Last month, my three children and I climbed on top of my friend Elizabeth Messina’s vintage Mercedes-Benz in an attempt to get a pretty portrait shot. It didn’t quite turn out the way we had hoped. My daughter started screaming the moment she got up on the hood. My oldest son got upset when his attempts to cheer her up didn’t work. My middle boy kept hiding behind my back. None of the children looked into the camera at the same time. The series of photographs that ensued are a pretty accurate reflection of what life — with or without children — is like a lot of the time: chaotic, frustrating, sometimes funny and always unpredictable. And never as picture perfect as we had hoped.
But that’s probably a good thing. We need life to be a little crazy in order to create beautiful music, dance, literature, paintings or however you express yourself. Picture perfect doesn’t make for very interesting art or a very interesting life. Someone who knows this is actress and Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Rebecca Pidgeon. Married for 22 years to writer and director David Mamet, Rebecca is a multi-faceted woman with a wicked vocabulary — spiced up with the occasional curse word — and a sharp sense of humor. With a new album due out October 8, Rebecca was photographed exclusively for Sweden With Love at her and her family’s breathtaking home in Santa Monica by the award-winning Elizabeth Messina. Come back on Monday for the lush photographs and my revealing interview with Rebecca about life, music, art, motherhood and her secrets to a lasting love.
As for living a picture perfect life, I’ve been an admirer of former Yoga Journal Editor-In-Chief Kaitlin Quistgaard for years. As a magazine journalist and a longtime yogi, Kaitlin’s job was the one I always secretly coveted. So when I found out earlier this year that she had left “my” dream job, I had to reach out and ask her why. Photographed exclusively at home in Northern California by photographer Silvana Di Franco, her interview is one of my all-time favorites. If you’ve been looking for the courage to make a leap, this is a story you don’t want to miss.
Rebecca and Kaitlin’s features are two of the articles that make up the October issue of Sweden With Love. The regular monthly sections — At Home, Ask Five, Creative Crush, Curated and In Good Company to mention a few — will also appear as usual with inspiring new stories.
Yesterday, I spent time framing the photographs Elizabeth took of me and my children. In the end, they turned out better than I could’ve hoped for thanks to Elizabeth’s unique talent for capturing beauty, light and truth. Because that’s what the photographs are. They’re true. It’s what my life looks like most of the time: unpredictable, chaotic, frustrating and never the way I had planned. And even if it occasionally drives me nuts, I prefer it to picture perfect.
Photograph by Elizabeth Messina ©2013.