An open conversation in paradise

 Image by  Genesis Geiger

I'm sitting with a glass of wine in my hand. 

Across the table from me is my husband and sitting with us are two of our closest friends.  We're laughing.  Hard.  My cheeks actually hurt from the constant laughing.  Our time at the table has shifted in many different directions.  We've covered marriage and parenthood, old stories that still make us chuckle, new stories that haven't been shared before.  And it's so easy.  The honesty flows from each of us, just as it does between old friends.  At some point my mind lifts away from the conversation and it's as if I'm seeing it all as another person.  I'm seeing my head tilted back in laughter, my husband wiping tears from his eyes.  And I realize this is it.  This is paradise.  This is what people strive for.  The ease and companionship.  The conversation and safety to be exactly who you are.

It's with this feeling, this sense of ease and peace that I created Holl & Lane Magazine.  I wanted, with each turn of a new page, to feel as if you're right there.  As if you're sitting in your own paradise with your own group of the people who you trust enough to tell your deepest truths.  To allow the honesty to flow as easily as the wine.  To feel bold enough to start a conversation about the things that really matter.  The silly things and the big things.  The details of your life.

Those details are what matter at the end of the day.  Not the color of shoes that you wore, but the number of times you smiled.  The feeling of helping the elderly woman next to you.  The pure joy on your son's face as you threw him into the air and caught him so easily.  That's paradise.  You are creating your own paradise step by step, conversation by conversation.  And with each of those conversations, around each of those glasses of wine, you're allowing yourself to be vulnerable.  Something that is so astonishingly important, but so rarely thought of.

Just think about it - if you were honest about how hard it was on you to lose the baby weight, would your girlfriend next to you feel relief that it wasn't just her?  If you were open and willing to talk about those feelings of heaviness that sometimes cloud your mind and distract you from the every day, would you be able to get help when you need it?  And maybe, just maybe, that admission would allow someone else to speak up and say "me, too".  That's paradise.  A world of openness and vulnerability where we're free to feel what we need to feel without judgement but with hope that someone else might just get it, too.

And that's what I strive for each time I hit publish on the newest issue of Holl & Lane.  A chance to speak the truths of so many who are afraid to.  A chance to show paradise by way of a community of honest, vulnerable women who are willing to listen and long to be a companion.  A chance to start a real conversation about the details that take over our every day, that are so important to our stories.  A chance to feel safe, to feel loved, to feel paradise.