14 September 2014

silence hereby broken

silence officially broken

let me interrupt the quiet here with a few things.

over the summer, ava turned fourteen. ava turned fourteen, started high school and the moment she walked through those heavy front doors, my heart dropped all the way down to my knees. ezra is now a decade old, a bonafide top-of-the-food-chain fifth grader. a few boxes got unpacked, a few hundred didn't. lightning bugs flew around, I got pretty excited about it and the first time I heard the roar of the cicadas at dusk here in the south, I wanted to cry. old friends and family stopped by the new house and I watched (with a lump in my throat) while my dad taught ezra how to shoot a basketball. the beginning of a path was forged between our house and the cousins' house, as it is now merely steps away. for the first time in life, we live on the same street as family. and what we have now, between the two houses, is a compound-- a wildly wonderful, mildly chaotic compound, with a trampoline in one backyard and a homemade fire pit in the other and a lot of overgrown trees in between. also, there's a neighborhood swimming pool and we have the toasty brown chlorine-scented skin to prove it. that chlorine is baked in, folks. additionally, the public library on the corner was visited, new library cards secured and several trips made to the sonic drive-in just up the street. we're sonic people now. I'm not afraid to say it.

a few walls were painted white, in a feeble attempt to cover up some of the beige in the new house. there's a lot of beige. did I mention the beige? BECAUSE THERE'S A LOT OF BEIGE. we are going to need more white paint. we are possibly going to need to start a savings account for all the white paint. still, I find I enjoy the challenge. I putter around the house on my off days, wander from room to room, head crazy with ideas. secret pinterest boards have been created, books have been checked out. I enjoy finding new places for our things, I take my time with it. I do my best thinking when I'm messing with the placement of books, plants and pictures, when I'm moving furniture and lamps around. but this is also when I miss my mom the most. with every new home we've moved into, she was there. she was the one (the only one, really) who'd listen to me go on and on about house stuff, the only one who'd help me exhaust every possible paint/rug/pillow/table/lamp/curtain/plant option. endlessly, tirelessly. and she would love the new house. she would scoff at all the beige, the staggering amount of boob light fixtures but she would see straight through all the crap, she would see the possibilities. she would listen to me yammer on about bargain pendant lamps and thrifted mexican blankets, she would understand. and you know what else? she would help me paint.

we found our thrift shop, our donut shop, our bargain theatre. I found my camera shop, my crazy camera guy. we're nowhere near our old, familiar atlanta neighborhood and it's a little like starting over. everything is new is old is new again. we'd barely unpacked our suitcases before we went barreling down ponce to hit up all our favorite old spots. movies at the plaza, slices at fellini's, ice cream cones at zesto. long drives around our fair old city revealed that nothing has changed, not really. but everything is different. trees tower over places in ways we don't remember, there are new parks, new restaurants, new murals and the beloved old boulevard tunnel has been completely transformed. but all the old places are there, all the old feelings, as if we never really left. I'm teaching modern for my old dance company moving in the spirit again, and really, it's like I've just come back from a very long trip. not a beat has been skipped. and then there are the new things-- an opportunity to shoot for the radical non-profit street art organization living walls sort of fell into my lap and I had a bit of work exhibited for weloveatl, a mobile photography truck. it was all very whirlwind and I will always be grateful for the unfolding of it.

over the summer, ezra fell in love with cactus plants and ava fell in love with the german language. ezra declared his room would be decorated to look like the state of new mexico and ava covered her bedroom walls with thrift store landscape paintings and old tree branches. I could never have predicted these things, which is what I love most about parenthood. ava went on her first solo bike ride and ezra went to his first real rock concert. I watched his eyes double in size the minute listener took the stage and I saw him exchange a look with his cousin-- the sort of look you give someone when something big is about to happen and you know it and they know it and you just want some sort of confirmation of said momentous event. afterwards, we let him pick out a t-shirt and he chose the black one with the yellow skull and jagged yellow lightning bolts because, of course. then we took them to waffle house because that's what you do after a show, we told them. you sit and eat waffles at midnight while your ears ring and you talk about the show.

other things that happened over the summer: humidity. humidity happened, it's still happening and truly, it is as oppressive as I remember but you know what? I don't hate it. actually, I find great comfort in it. also, I stopped watching the news. I'm not burying my head in the sand but I can't watch anymore. there's a good chance we've broken ourselves from the habit of cable television altogether, mostly because we're too lazy (and too broke) to have it hooked back up but also because we found we liked the quiet. surely we'll be singing a different tune a few months from now but until then, we are those people I have always loved to hate, the ones who say they don't need television. I'll tell you, I intend to ride this tv-free pony as long as I can.

lastly, we failed to purchase a bed this summer. in a moment of blind optimism, we ditched our old one (it really was pitiful) when we left portland in hopes it would force the mattress gods to smile down on us. 78 days later and we are still sleeping on an air mattress, which may have two or three holes in it, we're not exactly sure. what this means, friends, is that it must be re-inflated three or four times during the night. someday we will laugh about this, I am sure of it, but that someday is not now. until we have saved enough money for a new bed, the best we can do is cuddle up with netflix, a few bowls of fruity pebbles and listen to the hiss of the mattress, the sound of air slowly escaping and acknowledge that these are the good times. really and truly, they are. 

49 comments:

  1. It is good to hear your voice again.

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    1. thank you. it's good to be back. it's good to be writing again. xo

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  2. I remember when you announced you'd be moving to Portland, and now this. Oh life. Wishing you much loveliness in your new place, and the cousin compound - yes!

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    1. thank you! that big move to portland seems like yesterday. oh, time. xo

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  3. I've been hopeful all summer that the silence would be broken.

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    1. thanks, friend. took me a while but I finally made it back. xo

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  4. These are SO the good times, friend. You are absolutely right.

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    1. sometimes it's hard to remember! but they are, they really really are.

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  5. I've been reading you for several years but not sure I ever commented. Today I have to stop and say this was truly, truly lovely. I'm right there with you. Can't wait to hear more.

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    1. thank you. that means a lot to me. it really does. xo

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  6. i don't always get a chance to stop and read, but, i absolutely love your blog and this post is perfect.

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    1. thank you so much! can't tell you just how much I appreciate you taking the time to tell me. xo

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  7. You always make me either laugh or cry, today was both. Best to you in your new home and nice to see you back here.

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    1. ah, both. my work is done here. :))) (thank you, by the way) xo

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  8. I read today that Zesto's on Ponce is closing this week. *sniff!*

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    1. can't believe how fast it happened! we went one last time, on the last day it was open, this past saturday. so sad.

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  9. Yours is one of my very favorite spots in this wide web. So glad to have your news.

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    1. that's high praise, friend. I thank you. xo

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  10. so happy for you guys xoxoxo

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  11. These are the days, that you'll remember.

    Been missing your voice. Glad to hear you are settling in.

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    1. indeed, these are the days. thank you for your kind words. so good to be back. xo

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    1. thank you, lady. missing you and portland. xo to you.

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  13. Just a hello and a happy to see you back in this space. I've missed hearing how you are. Glad that you are settling in to what is new is old is new. xo

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    1. thank you, meghan! thank you so, so much! xo

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  14. Sounds like you're in such a fabulous place. I hear you about the boob lights, and THANK YOU for the link to ideas to... enhance... them. Give them a lift, so to speak. = )

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    1. ha! I did not boob lights existed until we moved into this house and I did a search on how to deal with them. lift indeed. :) (also, thank you) xo

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  15. lovely photo! happy post!

    (came via Weekends Collected)

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    1. oh, thank you! thank you so much!

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  16. I just came across your blog this morning. My son, my one and only child, began high school this month (and turned fourteen over the summer). Here we are, two full weeks in, and I'm still wondering when my heart will unclench itself. It rocked my world. Thanks for coming back when I most needed to find you.

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    1. oh how I feel your pain. so glad to find someone to commiserate with! (thank you) xo

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  17. Yours was the very first (if not the first, then one of the first three) I ever stumbled across, about seven years ago. Of course that was back when they were few and far between, not like these days when you can't go online without tripping over about three million of them. I fell in love with your writing and your images and they inspired me to start a little blog- which is still little in terms of readership and has seen many long stretches of silence. I don't think I've ever commented before and then I got lost somewhere wading amongst the sea of blogs out there and I haven't been back here in a while, for years maybe. But I'm so glad I found myself here again today, to be reminded what it's is really all about and why I ever wanted to start one myself. What a refreshing change from all the fancy facades, perfectly edited lives and products being shoved under our noses from every direction. Thank you.

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    1. can I just tell you? this is maybe the best comment, ever. thank you. really. I cannot thank you enough. xoxoxoxo

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  18. is there a hula seventy fan club?

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  19. so yeah. loved every word of this. like a novel you can't put down. does that make me wierd? i appreciate the honesty and the simple and 'we are Sonic people now'.

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    1. not weird at all! and thank you. you are my people. xo

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  20. this is the best thing i've read all year. happy happy life hula family.

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  21. I missed your words and I looooove the world seeing the South through your eyes on so many levels

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  22. goodness girl, you are my favorite writer. my favorite photographer. just my favorite. every time i read something of yours i'm thinking to myself "YES, i know exactly what you mean!" we are kindred spirits. i'm so glad you are back home, sounds like Atlanta has welcomed you back with open arms. i'm so happy for you guys. :) -Tina

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  23. i haven't been here for too long... it's true, i echo the sentiments of reflected authenticity, beauty and unedited real-life-stuff which can't help but muster up the feeling of "oh, yay, me too..." may movement keep taking you back home! xxx

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