In Emily Spivack’s altogether fantastic storytelling project Worn Stories, Piper Kerman writes about the vintage suit she wore at her final court appearance and sentencing, a key moment in her memoir-turned-TV-hit Orange Is the New Black:
As your case wends through the system, you barely speak in court; the prosecutor and defense attorney do most of the talking. Unlike 80 percent of criminal defendants, I could afford to hire a lawyer, and I was lucky that he was a very good and experienced one. He had advocated long and hard with the prosecutor on my behalf, and then the day came where his work and my case would be decided by the judge, a Reagan appointee to the federal bench.
Most criminal defendants wear whatever they are given by their attorney or family to their sentencing ; a lot of people are too poor to afford bail, and so they have been wearing jailhouse orange for many months before ever getting their day in court. I was much more fortunate; when I flew to Chicago to be sentenced to prison, I had three choices of court attire in my suitcase. A cadet-blue pantsuit, a very severe navy coatdress, and a wild card I had packed at the last minute: a vintage fifties pencil-skirt suit I had bought on eBay, in a coffee and cream tweed with a subtle sky blue check. It looked like something a Hitchcock heroine would have worn.
“That’s the one,” said my lawyer, pointing to the skirt suit. “We want the judge to be reminded of his own daughter or niece or neighbor when he looks at you.”
For someone standing for judgment, the importance of being seen as a complete human being, someone who is more than just the contents of the file folders that rest on the bench in front of His or Her Honor, cannot be overstated.
More fantastic wearable memoirs curated by Spivack here.
Forgive yourself for not being the richest, the thinnest, the tallest, the one with the best hair. Forgive yourself for not being the most successful, the cutest or the one with the fastest time. Forgive yourself for not winning every round.
Forgive yourself for being afraid.
But don’t let yourself off the hook, never forgive yourself, for not caring or not trying."
Seth Godin, with his signature pithy wisdom, captures the crucial difference between not succumbing to the tyranny of perfectionism and not showing up – a difference perhaps best articulated by the Chinese concept of wu-wei. Werner Herzog put it even more unambiguously when he said that “there is nothing wrong with hardships and obstacles, but everything wrong with not trying.”
Also see Godin on how to dance with our fear of failure.
More of Godin’s wisdom here.(via explore-blog)