Monday, August 6, 2012

Meet London Dweller, Tights Wearer, PhD Student and New Bride Felicity Daly

Felicity channels Sophia Loren in her Wolford tights.
I met Felicity Daly the summer of '95, which was the summer I moved into the East Village.  She was a wee lass, a student, who seemed so busy that I saw more of her girlfriend, Meg.  Raised Catholic on Staten Island, she came out a couple of years after high school (and 12 years of Catholic school) and after a brief stint in the garment district, worked for Gay Men's Health Crisis in administrative roles.

It follows that all these years later, Felicity is in the middle of a doctorate in public health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.  Her focus is on the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria--the funder addressing the big three killer diseases worldwide.  Most awesomely, Felicity's particularly interested in how funding can address issues of gender which affect health risks and access to services.   Felicity makes her home in London with her NEW wife, Feona, and her stepsons.  (Congratulations, Felicity and Feona!)

Because of or in spite of her Catholic upbringing, Felicity has been very interested in meditation and yoga,  and this is also what I remember most palpably about her.  For the past 20 years, she has been a follower of the Hindu spiritual leader Mata Amrtanandamayi--better known as Amma.  She recently spent time with Amma when Amma made her summer visit to New York.

New York is where I caught up with Felicity again, the cafe of McNally Jackson, to be exact.  It had been at least ten years since we'd seen each other.  But she has been in New York frequently lately, caring for her dear (and very sweet--from my own personal experience) mother, who died last month.  (GITP sends our condolences.)   She graciously consented to answer our four questions:

Are you in a tight place?  If so, what are you doing about it?
Everything's been a bit of a muddle.  There's been a series of intense events.  Feona and I were married on April 7th (here in NY).  On May 18, Feona's dad passed, and my mom passed away on June 12th.  My own father passed away only 16th months ago.  You could say I'm in a tight place.  I'll be the sole executor of my parent's estate, plus I have my doctorate work and freelance work.  And closing up the family legacy here in New York has been highly emotional.

What do you want to get done this year?  
Well, I will be trying to get my parents' house sold when the market is flooded.  2012 is the end of the world, right?  (We laugh.) Since I just got married, I want to be able to have beautiful, precious moments with my partner.  I also want my writing to flow.

What inspires you? 
I think more and more people are realizing what a crock of shit this economy is and are trying to figure out how to live more simply.  I'm inspired by economic and social development, but realizing what the trade offs are as we seem to be so compromised here in the west in the search for never-ending personal gratification.  I want to do more inner work.  Watching your mother die, you do plainly realize you don't take anything with you.  I'm inspired by trying to have more and more compassion and living more simply.

What's your favorite legwear?
In England it's cold the whole bloody time. I've been wearing tights almost nine months of the year in England, actually.  I wear Wolford tights, which is a European brand.  They're more expensive, but the higher quality makes a huge difference and they last for ages.  They're really soft and velvety.  I wore a very lightweight pair for my wedding.  I was worried about the color but I was careful about the color but they were perfect.  [See above!]

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