root to rise

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We’re sliding into slower days and I’m splayed out, one foot into nesting mode and the other five toes clinging dearly to the adventurous personality of my summer skin. As I’ve mentioned before, these past 8 months have been a real metamorphoses for me. In February, I was dropped hard onto the earth. In March, I learned how bitter it could be. In April, I recited a manifesto. In May, I was reborn, I dove into a lake. In June, I was surprised. I hugged my soulmates and let go of fear. In July, I harnessed a confidence I never knew lived inside me all along. By August, I was floating.

Then September rolled up. In her suitcases she carried anxiety and doubt, a familiar overthinking that kept me up at night. Toxic ambivalence. This duality of heart that served me such clarity 8 months ago, in the amber light of fall just clouded my lens. With my head already underwater, I’ve got no choice but to kick and paddle. So I swim.

A certain someone recently acknowledged the indescribable feeling that comes from just being with your art. No expectations, no homework, no parameter of time. Just pure connection with this inhuman, breathing beast that has grown with you always. It will make you whole, if you just let it.

Today, I am channeling that. Restore. Refresh. A new month, a new mindset. Let’s work, let’s play. Happy October.

not to worry

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“I worried a lot. Will the garden grow, will the rivers
flow in the right direction, will the earth turn
as it was taught, and if not how shall
I correct it?

Was I right, was I wrong, will I be forgiven,
can I do better?

Will I ever be able to sing, even the sparrows
can do it and I am, well,
hopeless.

Is my eyesight fading or am I just imagining it,
am I going to get rheumatism,
lockjaw, dementia?

Finally I saw that worrying had come to nothing.
And gave it up. And took my old body
and went out into the morning,
and sang.”

-Mary Oliver, I Worried

shaping the clay

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It’s simply impossible to put this summer into words. But on a recent train ride home from New York, on the final page of a journal that has seen me through some big transitions, I tried. In the spirit of celebrating vulnerability and staying accountable, here is that entry- unedited, raw, and rambling. If you are interested…

 

I am not standing still.

I am evolving, changing, growing, blooming, becoming. Shaping my clay, never into the kiln, careful to never let the dust quite settle. I am so grateful for the gift that this summer has been. The shift to total positivity. The timing. I am awake, I am alive. I am here. I am everywhere. 

I am vowing to stay curious. To stay lost. And to always appreciate roaming. Even when things get hard, when I cry, when I get hurt, when winter seems too long and ballet seems too hard. I have been created by every experience I have had so far, and this process continues infinitely. The good and the bad. The bad things seem to thrust me ever more vigorously into a season of light and hope, and for that I am incredibly thankful.

I have found my balance, and learned that it is an active pursuit- not something to set and forget. It is my daily actions, the decision to get out. To take risks, to talk to strangers. To interact with my world and notice its ebbs and flows. To lean into the current and also go against the grain. To see the patch of sunlight on the floor and cuddle with it. To feel the weight of the world and turn towards, not away, from it. This mixture, this recipe, it’s always changing, adjusting.

The greatest asset: flexibility of spirit. The ability to re-envision my life again and again. To see the endless possibilities ahead of me, and know that reality will look like none of them. To celebrate that. To see the future as unlimited in variation, but so preciously limited in length. To be given this perspective right when I needed it, and to be given the ability to share it by doing what I love. To connect with new places and faces. To experience new relationships. To feel love. To love. To be loved in so many different ways. To love every little bit of it. 

 

Happy September. Keep shaping.

red stamps

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she left her trademark
wet tannin-red kiss
like a map through the park
citrus wedge lower lip

her kisses a maze
on mugs, cups, and cheeks
puzzle-piecing the days
into ruby-stained weeks

story of summer
she imprinted the town
each kiss like thunder
hot, humbling sound

her breadcrumb trail lay
no storm could hide it
holding out for the day
a kiss cartographer might find it

one who read kisses
just the way that she did
smudged on cold objects
arranged in a grid

a new line for her stamp
curved and warm and sweet
she could set up camp
make a home where lips meet.

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the perfect summer weekend

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You know how New Year’s Eve tends to be a let down? You get dressed up, drag yourself out in the cold, get your hopes up, and end up freezing as the fireworks explode overhead and you count down the minutes until you are at home in bed. July 4th can feel the same way way- the expectations, the promise of a “perfect summer day,” the fireworks- and the inevitable disappointment. Nothing particularly un-fun has happened, but the build up for the big event leaves you feeling underwhelmed when the day comes and passes without a massive surge of extraordinarily good times. Well, this was not that 4th.

It truly was the “perfect summer day.” Followed by yet another pinch-me-perfect day, just when we thought we’d used up all the luck. A long weekend with my best friends in my happy place, complete with morning mimosas, ocean dips, belly laughs, and fiery sunsets. York even gave us a big, winding rainbow on our last night. What more could a girl need? New England Summer, you’ve officially outdone yourself.

the silhouette inside

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she whispered many magic things
to the silhouette inside
dangers of the outside world
like love and lust and pride

she warned her of confusing things
what might happen when we die?
and the strangely ever humbling fact
that elephants can cry

she shared with her the nice things, too
butterflies that flutter by
birds and bees and heeled Hermes
winged creatures who can fly

one lucky golden afternoon
the sun brought her silhouette outside
so they promised honest reverie
seeing eye to outlined-eye.

nostalgia

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Funny, isn’t it? How a place can hold so much meaning in our minds? A smell can make us cry, a crack in the sidewalk can take us back in time. A certain rock shaped like a chair, or a ferris wheel that spins too fast. All brush strokes in this dizzying abstract we paint over the course of our lives.

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Sometimes an entire town can wrap itself around us, weaving in and out of our pasts with a whole myriad of “times.” Good ones, bad ones, insignificant tiffs, overwhelming laughs. The little spot on the rocks where you told someone a big secret, the rocking chair where you said your first goodbye. Even as you watch the waves approach and retreat, though you know they are disappearing, it’s tempting to hang on to their imaginary immortality. Nostalgia likes to perceive perpetuality, even in the bold face of nature, as you stand in awe of her constant change.

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It’s an indulgent pursuit, to seek sources of nostalgia. Despite this awareness of our intentions, nostalgia’s captivating ruse can pull us in. The remarkable ability to find familiarity in something actually quite foreign; to chase a time long past. The human mind plays all kinds of pretty tricks, if you are willing to let go and let her.

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