26 February 2014
not pictured: the bundle of small purple mums I treated myself to, the little bottles of purple nail polish I never got around to using, the grape popsicle I wanted (and the purple tongue it would have surely given me), the handful of purple houses I passed while the running of the errands (similar to the running of the bulls though not nearly as exciting), the lost prince 45 that was, of course, purple.
I will not lie. purple is not my favorite. but after this week, I don't know. I'm starting to come around.
(more purple over at color//colourlovers and over at xanthe's spot)
(meanwhile, we are knee deep in juicy, juicy orange)
17 February 2014
I'll tell you, I love this project. I really do. because the minute I focus on a particular color, I begin to see it everywhere. and I mean everywhere. in small places, hidden places, places it's probably always been but my eyes have glossed right over it. I never noticed that our paint brush handles are that lovely shade of green. and I am sorry to say, but I probably would have walked right by that green bicycle. I might've noticed it for a second but it would not have jumped out at me. it would not have commanded me to stop and inspect it, to point my camera at it. because that's what the color does, it screams out at me all week long. notice me! see me! here I am! no matter what I have going on in life (and friends, there are things, there are big things), the color is there. to remind me, to ground me. to root me squarely in that ever important little time period we like to call the present.
you know what else? I am loving co-collaborator xanthe's green balloons. I am loving her green fingertips. and I cannot wait to see the purples and violets this week brings. I am wondering what places I'll find them, where they will be hiding.
15 February 2014
number twelve off the list: own a pink ukulele.
because, january. because, february. because, I don't know. I just wanted one. it's a very twee sort of thing to want to own, I realize this. and I will admit to something else. I did not even think about actually learning how to play it. I just wanted it. I wanted to hold it. and look at it and take photographs of it. I wanted it like a kid wants candy. because it's sweet and pretty and good, because surely it would lead to happiness.
but when I got a little bit of birthday money (an amazon gift card, actually, thank you sweet in-laws), all I could think about were the practical things I needed. a new kitchen knife, for one, because I have been cutting fruits and vegetables with something akin to a butter knife. I have lost my mind over the cutting of pineapples, have thrown my fists up in the air over a pile of carrots. people, I need a new kitchen knife. desperately. and new sneakers. I have worn mine down to the nubs and my body has had it. she tells me this after every walk I take. I need new sneaks.
but I think you know how this story ends. to be fair, I researched the heck out of trainers and a most excellent kitchen knife sat in my little amazon cart for weeks. in the end, I went for the pink ukulele. because, of course I did. and when it finally arrived in the mail, it made me as happy as I thought it would. happier, even, because I've started to teach myself how to play. at night, of course, after everyone has gone to bed and the house is quiet. and you know what else? ava has started to play too. I hear her plink plink plinking away and it fills me with so much happy that it just spirals right out through the top of my head.
and we don't really know what we're doing, we're probably doing it all wrong but we're making up silly songs and we're learning chords and strum patterns and at least now there's a little bit more music floating around these parts. dang it if it hasn't been the best thing to happen to this house in months. also? favorite pink thing, ever. ever. of course, I still curse every time I cut into a pineapple and wince a little bit after a long walk but I'll take it. because I don't know what we did before this little pink ukulele. I really don't.
10 February 2014
friends, it's been a wild, wild week. still, I looked for pink. and found it, in both likely and unlikely places. not pictured: the seventeen shades of pink nail polish I wanted to buy at the drugstore, the old pink cadillac that lives in the neighborhood, the tiny pink paper umbrella I keep in my desk drawer, pink cheeks cold from the first big snow we've had here in portland in three years.
and there's one more pink thing. a special pink thing, my new favorite pink thing, maybe my favorite pink thing of all time. but I shall share that tomorrow.
(more pink over at color//colour lovers, a collaborative project with the spectacular ms. xanthe)
06 February 2014
forty is not the new twenty. it's not even the new thirty. forty is the new forty because forty is forty. forty is good, forty is great, forty doesn't need to pretend to be anything it isn't.
I did not always feel this way. what I mean is, I opened my arms to forty, or said I was going to, or something like that. I said I was ready, I said I wanted it but I didn't mean it, not really. I didn't want it, not for a second. I stood at forty's door, stared hopelessly through it and that cool woman I thought for sure I'd be, the one who'd embrace every wrinkle, every grey hair, every sagging, drooping bit, the one who'd unapologetically wear those imperfections like the aging champion she'd surely be, that woman was nowhere to be found. that woman was probably someone my twenty-something self foolishly invented back in the early nineties. and so I began to see myself in photographs and think, is that what I look like? what I really look like? and then, holy crap, am I actually that woman? who sees herself in photographs and asks questions like that?
then, vanity became the least of my worries. things fell apart. my mom got sick and I watched her die. I watched her die slowly, painfully. some other sad things happened and I got tired. I blamed forty. I thought, if this is what it means to be forty, I want no part of it. if it means things only get harder, that the hill before me tilts impossibly upward, no thank you. if it means I will care (more than I'd like to) about the kinds of clothes I should or should not wear, what shade of lipstick is age appropriate, where that one wrinkle came from or why I look so tired all the time, if this is what forty means, I don't want it. if it means wallowing in a tepid pool of nostalgia for the rest of my days, then you can have it. more importantly, if it means watching the people I love die then I DON'T WANT IT, OKAY. I DON'T WANT YOU, FORTY. I REJECT YOU.
so I rejected forty, I refused it. but, as you know, it does not work this way. as it turns out, this is not exactly possible and when things finally quieted down, so did the crazy talk. I cannot tell you when things changed for me but they did. somewhere along the way, I softened. there was no lightbulb moment, no woo-woo life altering experience. I just gradually found myself in that place, that good place you sometimes hear people talk about, that place you've earned simply because you have lived. and you love the way you look but you don't love the way you look and somehow, these feelings now co-exist in a way you never thought possible. you lose people you love and the heartbreak changes you so profoundly you cannot help but see your time in the world with new eyes, you cannot help but live with just a little bit of a lump in your throat. thing is, this is what makes the living good. better, even. the fragile, teetering part, the knowing part, the one that finally acknowledges that time is not infinite and you are not actually immortal. and when you see things with these eyes, the world around you changes. when you see forty with these eyes, forty is beautiful. because you are alive and you know what that means, what that really, really means. you are both flawed and flawless, broken but completely intact, imperfectly perfect. you are in your own skin, your own God-given skin. finally. and it feels good, even if it is changing, it feels right.
which is when you realize forty is not the new twenty. it is not the new thirty, it is not the new anything. forty is forty because calling it anything else would be an insult to the decade you've worked so hard to find your way into. pretending it's anything else means you've missed the point entirely. forty is forty and what you now know in your bones is that you wouldn't have it any other way.
(for lovely susannah and all the lovely women who've shared their story in honor of her 41st birthday and for all women everywhere, whatever your age)
04 February 2014
not pictured: the yellow tulips I bought, the spill of yellow paint on the sidewalk, the yellow balloons meant to attract potential apartment renters, the neon yellow straw I chose at the coffee shop, the old yellow cigar boxes stacked in the kitchen, the number 16 on the back of ezra's basketball jersey, the bag of lemons I brought home to photograph but forgot.
(for color//colour with xanthe)
(next up: pink)