Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Self Portrait Challenge: Patterns

I've been wanting to start contributing to the Self Portrait Challenge for a while now...and today it seems, is the day to begin! I have been thinking all day about what approach i wanted to take to it. As I went through my day I took a few shots...pondering the way straight lines physically and metaphorically display themselves in my life, what daily occurances are patterns and how i can represent that, even negative patterns. Good thing we have a whole month with this subject!

Then it came to me where I wanted to begin. The main pattern that accompanies me physically, that has been kind of my signature way of dressing...my striped socks. But its not just clothing. These stripes to me represent my individuality, a way in which I can shine every day. They especially remind me of pippi longstocking and her independant spirit. I've been wearing them most every day of my life for quite a long time now. I've gone through a bit of a conservative stage lately, letting go of almost all of my piercings, taking on somewhat of a more stereotypical feminity. But the socks, never. They remind me that I will never be the norm...always kin to the freaks and geeks. I wouldn't want it any other way.

This is the way I feel most at home dressing this skin i'm in.
A great place to begin...'cause this is me.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Superhero Assignment #1

Superhero Andrea is starting to share an assignment every monday on her blog. I've been an avid reader of her blog for a while now and am way excited for such assignments....so today the task is to photograph someone through a glass of water.

I was so excited about this, i started taking photos...forgetting that the task involved water...not just the glass! But they were fun unto themselves...

and avec water...

Yay for Play!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

30 things

30 things to do while I’m 30

-perform my own songs live
-go on a date (its been a while!)
-do a photo shoot as a photographer
-skinny dip
-save money for a trip to Australia
-spend a week with beloved friends in Toronto
-go on a roadtrip
-swim in the ocean
-make a short film
-do performance art
-make some graffiti
-do a creative blog project
-go a week without creating any waste (just recycling and compost)
-do a cleanse
-go a week (or more) without eating anything processed
-bake from scratch more
-chart fertility for a month (at least)
-stick to my budget
-sew myself an outfit
-chart dreams regularly
-join the car co-op
-get back into juicing
-go back to Portland
-go on a trip every 3 months (at least)
-paint a picture weekly
-set aside time daily to make art
-make an etsy store
-pay bills and then keep debt free
-create an altered book
-give only handmade presents

birthday beauty

finishing harry potter at 7am
early morning birthday wishes
a sleep in
delicious breakfast

good friends
cruiser bicycles
a picnic of cheese, chocolate, hummus, baby carrots, strawberries and strongbow

boquets of flowers
a lovely cafe
scrumptious friends
belly laughs
yummy curry
chocolate cheesecake with a gluten free crust
a sparkler
and a song

deep gratitude.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Dear 20's

Dear Decade.

I won't be crying in the next few minutes, while I wish you goodbye and farewell. Some people may struggle with the number 30 but not I. Not a bit.

Sometimes you felt like a tornado. A grey cloud that I could not leave, peeking out of and seeing the blue skies, knowing the storm would be over at some point. There was a lot of grief, stagnancy, denial. Then there was a lot of release, growth, messy change as I prepared to leave all that behind. Preparing for what is now to come.

Other times it was like being born. Like falling in love for the first time, knee deep in a river. Letting the muse run through me and writing songs. Performing my songs on stage. Some delicious friendships were born in your time. Many of them will be carried on, hopefully for the rest of my time on this earth. I found a friend in myself and learned to enjoy her company again.

I feel like I am walking into the next phase in my life with eyes wide open, taking deep breaths. I'm not romanticizing this whole growing up thing. I'm just ready for it. ready to make better choices. ready to not stress so much about them. ready to be loved in the ways that i am worthy of. ready to laugh more at my mistakes.

its now 11:59.....
happy birthday to me
and to harmony!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

the little things

still 2 more sleeps until the 20's are over for me. i'm overjoyed. they have not been remotely easy. i always knew life would get richer with me as the years past. i'm a late bloomer in some ways.

i feel like these days i have a macro lense on my eyes....smitten with catching the little things. snails, dew, raindrops, flower petals.

the 20's felt like they were consumed with the big picture. crisis, politics, who am i?, death/life, will i ever be truly loved? and now i feel like i have more trust in the universe, the goddess, even god. i don't think i've ever lived so much in the moment as i do now. i don't think i've ever been so in tune with my own needs. i'm finally listening to the little things my spirit whispers to me, that i ignored for much of the last decade.

i love how noticing the little things and small things that i can do to make the the big picture much richer.

Friday, July 20, 2007

turning 30

i had so many expectations placed on myself about where i would be when i turned 30.
successful, married, kids running at my feet

and i am not.

but i am
discovering how worthy i am
knee deep in living a creative life
cherised by beloved friends
connected to my inner child
humbled daily at how beautiful life is
deeply committed to self care

so, to hell with expectations.
i like reality much better.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

the best spot in vancouver.

there is this old factory on the east side. broken glass, shingles falling, wood faded. its beautiful. it now houses artists studios and it is my favourite spot for a photoshoot in vancouvs. along side the factory is the train tracks. my friend j and i went today and got lost in the nails, grafitti, rails, rocks and the way the sky looks against the wood. we took pictures until it started to rain. it was lovely to get lots of material for the citygirl/countrygirl photoblog and to be both photographer and model. i love living this artful life.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

life well lived

really and truly i feel most at home at a folk festival.

my friend who is 8 says it 'means more to her than her birthday' and i very much agree.

during the weekend i developed an addiction. to my friends fancy camera. really, i think i alone took over 400 pictures over 3 days. i was rarely without it attached to my face.

i do love my wee little camera, and will continue to take it everywhere i go. i feel like life behind a camera lense is life well lived. i love noticing little things that others would pass by. i love capturing moments. i love the way it makes me feel like i am in a creative space, while simply walking down the street.

in a lot of my favourite blogs, said bloggers talk about their cameras, so i was well introduced to the Digital Rebel. I'm knee deep in trying to figure out which one to buy (whenever that happens). My friends camera I've been using is the Rebel XT and I love it, feel like I know how to use it. But then there is the XTi. Oh what to do! Hopefully by the time I've set aside the funds to buy it I will be clearer on what I want to get.

Okay, so I think the best way to talk about the last chunk of time since I posted is with a folk-fest-happy-list

-allie russell's lucious voice
-bitch singing 'pussy manifesto' and 'girls like me'
-dancing barefoot
-my 8 year old friend learning to breakdance on stage
-my 20/30 something friends learning to breakdance on stage
-wandering performance art
-beloved friends from victoria and vancouvs
-the big screen on the mainstage (so you could actually see the performances!)

more to say about the last week, but i think it needs to come out in bits and pieces.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

big girls

this video rocks. i just love it!

Monday, July 09, 2007

delicious music

you know how sometimes a certain meal, though you've had it before, tastes like the most divine thing to ever meet your tastebuds? thats the closest i can get to describing how music is feeling to me these last few days.

it feels like every note is filling me up. like i'm experiencing a live show while waiting for the bus. like every sentence is a window into the wisdom of the world. music is always with me, and i listen to it all the time, but right now its like the best meal i've ever eaten.

early morning asks for the weepies tender love songs
the afternoon begs for miss patty griffin. especially 'heavenly day' and 'trapeze'.
in the evening i feel the need to turn up the volume real loud and rock out to the cliks.

i wonder why it all tastes so good right now. is it that i'm uncovering/remembering/divining old songs back into my life, finding the forgotten lyrics and putting them to paper.

is it that life is just better with an ipod in hand? 1000 songs at your service.

is it that i'm ready once again to meet the place in me that i feel most at home, most spiritual, most connected. maybe.

re-discovering all these old songs, i'm blown away at how dark a lot of them are, how much they are about transformation, facing fear, death, struggle. Reading them makes me very much not surprised that i had to go through a breaking down to be able to rise out of it.

i'm so looking forward to what this lighter heart has to say!

Sunday, July 08, 2007

how can it get any better than this?

my whole body is buzzing with excitement.
i think i'm in love. with the potential of life.

i knew someday that all the struggle would be worth it. to feel so good again.
to feel alive in every cell of my body.

the music is filling me.
the sun is charging me up.

my cats fur has never felt softer.
their purring is making me purr....

recently a good friend of mine Eliza, who is oh so wise, spoke of how there comes a point when you realize that all the little things mean nothing. and at that point you meet the world with open arms and it welcomes you. sometimes this comes out of struggle or crisis. but those things sometimes let us see the world clearer. for what makes us truly happy and to celebrate connection and living in our joy.

i've just been taking baby steps to work towards being happy again, sensing at each stage what feels like the healthiest choice, even if it doesn't seem at the time that it will help in the big picture, but it does.

today i sat on a patio above east van, eating delicious breakfast and talking with new people. that isn't something i've done in a long time. i walked down commercial drive and fell in love again with the mountains. in portland all the people looked so beautiful and while on the drive i realized it wasn't just portland. just like my last trip, i'm amazed at how much the little learnings i have there are transferable to my life at home. with hilton head it was peacefulness, portland it was the beauty of life. i feel like i'm finally ready to meet life again with open arms.

as my mom would say:
"how can it get any better than this?"

oh, and how it does!

Friday, July 06, 2007

wide open to it all

a bit more time for words this morning.

there are a few nuggets of loveliness in the form of books that i got my lil' hands on (shaking with excitement). The first is a new book by keri smith called Wreck this Journal. Its full of creative ideas in their most raw form...getting you to do it, make it, mess it up, rip it, spill it. Creativity in its messy glory.

Here it is mere minutes after making it mine (and the wrecking had already begun):

my other 'hands shaking with excitement' purchase was a book by nikki mcclure.

She makes these powerful and intricate paper cuts. Please take a look at her work. Its so amazing. Along with the book, I also got a couple cards and posters as well as a zine. So inspiring!

I'm nearing the end of my time in Portland. We have already discussed future plans for my return which include staying for a few nights on the coast.

Its been so intruiging, because the moment I got here I felt right at home in the city. I have not felt at home for even a moment in vancouver...that is except for the folk festival but that is more of an 'experiencing of home' than an actual physical place. I mean, I enjoy my home there, what the city has to offer, the beaches, the trees. But you know that right to the core feeling of being at home. On a cell level. I don't feel it there.

That said, what I do feel in vancouvs, is that I am meant to be there. I have no doubt about it. Had I been in a place for the last 2 years that already felt like 'all was good' I would not have been able to deal with all the underlying issues that came up from my psyche and asked me to change. Either that or I would not have been able to appreciate that 'home' feeling, because I was not at home in myself. So while vancouver still is the place I want to call home, it feels so beautiful to know what else is out there. I'm just aching to travel more. To keep this feeling of wide open right near the surface.

The countdown to folkfest is getting close. I'm so looking forward to my bare feet dancing by the stage. The last few folk fests have been a bit rough. Last year I was having a really hard time in the summer....so it was a feeling like 'its folkfest...why is this, my favourite thing, not even enough to make me feel happy again'. The year before was the year my friend Alex died. So folk fest was bittersweet. She used to come to folk fest, so it was a place I related to her, but not only that, it was that i just felt so alive...and was so sad she wasn't there too. I cried a lot that weekend.

So here it comes, and my spirit hasn't felt this joyous in a long time. I've been trying to just enjoy everyday of this life I have. Its gonna be grand!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

portland photo diary

tired from all the loveliness. taking so many pictures. feeling like they can speak better than i can at the moment, so here is a glimpse of some of the beauty of it all:


morning playfulness

taking pictures almost constantly

coffee and walks


blissfully looking out the window

my lovely hosts

getting outside the city

beautiful views

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

ferociously alive

i am smitten.
with portland.
with life.
with vacations.
with traveling.
with beauty and art and life.

i have been in portland less than 24 hours, and have been exploring alberta st. for the last few. i could so live here. it feels like home. the people here are so beautiful....and by that i mean they are authentically beautiful. i have butterflies over this city. oh dear.

last night sarah and i had great chats. we three (her, me and her boyfriend) ate outside and then sarah and i chatted for quite a while. its amazing how well we get along outside the context of our family. and our family as a whole is pretty rad, we all love each other big time. but this is the second time this year i've gone to visit sarah outside of the context of a family thing, and we get along just smashingly. i mean, who in this world knows me better, and vice versa?

its only been 2 months since my last trip and i feel like i flowed right back into vacation mode very quickly. i've been working so much lately though and didn't realize how much i needed a vacay...feels so good! i've concluded that i need to take a trip every 2-3 months, even if only to van isle....keep me feeling refreshed and keep my spirit ferociously alive.

it finally feels like summer. outside as well as in my heart.

Monday, July 02, 2007

welcome newness

i am a bad procrastonator. a very bad one.

especially with phone calls or anything involved with talking to a stranger. also renewing things. very bad at that.

but in the last half hour all of a sudden it felt like the wall that i put up, you know the one that has 'self-sabatoge' grafittied on it, just disappeared and i have been able to reach out, to send apologies, to finish small tasks i've been avoiding. and i mean, these are wee emails i've put off for months! why? i have no clue. but i'm thankful for the change in energy.

i wonder why i do that self-sabatoge thing. i do it in big ways too. ways i don't want to write down. doing those things creates an environment of stress and a feeling of failure. in my counselling class years back, we spoke about how if you grew up in an environment of stress often we will be drawn to similar energies, because it is safe. i have no doubt looking at the stress of my teenage life (particularly my relationship with my sister...which was pure stress) that i create obstacles for myself, create failures, because it is safe to be there. my soul work a la 2007 is to step out of patterns and to establish new ones, so i'm hoping this is the beginning of something good.

interestingly enough, i'm going to visit my sister tomorrow. we are both making big efforts to help change our dynamics. this sudden flow past old energies into a clearer present has me hopeful and reminded to experience my connection with my sister as it is in the present, cause maybe the past doesn't have quite as big a hold on me anymore!

hmm....i hope so.