here

It would take a
time machine
to fulfill all of my
fantasies,
because a hidden dream
can be embarrassing,
and the only thing
that’s sacred ’til
the end.” -Conor Oberst
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The day is windy and wild, dark clouds cause even the brightest hours of the afternoon to feel like the dreamy, fleeting moments of twilight. That’s what I love about stormy weather – it makes the softened, melancholy light from the very last moments of the day last for hours.

I am home. My happiest place. I spend my days here, working, writing, cleaning, dreaming. The way I’ve always dreamed of from where I used to sit in a cubicle. Stuffy offices, one after the other until, finally, I had had enough. Until I found the courage to admit to my dreams, to point them out, utter them aloud.

I think we are often afraid to become acquainted with our dreams – or, what I consider our destinies. It seems that we are hesitant to admit to them, stand by them because who do we think we are? To hope for more. Because once we do that, we realize just how far below our potential we are allowing ourselves to live.

More still, we realize that we are the only person capable of changing that.

“All these grand old rooms, and we live our lives within three feet of the fire.” – W. Nicholson

Candles are lit around my house. I fold laundry on our bed. Drew will be home soon. We’ll practice for a show we’re playing this weekend. Then I’m off to Bikram Yoga, where I stretch myself, allow myself to take up space, give myself permission to exist, to sweat, believe in my abilities to do what I couldn’t before. I imagine that I’m sweating off all of the make up, the products, the perfumes, through my clothes, through anything unessential. I sweat it off of me, out of me. I imagine becoming my essential self.

I had the TV on, but something about this moment on this day feels pure. Sanctified. Holy. It feels almost as if some divine presence from some other realm, plane, dimension is reaching out to me. She embraces me, tenderly stroking my cheek as she says, “That’s it. Keep moving, child. You are onto something now.”

fire

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I only mean to comfort
When you settle close to me
But there must be space between us
We both need room to breathe

It is true that I accommodate
I am solace
I am peace
But remember there is power
In these flames now at your feet

Let me be your fire
Crackling below the mantelpiece
There is little that I require;
I will let you come to me
You’ll find no obligation
Only warmth and tranquility
A place of quiet comfort
Where you can safely retreat

Let me be your fire
I’ll warm those hands and kiss your cheeks
Lay yourself down beside me
And I’ll sing you off to sleep

Let me be your fire
I’ll fill the room with my golden glow
You can mention anything
You’d want no one else to know

There is no cause for worry here;
At this hearth your secrets will keep
When you’re close to me, dear,
You can rest,
You can whisper,
You can weep

into the heart of the raging tempest.

6s3a06236s3a06256s3a06316s3a06356s3a06386s3a06406s3a06416s3a37326s3a77296s3a93606s3a93746s3a9377There are times you feel the earth shift beneath you. There’s no real warning. One minute, you’re standing on something you considered solid and constant. The next, you’re running after the hope of safety as everything that was put in place to support you simply can’t anymore. The charade is finished, the veneer shattered. You see the reality of it now. You are on your own.

I hadn’t felt that way in a long time. I hoped I never would again. I was consumed with anguish and fear as I felt it slowly creep back into my heart, tying my stomach in those unwelcome and familiar knots. Like slowly wading out into freezing water on the edge of a black night, devoid of any source of light.

I’m shaking in the dark
And I don’t know what to look for
I’m naked in the dark
And I don’t know what I’m waiting for
Anymore

Of course, the question that must have formed in your mind is, “Why?” Why indeed. The answer is simple. Why does anyone, of their own free will and choice, throw themselves into the eye of the raging tempest?

The answer: love. Or rather, what becomes of love when it’s left unsupervised and without a concept of boundaries. When someone you love makes their way into the black, the toxic, the chaotic of the world, you jump in after them. Because you love them. It’s our instinct, our heart propelling us forward when logic can’t be heard. We can’t help it. Though, I would argue, maybe we should.

This, of course, sounds heartless. Cold. Cruel. Harsh. But, consider this: If the object of your pure and heroic love made a conscious decision to enter that black and toxic place, if they went there of their own free will, and won’t make their mind up to leave it, what then? Do you spend all of your energy dragging them out of it, into the warmth and the light of life, only to watch them speedily return to it the moment you turn your back?

I think not. I think your efforts will be found forever in vain, your energy all but spent on a void. And you, the tirelessly noble, will begin to fade. You will fade every day, until eventually, what you had been is lost and forgotten.

Switzerland

This place is the very stuff of dreams. Otherworldly and overwhelming, by far the most breathtaking earthly place I’ve been thus far. It’s difficult to believe that such a place exists in the first place, let alone thinking back on actually being there.

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Somewhere in France

I should be editing family sessions. I’m so behind it’s insane. But I miss this space, free from expectation and entirely my own. I’ve been feeling out of touch with myself, words aren’t coming as easily. I feel wrung-out, like I need to withdraw and recharge, get re-acquainted with myself.

And so, here is our journey by car from Paris to Switzerland. We were in the car for about 14 hours that day. Things got stressful. Roads were closed. Husbands got annoyed with wives who constantly wanted to stop for photos. (Whoops.) But I couldn’t believe that places like these actually exist – picturesque little villages, complete with bell towers and chapels and and a Town Square.

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Once, in Paris

You know how cream looks when it’s poured into dark tea? Thick clouds billowing outward, fading slowly into a pleasant mauve? Well, that was Paris, to me. A city of cream.

My favorite was the waking up. (Which is hilarious, if you know me.) Gray light gently greeting us through the window, Drew opening it to show me the rain. Breathing in the fresh, sweet air. And then there was breakfast. Oh, breakfast! I don’t eat breakfast, really. It’s always been my least-favorite meal. But in Paris, with the croissants and the butter and jam and tea and more croissants and butter and jam. That is a way to start the day. Gentle sunlight and an open window and a light rain and pulling apart warm, buttery croissants in your hands.

The highlights? Asking the Parisian girl on the plane where we should eat, hearing her say, “Sen Pole,” being confused, and finally finding out it was “Saint Paul.” *Facepalm*  The first night eating crepes, the waitress who didn’t speak a lick of English with us not speaking a lick of French ending with her pouring a golden liquor on my plate when I thought it was syrup. *Mormon facepalm*

Dinner in Saint Paul. Golden lights softly setting the streets aglow as we turned a corner into a square of quaint little restaurants topped with quaint little apartments and a whole crowd of people sitting, sipping, eating, talking for hours. Steak with grape sauce. Alt-J following me overseas. The feeling that I’m surrounded by the millions who have been here before me, wishing I could hear their stories. Everything feeling enchanted and barely real, as they do when you’re a romantic idealist absent-minded dreamer in a romanticized city very, very far from home.

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