Wearable Landscape

Robin Botie of Ithaca, New York, wears a landscape she Photoshopped from her pictures of hiking in Tucson.“You have to go this year: the Oscars 2015 Gala at Cinemapolis, great food and film. You just have to go.” My friends convinced me. But what would I wear? I spent the rest of the week rummaging through the house, looking for the right clothes.

All my life I’ve been looking for my clothes. Even in my dreams I am endlessly looking for a lost sock, a special dress I’m sure is somewhere nearby, an outfit I need as in REALLY NEED and will spend a whole dream tearing the house apart for. And much of my waking time, I search for what I will wear or for some extremely significant piece of apparel like my father’s ancient sweatshirt from his army days that I tucked away in a safe place. In the end I usually opt to wear my default black sweater over jeans. But I almost always go through the commotion of the hunt first.

In trying to solve the mystery of what to wear for the gala, I mourned the half-dozen gowns I’d given away that belonged to my daughter. The daughter who, before she died, loved to dress up for parties and proms, always accessorized with sparkling heels. I was hoping to find something of hers, just one little shiny thing to feel fancy in. But all I found was old baby clothes.

I can do this without going shopping, I told myself. And finally, in the bottom of a storage bin shoved high into a remote closet, I found my mother’s mink stole from before I was born. It was elegant and had a warm sheen that was perfect over my black sweater and jeans.

The assignment in the Digital Photography Studies class this week was to create a self-portrait in a landscape we’d presented earlier in class. Here was something else to stress about. But in the middle of the night, after dreaming about missing a plane because I couldn’t find a black sweater to match my jeans, I decided that for the assignment I would dress myself in a landscape.


What is your special piece of clothing and is it in your closet or in your dreams?



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6 thoughts on “Wearable Landscape

  1. Elaine Mansfield

    You do better than I do about dressing up, Robin. Shopping for clothes is the last thing I want to do, but I’d love to wear tree bark or a flower garden. I imagine you can fix me up with photoshop.

    1. Robin Botie Post author

      I would love to “fix” you up in a landscape. But we have to wait until your garden is growing or there’s green out there. I’m sure you’re not interested in wearing snow at this point. Tree bark maybe. That would definitely be fun.

  2. SusanB

    I dream about having to be somewhere and for reasons that are usually dire such as diverting a disaster. The whole dream I’ll spend looking for a vehicle but when I find it there is always something wrong so that it won’t run, or it will sputter along for a few meters and then halt with a gasp of black smoke. Or, I’ll have a horse but it shrinks to the size of a beagle and can’t carry me, or it will buck me off and run away. What is it about our dreams in which we are always searching for something?

    1. Robin Botie Post author

      Yeah, crazy dreams. I imagine searching for a way to get to where you must go could be even more agonizing than trying to clothe yourself. I wonder if I dare wish that I could step my own dreams up a notch to search for a mode of transportation (I’d love to “see” the horse shrinking bit). I also wonder why we’re always looking for something. But even more: what does it say about us, the things we fret over in our dreams?
      Cheers for checking in.

    1. Robin Botie Post author

      Thanks Lynne. Looking forward to the landscape changing here so I can wear green or yellow or anything other than white.


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