Vita Vita

Vita Sidorkina enjoys balancing her life as a supermodel with home and family.

Married life is amazing! Everything is so much better when you have your soulmate by your side. I definitely think any relationship requires work but it should never feel forced. The key is to be honest and open about your feelings, and accept your other half exactly the way they are.

Maxim September 2019 Article by Zeynep Yenisey

Vita welcomed her daughter, Allegra, to the world in November 2018. She is someone who enjoys simple things, like going to the movies and spending time with her family. “Ever since I had a baby, I realized that life is not about me anymore! Being a parent means making sacrifices, but it’s also the most rewarding thing ever.”

Pouring heart and energy into work, home and family is a wonderful expression of love and gratitude. Having a soulmate at your side gives life meaning and purpose. Bessie Head wrote in A Question of Power, “Love is so powerful, it’s like unseen flowers under your feet as you walk.” Vita surely must feel the soft flower petals strewn on the path before her.

Basking in Simplicity

When I think of you, I become the keys of a piano, the strings of a guitar, the high notes of a song. Lyrics form a love story between parallel worlds, yours and mine. Outlines of separate existences stayed in their lanes for the longest time. Then one day our paths crossed, collided. From that day forth, our stories, our hearts, merged into one. But epic love tales are never that easy. First, we had to shatter our worlds, break each other’s hearts.

In the beginning, the complexity of the collision seemed simple. What could be easier than falling in love? Loving you was effortless; it was a journey of destiny. Living for one another felt natural. I not only lived for you but would have died for you, and you for me. The years passed, and so did the simplicity. The intricate workings of circumstance gave way to mixed emotions, to contradictions. 

Your name on my lips, sweet and sharp. A love song or a battle call? I’ve since forgotten what I began fighting for. Did I attack in the name of love? Was I driven mad by fear and trepidation? Protecting myself, I laced my loving words with poison. Your mediating skills went into full swing until you could no longer defend yourself against my toxic thoughts and pointed swings. Pushed by an apparition, I fell down a dark rabbit hole. When you couldn’t reach me, you came tumbling after. You couldn’t save yourself, because you couldn’t leave me. So I took you down another level, straight into the wretched place I dwelled, in the mud. Here, I made you get your hands dirty and rub them on me; I needed to feel your body on mine, even in contempt. It was when I brought you down as low as you could possibly go that I finally saw how much you love me, how much you’ve always loved me, and how much you will always love me.

In the end, there’s something shattering and humbling about waging a war with the one you love most. There are no victors, only lessons. For me, living through this dark night of the soul embarked a spiritual awakening. This enlightenment came by way of you.

And so here we are, basking in simplicity. We love effortlessly, for it is our destiny. We live and breathe for one another, for that’s the natural order. I live for you, and would die for you, and you for me. Nothing has changed, and yet everything has changed. Our union, like our love, is infinite.

Magic Everywhere

From the 1920s
To the 2020s

Wishing you all a safe and happy Halloween!

October 31, the eve of November 1, was the last night of the year in the ancient Celtic calendar, an evening when folks celebrated the end of their fruitful summer. The Celts of Northern Europe threw parties and built bonfires with hopes of helping the sun through the winter. Their winters were cold and harsh. The editors of Reader’s Digest remarked their winters “called to mind the chill and blackness of the grave, and so it was a time when ghosts would walk, and supernatural spirits, warlocks, and witches would hold their revels.”

Halloween today is a time to suit up, open a bottle of wine or champaign, and put some fresh ribs or veggies on the grill. It’s a time to dance, bake cookies, and try to scare the living daylights out of anyone who comes knocking at your door. We suggest you mask-up, break out the lantern you made from a hollowed-out pumpkin or turnip, turn up the music, and pour out the chocolate bars you bought on sale at your local grocer. When folks come over to see what’s happening, wish them health and happiness in the chilly months ahead, and remember John Martin’s line, “There’s Magic everywhere.”

New Again

Through new love’s eyes fall leaves never fall. The first snow is true love’s first kiss. Spring blossoms stay in perpetual bloom. Summer’s rays shine golden the whole year through. Passion inflames the senses. Life smells sweet, and the world glows with light and love. A gentle graze from a lover’s palm is like an electrical spark to the heart. The sharing of bodies is the imprinting of souls. Ahh, the fireworks of new love. There’s nothing quite like living beneath the expanse of new love’s sky.

October 31, 2020 offers a blue moon, a rare event, particularly since full moons on Halloween occur on a 19-year cycle. Author Stephen King once wrote, “Sooner or later, everything old is new again.” Let’s apply this message from the “King of Horror” to love. It’s Halloween, and we all agree, 2020 has been a hard year, so why not treat each other with a little extra love?

Research shows that happy couples use the word “comfortable” to describe their relationships. Comfortable may sound less than thrilling, but it doesn’t have to be. Old companions may arouse the sensations of new love with the bonus of familiarity and skilled precision. Long and savory kisses can easily awaken sleeping desires. All it takes is for one to make the first move, to reach out and touch the other. When seasoned couples endeavor to walk hand in hand, to put on music and ask for the next dance in the living room, or to ask how they might treat each other on Halloween, what is old will reignite and become new again.

Penelope

Love Always Lingers

Love tarries in the hearts of those who are meant to be together. James Lee Burke speaks of this residual nature of love when, in his book, Private Cathedral, he describes a chance encounter between two former lovers who came close to making a life together. The woman, Penelope, has chosen to live with another.

Dave is thinking aloud:

I saw her on occasion at the racetrack in New Orleans or in a restaurant in the Quarter, and she was always polite and demure, but for just a second her eyes would linger on mine and her face would become warm and contemplative, and whether imaginary or not, I would smell her perfume, even feel it wrapping around me, like the heavy odor of magnolia on a cool spring night, and I would hear a warning bell at a train crossing and make an excuse and get out of New Orleans as quickly as I could.

Private Cathedral

No force on earth can ever extinguish the passion that exists between people who truly love each other.

Madly

I am madly in love with you. ​ Everywhere I go, everywhere I look, I see you. ​The mundane is magical. Waiting in line at the grocery store is now an opportunity to check for a message from you, and you do not disappoint. Your sweet offerings are abundant. Common city pigeons have transformed into messengers of love, every “coo” a sweet “I love you.”  A shamrock growing out of a crack in a paved parking lot stops me dead in my tracks for a moment of splendor. To me, its delicate three leaves are no less extraordinary than four. My feet are light as I skip along the street, in a groove, feeling the beat. I’m playing our song—songs, we have so many! Beneath the nighttime sky, I tend to choose a tune that brings our bodies together in a slow and sensual dance. As the sun sets early and darkness falls, my spirits rise. ​In my mind I am already crawling into bed with you. ​ ​Privy ​to my thoughts, ​the streetlights wink as I approach. ​My mouth flashes a Cheshire cat grin, and I nod my head to them. ​They understand the electricity between us. 

It’s all the little things about you that make me ​desire and love ​​you so. You’ve a thousand good qualities, all wrapped up in​ ​one ​delightful package​. ​ ​T​he unique gift of you​ includes more than your handsome good looks​. ​You come with a warm heart and a strong obligation to serve ​others. You’re not plagued with depressive thoughts or addictive behaviors. In many ways you lead a simple life, and that simplicity adds to your calmness and depth of wisdom. When you gaze at me with your soul-piercing eyes​ ​it’s a sprinkling of stardust ​on​ my psyche. ​You make me want to greet every single person I meet, but I’ll leave that to you. You’re good with people. They always want more of you, and yet you keep them wanting. You share yourself, your private self, with so few. ​Sometimes I wonder if I’m the only person who truly knows you. One thing is for sure, I love you like no other.

Love Is

From the Movie Pain and Gain

I saw the movie Arthur several years ago, a movie about a rich young man who grew up never caring for anyone; then suddenly he fell in love, and he couldn’t describe the way he felt. He wanted to know if what he felt was real, so he asked a total stranger, “How can you tell if you’re in love? Does it make you feel funny? Does it make you whistle all the time?” The stranger was unphased by all of Arthur’s questions. He thought a moment and said, “You could be in love; then again, you could be getting a cold.”

Arthur’s problem is not rare. Few of us know what love truly feels like and even fewer know what love is. The word love covers a broad range of emotions, from loving pepperoni pizza, to loving children, to making love in a bungalow on a beach during summer vacation. Defining love helps no one understand what it is. We have to experience love ourselves, personally and fully, before we understand this thing that changes us inside out. And we can never fully experience it without risking everything we are and have to see where we take it and how we allow it to change us for the better.

We often associate October with the word bewitching, which means captivating, enchanting, entrancing, and fascinating. Surely love is all these and more. So what better time than now to chance everything on falling for another. And if you’re already there, I say fall a little deeper, fly a little higher, move a little closer to one you can give your all for without reserve.

Full Moon Spiked Cider

Get ready, gods and goddesses of love, it’s a magical month, and we’re mixing up a love potion for two. A harvest moon marks the start of October, and a second full moon, a blue moon, will shine for Halloween. It’s the perfect time to brew up a cup of love. For that, we’ve got you covered:

Full Moon Spiked Cider

2 cups unfiltered, organic Honeycrisp apple juice
2 cinnamon sticks
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon ground anise seed
1 teaspoon orange zest
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
3 oz bourbon

Instructions

  1. Pour apple juice, cinnamon sticks, spices, zest, and orange juice in a pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer the cider for at least 10 minutes to allow the flavors to mingle.
  2. Add the bourbon, then stir to combine. Pour through a strainer into two glasses and enjoy immediately.

For best results, dim the lights down low, put on a romantic play list (we suggest Neil Young’s “Harvest Moon” as the intro song), and believe not in the love potion, but in love.

The Laws of Perspective

Photo Pixabay

Commenting on the laws of perspective, Scottish author Ian Maclaren explained how a small thing right in front of you can block out the image of a much larger thing in the distance. A low hillside close to you can often hide the view of the Cascades miles away, so instead of focusing on the big picture, the majestic mountains, our line of sight gets lost in something less significant and deceptively larger. Maclaren said: “That which is least has the diabolical power to seem greater to us than—and to obscure the sight of—that which is most.”

Maybe sometimes we let our disagreements and upsets obscure the vision of the larger love we have between us. The love I feel for you is huge, and I’m sure you feel the same. I think it would be wise for us to keep the law of perspective in mind as we struggle to make sense of living on opposite sides of the country. Until we can live together in a cabin beside the lake, maybe we can focus on the most, putting the least out of our field of view.

Albert Einstein once wrote: “People like us who believe in physics know that the distinction between past, present and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.” Somewhere, somehow, in this infinite universe, we are living in the time of us. There, we’re opening the back door, running down the grassy yard and racing to the lake. Plummeting into the water, we splash and dunk one another, hugging and kissing all the while. Our wet lips and bodies feel what is most important, as do our beating hearts. If we focus our direction here, time will surely meet us there.

Jen and Cliff

A Gentle Rain

Photo by Eberhard Grossgasteiger

Love ripens in the strangest gardens. Ann and Adoniram Judson lived in Burma (Myanmar). When there was war between England and Burma, the Burmese imprisoned Adoniram because they assumed he was British (which he wasn’t).

Unlike her husband, Ann had learned the language of their adopted country. Her repeated appeals to the government to spare Adoniram’s life eventually led to his release. In the meantime, she brought food and clothing daily and wisely hid her husband’s papers in the pillow in his cell so his work would not be destroyed.

Cicero believed we should measure affection by its strength and constancy. On a scale of 1 to 10, Ann and Adoniram scored A+.

A Blind and Toothless World

Haydn’s “Lord Nelson Mass” is a brilliant, thrilling work. But recently I learned it has nothing to do with Lord Nelson! There are several coincidences connecting the Mass to Lord Nelson: the crushing of Napoleon’s navy in the Battle of the Nile on August 1, 1798, or the Admiral’s presence at a performance of the Mass in Haydn’s hometown in 1800, or the destruction of the Danish fleet in 1801, or Trafalgar and the securing of hegemony over the seas by the British fleet in 1805. Church choirs sing this brilliant Mass with a warrior’s name attached to it, but it’s not a celebration of the violence Lord Nelson left in his wake. In fact, Haydn originally called it “Missa in angustiis” (Mass in time of tribulation).

If Haydn were here today, I believe he would agree with something Tevya says in Fiddler on the Roof: “An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, makes for a blind and toothless world.” Resistance and vengeance, violence and retaliation are unnecessary if we work together to weave justice into the fabric of everyday life. In James Crawford’s words: “If we will ground our relationships in mutuality and solidarity, friendship and hope,” society will make a U-turn and thrive with peace.

Companionship

Theologian Robert McAfee Brown has said, “I believe we are placed here to be companions—a wonderful word that comes from cum panis (“with bread”). We are here to share bread with one another so that everyone has enough. The sharing begins in our homes and ripples out to all of society.

Another writer, a woman named Abbie Graham, explained it like this:

(Love) lives not, I think, in bread and wine, but in the breaking of bread and in the sharing of wine. Bread unbroken does not fortify the heart, but bread divided among all who hunger will sustain the spirit. 

Abbie Graham

Companionship is excellent bread for the world. May we all find fresh ways of living and loving together, while growing in freedom and love for others.