Excuses

Lately it feels like I just don’t know how to write anymore. I know I should just sit down at my desk and begin, but there’s always the dishes and my unruly closet that seems to just spit things out of its depths onto all of the nearest surfaces, and oh, now would be such a good time for that face-mask (it has tiny exfoliating pearls!). Ok, now some cream, and while we’re at it, let’s put some on my legs- those things haven’t seen daylight in a while.

Go downstairs, pour glass of water, sit at desk. Wait, coffee.

Position computer, open word document. Decide you have to check Facebook for just a second. Oh, a TED playlist on creativity! How perfect!! Maybe that will help!

Watch one, no, two videos. Stretch.

Decide you need to eat something.

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An avocado, split in half, yielding softly, its cavities piled high with tuna? A small salad of cherry tomatoes and cucumbers fresh from the market, topped with some of that sheep’s milk feta that’s so smooth and creamy they must be lying that it’s five percent? That stuff is good. Yeah, that’s what I’ll have.

Go into the kitchen, make salad.

Eye the jar of coconut oil sitting on the shelf above your counter. Decide that now would be the perfect time to slather some onto your cutting boards, your wooden spoons, and hey, now that you’re taking such close inventory- your arms are not in much better shape than your legs. Pile it on.

Sit on couch with salad (it’s just sad to eat at your desk); this way, you can think! Brainstorm! Then, you’ll write. Promise.

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Pick up your iPad (first mistake) check feedly (second mistake) get lost in that glorious black hole that is the world of food blogs (third mistake). Read more…

Endless Blues

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We step off the ferry into the cool night air, the lights of the port glimmering on the ocean, the water reaching the shore in short caresses, and I pause for a second to let the dizziness that crept around my edges settle.

A driver is waiting for us, and we make our way up the mountain and around curvy streets, past tiny villages nestled into the hills and then back down again through a little village on the ocean, and finally, we pull up to our pension. I’m travelling with a friend, and her friends await us at their balcony right above the entrance and they rush down and pull us into their arms. We put down our bags, and take quick showers, washing out the sand from a swim in the port as we waited for the ferry to take us from Athens to this small, distant island. The water is hot and the sand gathers around my feet and I put on a summer dress and we go down to the tavern to meet the others for dinner. We gather around a table outdoors and order carafes of wine and platters of food, and we talk about everyone’s journeys. Read more…

It comes loose

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I spent the week in and out of the hospital. My grandma, she of the thin, crepe-like skin, of the little sparrows, was lying in a hospital bed, the blankets up to her chin.

We arrived at her bedside, spoke into her ear.

“Charlotte is here,” my mother said loudly.

She opened her eyes, closed them, her lids heavy.

My father stepped up, announced: “C’est Devy”.

She opened her eyes, startled.

During the day, she tossed and turned, the antibiotics coursing through her veins. Her kidneys were giving way, her lungs closely following suit.

She called: Papa! Papa! Papa!

Her father loomed large in her consciousness, three quarters of a century after his own death. I wonder if it was the ocean view in her last apartment that brought it all back, images of her Marine father drifting back to shore, lacing themselves into the present, confusing her. Read more…

Everything that is

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She calls me at midnight in the middle of a full-blown panic attack. An hour later, when she’s calmed down and we’re chatting, she asks me what I’m thinking about lately…

… I’ve been thinking about my career, and whether it’s a good idea to be working where I am, at a job that leaves me so exhausted and drained, that I often come home and go straight to bed. Where I’m learning to trade my soft, high-pitched, childish voice with one that’s firm and assertive. Where I’m learning to voice my opinions even when I’m not sure of them. I think about the trade-offs, and the potential, and the consequences, and I flit around between them, holding different sides of the argument on different days of the week, on different hours of the day.

And how most mornings I don’t want to get out of bed, and I lure myself up and out with the promise of a tall, warm cappuccino, strong and dark and foamy, which I pick up at the half-way point from my house to the office- the promise of which is enough to get me to put one foot in front of the other in front of the other, and then, holding it in my hand, enough to comfort me the rest of the way.

I think about city life, and toy with the idea of living out in the middle of nowhere, and writing. Of living somewhere exotic and writing. Of getting the hell outta dodge. I counter that here is exotic enough. I look at flights, at real estate listings in New Orleans. The map of that great expanse that is America. I think about Brooklyn. I sprawl out on the couch and read Motel Chronicles. Read more…

Inhale. Exhale.

I’m writing to you from the womb of a rainbow-striped hammock strung between ancient olive trees, their trunks knobby and gnarled like an old man’s hands, their branches like upturned palms, overflowing with shards of green.

A breeze ruffles the slender green-silver leaves, with their clusters of olives in twos and threes; here and there olives scatter to the floor.

We’re about as close to the Lebanese border as it gets, on the edges of a little ecological village that’s cut off from the state’s pipelines, running on solar-powered energy, its houses set out sparsely against the rocky hillside.

I had to suspend my paranoia fears about war to come here; when I voiced them aloud to my friend, she stated, half-jokingly, that we’re so close, missiles would pass right above our heads.

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I’m resting in this hammock and thinking about nature and borders and land and isolation and community, in the calm, quiet embrace of this olive grove, traditionally a symbol of peace.

In the background, beyond the soft swaying of the branches, I can hear the noise of the festival. At this distance, the music is soothing and low, the sound of hundreds of people humming along reaching me as a soft murmur. The wind rocks my hammock gently. Read more…

Worth celebrating

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I step out of the quiet, air-conditioned apartment where I have spent the morning reading, and onto the balcony with its view of the ocean. I sit down on a chair with a curved back, its white wires tinged with an orange rust the color of the late afternoon sun. I stretch out my legs on the chair opposite me, and I feel the sun warming my legs and my arms, and I’m suddenly aware that I was a little cold.

The ocean beyond is quiet and soothing and calm where it meets the horizon, its blue the same pale hue as the sky, except that it shimmers and sparkles brilliantly. It breaks into large, wild, frothy waves as it meets the shore. I spot a multitude of tiny black dots, among the waves, chaotically spotting the water’s edge; people are out there, playing. The beach is covered in red and white parasols propped open like heads flung back in laughter.

It’s summer.

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I’ve been reading When Women Were Birds, by Terry Tempest Williams, and it’s the kind of book that makes my entire body quiet. Makes all of me gather together, pause, in awe; like I’m standing in the holiest of temples.

She writes: “Creativity is another form of open space, whose very nature is to disturb, disrupt, and “bring us to tenderness”.”

That’s what her prose does to me: it brings me to tenderness. Read more…

Lately

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A little roundup of links to start off the week. Have a great one, friends. xoxo

//Words//

Terms of Endearment

Ashley talks about raising a girl.

Gesture Writing

Like helpless cameras

This quote, amidst those photos.

//Food//

A gorgeous, gorgeous video.

Cherry Almond Galette

How stunning are these raw tacos?!

I can’t wait to try Sarah’s Flavour Bombe Greens n’ Noodles.

Alice Medrich’s Crazy-Good No-Temper Chocolate-Dipped Cherries.

Chocolate Bombe Shell (2 ingredients + 5 minutes= Danger, pictured above).

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