…make sure you wear a flower in your hair

Not feeling very pretty today.  Don’t feel like doing much.  Feel frustrated, ugly, trapped, stressed, fat, lost.  OK, so that’s my deal today.  It’s definitely not like that every day.  Many days I feel this way and I can just roll with it. Who doesn’t feel this way sometimes?  We must suck it up and move on.  And most days I do.  My life is full of much, MUCH more good than bad.

Today I just need a little extra boost.  So I will do what I often do to help me snap out of it. I will go in my basket, pick out a flower, and stick it in my hair.  Then I will just move on, and get going.  And I will say, holy crap… what is wrong with me?? It’s Saturday, my favorite day, and the sun is out.  I have a job, a home, food, decent health, two sweet kitties, a beautiful family, amazing friends, and coffee. That is what I’ll focus on today.  Everything else will come, and if it doesn’t… it’s not the end of the world.  (-: 

sky blue, xo.

Advertisements

An unexpected visit… is often the best kind.

***

Gliding, gently across the glass surface,

Trying not to disturb.

splish… splash… splish… splash… until I reach other side…

Only to find the quietest cove.

The crooked bridge smiles, and welcomes me.

A perfect frame to the delight that awaits inside.

I am a humble guest here.

Hello, old friend!  May I come in?

Please do, I only ask that you remove your shoes.

Morning light twinkles, tickles my skin,

dripping through spaces between weathered wood.

The deep lines on my brow soften and fade, the first time in months…years.

I only breathe in, and out…in, and out…

Floating there so bashful, just to my left

Five tiny lily pads and two curious blossoms.

They giggle and tug at my pant as I enter and kick my shoes off.

I know this will be a lovely visit.

Who’s eyes are those, peaking timidly through a shady curtain of branches?

Oh, they are adorable.

Hello, there.  I’ve brought you some delicious bread.

I hope you will have some with me.

Come, friend.  We will sit on the porch.

The breeze is so refreshing this time of year.

There is a swing, and sweet lemonade.

We will listen to music and catch up on old times.

A familiar tune plays, in surround sound, from the perches above.

I love this song. Where have I heard this before?

We remember, and laugh. Weren’t we silly back then?

The tall blades of grass swish back, and forth… back, and forth…

Upon several, I find the most delicate creatures.

Such tiny wings, I’d swear these are fairies.  Irridescent, light purplish blue.

They dance for me, spinning, spiraling, twirling.

Only one, a much fancier blue… Look what I can do!

Your children are lovely.  My goodness, where has the time gone?

Seems like yesterday, our future, a dream.

Here we are, in a blink.

How we’ve aged.  How they’ve grown.

No, I do not have any of my own.

Oh how I wish I could stay here all day, sipping and chatting with you.

This lemonade is the best I have tasted.

I have had the most fun.

We should definitely do this more often.

But I know as life goes, while intentions are good,

It may be months… years…

So long for now, dear friend.

Promise we will soon do this again.

We embrace with a pause, sweet little hugs at my knees.

as I place worn shoes back on my cool bare feet.

e.j.l.

They have been there for me throughout…The ups and downs, the ins the outs, the upside-downs… they have been there for all of it.  They have never given up on me.  They have never judged me.  They make gifts for me.  A blanket, a scarf, original artwork, soup, home-made jelly, and one of my favorites… a crocheted hat with a flower on it, given to me when i needed it most. They send letters, cards, and the most thoughtful presents in the mail.  One friend sends me my favorite incense sometimes…what a treat!  When we are together we discuss everything from art and religion, to old boyfriends, girlfriends and our humungous 80’s hairstyles. While i have other incredibly dear friends, these special friends… are my family.  They connect me to my childhood, my youth, my home.

We are different from each other in many ways, but i have always thought we are alike in all of the ways that matter.  My friends are insanely gorgeous and talented, and i am average… but they always make me feel smart and beautiful. Some of them live in much sexier homes and cities…but they never makes me feel inferior.  I have never felt like i am as good of a friend to them as they have been to me.  But they have never punished me for it or tried to change me in any way.  They except and show unconditional love for me through every dorky, dark, awkward, bitchy, quirky, ugly, lazy, crabby, clumsy moment i have ever had.

They are more than BFF’s.  Much more.

This poem (if we can call it that) was written from a kayak floating on Lake Sunapee in New Hampshire.  It was less than a year from my diagnosis, chemo was finally over – and I never felt this good in my life as I did that day.  It was the day I woke up, opened my eyes, and realized I was going to survive. I made it through, and the loveliest light was just through the door… i just had to push it open, put my chin up, and walk through.

I crawled out of bed that morning at the lake house, before anyone else was up, heaved a kayak into the water and pushed off the dock with my bare foot.  The sun was just about to make its debut for the day.  I quietly paddled and listened and smiled.  Across the lake, overcome by exhaustion, I found a tiny cove, dripping in the most beautiful morning sunlight, framed by a homely little bridge… ‘oh, and you wouldn’t go in??’.

While I floated amongst the ducks, and birds, and dragonflies, and gazed in awe of the beauty i found here – i had thoughts of nature, and how rarely i stop to enjoy it.  I also had thoughts of my dearest family and friends…the people who i could not have done it without.  Often so much time passes in between phone calls, and visits… living such separate lives, babies arriving, and children having grown so much.  But when we do stop to visit, and listen, and smile, it is magical.  We laugh the biggest belly laughs, and cry the most vulnerable tears, and replay our youth with angst and delight.  We revisit decades of memories, good and bad.  In recent years I am doubly blessed to know many of they’re sweet children, which makes it much easier as I say goodbye to the dream of my own.

It was very difficult to leave that cove, and return back to shore that day.  But every lovely visit must come to an end.  I quietly paddled back to lake house… feeling strength, hope, and and happy thoughts of dear friends.

“Let us be grateful to people who make us happy, they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” ~marcel proust

skyblue XO

the vase.

It is evident that I post an excessive amount of photos that include the inside of my home as either the background or as the subject matter.  If I have any regular readers (thank you, if i do!), then you are probably like, “seriously… is this chick going to post yet ANOTHER picture of her “studio”? Or no, let me guess… one of her cats!”

Well, I love to take photographs.  I don’t have much opportunity for travel, and generally I don’t get out much between my home on a patch of grass with some trees, and day after day in an office cubicle…  so the majority of my photographs get taken in or around my home, with much of the same subject matter.  The occasional day trip takes me to to a scenic forest, or if i’m lucky, a visit to Boston or New York City.  But until I am free from to live somewhere fascinating, or travel as I please… I invite you into my home, where I will do my best to entertain you.  I hope over the years these images of my home, my cats, and my humble life, will on their own tell a story of a girl who just wants to take pictures, make art, inspire people, make them giggle once in a while, and create beautiful spaces.

With that said…  I have more pictures in my studio.  And more cats.

Today I thought I would, in the form of a blog post, memorialize a vase that has been in my home for years.  It has lived on many shelves, in many corners, of many rooms, but most recently it has held the big burst of colorful flowers you may have seen in my studio.  The flowers are fake of course, the vase really just a cheap thing from the craft store, but i remember when i first put it on this shelf years ago…how happy the vase of flowers made the room feel.

I am a believer that there is a lot more to a “nice house” than expensive furniture, and fancy things.  It’s not about impressing people… it’s about the feeling people get when they enter a room.  Calm, happy, warm, cozy, comfortable, clean, romantic… these are adjectives that describe an atmosphere that can be achieved with moderate physical effort, a few discount stores, and some creative solutions.

I just happened to take these photos about a week ago, featuring Stewie and the Vase.  I had recently moved the shelf and the vase to a new corner, and this quickly became his new “favorite spot” to oversee the studio activity.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Now if I was smart, I would have known better than to leave a top heavy ceramic vase filled with giant daisies on a shelf where the cat frequents.  It was only about 48 hours after I took these photos, when at about 2 in the morning we heard the crash that brought certain intruders through the back door of the studio.  Heart racing, baseball bat and 911 buttons in hand we made our way to the studio and found the shattered vase on the floor.  Nobody had broken in…

Stewie tried to blame Olive.  Olive tried to blame Stewie.   Sorry Stewie Buddy… i think Olive’s got this one.  We have photographic evidence.  Licking yourself won’t make you look less guilty.

Oh well… I easily moved on.  It really wasn’t my favorite vase, and I was over it as soon as i realized we were not experiencing a violent home invasion, my cats had not escaped out the broken door into the darkness, and i could go back to bed.

This room still contains plenty of happy without a vase of fake flowers… but it’s neat that I have a few pretty pics to share.

skyblue xo

The art critic.

Are we truly living to our fullest potential in the spaces we live in?  Are we really getting the most out of those spaces?  We work hard, and pay a lot of money for the spaces we live in.  We might as well use them to best suit our own lifestyle and make the most of our lives.

For instance, you could have a room designed to make it easy, and fun to exercise. You could create an office to jump start your dream business.  Maybe you would like a colorful family art studio and game room. Have you thought about a romantic massage corner to spice things up?  How about a mini zen yoga retreat?

I have visited many houses that have a TV room, in addition to a formal living room.  I have seen many “spare bedrooms” that looks more like a hazardous storage room.  You too probably know someone who has a fancy dining room that gets used twice a year.

Why not ask yourself, “Do I have a space like this in my home?  How could I better utilize one of these spaces?  How could it better my life?”

With a little elbow grease, some creativity, a few Etsy treasures, and a trip to IKEA… you can make make your home more than just a living space… you can make it a LIVING space!  It can’t hurt… you might get inspired, and the most magical moments will happen there.

the art critic.

skyblue on a rainy day.

xo