this is the moment that challenges me to find my inner optimist (generally off worrying).Where would you like to live?
Spokane is welcoming. The shores of Priest Lake. Perhaps a small coastal town with a stimulating university. Close candidates include San Luis Opisbo, Palo Alto, the Carolina coastline, any of the villages of Cinque Terre on the southern Italian Riviera if we're dreaming.What is your idea of earthly happiness?
Sleeping in with the warm sun baking through the shades, half in and out of a dream that may or may not be life designing. Walking the bluff, or the trails of Priest Lake. A glass of wine by an open fire under a thousand stars.To what faults do you feel most indulgent?
The faults of people striking a bold pose in the heart of deep insecurity. Those who strive hard from fear.Who are your favorite heroes of fiction?
Off the top of my head - Winnie the Pooh, Edmund Dantes (The Count of Monte Cristo), Pi (Life of Pi), Yoda.Who are your favorite characters in history?
Epictetus, Marc Antony and Cleopatra, Katherine of Aragon, John Quincy Adams, Voltaire, Simone de Beauvoir, Verdi, Beethoven, Patton, Churchill, Ghandi, JFK.Who are your favorite heroines in real life?
My son and daughter, who challenge themselves to live life with zero qualifications. Full on engagement.Who are your favorite heroines of fiction?
Clarissa Dalloway (Mrs. Dalloway), Irina (Three Sisters), Emma (Jane Austen), Mead (Searching for Grace), Mirabelle (Shopgirl)Your favorite painter?
Renoir, Mary Cassatt, Pollock, Mark Rothko, Louise Bourgeois, Georgia O’KeeffeYour favorite musician?
Chet Baker, Sarah Vaughan, James TaylorThe qualities you most admire in a man?
Brilliance, wit, kindness, character. Sensuality.The qualities you most admire in a woman?
Loyalty. A sense of humor. Spiritual grounding. Emotional courage & risktaking.Your favorite virtue?
Quiet courage. Your favorite occupation?
Writer. Bird watcher/shell collector. Student of the world. Book critic. Mother, wife and lover.Who would you have liked to be?
Katherine Hepburn hanging out with Humphrey Bogart on The African Queen! Read More