August 30, 2008


his dreams are like the open sea - vast, encompassing, and volatile. sometimes his desire to grow up and see the world feels as mysterious to him as it does familiar - as if some innate force has laid dormant inside him since birth, a force that yells "GO, LIVE, SEEK..." and after 14 precious years of life, it finally has begun to stir inside him.

i can recall, as clear as day, the summer of my 14th year and my insatiable love for jackson lee. i'd lie beneath my parents "in-repair" houseboat and day dream about the moment we'd see each other again. one afternoon i spread my mothers nicest bed linens across the front lawn and pretended to read the dusty agatha christey novel i found in the old shed. i was hoping jackson would come out of his house and see me, innocently lying beneath the shade, tanned from the summer sun, and shyly peaking back at him from behind the stale pages of a weathered love novel... but after waiting for what felt like a lifetime i gave up, and was forced to do laundry for a week after dirtying my mom's sheets.

14 was a painful coming of age. it was the first time in my life i desired freedom from my parents. countless dreams of driving the coast and chasing blonde haired boys filled my head at night. i remember the longing was so unbearable that it physically hurt - all of my youths desire and yearning bottled up inside a little heart ready to explode.

i desperately wanted time to pass so that i could grow up and escape my backyard. i spent so much of my youth fantasizing about growing up that before i knew it i was a grown up fantasizing about being 14 again...

there is nothing quite like life at 14. words can not explain the innumerable hopeless fires that burned inside my chest. worlds could not contain the down right petrifying uncertainties of my future. 14 was a year of glorified youth and it was nothing short of remarkable.

will we ever be as passionate about life as we were when we were 14?

August 29, 2008

be here now

i am approaching something big.
i can feel it.
there is a welling nervousness in my stomach.
because i am uncertain
and a little bit scared.

but i am faithful.
i am moving. even if slowly. i am.
and you know what?
one day i will get there.

August 27, 2008

i remember me

i've been back in orlando for only a few days and already i'm losing my back home luster.
lets just say i hate my job. my school schedule sucks. and i've officially taken on more than i was prepared for!
gotta love life and the fucking haneous curve balls it throws you.
i guess now is a better time than any to step up to the plate and accept the challenge.
find a new job where i am appreciated.
crank out the school work.
send out my photos.
breath deeply.
and remember the shell.

this shell is a trophie piece my sisters and i found 3 summers ago on the sandy shores of coquina key. it embodies everything about that summer - the countless hours we spent on the boat, sunning on the mast like a pair of silver pelicans, laughing till our faces hurt, and exploring the mystic gulf with sunburns and salty hair. i took a polaroid of this silly shell to remind myself of me when i am most like myself. the me when i am at home with the people who know me best, and how their unconditional love engulfs me, and puts me at peace no matter where i have been or what i have done.

Polaroid Sx 70. 600 film. No ND filter. (it fell off on accident).

August 26, 2008

have you seen me lately

i just got back from a visiting my family. it was a mini escape and exactly what i needed.
the great thing about going home is that home just so happens to be on a remote island. it's called snead and it's off the west coast of FL. on snead island people bike to get around, shoes are unnecessary accessories, cell phone reception is super sketch, and the closest legit market is about 20 mins away.

when i go home i usually turn my phone off for the duration of my stay and i always refuse to bring my computer. to me, going home is about detoxing myself from those daily devices. i surrender all the silly machinery and absorb my surroundings.

when i'm back home i like to get distracted by the simpler things - the sound of rain as it falls through the trees, the warm feeling in my belly after a glass of wine, the colors of the sun as it melts into the gulf, the harmonies of backyard crickets and conversations from the other room...

unlike the way technology removes me from the moment, these simpler contrivances draw me in. and there is nothing quite like being in the moment at the very place you feel most like yourself. every breath has purpose as i sigh with relief because finally i am living with deliberation..... and wouldn't you know it, time stands still!
Polaroid sx 70. ND filter and 600 film.

August 20, 2008

filling them

i am not heart broken any more. if i had to say i am anything at all, i would say that i am appeased. the dust has settled and i am through with telling that story. isn't it a strange thing, to no longer miss missing someone? and yet... it happens quite naturally... one day or morning, you wake up. you dress yourself. you drive to work in your silly little car. you listen to the songs that profess all those words you could not say yourself, and you realize like you've known all the while - that you are through. only this time, you know it's true. you feel it inside you. no longer is there a hollowing void, but instead there is room for growth. the wound has healed, the scab has fallen, and now all that's left is new flesh. it'a a place that is soft and pink and tender to the touch. proof of healing.

so much of my moving on has been like this. gain and loss. victory and defeat. succed and fail. love and heartbreak and then ... love again. but i am beginning to see that this a pattern of life itself - growth then pause then growth again. everything in life reaches a platue, a point when there seems to be no progress, before it begins to grow again... i suppose we must endure before we can advance.

i think what has helped me to endure is the ability to share. wether it's through a polaroid or a silly cyber blog.. it has made a difference in me.

there is something uniquly special and equally scary when you put yourself out there like that. all the words of your heart and quirky shades of your life are depicted on a computer screen for the world to see. and there are no garuntees that anyone will understand it, or that they will agree with you. hell! no one may ever even see it!!! but that is not why you do it. you share becasue you simply must. it helps. it helps you endure your shitty day, till something better comes along. it helps you put into words the things you can not describe. it helps you capture a feeling you can't bear to let go of... endure, then growth. that is the plan.

so today i am sharing a polaroid of my red shoes. i wore these the other day and my mom told me a story of how she had similar ones in the 70's. she said her mother gave them to her and it was ironic that i happened to own a similar pair.
my grandmother, eva, used to knit quilts for everyone in the family. amazing patterns of finely dyed fabric, patched together in a timeline, telling the story of our families history, while keeping us warm at night.
my mother chronicled her adventures in the listening ears of her children as they grew up. stories of bell-bottoms and hitch hiking, sneaking out of bedroom windows - into aerosmith concerts, finding love, and losing it, only to find it once again. her stories cure me. they are joni mitchele and tomatoe soup. they are bike rides in the summer and arts n' crafts.
now i have begun to tell my own stories - with my sx 70 slinged over my chest - i hope to someday fill the brightly colored shoes of these two remarkable women :)

August 18, 2008

coming home

to myself... (as jenn so eloquently put it).
i am in a really lovely place right now. it's hard to describe it in detail because it is so new, so fresh, so special, and uncertain. i am feeling more like myself and more at home in my own skin.

Polaroid sx 70. 600 film. No nd filter. Self Timer.

August 17, 2008

it's been too long

i don't know if i truly believe in fate.

of course i spend hours day dreaming as if it were real, especially if i am in a shitty situation. i like to pretend i'm valiantly fulfilling a predetermined hardship, one in which i will successfully overcome, learn the moral of the story, and reach my providence.

the art historian in me needs data and facts. so i researched fate... it's dorky, but it comforts me.
fate began as a story told by the greek philosophers. three goddess sisters, Glatho, Lachesis, and Atropos, who presided over the births and lives of mortals. each mortal life was thought of as a thread, spun, measured, and cut by the three sisters.

centuries later fate is still talked about and seen everywhere. it's in the movies we watch and the books we read. it's even in the radio ballads we sing - of nobel quests fulfilling a serendipitous fortune. you know it's funny, but the words fate and destiny even feel good to say.


(ironically the latin origin of the word fate is fatum, which means to speak/spoken. this can not be a coincidence...)

still unconvinced, i do know however that there is meaning in the events of our lives. i have always found comfort in knowing that no matter how fucked up a situation can get i will be able to find some hidden message and pivotal life lesson behind that experience... it wasn't till recently, when i decided to make some major life changes, and to act on responsibilities which had been neglecting for far too long, that i realized in the end it is me who decides my "destiny". i freely chose where i will go next, what i will succeed in or fail at. choices... they are so crucial to our existance. because of our choices we become who we are and conversely who we are not.
i wake up. i look at myself in the mirror and i think - what shall i be today?

a tree? a horse? a flying kite soaring in the face of the clouds?

maybe today i will be all of those things or none of them... maybe i will be a girl in search of something fulfilling, in search of purpose in what she does daily, in search of a love that is lasting, in search of all the hidden truths the world can bear itself to share, and of the deepest and purest moments of life as they pass by, moments that our sculpted antiquity could not predestine....
Polaroid sx 70. 600 film. nd filter.

August 8, 2008

these are hard times for dreamers

this photo is almost 1 year old. recently i was going through my old travel journal and found this print, along with a few others, wedged in between a couple of dog-eared pages.

when i look at this i am flooded with my first memories of paris....
and wet from the constant drizzle...

my friend and i had taken an overnight train from barcelona and somehow we screwed up the dates and arrived in paris a day early. our hostel was full and our room wouldn't be available till the next day. we walked around for a few hours looking for room and board at 3 other hostels - but no dice.

completely out of ideas and energy, and feeling no love from the city of love, we miserably wandered around the champs elyseese like two lost puppies. a few hours passed, we ate, we sat, we drank a coffee, and tried killing time in a garden - lying in the grass. i had no idea where we were going to sleep that night, since we couldn't afford a proper hotel room. we knew no one in paris, we hardly even spoke the language.... plus we were at each other's throats. every hour that it got closer to nightfall the tension built between us. we were past worried, and moving into desperate territory.

then, quite unexpectedly a couple of parisian boys came and sat with us in the park. my french was terrible and so was their english, but somehow we managed a conversation. i explained our present situation to them. they talked between themselves so quickly that i could not keep up. finally, they said "we have a room for two of you if you want to stay and see our paris". never in my life would i think those two words "our paris" would mean so much to me...

and yet looking at this blurry print a year later, i realize it's those very two words that embody all things paris... the fresh bread that warmed our bellies, the drunken giggles over wine glasses, the loud laughter in dark allies, and the pitting nerves that welled up in my stomach when this strange boy grabbed hold of my hand.

our paris will forever be one of the greatest nights of my life - snapping photos through the taxi window as it zips across the city, wild eyes and yellow scarves, sneaking into house parties pretending to belong, dancing to strange music, the hazy buzz in my head from so much wine, terribly translated conversations, smoking gauloises's in the street, and marveling at the magical glow of the lights as they glimmered through rain drops.

sometimes the greatest adventures spawn from moments of sheer desperation. unexpected miracles present themselves to those who are patient and vigilant to the unknown. your only obligation is to sit back and enjoy it. dedicate yourself to these great moments, absorbing every little detail, every speck of light, and funny laugh, and drop of rain, because this is life - unmapped, unrehearsed, a little bit blurry, and full of chance.

August 7, 2008

for bernd

sometimes you meet someone and instantly the both of your lives fasten together.
their presence eases you. their words nourish you. their role in your life moves you in ways you could have never traversed solely.

these are the kinds of people we desperately need to surround ourselves with. they motivate us to dig deeper in our lives - beyond the superficial surfaces - and grab hold to the things that are lasting. they assure us to carry on when we can not. they push us to break through our personal glass ceilings so that our dreams can reach fruition. they give of themselves unceasingly and in return ask nothing....

these people are life changers and we should count ourselves damn lucky to have them around.

so often i ask myself if i am anyones life changer? have i selflessly given to anyone lately? have i taken the time to motivate, intently listen to, and encourage?

it is something i am working on... in hopes of knowing the answers to these questions everyday, rather than digging for them in the archives of my past experiences.

this is a cheap photo but rich with gratitude. a dear friend sent me this beautiful sx 70 "ever ready" case - without him ever knowing that i needed one. and after 2 weeks of crossing borders and seas it reached my door steps in an old pasta box, wrapped in a crumpled brown bag with a message penned across the front that read "i hope you can give this a new life". i was so thrilled by the unexpected kindness and touched by one mans thoughtfulness, i found myself a little speechless.... we have never actually met, nor do we even speak the same language... and yet that doesn't seem to hinder the connection we share or our ability to care.

what does that say about my relationships with the people around me that i see everyday? how much more can i care for those i work with, live by, and talk to daily?

i am so thankful for this gift, but more importantly i am thankful for bernd - for his friendship, for the patience he has to translate my english... and for the things i can not begin to list. thank you friend.

August 5, 2008

god speed

i am diving head first into the unknown. i am stepping out into a new direction and taking the plunge.
i can't hide the fact that i am scared and terribly unprepared. i have no idea what's to come of my future in the next couple of months, but i will seek solace in my ability to adapt and endure.

for the past two years i've been riding the wave of "just getting by".
i wake up every morning and i reluctantly get ready to go to my boring little job. i sit and stare at a computer screen all day long. i don't get a paid lunch break. i don't get paid vacations, or benefits, or sick leave. i am the museum mule who works weekends.

sometimes if i am lucky i meet an interesting visitor who is inspired by the art. they tell me their stories, their philosophies on the folk movement, and beliefs in supporting nonprofit organizations in orlando. i chime back in sincerity, beaming with love because i truly care about these things as well. then they leave, and i go back to staring at the computer screen... hating my job.

this job debacle is only the tip of my quarter life crisis iceberg... it seems i have been "just getting by" in every department of my life these days - just getting by with enough money to barely peek my head out of my financial hole, just getting by with enough time to spend with boys who just barely keep my interest, just getting by with enough motivation to challenge myself artistically.

a few weeks ago i had the luxury to break away from my slump and i high tailed it out of the "city without any pity". i traveled the open road. i visited the forgotten places of my youth and i reconnected with a part of myself that has been hidden away for quite some time. it inspired wells of change inside of me. it made me begin to ask myself "why" in all the categories of my life that have been plaguing me.

"why are you still in this house if you can't afford it?"
"why are you lonely when you have people around you who love you?"
"why can't you finish the things that you start?"
"why are you so damn unsatisfied?"

i thought that once i got home things would be changed, but after a week went by all i noticed was how annoyed i was with everything and everyone around me. i couldn't go back to the way things were before i left because none of it seemed worth while anymore.

technology also seemed to be pissing me off big time. i started leaving my cell phone in my desk drawer during the day. i went out and bought a couple of new books and canceled the cable. if i needed to get online and get some photo work done i saved it for office hours - since i am mindlessly staring at a computer screen all day anyways, i might as well be staring at something i like looking at.

but, even after all these little adjustments i still felt bothered.
so, contradictory to the academic sabbatical i had planned for myself this year, i re-enrolled in my last two grad classes for the fall semester. i also made an appointment to meet with my friends mom who is a realtor.... determined to live a life that is challenging, and exhausting from inspiration, not drained from desperation, i am making moves.

what i really don't want to happen again is to sink back into just getting by... even if that means getting up off of my comfy couch and making some major changes.

my goal in all of this is to set myself up with a life that is fulfilling, to push myself a little, and not have to wait for another vacation to see change in myself and to feel inspired again.

baby steps... i'm taking BIG OLD BABY STEPS!!!

*** this photo was shot with a silly underwater cam, but these were taken with the pentax asahi my step dad gave me. i used fuji velvia 50 film/ 35mm format.

August 1, 2008

renew me

it has rained every single day since i've been home.
like clock work, it comes down hard - washing all of the muck and mire from the day away.
an hour, maybe two, will pass... and with utter abandon so does the rain.

in those few fleeting moments i like to think about the day i laid in the rain. i imagine myself there again - walking out into the open clearning behind my old house. finding a space of grass, lying down on my back, peeling off my shirt and shorts, and absorbing all the heavenly wetness as it fell from the sky...

my hair became heavy - clinging onto my shoulders and around my face - as if grasping on for dear life. my skin turned pink and goose bumps formed, like tiny mountains springing up from raveins... and i just laid there, claiming my existence.
unrelenting to my presence, the rain came down harder, but i was in no mood to turn myself in, so i closed my eyes and opened my mouth. i breathed in that smell of summer rain, unmistakable, like new life coming up from the ground... and i too was made new again.

so often my everyday experiences become predictable and rehearsed. wake up, eat, work, sleep, repeat.. and i have learned, upon numerous occasions, that repetition is a slippery slope.

at first i find comfort in knowing what to expect, but in time the routine eats away at me, slowly, until i feel like an empty shell of myself. if ever i get to this point (which occurs increasingly more often then i'd like) i go back to this day in my mind - the day when mother nature renewed me.

***i challenge you (if anyone reads this) to go and sit in the rain one day... when you've had enough of your predictable little life. i promise you, with one thousand words of encouragement, that it will spark newness in you again.