Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Leave the dishes.
Let the celery rot in the bottom drawer of the refrigerator
and an earthen scum harden on the kitchen floor.
Leave the black crumbs in the bottom of the toaster.
Throw the cracked bowl out and don’t patch the cup.
Don’t patch anything. Don’t mend. Buy safety pins.
Don’t even sew on a button.
Let the wind have its way, then the earth
that invades as dust and then the dead
foaming up in gray rolls underneath the couch.
Talk to them. Tell them they are welcome.
Don’t keep all the pieces of the puzzles
or the doll’s tiny shoes in pairs, don’t worry
who uses whose toothbrush or if anything
matches, at all.
Except one word to another. Or a thought.
Pursue the authentic — decide first
what is authentic,
then go after it with all your heart.
Your heart, that place
you don’t even think of cleaning out.
That closet stuffed with savage mementos.
Don’t sort the paper clips from screws from saved baby teeth
or worry if we’re all eating cereal for dinner
again. Don’t answer the telephone, ever,
or weep over anything at all that breaks.
Pink molds will grow within those sealed cartons
in the refrigerator. Accept new forms of life
and talk to the dead
who drift in though the screened windows, who collect
patiently on the tops of food jars and books.
Recycle the mail, don’t read it, don’t read anything
except what destroys
the insulation between yourself and your experience
or what pulls down or what strikes at or what shatters
this ruse you call necessity.

— Louise Erdrich, from Original Fire: Advice To Myself

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

I am listening to the ice against the window, in the middle of April.
Snow is illuminated beneath the street lamps.

Earlier, I was walking in it.
The wind blew ice in between my eyelashes.
Thinking about how one possibility was that I could feel cold and wet,
but think of all the other feelings I'd miss.

And so I broke into a run, and reveled in it.


Consider the Hands that Write This Letter (via

  by Aracelis Girmay
         after Marina Wilson

Consider the hands
that write this letter.

Left palm pressed flat against paper,
as we have done before, over my heart,

in peace or reverence to the sea,
some beautiful thing

I saw once, felt once: snow falling
like rice flung from the giants’ wedding,

or strangest of strange birds. & consider, then,
the right hand, & how it is a fist,

within which a sharpened utensil,
similar to the way I’ve held a spade,

the horse’s reins, loping, the very fists
I’ve seen from roads through Limay & EstelĂ­.

For years, I have come to sit this way:
one hand open, one hand closed,

like a farmer who puts down seeds & gathers up;
food will come from that farming.

Or, yes, it is like the way I’ve danced
with my left hand opened around a shoulder,

my right hand closed inside
of another hand. & how I pray,

I pray for this to be my way: sweet
work alluded to in the body’s position to its paper:

left hand, right hand
like an open eye, an eye closed:

one hand flat against the trapdoor,
the other hand knocking, knocking.

almond butter cups!

I experimented with some almond butter cups from Oh She Glows. Another note about being super amateur- I had to figure out how to use K’s food-processor-blender-in-one. I had only used it to make smoothies thus far, and I had to put together the food processor. I know, rocket science.

I’m glad my bachelor’s degree came in handy, since I did eventually figure it out.

 Raw Almond Butter Cups from Oh She Glows
Almond Butter Cup Base:
3/4 cup raw almonds, ground into a meal
1/4 cup rolled oats, ground into a flour
2 tablespoons raw almond butter
1.5 tablespoons coconut oil, warmed
1.5 tablespoons pure maple syrup (I used fresh Vermont maple syrup from our road trip!)
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
pinch of fine grain sea salt, to taste
for the topping:
3 tablespoons coconut oil
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
pinch of fine grain sea salt, to taste
1. Add almonds and oats into a high-speed blender and blend on high until a flour forms. Dump into a large bowl and break up any clumps with your fingers.
2. Add the nut butter, coconut oil, maple syrup (or agave), cinnamon, vanilla, and salt into the bowl. Stir until thoroughly combined. The dough should be fairly sticky like cookie dough.
3. Line a mini (or regular) muffin tin with paper liners or use a silicone muffin holder. Portion the dough into each muffin cup and press down until even and smooth.
4. To make the chocolate sauce: Whisk together the coconut oil, sweetener, cocoa powder, and salt until no clumps remain. Spoon the sauce over top each of the cups, distributing evenly. Garnish cups with sliced almonds if desired.
5. Place in the freezer in a flat area for 30-45 minutes, until firm. Pop out the cups & enjoy immediately!
My batter did yield slightly more than I could fit into one silicone mini muffin tray, and the cocoa sauce got a little gloopier for the leftover few that I made. But still tasted good!

last autumn.

Friday, April 11, 2014

If I could tell you what it meant, there would be no point in dancing it

Isadora Duncan

Thursday, April 10, 2014

- Food & Wine's article on Jean George's French and Asian influences
- Ae-ran Kim's Ascending Scales

- azaleas in bloom yesterday, and wilted today
- the bravery and potential injury recovery time of children playing on playgrounds
- when mom wants to go somewhere to eat, accompany her.
I don't often tell people where I am, or report on how I'm doing, or where I'm going next.

This week, I've been home.

What a profound word, one I never fully understood because I was naive enough to think that I traveled enough to know what it means to be away. What a foolish thought. It has only been a pair of months, which is less time than some of my extended vacations. But there is a tangible difference.

I drove around the sun-drenched city in a daze. Walked the neighborhoods in wonder at how quiet everything is. Awoke every morning to such dense silence. Sat for long periods of time at the park, taking in the space and the green and the children's laughter untainted by other noises. I drowned myself in food and family, which is what you do when you are home. I felt the need to shed this relentless wintry sadness, punctuated by moments of sharp hope, or something closely resembling hope. I thought about how when under the pressures of certain periods of time, I do not allow myself time to meditate or write or create- these times when I need those activities the most.

Today, I willed myself to walk into the yoga studio. After weeks of feeling like a robot when I go to classes, I felt even more reluctant to go today. I saw on the schedule that S. was teaching, and I knew that every fiber of my being needed to hear her speak. Her embrace flooded me with relief. We may not have known each other long, and our "knowing" only consists of sporadic meetings here and there. But I knew that she'd understand this concept of home.

She described it as a relationship- you try on a new city. Maybe you are in love with it. Maybe you have known for a long time that you are mad for it. Maybe you know that you will never fall out of love with it. But leaving that city is like breaking up with a lover that you are absolutely head over heels for. Her words rang in my ears, "I absolutely love that city, yet I was dying inside."

I face my new city, the way it faced me. Daring me, challenging me, willing me to give up. It chants this daily, nightly, the streets alive with this chanting. What a daunting chorus.

And yet, I'm singing along, right back at the city. An octave higher, and crescendoing louder.


Every day, I read honest, soulful writing- in food blogs, in photo blogs, in travel blogs, and yes, sometimes even the news. I realized that I rarely allow myself the luxury of being honest and complete when I write. Say what you will about how technology impacts humanity, but bloggers are the bravest people I know, because this ain't fiction. It feels vulnerable to bare weakness, to bear an audience, to be truthful, to share thoughts of fear. For me, there is still that lighthouse, that beacon- the very reason I continue to write. Universality of experience and the hope that what I write will may even one person's heart exhale with relief that "god, someone else knows exactly how I feel," or "this is exactly what I needed to hear today." 

V. came up to me on the boat and talked to me about how much it impacted him to read something I published a while ago. I was so moved that after months, he still remembered and felt compelled to let me know. I put this feeling in the palm of my hand, and pocketed it for the future. 

Monday, April 7, 2014

that was some strong-ass coffee at 5pm. hence, i am awake listening to pitter patter of precipitation.

there was rain today here in the south, and i reveled in it. there is nothing like being home.

i have never noticed such deafening quiet in the mornings.
my skin has never been more shocked at the heat that touches it when enclosed in a sun-drenched car.
this is how it feels to learn warmth again.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

“There is no remedy for love but to love more.”

Henry David Thoreau, journal entry on July 25, 1839

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Write it. Shoot it. Publish it. Crochet it, sautĂ© it, whatever. MAKE.”

― Joss Whedon