31 December 2019

words

february

writing just to be writing on this, the last day of the year, the last day of the decade. I want words in this space even if I don't exactly know what I want them to be, even if I'm lost as to how to string them together. it's true, I want the cart before the horse. but the proverbial clock is ticking and I can no longer wait for the proverbial horse. words, words, words. good ones, hopeful ones, shiny ones, golden ones. words about twenty nineteen, words about the twenty teens, words that tell about the looking back, that sing the good in looking forward.

words, words, words. 

(until I find mine, happy new year)

24 December 2019

09 December 2019

anyway, december

Untitled

frankly, I'm a little lost without my daily lists. 

as if it were an exotic foreign country I visited. learned the language, found my way around, got comfortable, settled in. now I'm back home and don't know what to do with myself. am rattling off lists inside my head in every situation, there is no off switch. to be clear, I'm not  interested in an off switch, I just miss the daily funneling. the terrific focus that comes with project specificity, a clear beginning, middle and end. 

anyway, december. onwards and upwards we go.

30 November 2019

365/365

the last list

things learned from a year of making lists:

there's power in daily practice
there's power in showing up, even when it's the last thing you want to do
there's power in letting go of what you think something should look like, feel like
there's power in letting go of what you think people want to read, want to see, want to feel
there's power in writing what's honest and real and true
there's power in making something for yourself, just because
there's power in getting out of your own way
there's power in daily practice
there's power in daily practice
there's power in daily practice

listen, I did not expect this project to last more than a month or two. many a project I have left hanging over the last ten years, many a project. why would this one be any different? somewhere along the way, I thought, I will fade. I will flake. 

365 lists later, here I am-- a year documented in the strangest, loveliest and possibly most personal way. if you followed along for any length of time, I thank you. because, surely you grew as tired of these lists as I did. 

I stood in the backyard tonight and took this photograph of the sky and thought, I don't know what's next. except that there will be a zine of these lists. so help me God, there will be a zine. and I will continue to show up here in blogland, the place that everyone says is dead. I don't care. I like it here, I like the quiet. I like that there are no algorithms, no likes, that there's space to move around and make mistakes and try new things. I have no plans of ghosting. certainly, there will be a new project (though I don't know what just yet) and there will be words and photographs (always) and maybe, probably, eventually, more lists. 

always and forever, lists.

29 November 2019

364/365

things I want to remember about november:

string on the sidewalk in the loveliest arrangement
steakhouse mashed potatoes and home movies with my dad 
the buck that ran across our front yard in the middle of the day
the way ezra kept dragging his mattress into our room for impromptu sleepovers
the walks I took every day, I mean, almost every day
my new french friend perrine, whom I met on one of these walks, and who, miraculously, lives in the neighborhood
the two days I spent alone, shooting at the old farmhouse
the sound of a piano in a completely empty house
ava and marcel, marcel and ava
the rare footage I found of my mom, the way she sounded, the way she looked into the camera, right at me
the text we received from ava's friends, a photo of all of them together with her in the ER
seeing her surrounded by love, so much love
how this made me cry in the car on the way there, smoky pink skies, blurred headlights
the light at the la quinta motel after a long, long night
the barrage of photos ezra texted me from his field trip to the art museum
the road trip we took on ward's birthday 
the nightly fires we built (and stoked and loved) in the teeny tiny log cabin
how I fell in love with that fireplace, that teeny tiny log cabin in the old log cabin motor court
how I never wanted to leave that fireplace, that teeny tiny log cabin in the old log cabin motor court
hours spent in asheville book stores that reminded us of portland book stores
merce cunningham on film, merce merce merce
a conversation with a stranger in urban outiftters, of all places, that left me reeling
knödles and bratwurst and strudel at an old german restaurant with a hundred beer steins hanging from the ceiling 
views from the blue ridge parkway, how they left me feeling dizzy and glad to be alive
the quiet pop of cranberries cooking
the baking of my first pecan pie
thanksgiving dinner at the table my brother built, with the people I love
the making of this list

28 November 2019

363/365

thanksgiving rituals:

cook the cranberries til they pop
mash the potatoes til they melt in your mouth
make the table look pretty (lord do I love to set a table)
talk about mom
call dad, tell him I love him
tell myself there's room for pie
watch this classic around midnight

27 November 2019

362/365

Untitled

things seen while wandering around downtown asheville:

a legitimately impressive jam bar
the feet of merce cunningham on film
jehovah witnesses wearing hats
light flung on the sides of buildings
a beautiful saul leiter book
a cheerful cluster of climate change activists
a woman with soda cans in her hair
a bowl full of old photographs
an old kress dime store building
skeletor's guide to self care
a small, stunning chorus of blues

26 November 2019

361/365

things seen on the way to north carolina:

goats on the roof
roadside boiled peanuts
the piggly wiggly
the penny pinching packrat megathrift
the last of the color on the trees
the north carolina state line
the rusted shell of an old cornflower blue karmann ghia
a billboard advertising the museum of the housecat
one black boot on the shoulder of the road
an abandoned A-frame
the stardust motel
geese, flying in formation
sun on the mountains like brass

25 November 2019

360/365

things tasted today:

pour over coffee made in a teeny tiny log cabin
cold chipotle grits
mandarin juice
sour cherry jam
blackberry jam
peach rosemary jam
bananas foster apple butter
sweet potato chai apple butter
southern-style biscuits
knödle with wine gravy
käse bratwurst
knoblauch bratwurst
german potato salad
sauerkraut
bavarian cream puffs
apple strudel
apple cider in front of a roaring fire in a teeny tiny log cabin

24 November 2019

359/365

test.2

some things I genuinely love about ward:

puts so much love into the coffee he makes each morning, I swear I can taste it

has lines around his eyes that crinkle when he smiles therefore reducing me to a pool of love

made an atlas of the fifty states at age nine, drew each state on a different page and upon completion, took it to his school library and put it on the shelves with the rest of the books on states because he thought, well this is where books on states go

has a deep, deep love for art and will discuss it at length with anyone, any time, any place

has a deep, deep love for music and will discuss it at length with anyone, any time, any place

is not afraid of new generations of music and, in fact, welcomes them with the most open of arms 

sends me pictures of the sunrise when he's taking ezra to school in the morning

is always up for a road trip, always (I mean always)

is always up for a movie, always (I mean always)

is my biggest, most passionate, most genuinely enthusiastic cheerleader

loves star wars more than any person I have ever, ever known

is a bonafide master at mixtape making, listen, I'm telling you his skill level in this area wholly unmatched

does not really care about sports

builds bonfires in the backyard that roar and crackle for hours

is really committed to this beard thing (no but seriously I do love the beard)

truly appreciates a legit book store and/or library as much as I do

will pull over (in a nanosecond) whenever I ask him to for a junk shop, a produce stand, a fleamarket, an old sign, some magic light, what have you

will drop whatever he is doing when you tell him you've lost something and look, tirelessly, endlessly, until he finds it

tears up when someone tells him how much their kid loves one of his books

makes a mean plate of scrambled eggs

makes a mean stack of pancakes

is just so incredibly good, so, so incredibly good at being a dad

gets as excited as I do about different birds we see in the yard

brings me coffee in the morning and tells me I'm pretty

(happy 51st birthday to my most favorite man in the world, I love you I love you I love you)

23 November 2019

358/365

the moment is

saturday morning grocery list:

one orange
one very portable, fairly customizable, smallish birthday cake
one bag of coffee beans, medium roast
one bag of pecans, chopped
one bag of marshmallows
two boxes of stovetop stuffing
two bags of cranberries
one box of readymade pie crust
three bottles of sparkling cider
one box of salted butter
okay, two

22 November 2019

357/365

things I wish:

that adulthood could be slipped on and off like a suit
that I could somehow right all my wrongs
that twinkies were a superfood

21 November 2019

356/365

things to be thankful for on this thursday:

strong antibiotics
hotel rooms with cable television
unexpected blue skies

20 November 2019

355/365

things about wednesday:

a frantic phone call from ava
a trip to the emergency room, two hours south
a smoky pink sky on the way there 
a lot of deep breathing on the way there
a two hour drive that felt like two hundred hours

(she is okay, we are okay) (but I am so monumentally extraordinarily spent) 

19 November 2019

354/365

things I'm trying really hard not to do:

overwater my succulents
underestimate the power of a twenty minute walk 
opt for takeout when there's a pantry full of staples
listen to the voice that says, go ahead, andrea, fall into that deep, downward spiral
use the word 'awesome' in any context, ever