|Christmas + Bear Hats!|
|and sparkly tights- Hooray!|
|Road to the mountains|
I made Dan a photobook for Christmas this year. There, over 50 pages, were all of our photographs 2012. One year of memories.
|Playing with new Christmas toys!|
I find it so easy to get bogged down in mourning what I don’t have–girlfriends nearby, a job, enough money to travel wherever whenever I want to. (As our friend Matt used to say: white people problems.) That little book was just what I needed to remember everything we do have, and everything we have done.
|Dan polished off Where’d You Go Berndaette?A great book!|
“What was your favorite thing we did this year?” I asked Dan.
“The cottage at Georgian Bay with Nate, Dana and Brad,” he said. “Or the dance party to Fun. at Laura Lee and Robbie’s house.” He paused. “Florida was pretty awesome.”
Neither of us could settle on one.
|Couldn’t resist this shot of my new Cookie Monster mittens frolicking on the antler coat hangers.|
We rented this little cabin in the middle of nowhere B.C. for New Year’s (really! We had to snowshoe to and from our car). It was the kind of place where you really can’t do anything so you do all the nothings you crave to do. Like read by the fire for hours and hours with a hot drink in your hand.
|This picture pretty much encapsulates the weekend.|
I read Just Kids by Patti Smith. It gave me a lot of food for thought about being an artist. She writes, “I would go as far as I could and hit a wall, my own imagined limitations. And then I met a fellow who gave me his secret, and it was pretty simple. When you hit a wall, just kick it in.”
I learned a lot about sacrifice and commitment, and how important it is to have someone believe in you before you believe in yourself. Patti and Robert Mapplethorpe nearly starve at points. They live in dilapidated spaces, ones with no bathrooms. Robert keeps telling Patti she should sing. Patti keeps telling Robert he should take his own pictures.
There’s this scene where Patti is consoling Janis Joplin after a guy goes home with a pretty girl over Janis and Janis sobs and sobs to Patti. I thought- by god. Janis Joplin was just a girl too. Sometimes it’s easy to forget.
|Dan chopping wood outside our sweet cabin.|
There was a moment not so long ago that I was kind of ready to give up on writing. It just seemed too hard, maybe even impossible. It seemed like I would always be only-ok at it.
|I nearly froze my hands off to capture this Dr. Suessian tree.|
I found an old journal a friend made me. It’s filled with pictures of our adventures and lyrics to songs like “Into the Mystic” and “Visions of Johanna.” Colorful pictures of our mid-twenties blissfully misbehaving–about the ages of Patti and Janis when Janis cried on Patti’s shoulder. I never quite filled it up because I always wanted whatever I wrote in there to be perfect. To somehow match up with the words of Van Morrison and Bob Dylan. But I’m learning more and more that we have to make a lot of messes before we make what we actually intend to make.
|Ah, glorious Fernie!|
In the back of the journal, I taped the torn-out title page to Dibs In Search Of Self. A woman I hardly knew gave me that book. We took a writing class together in Minnesota, and on the last day she slipped it into my hand and then rushed out of the room. To Sky, she wrote. Keep, keep writing–I feel like your heart will help heal others just as Dibs got made well by belief and not-giving-up-ness.
|Dan is a master dishwasher when there’s no running water around.|
That book is one of the greatest gifts I have ever gotten. So is my little journal. So the man who puts up with my mood swings, my despair, my excitement, my frustration, my fleeting highs, and for who-knows-what-reason sticks with me through it all.
Sometimes I have to stop–take stock–turn it it all over in my hands and pull it in close.
I’m not sure how it was for other people–but in my twenties, my dreams felt like these big beautiful things that someday I’d just bounce around in, like a cloud playground in the sky. It has taken me some years to learn that dreams live right here with us on earth, and to live them is just plain old hard back-heart-breaking work. (I’m an easy dreamer, and a slow learner.)
So I am leaving grandiose dreams behind. My goal this year is only to not give up. And maybe–to kick a wall in.