Midnight fireworks along the bay of banderas. The sparks growing smaller and darker the farther along the grandiose cove. Feet in the warm water with waves pushing against knee caps and the dark water encompassing much. So much. Dolphins below and bats above squealing softly over our heads.
I spent it with coffee, dogs on lap and feet, angling the computer screen so the sunshine would not interfere with the images, treating myself to new music by St. Vincent, and thinking of the woods I will enter. Now.
In time for the holiday season, the start to a new series (Iona!) and a gift idea or two in the shop with the flexibility built in for you to customize for your special someone....
In my family we are forgoing all gift giving this year in lieu of packing a small suitcase and travelling to a beach far far south. All six of us together for two weeks. No responsibility other than yawning our way out of bed and meeting the days with whatever hope each of us leaves with.
Today I celebrated one year in my new position in a new industry. A year can be a flick of an eyelash. A coy reminder of how quickly a moment can turn into a day can turn into a week can turn into a blur of activity.
A reminder to consider each moment as a whole. To make those moments come from your core so that the blur amounts to something that pleases you greatly and reflects who you are and where you had hoped you might be.
Because it seems that if you are true to every moment, everything falls along and tumbles where it's meant to and leaves you with a discernible and sensible pattern of how you got from A to Z, even when it was not clear in the moment. And it leaves you feeling like yourself.
On the way to Iona beach. A landscape icing and slowing. Except for the small fast paws low to the ground searching every nook for a mouse that may be delirious enough by the cold to allow a dog to present itself and say hello.
Black and white films. New toys for the dogs to distract them from the whistling wet outside the window. Finding snow. Boiling kettle after kettle of water. Exploring farther with jackets pulled tight and Hunters rubbing against new soil and rock. Weekly lillies opening fast against the heat from the radiators. Holding a hand and looking outward together with cold noses and warm hearts.
Finding beauty has always been a quest of mine. The unworded and uncommon beauty. The beauty of love.
These last weeks it has come to me. I did not have to search. It has been waiting in the sidelines for months with me pushing it away and ignoring and blindingly turning a cheek to natural interest.
This beauty has unwaveringly, diligently, and persistently made itself clear and known. And then I gave it a moment. Took a breath. Stumbled backwards for how much was already waiting in me to meet it.
And I learn what I already knew: reacting wider with trust and warmth is a sure way to glow, and a sure way to again hear the whispering of what my own self has desperately been repeating. And I learn to allow.
A girlfriend recently noted: have the confidence in your power to allow yourself to be vulnerable and girlish. I relish in the girlishness that is making itself known. And I have never felt safer.
Snippets from a weekend away. Where I had many, many hours to contemplate and not ignore the blossom inside.
A song my colleague has been playing incessantly throughout our open concept office while making his newest short film. Thank goodness there are no walls to keep this song from me while he edits, edits, edits.
And some rosy-apple-cheeked news for WHP! Landscape 020 was requested and taken on by Crate & Barrel for their Fall line.
I am in a stage of yes. A yes stage. You could ask me near anything.
Saying yes to this was different for me -- I have been in the habit of shelter and protect. My work. The quality. The client. The pathways. Myself.
There is much to shelter and protect against, I know this, but pushing myself just enough to place trust -- in others, in fate, in making mistakes -- this seems vital. I see thick walls and metal hearts and deep protection damage artists I have known. Damage people I have known.
It is liberating to have just enough control of quality and rights, and leave the rest to strangers I have never met.
And with this I will hope against hope to create small but meaningful relationships with more strangers across North America who may not have otherwise met my photographs and brought them into their lives.
I like the small writings of Brian Andreas. He verges on childish but is eclectic and fantastical enough to keep le fromage at bay.
I was reading some of his writings this morning and found some bits that reminded me of women I know and love. Some timely, and some classic.
For Susan: In those days, we finally chose to walk like giants & hold the world in arms grown strong with love & there may be many things we forget in the days to come, but this will not be one of them.
For Claire: Deciding everything is falling into place perfectly as long as you don't get too picky about what you mean by place. Or perfectly.
For Sara: I sometimes wake in the early morning & listen to the soft breathing of my children & I think to myself, this is one thing I will never regret & I carry that quiet with me all day long.
For Taryn: If you hold on to the handle, she said, it's easier to maintain the illusion of control. But it's more fun if you just let the wind carry you.
For Nicole: Most people don't know there are angels whose only job is to make sure you don't get too comfortable & fall asleep & miss your life.
For Faye: You're the strangest person I ever met, she said & I said you too & we decided we'd know each other a long time.
For me: In my dream, the angel shrugged & said, If we fail this time, it will be a failure of imagination & then she placed the world gently in the palm of my hand.
I would like for us all to jump on that trampoline with cocktails in sippy cups.
I've been to Denver, Boulder, Boston, NYC and Mayne Island.
Crossing my path: orcas, strangers with rosemary to offer, a masseuse, beds dreaming next to friends, early dawn shared with new faces, hanging a chandelier from a boom on Bowery, circling unfamiliar cities and feeling their vertical bricks with my fingertips, candles on chocolate cake, music filtering from blocks away, museums, flight after flight, and the first pink on my skin.
And after all the holding it together and setting alarms for three in the morning (my time) and whiplashing my head back and back again, it is this photo that I think of. Of two trees that stand together. Some fateful or lucky way they've remained tall against the backdrop of sprawling suburbia. And their togetherness is so pleasant and so lonely.
Allowing for strangers to be themselves without controlling the outcome and not trying to showcase. Not judging or taking offense to someone who you will most likely never understand. Instead, creating unexpected communication that wouldn't have otherwise taken place behind a shield of shy-eyed safety.
And most likely you'll learn something about the world, have a fable opened to you (Hugin and Munin), see a fresh tattoo, witness an ass be genuine, believe a compliment, watch a tall man smoke and love his small life, and see strangers kiss just for the sake of it. And in a way you'll likely become something you weren't before.
A lesson to me: stay planted and see out a situation that at first glance looks terribly uncomfortable.
A cat left me this week. Or rather, a cat left everyone this week.
Although she didn't like water, I think she would have been very happy floating away on one of these barges.
She would have stretched out long and twisted against the hot metal and tucked her little chin away under a paw; legs one direction and nose the other. She made awkward look sophisticated.
She would yawn endlessly and purr along with the motor. She would glance with disinterest at the Islands passing. She would lick her tousled fur back to place like a lady. She would be peaceful with the open water unfolding around her vessel.
And she would be warm. She would always, always be warm from this day forward and forever.