Thursday, April 30, 2015

winter silence


I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says "Go to sleep, darlings, til the summer comes again." 
-Lewis Carroll - Through the Looking Glass 



I miss this space, I really do.

Creativity rarely strikes me in the winters. I am a mama bear who hibernates with a cup of tea and a good book. I would spend the whole winter that way if I could. Wrapped in a blanket with my baby reading books. Ginger tea with almond milk for me and hot cocoa (or as he says, “hot choc-AH-lut”) for him.

I guess it’s not that life is any more busy, it is just that I have so much less energy in the winter. The cold weather is not for me. I thrive in the sunshine. I need it to feed my soul and fill my tank. It is like food to me. Not only sunshine, but warmth on my face. 


So while I still live in a land where the winters are chilly, I will accept my fate and warm myself up with soup from the inside. I will accept that I only have enough energy to get through the work day. I will fuel my creativity with beautiful literature. I will paint. I will cuddle under blankets and drink tea and hot choc-AH-lut.

I will anxiously await spring. When my soul and my body reunite and I am whole again. Every spring it happens and every spring it surprises me

I was moving pictures this week from my computer to an external hard drive. I was weeding through thousands of pictures, thousands of memories. Thousands of experiences that I do not want to forget. They are mine to live and re-live over and over again. During the cold winter months I can remember that. I can pull up the pictures of my little family running on the beach. I can remember that there will always be another spring, another summer, another trip to the beach. Another day with sunshine, another frozen lemonade.

I can remember that the introverted and exhausted person holding a cup of tea in one hand and a tattered copy of Dorian Grey in the other isn’t necessarily me, just a temporary me. The version of me that comes out when the temperatures dip below 60 degrees. I can remember that I will feel whole again. I can remember that there is nothing wrong with drinking tea. That there is nothing wrong with me.

I can remember that I will feel creative again. I will write again.

Monday, January 26, 2015

hands


He started screaming "OH NO" in the bathtub tonight. Over and over. Crying and stomping his feet, saying the same thing over and over again.

"oh no oh no oh no." 

I couldn't get him to tell me what was wrong. Finally, he held his hands out to show me his wrinkled fingers, sucking in air between sobs. 

"HANDS" he said.  

I assured him that they would go back to normal. He won't have permanently wrinkled hands for a very, very long time. 

Later, after he was fast asleep in his bed and the fear of his hands was a far-off memory, I started thinking about hands. 

The reason that, with his small understanding of the world, he would view his broken hands as something devastating. The hands that build trains.  The hands that help stir the pancake batter on Saturday mornings. The hands that run through his mamas hair when he isn't feeling well. Hands that separate the sections of an orange, peel back a banana peel, pick out the chocolate chips from the trail mix. 

His hands are his way to navigate. To explore. To experience the world. 

Then there are my hands. Mother's hands. 

Hands that are gentler than they have ever been before. Hands that are slow to reprimand but fast to pick up a screaming boy when he forgets that his feet don't always move as fast as his body. Hands that can unscrew the lid of the peanut butter jar and hands that can spread that peanut butter on a graham cracker. The hands he grabs for first thing in the morning. Hands that motion to what he needs in leu of a fully-developed vocabulary. 

He cannot express himself without his hands. 

As a hand-talker, I would have a hard time expressing myself without my hands, either. 



We speak with our hands, along with our words. 

our hands. 

Hands that won't be permanently wrinkled for a very, very long time.

Friday, January 2, 2015

SIMPLIFY // 2015


Happy 2015. 

I have officially given up on writing New Years resolutions.

For me, choosing a word at the beginning of the year helps me reflect on the previous year and look forward. Evaluate where I am currently. Use that self reflection to map out where I want to go from here. How I want to grow. 

Last year I chose the word CREATE for my word of the year. Though I did not create in the way that I originally intended, I could not have chosen a better word for last year. 

This year, I have chosen the word SIMPLIFY. 

Earlier this year I realized that I was purchasing things I didn't need -- using money I didn't have -- in an attempt to fill a void inside of myself. The world online was full of things to buy. Things you NEED. Between Pinterest and fashion blogs I was sure that the right pair of ankle boots (or skinny jeans or leather jacket) for me was out there and that I needed it. Needed it to be happy. I couldn't afford one pair of designer boots so I would buy three pairs of cheap boots instead. I was buying clothes on a weekly basis. Cheap and poorly made clothes. All to fill a void that I didn't even know I had and that I still can't completely explain. I easily could fill baskets full of clothes at Forever21. Clothes that I knew would shrink after one washing... but I didn't care. Shopping became a mild form of self medication. 

Partway through the year I became transfixed with the tiny house movement. I became almost obsessed with the idea of scaling down. Of living a minimalist lifestyle. I realized that I had been filling my life with things. Things I didn't need and didn't have room for in my small townhouse. The things around me began to feel heavy. I was able to step outside of myself and see what I was doing. I felt alone and surrounded by things. 

However, I wasn't able to stop buying things right away. But I started buying less. I started being more conscious of my purchases. I began searching out higher quality items. I tried to not shop out of boredom. It's a slow change. 

Now, in 2015, I intend to sift through what I have. I want to cut down on the things that I have collected over the years. Keep what I need and donate what I don't. I want the things around me to stop being a weight. I want the focus on be on the people in my life rather than the things. The time I spend and the relationships with those people.

"Time is a non-renewable resource."
-Tiny: A Story About Living Small

I want to SIMPLIFY. 
Unload. Mentally and physically. Push back on the consumerist world. Slow down. Breathe. 

I know that I also want to simplify other aspects of my life. I'm not sure what specifically that looks like right now, but 2014 was able to surprise me so I know 2015 will too. 




I probably won't ever be able to simplify how wordy these posts tend to be, but that's probably okay. I'll start with simplifying my closets. 

Conquer one mountain at a time. 

Thursday, January 1, 2015

later, 2014






Farewell, 2014

You were a fantastic year. A wonderful chapter in my journey. One I will never forget and one I hope to look back on when I start to feel lost. 

Last year, in lieu of writing resolutions, I chose a word for 2014. The word I chose was CREATE

Though I did not create as much as I had hoped in terms of art and writing, I cannot think of a better word to describe my year. Create was the essence -- the underlying theme of my year. 

I created a life that I am so content with. So happy with. A life built on faith. 

I have created a confidence in myself. In my choices. I have stopped comparing my faults against others' strengths. I have stopped using "likes" and "followers" to gauge my worth. I have stopped tearing apart my blog analytics to post only what gets views. I have found the confidence to only share what and when I choose. The confidence to have my blog as a creative outlet for myself that connects me to kindred spirits.  

This year I created a circle full of positive people. I have worked to keep those who inspire me close. I have created a thick skin against those who do not agree with me. With my choices. With who I have chosen to be. 

In 2014 I finally found the person I have been looking for. I have stopped trying to use others to feel complete. I have become a person I can be proud of. It took 27 years of exploring the world in all of its darkness and all of its beauty. I have created a lens to the world where I am able to see the beauty in all things. 



I have created myself.