2.28.2013

small act of bravery









I wanted to share a small act of bravery. 
I was recently talking with my friend Ann about... well... life, and out of the blue she says, "I think you should try going a whole week where you just say 'fuck it!'"
There is a certain liberation that comes from not caring what others think. And I think all of us have varying degrees of this in varying situations, at varying times in our lives. But, when we can say, "fuck it, I don't care what people think" we give ourselves permission to be who we really are and experience such freedom in those moments. I have to say this is difficult for me sometimes, the worrier/perfectionist/caretaker/peacemaker comes out in me and fights to hang on. Which I think is exactly why Ann suggested this challenge to me in the first place. 
Now, on to the point of all this... 
I don't fancy myself a singer. It's something I take great pleasure in doing when I am alone, and it's something I always wish I was better at. But, by no stretch of the imagination do I think I am good at it. It is precisely why I admire those who can sing so much. I remember a conversation I also had with Ann a long time ago about singing (she is a wonderful singer). I said to her, "Oh! I can't sing." And she laughed and said to me, "Of course you can sing! It's like people who say, 'oh no... I can't draw'. Everyone can draw." And she's right... I can sing, not very well... but I can sing. 
And, on my weekly Writers Call on Monday night I decided to sing! The words shocked me as I told the group that's what I would be doing this week instead of reading. But, I thought, "fuck it! I want to sing, so I'm going to sing." I sang a song that I have been singing every day for the last few weeks: while I'm in the shower, doing the dishes, cooking, driving... everywhere. I can't stop singing it, I don't know why. So, I sang it. It felt amazing and liberating to give myself permission to do something I was afraid to do, to show a part of myself that wasn't perfect, but was honest. To sing, and not judge it for not sounding how I wished it would, but to just love it for an act of expression, and bravery. 







photo by Imogen Cunningham via Viva Voce

2.25.2013

full moon // february










FULL MOON




Snow Moon
Monday, February 25th, Virgo, 12:26 pm PST 

Hello lovely moon lovers. This post will be rather short compared to the regular ones. I am recovering, resting and processing the big changes I have been through these past months, but mostly these past two weeks. 
Also - I have started an archive of the Moon posts if you would like to reference any of them. See the new section on the right. 


Big shifts and changes are happening for us all, they might be ancient, and might feel as if tectonic plates are shifting deep within. This Full Moon is in the sign of Virgo with the opposing sun in Pisces. Virgo speaks to the body and Pisces the soul. Virgo to the real, Pisces to the ideal. Let the light of the Virgo Full Moon shine on how we live out our ideal in our daily lives... how our desires are realized in our life. Let it be a guide to align you, and let your life be a mirror of your desires, wishes and dreams. This is a very magical and spiritual time, and Virgo energy cultivates honesty, integrity, and purity. 

This is a wonderful time to reflect back on your New Moon Wishes from earlier this month, it's also an ideal time for looking within and starting some sort of meditative practice, find your deepest inner peace and sense of connectedness. Let it be something to anchor yourself in during all this change and as heavy emotions arise (always around internal shifts and especially with the full moon). Spend this time around the Full Moon focusing on things that lift you up: humor, friendship, community, and celebration. Honor these big changes you are feeling. Lots of deep healing is taking place.
Be present and aware, playful and joyous. 

Amazing things are coming our way! 








2.21.2013

until soon when there are no more good byes to give











Tonight I write this post after enduring a very trying day, maybe my most challenging yet. One where nothing, no one, not even the weather cooperated. A day I have been getting ready for for four years, and working towards since last May, and planning for weeks. Working for a week every month on the home I grew up in in Illinois; cleaning it out, sorting and organizing, packing and clearing... getting it ready to sell. This work has been so mentally and physically and emotionally challenging, I can't even begin to describe it all. It has been by far one of the two hardest things I have ever had to do. And, I have forgotten to mention that this task has fallen on me to do alone. Which has made it all the more work, but perhaps all the more rewarding, and in many ways all the more beautiful. 
I was talking to a friend recently about letting go, this idea, this thing, this lesson that keeps showing up in my life over and over. I was describing to him the difference between a kind of letting go that happens through accepting, these are the circumstances where I have no choice in how things go, or if things go, like in the case of my mother's death. That is a challenge in itself, but there is a different kind of letting go that I almost think is harder. One that is more active, one where I can't just sit back and let it happen to me. It's one that requires me to steer the ship, to be the driving force, to pave the way, to be the change, to be brave enough and say, "yes soul, I will follow you!" even when it's painful and sad and heartbreaking, I will not back down and take the easier path. And this, this kind creates something magical. 
I have been on a very step learning curve, as I have never sold a house, but in a bigger way, during this process I learned so much more about who my mum was, and I learned about myself: who I am, where I come from, and what I am capable of. I have been grateful for the many gifts this experience has brought me. 
Tomorrow I will say goodbye and walk away from this house and towards my future. 
And in the spirit of this day I wanted to share some excerpts from some writing I have done during this time. It's been a while since I have shared writing here, but thought it was fitting in this moment. (I have previously posted about it here, and a little about it here.)



writers group check in: 
worked hard yesterday on the house, wondering how i will get it all done alone
i kept telling myself "you only have three more days, and then you get to have YOUR life, and freedom!" 
realized, i only have three more days left, sadness came over me
caught in the center of two opposing emotions
with the past on one side and my future on the other
last night i collapsed in the shower
kneeling on the floor of the tub i cried until i couldn't cry any more
the next two nights i will be sleeping in my mum's bed
last night i went to sleep in my bed, in my room, for the last time
with the moon light pouring in creating fallen shadows
i had dreams about my future child
a little girl





Mum's Bed

Every time before I leave I throw myself down onto this bed
A few tears fall onto the silk quilt. I let out a sigh
I close my eyes and colors flash in their darkness
Alizarin. Teal. Emerald. Black. Mustard. Olive. Black. Peach. Red.

I think about when my mum used to let me sneak up at night to sleep with her when my dad was out of town, which was a lot. She would put both my brother and me to bed, and she would give me a wink. I snuggled up in her big bed laying next to her, feeling special as the one that got to say goodnight and dream with her. I used to have these visions in the dark. I was so young I never questioned what I was seeing.

Laying in bed under the heavy blankets. Staying home from school with a cold, the flu, chickenpox. She tended to me lovingly.

Taking care of her while she was sick. Bringing her little bowls of food to try to get her to eat. Standing next to her while she lay in bed, watching her as she took a sip of water with the pills I brought to her.

Spreading out her beads and gemstones on the dusty pink quilt, putting colors and textures together, planning what we would make the next day. Watching her hold the stones and strands in her hands, examining them, moving them around, feeling them thoughtfully. I loved the way she held things.

Spending six days with her in bed as we said goodbye. I hardly left the bed at all. Watching her body quickly change. Her skin becoming waxy and gritty. Her eyes opening less, becoming glassy and dark. Listening to her breath. Watching her stare off, grappling with the truth and fate of her body.

Sitting next to her holding her hand. Me and my brother and our dog all creating a circle around her as she took her last breathe.
 Looking at her body and not seeing her there. In just one moment she was everywhere.

Laying here now, waiting to be picked up to catch my flight. Feeling the healing power of this bed, and of her room. This place of coming and going of people, of souls, of energy. This place that holds the past and the present. This place of timelessness.

As I lay here, my body finally relaxes, it’s heavy as it sinks deeper. I feel true peacefulness and comfort, feeling grateful but with a sense of longing for what was, feeling years and years in one single moment.


Saying good bye and good bye again and again until soon when there are no more good byes to give. 










photo by me, of our dinning room

2.15.2013

from around (on love)











- the best dating advice ever, from John Waters, "If you go home with someone and they don't have books, don't fuck them."

- two amazingly sweet letters Johnny Cash wrote to his June.

- shop Book Stand's new section Love My Love. I'll take it all, I'm especially wanting the copies of Evergreen.

- what is love? Famous definitions from 200 years of Literary History. My favorite: "Love has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get - only with what you are expecting to give - which is everything." - Katherine Hepburn

- I listened to this story years ago on This American Life. Since then I haven't forgotten it, and for some reason think of it often and it always gives me goosebumps, yet another reminder about the power of love and fate. It's a love story 17 years in the making. 

- an amazing love letter from Eero Sarrinen to his wife Aline, I love how you can feel how much he admires and cherishes her.

- a beautiful vintage collection of valentine's from the New York Public Library.









i love this photo, i'm sorry i don't know who it is by


2.14.2013

love is everywhere









Happy Saint Valentine's Day!


This is one of my favorite holidays... because I love LOVE!
Oui!
I love love and it's many forms and expressions. And I think of this day a bit differently than maybe it was intended. In fact, a lot of things kind of make me a bit bonkers about today: all the hearts and lace, I think red, pink and white are among the worst color combinations ever, I think that a lot of sentiments expressed today are insincere and manufactured, and I find any holiday that makes you feel lonely and bad about yourself if you aren't in a relationship insulting. But all ranting aside, I still love what today represents... to me. 
To me it isn't about romantic love, it is just about love. Period. Today is a day I think we should be celebrating and honoring love in all forms. The love we have for those in our hearts and even (maybe more importantly) the love we have for ourselves.
Love is something I have been learning a lot about lately. And I have been sitting here all morning writing and rewriting this post on love. I feel I have so much to say about it, as I have recently thrown my old definition of it out the window, and am on a life long quest to discover what it is. Although I am at the beginning of redefining what love is for me, I have a few thoughts on it at the moment, it boils down to this.

I think love is an act of faith.
Love is not something you choose, it chooses you.
Love does not become stronger as the self diminishes. 
You must be brave to love, and to allow yourself to be loved.
And if you are lucky enough to be chosen by it you must follow it and not shy away from it out of fear. 
Yes, love can cause pain, but I believe in loves greater power, and that is loves ability to heal. 



So today, my beloveds, I hope you share the infinite love you have in your heart with those in your life, and I hope you feel an immense amount of love in return. It is everywhere. 












2.13.2013

bisous












i promise to stay wild

2.12.2013

to love another




















For one human being to love another human being: that is perhaps the most difficult task that has been entrusted to us, the ultimate talk, the final test and proof, the work for which all other work is merely preparation... Loving does not at first mean merging, surrendering, and uniting with another person -- it is a high inducement for the individual to ripen... to become world in himself for the sake of another person; it is a great, demanding claim on him, something that chooses him and calls him to great distances. 

Rainer Maria Rilke









Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart, Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman, Anouk Aimée & Jean-Louis Trintignant in Un homme et une femme (one of my favorite movies)

2.11.2013

love is in the air


I   l o v e   l o v e  .   

And in the spirit of Saint Valentine's Day on Thursday I will be posting about love this week!




First up is something that warms my heart...





Yep... 
This is pretty much my dream trio. I am super excited to be a part of creating a magical Valentine's Day with these two very talented and creative ladies!

Tigers to Lilies Wildflower Bouquets

Cheri Messerli's handmade marbleized papers

&

Hand printed cards by me... (see some below) 
YES is a good answer for anything asked of you by your beloved, 
ribbon cards, 
and my favorite, the snake ouroboros, symbolizing infinity and wholeness.










Say YES YES YES

If you would like to pick up something special for your love or for yourself (i always treat myself on Valentine's Day) you can do so on Thursday at Shelter Half, or stop in and see Lili in action at Cookbook in Echo Park from 10:00 am - 6:00 pm.  








2.10.2013

february // new moon











NEW MOON




Wolf Moon
Sunday February 10th, Aquarius, 12:20 am PST

Many people are saying we are still in the intensity of what we were facing around December 21st of last year, which was such a huge opening and such a profound energetic shift (one i think our bodies are still trying to catch up with, which i think is why everyone has been sick this season). But I really feel that after January's Full Moon that the heavy energy lifted with the completion of a full moon cycle. And while I won't deny that the last three months have been very challenging on many levels, I feel grateful to have come through the other side and look ahead to the magic that this spring is bringing to us. I have this gut feeling that this spring is going to be so magical, healing, and full of so much joy, and many happy surprises. I see it coming!

Last month I talked a little bit about why I love New Moons and their darkness so much. But they also have a very important physical effect on us as well. Think about the moons effect on the tides, on great bodies of water, or even smaller ones like our own bodies. I am always grateful when a New Moon arrives because it usually feels like a release, a break from the pressure of the Full Moon. The New Moon pulls water up, and this creates an uplifting feeling, a feeling of lightness. It allows us to physically feel a sense of growth and movement towards our goals. Which is why it is important to make wishes on the New Moon. For centuries, farmers have used the New Moon energy to plant their crops, and we can use this same energy to plant intentions and make wishes. 

This month the moon is in the sign of Aquarius, and is a perfect time to make wishes about the bigger picture of your life, things that will effect you down the road. Imagine pulling back from the present moment and being able to look down and see the whole picture of your life... what would you wish for for yourself? Aquarian energy will allow you to not be emotionally weighed down by your present circumstances, but will help you to see more objectively where you want to go and what you want to move towards. This New Moon is a good time to wish about long term goals, innovative ideas, friendships, knowledge, altruism, and unexpected surprises. Don't hold back!

You are allowed a maximum of ten wishes and they must be hand written on paper. And be specific! For strongest potency wish within the first 24 hours of the New Moon, but within the first 48 will do. And as always, having a witness to your voice gives it more power, take time to share them with someone you love and trust. 

One more note, because of some planetary transits and alignments, this is a time where you might feel you can no longer count on what guided you in the past. You might be feeling old wounds coming to the surface of times where you trusted and you were deeply hurt. There are lessons there. This is a time where we are reconfiguring our relationship to trust, and what we trust, and who we trust, and why. A yearning for something or someone worthy of your trust is dawning. 


And my last quick thing to share is... it's a good time to be eating root vegetables. I don't know why I keep getting that, but I am being urged to share it. So... do with it what you will!




Happy Wishing!








2.08.2013

book stand at moca



















Thank you to everyone who was at the LA Art Book Fair last weekend! 
So many amazing people and books under one giant roof!
I was in heaven
And spent three (yes, three) days there, and scooped up some amazing finds (including the book above), met so many talented people, made connections and new friends.  
And a BIG thank you to Claire for inviting me to be a part of the inspiring group of artist she pulled together for Book Stand. And another thank you to all of you who picked up my print, Keep Telling on Yourself. I will be posting them soon if you would like to purchase one. Also, Claire will soon be adding some of the wonderful books she had at the fair in her shop, so check that out soon.  





photos all taken by Claire


2.05.2013

the breathless














t    h    a    n    k         y    o    u        L   G





2.04.2013

home
















H  a  p  p  y     M  o  n  d  a  y   !



I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend! I did!

Today, my home is featured on the lovely English blog Lottie Loves.
Take a look here.
Thank you Charlotte!





thank you Lili and Kate for contributing some of the photos 



2.03.2013

cc

























outtakes
from Claire's