I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.

[bundle up, grab a thermos of hot hard apple cider, fill your lungs with crisp Autumn air, breath, and let yourself feel alive]


He walked so slowly, nearly motionless, his worn yellow jacket matching the color of the leaves falling and forming around him in the late morning sun. His collected bottles and cans to make a dollar, dragging him down, causing him to pause, and inhale a deep breath of his wilting cigarette. He glances over at me with a crooked smile and sighs ... "Isn't Fall the most beautiful?"



Lately, I've been fixated on the idea of community. I grew up with a significant amount of dependence on my neighborhood community. I felt comfortable and taken care of in quite a few neighbors homes, just as I did my own, and my parents made friendly efforts with everyone around. Every time I visit home we sit out in the front yard and have drinks, and I don't think we've ever not had neighbors come over to say hello. I've heard that this kind of "neighborly kindness" is a Midwestern trait, and maybe it is, so props to you Minnesota, you're kick-ass. Moving out to the West Coast really made me start to realize the lack of value for neighborhood communities. In my first apartment, only a single resident introduced himself out of about 15 people. His name was John and he was kind... and brought us beer once (won't forget that). I went around one day giving everyone cupcakes and introducing myself, and that was the end of that. My boyfriend brought up the point that communities are often built when you have children, your children play, the parents talk, and they become friends. That's understandable, but why do I have to have a little mini-me to have a damn BBQ with some neighbors? People thrive off of community, it's scientifically proven that feeling a part of a community makes you happier, more kind, and confident. It's so important to feel comfortable in your home, and to be surrounded by people that make you feel safe, and I don't know, maybe tell them where the spare key is in case you need someone to feed your fish or water your plants. It upsets me to see people afraid to open up to their door...to be more protective of their homes than inviting. Don't we decorate...and cook beautiful meals...and make ourselves a place to call ours to share it with others?

I went on a walk tonight, bundled up, just to be in the Autumn air and the dimming light. As I was a few houses away from home, I came across an open window. Inside was an elderly man dressed in a beautiful suit, sheet music in front of him, singing a melody in a deep raspy voice. An elderly woman sat right by his side...just listening. I didn't stop walking, just slowed down a bit to smile and listen. She glanced over at me, and her brow furrowed at my presence, casting away my smile. She unsteadily rose from her chair and closed the curtains tight as I walked by. 


Traveling the World

I can't help but becoming increasingly more aware of the 3 year mark since I've traveled outside the borders of this country...adventuring throughout Europe in my 21st year with an old lover, young and viciously wild hearts, alive, riding 99 down the coast with my heart in my throat and my hands in the air, drunk off of newness and cheap wine, late night walks to candlelit Spanish pubs, dreary Paris morning...The stars are pulling at my hair again, and I know I won't stay still for long. 

These photos are my documentation of my month long stay in Spain and Paris in January 2011. I don't believe I've ever blogged them before, and I felt it was long past time.

I flew from California to Spain to meet Zack alone, and came down with an awful illness the day I arrived. I was coughing and feverish the entirety of the trip.I lost weight and didn't sleep (neither did anyone else due to my signature incredibly loud cough). Thinking back now, I should have taken a day to rest...but that's not like me. I started feeling more back to normal after I went into a Parisian medical shop and a man handed over a big ol' bottle of Codeine in my last week abroad. Communication with others was difficult for me knowing very little Spanish and zero French, so I observed and photographed instead. It's interesting now that my fondest memories are the ones I instantly brushed aside after they happened...a cup of coffee in Paris, a kind word in broken English to help me out, a waiter giggling at our list of phrases, window watching as people take their siestas and dreaming of what their lives feel like, constantly seeing my breath as the place I stayed was not heated, body parts of pigs hanging from ceilings in Spain (because they love ham more than damn near anything), feeling the cobblestone underneath my feet, how crazy those toilets were, having a boy take me under his wing and lead me around a foreign place; wild eyed and excited, and how I was completely lost in a perpetual state of wanderlust. I hope you all take it upon yourself to travel sometime in your life, to get lost, to explore the unknown. 

"If we don’t offer ourselves to the unknown, our senses dull. Our world becomes small and we lose our sense of wonder. Don’t become one of these people. The fear of the unknown and the lure of the comfortable will conspire to keep you from taking the chances the traveler has to take. If you take them, you will never regret your choice."