This is my first November in over nine years outside of the desert. The leaves have finally fallen off the trees and in their absence left open airy space between the twiggy branches. These songs feel that way to me, full of airy, chilly magic. 'Mystical' comes to mind. Enjoy.
Recently, I added a photo essay to my portfolio that documents over 40 greeting cards that I made when I was a child. I am incredibly thankful that my mother thought it was a good idea to keep all of my childhood artwork. ALL of it. She has boxes upon boxes.
It's wonderful to look at them. Some are funny because I was actually trying to be funny, some are funny even though I wasn't trying to be funny. Some are outrageously creative (can I be that creative and uninhibited still, please?). They represent to me that creativity and art are part of who I am, and always have been. That I will carry creativity in my chest, between my ribs, and in my brain, wherever I go.
They also remind me of a time in life that I try to revisit and investigate often. Though I believe I had a beautiful childhood, full of wonder, freedom, and nature, it wasn't empty of darkness. These little pieces of art were made during the time that my father was dying. I don't remember everything that I was thinking or feeling then, but these are a window into the mind of a coping child, and I am thankful for that.
My favorite one is this:
It's just so inspiring.
View the rest of the project here.
Pete Seeger was a true folk hero, and today, my heart laden with sadness, I find myself rolling the words to this song of his around in my head. I feel as though I have experienced a great and terrible loss. I also feel more strongly than ever before that I must stand up as an American woman for the things and people that I believe in. I have a hammer, and a song to sing, Pete.
If I had a hammer, I'd hammer in the morning
I'd hammer in the evening, all over this land
I'd hammer out danger, I'd hammer out a warning
I'd hammer out love between my brothers and my sisters all over this land
If I had a bell, I'd ring it in the morning
I'd ring it in the evening, all over this land
I'd ring it in danger, I'd ring out a warning
I'd ring in love between my brothers and my sisters all over this land
If I had a song, I'd sing it in the morning
I'd sing it in the evening, all over this land
I'd sing it in danger, I'd sing out a warning
I'd sing in love between my brothers and my sisters all over this land
Well I got a hammer and I got a bell
And I got a song to sing all over this land
It's the hammer of justice, it's the bell of freedom
It's a song about love between my brothers and my sisters all over this land
Friends, take up your songs, sing for the voiceless, for our environment, and for the minorities. Sing together.
Everybody's talking about Bob these days, and I'd like to take a side step from the Nobel controversy to share some of my favorite lines of song that he's written along with some photos of Bob as a young buck.
Oh, sister, when I come to lie in your arms
You should not treat me like a stranger
Our Father would not like the way that you act
And you must realize the danger
Oh, sister, am I not a brother to you
And one deserving of affection?
And is our purpose not the same on this earth
To love and follow His direction?
We grew up together
From the cradle to the grave
We died and were reborn
And then mysteriously saved
Oh, sister, when I come to knock on your door
Don’t turn away, you’ll create sorrow
Time is an ocean but it ends at the shore
You may not see me tomorrow
- BOB DYLAN, OH SISTER
Come gather ’round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You’ll be drenched to the bone
If your time to you is worth savin’
Then you better start swimmin’ or you’ll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin’
- BOB DYLAN, THE TIMES ARE A-CHANGIN'
Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me
I’m not sleepy and there is no place I’m going to
Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me
In the jingle jangle morning I’ll come followin’ you
Take me on a trip upon your magic swirlin’ ship
My senses have been stripped, my hands can’t feel to grip
My toes too numb to step
Wait only for my boot heels to be wanderin’
I’m ready to go anywhere, I’m ready for to fade
Into my own parade, cast your dancing spell my way
I promise to go under it
- BOB DYLAN, MR. TAMBOURINE MAN
Bob will always be the real reason I'm into turtlenecks.
Bundled up in the Public Notice section of the newspaper and smelling like heaven, this lavender came from my uncle Pierre's garden as a housewarming gift. It's maybe the prettiest thing. I've let it dry out and gathered up the buds (the newspaper was key in this process because, what a mess!) but now I need to choose what to do with them. So far I've been carrying these bowls around under my nose. Very pleasant but rather unproductive.
I've been following Elizabeth Suzanne for some time on social media, fan-girled over her website, you know, done the whole geeking out thing. What I have to say about her is this: She is a designer angel. NOT JOKING, OK. Here's why: Her designs are so gorgeous and subtly feminine. Mindful production is a core value of her company. She has a diversity campaign (a concept that I will never tire of). The Elizabeth Suzanne Signature collection doesn't go away. (Seriously, stickin' it to the man of fast fashion, I love it!) And, she's fun. Her voice is always present and she writes in a manner that feels like a note from a friend.
All that to say, here is one of my favorite items from the Signature Collection. The Georgia Midi. So good. And thanks to the diversity campaign, we can see what it looks like on all of us :)
Want to learn more about Elizabeth Suzanne's Diversity Campaign? Check it out.
all images via Elizabeth Suzanne.
Sorry for the blatant pun, but I've got Georgia on my mind. She was such a pioneer in many senses of the word. It isn't often you get to hear "The Mother of American Modernism," since the phrase is usually used for men pioneering in their fields, like, "The Father of Modern Physics, The Father of Photo Journalism, etc." But here, Georgia takes the title. In a time when art, sexuality, and influence were all considered to be part of "a man's world," Georgia was unafraid to create. She had commitment to her art, despite constant criticism from her contemporaries. You can see this in photos of her, I love her air of confidence and easy, simple style. May we all age as gracefully as Georgia!
I'm a big audiobook listener, and a rabid reader (that's right, I said it). This year, I read/listened to more books than there are months, so I thought I'd make a list of some of my top picks in different categories. I realize it's only October, but I just couldn't help it. I hope you enjoy!
Disclaimer: Few, if any, of these books came out this year, so maybe next year I'll get up with the times.
Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
Inspiring, sweet, and honest. I listened to this one, and it's narrated by the author, which made the experience all the more genuine. Gilbert explores the relationship between fear, insecurity, creativity, courage, and freedom. She proposes that maybe, just maybe, we don't have to be slaves to our fears, that we aren't alone in all of this, and that magic may not be imaginary after all.
In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan
Daring Greatly by Brené Brown
Born Standing Up by Steve Martin
If you don't love Steve Martin, we need to have a talk. Alternatively, you can listen to Steve read his own story to you and have your heart melted by the banjo strumming man himself. Having read some of his fiction as well, the bio gives incredible insight into the mind of a comedian, and the sheer genius and mental faculty it takes to pull off a single show. From his humble beginnings working as a shop boy at Disneyland to the wild days on SNL, the story is honest and endearing. Martin is unafraid to share his trials and struggles as well as his successes, easily transitioning from ernest to funny and back again in tone. Insightful and relatable, I thoroughly enjoyed.
The Alchemist by Paolo Coelho
Other than an excellent excuse to use the word "bildungsroman" (just a fancy word for spiritual coming of age), The Alchemist may have been my very favorite book this year. I read it twice. Paolo Coelho weaves a tale with just the right portions of exotic adventure, old world faith, and lovable, relatable characters. Also, it's full of what I like to call wisdom one-liners. If you need any more convincing, I would love to share one of my favorite quotes from the story with you:
“making a decision was only the beginning of things. When someone makes a decision, he is really diving into a strong current that will carry him to places he had never dreamed of when he first made the decision.”
At risk of sounding like a total cheeseball, Paolo Coelho's story made my heart sing.
Bonus: If you listen to the audio version, it's narrated by Jeremy Irons, AKA the voice of God. (Other voices of God include: Morgan Freeman, Liam Neeson, and Judi Dench.)
A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
This one's for all you fellow mega-nerds, sci-fi geeks, and fantasy gurus. I'll be frank with you, I read a lot of fiction. It's the spice of life. Choosing a favorite for the year was tough, as you might guess, but V.E. Schwab's Shades of Magic series takes the prize. The writing is colorful and grisly, and the characters winsome. Schwab's world is enthralling to the imagination and the plot is truly gripping. After finishing the first book on a flight to Minneapolis, I rushed around the airport like a bloodhound sniffing out the second, and today I am anxiously awaiting the third (set to be released in February of 2017).
Bonus: The cover art is so choice.
The Wildwood Chronicles by Colin Meloy
The Stormlight Archives by Brandon Sanderson
P.S. All Imagery in this post belongs to the authors.
My dad always said the aspen leaves in the fall looked like glittering gold coins when they fluttered in the wind. I've never forgotten the image. We spent most of the last week of September hiking in the Rockies, and with those golden coins littering the ground, I felt very rich.
Our stops in order of appearance:
Sky Pond at Rocky Mountain National Park - the most magical, sparkliest, aqua water I have ever seen. Bonus: From our campsite in the Park we could hear elk calling all night long.
Hanging Lake - We saw our first bits of fall color dripping over the lake, which looked like glass.
Camping near Vail - The sweetest cozy campsite covered in golden aspen coins.
Backpacking Eccles Pass - Finished off the trip with a hike to Eccles Pass near Frisco, CO.
A little static electric guitar and chill vibes for your sunny sweater weather afternoons.Read More
I had a mini freakout (the good kind) today when I learned that two of my favorite brands collided.
Reformation and Patagonia are both champions in the world of retail for ethical sourcing and production, and traditionally in different fashion spheres. Until today. The partnership has a special place in my heart because it's like a personal validation: You get to be you! Fashion minded outdoorswoman doesn't have to be an oxymoron.
Here are a few of my favorites:
The Brodeo Beanie in Oaks Brown
The Performance Better Sweater Fleece Jacket in Black
Down Sweater Jacket in French Red
Behold: Robinson by Greg Gazdowicz. What a beautiful specimen! I love the semi-calligraphic style that gives you those old world meets modern vibes with a touch of playfulness. Also, it's highly readable, which is so choice. If you're into it, you can buy it here from Commercial Type. I can't wait to start seeing it around the world.
P.S. This image belongs to Commercial Type.