31 January 2019



things I want to remember about january:

tumeric tea
ezra's poem
ava's painting
charades and sleepovers
birthday cake for my mom
birds that flew overhead, en masse
how barry jenkins shows what love looks like, feels like
that one brand new very bright green leaf
mcdonalds, overheard 
golden arms at the high
the plaza theatre with ava
tracy's package
gudrun's laugh
jen's text 
waffle house waffles
toccoa falls and rainbows
paper whites and blood oranges
christmas lights, still

30 January 2019



things I've written about for UPPERCASE magazine, who just turned ten years old and put out their fortieth (fortieth!) magazine:

from the very first column to the most recent:

records and record players
volkwagen buses
city songs
old brooches
hanging laundry
wooden type
watering cans
the making of lists
world globes
vintage dresses
the beginning of summer
autumn leaves and the art of paying attention
my mother's home
scent and memory
city collages
office supplies
street art
striped shirts
handwritten letters
my mother's quilts
making time for making
the worth of things
movement as art
city patterns
the building of fires
the magic of yes
creative projects
the language of color
collecting rugs
records and record players

(it has been my great honor and pleasure to write for UPPERCASE magazine for ten years, to have been with them from the very beginning-- thank you, janine-- and thank you, everyone who reads and supports this crazy amazing publication)

29 January 2019


things I'm not interested in:

curated instagram feeds
the excessively pretty

28 January 2019


plink plink

three things I'd like to learn how to do:

bake bread
speak italian
play when you were mine on the ukulele

27 January 2019


words I've had to stop and look up in the dictionary this past week:


26 January 2019


recently discovered:

a zine shop in the ATL
the lucky day shelf at my library
maple syrup as a substitute for vanilla extract 
a brown plastic butterfly barrette at the bottom of a drawer (this is my new favorite thing)
the sun shining in a particular spot in our bedroom between two and four in the afternoon (this brings me much joy)
a documentary like nothing I have ever seen before
new growth on a plant I thought was surely dead

25 January 2019


day seven//one

day one//two

things I'm drawn to photograph:

the backs of people
accidental/unintentional/subconscious art
the extraordinary ordinary
people photographing people
street scenes
real life
people, always

24 January 2019


seen on my walk this afternoon:

branches like bones
an empty pack of newports
that same bowl from yesterday, still in the same place, still turned over
two tea bags in the middle of the street, their orange paper tags like tiny flags
the sun through the trees
the sun, like a gold medallion
myself, reflected in a puddle

23 January 2019


seen on my walk this afternoon:

charcoal skies
three birds nests
an empty pack of marlboros
an empty bowl, turned over 
one white glove
one large spring coil
pinecones by the dozens
an entire tree taken over by kudzu
two cars parked nose to nose, as if kissing
a woman closing her shades, possibly because she did not appreciate my peering 
a white plastic bag stuck on a branch
a pile of chopped wood
a dying cactus 
one yellow leaf

I've decided to give january a chance.

22 January 2019


small pleasures, part three:

board games
hanging laundry
yard sales
hot tea
the sunday paper
a perfectly ripe avocado
magic hour

21 January 2019


things I'm doing today:

reading his letter from a birmingham jail
remembering that his life and work were (are) so much more than the quotes we all love to share
thinking about how I can do better, how we can do better

20 January 2019


christmas eve

currently daydreaming about:

buying a house in sicily for a dollar
having coffee and working on sketchbooks with my friend tracy
standing on the balcony of a tiny new york chinatown apartment with ward
writing while riding trains
waking up to snowfall

19 January 2019


things difficult to believe

things difficult to believe:

that this is the last year of the twenty-teens
that this may, I will have been graduated from high school for thirty years
that this september, I will have been married for twenty-five years
that I am the mother of two teenagers
that I have made fifty lists here

18 January 2019

17 January 2019


photobooth friday

things I'd like to tell my mom, who would have been 73 today:

I miss you
I love you
it's hard without you
and oh my goodness you would be so proud of ava and ezra

16 January 2019


blue room

books I'd like to read/re-read in twenty nineteen (in no particular order):

feel free (zadie smith)
electric arches (eve l. ewing)
the complete persepolis (marjane satrapi)
the heart is a lonely hunter (carson mccullers)
how art can make you happy (bridget watson payne)
on composition and improvisation (larry fink)
tar baby (toni morrison)
bird by bird (anne lamott)
it chooses you (miranda july)
pride and prejudice (jane austen)
the making of great photographs (eamonn mccabe)
just mercy (bryan stephenson)
the little friend (donna tartt)
slaughterhouse five (kurt vonnegut)
salvage the bones (jesmyn ward)
literacy and justice through photography (wendy ewald)
12 years a slave (solomon northrup)
slant rhymes (rebecca norris webb, alex webb)
if beale street could talk (james baldwin)
the diary of a young girl (anne frank)
dear america: notes of an undocumented citizen (jose antonio vargas)
pachinko (min jin lee)
the accidental (ali smith)
the great gatsby (f. scott fitzgerald)
the nature of photographs (stephen shore)
a thousand mornings (mary oliver)
one hundred years of solitude (gabriel garcia marquez)
rabbit: the autobiography of ms. pat (patricia williams)
against the odds: women pioneers in the first hundred years of photography (martin sandler)
the interestings (meg wolitzer)
street: new york city (carrie boretz)
sights in the city: new york street photographs (jamel shabazz)
my year of rest and relaxation (ottessa moshfegh)
text me when you get home (kayleen schaefer)
vivian maier: the color work  (colin westerbeck)
I dreamed I had a girl in my pocket (wendy ewald)
I was told there'd be cake (sloane crosley)
it's what I do: a photographer's life of love and war (lynsey addario)
becoming (michelle obama)
america (zoe strauss) 
zoli (colum mccann)

15 January 2019


things overheard over the course of two hours at a mcdonalds on a tuesday afternoon:

"listen I don't mess with no white bread"
"grandpa, the sun makes the sauce look shiny"
"does that beeping ever stop"
"lemme tell you how to keep that thing from catching fire"
"nuggets nuggets nuggets I love nuggets"

14 January 2019


things donald trump has forever ruined for me:

the color orange
the word 'tremendous'
red baseball hats
america, probably

13 January 2019


three songs currently on repeat:

agape (nicholas britell)
blue in green (miles davis)
two of us on the run (lucius)

12 January 2019


things I wish I'd find outside on the ground right now:

maybe a little bit of money
definitely money
but also, snow
I'll take snow, I don't even care about the money now
just, snow

11 January 2019


things we are doing tonight on this glorious friday night:

playing charades, horribly
playing charades, hilariously
watching old snapchat videos of me as a bee
making teeny tiny hot fudge sundaes that fit inside a spoon
figuring out how we can all sleep down here in the living room 
wondering what we should binge watch
wondering where all the leftover christmas candy is

10 January 2019


things I cannot bring myself to do, part one:

take the christmas tree down
make an appointment to see the dentist
delete my mom's number from my phone

09 January 2019


things I want to remember about today:

the sun like honey in our bedroom this morning
the way it felt to sit and talk and laugh and drink coffee with my friend
the color of the beets in my bowl at lunch
blood oranges in my grocery cart (thus, a little surge of joy)
paper whites in my grocery cart (thus, a little surge of hope)
ezra in the car after school, giddy, talking about a poem he wrote
ava in the kitchen with me tonight, cooking onions and garlic and tomatoes in olive oil
ezra just now, standing in the doorway of my bedroom, still talking about his poem, still

08 January 2019



films loved in twenty eighteen (sure to be revisited again and again):

phantom thread (exquisitely brutal/brutally exquisite)
tully (there's a line in this film about parenthood so steeped in truth it made me cry)
the fits (wholly hypnotic, still thinking about it)
won't you be my neighbor (he was my childhood, and he was radical, he really was)
eighth grade (painfully lovely and cringey and real and heartbreaking)
mid90s (certainly not without flaws-- I mean, none of these films are-- but I just, I love this film so much)
roma (I believe I've made my thoughts on this film quite clear)

07 January 2019



films seen in twenty eighteen (the order in which they were seen):

call me by your name (luca guadagnino)
mudbound (dee rees)
the shape of water (guillermo del toro)
the post (steven spielberg)
the family fang (jason bateman)
brad's status (mike white)
I, tonya (craig gillespie)
phantom thread (paul thomas anderson)
black panther (ryan coogler)
the disaster artist (james franco)
a quiet place (john krasinski)
disobedience (sebastian lelio)
tully (jason reitman)
the fits (anna rose holmer)
tag (jeff tomsic)
sorry to bother you (boots riley)
won't you be my neighbor (morgan neville)
eighth grade (bo burnham)
oceans eight (gary ross)
last flag flying (richard linklater)
hearts beat loud (brett haley)
hot summer nights (elijah bynum)
mid90s (jonah hill)
when the levees broke: a requiem in four acts (spike lee)
joan didion: the center will not hold (griffin dunne)
private life (tamara jenkins)
isle of dogs (wes anderson)
roma (alfonso cuaron)

(holy wow, that's a crapload of male directors)

06 January 2019


reasons I'm too tired to make a list tonight:

all the fresh air I took in, which made me glad to be alive but also, tired
all the time I spent at target trying not to buy all the things
all the time I spent deliberating what list to make and post here

05 January 2019


color//colour red

things you should do on a saturday morning:

but mostly, nothing

04 January 2019



things that got me through this week:

the red cardinal outside my window on new year's eve
the moment ward woke me up to look out the window on new year's morning
all the leftover christmas cookies
the leftover tortilla soup too
showers at night in the dark
the way it feels to shoot with a completely different camera
the bright yellow tumeric tea I've been drinking
an unexpected game of charades
an unexpected package from my friend tracy, bursting with happy
the making of a new book list
waffle house waffles, just before midnight
the looking back
still with all the looking back

03 January 2019


books loved in twenty eighteen (sure to be revisited again and again):

sing, unburied, sing (jesmyn ward) (the way she puts words together makes me want to lie down on the floor and cry like a baby)

the shell collector (anthony doerr) (an extraordinary book filled with extraordinary short stories that had me underlining words and sentences and entire passages right and left)

half of a yellow sun (chimamanda ngozi adichie) (I fall deep into her stories, her characters, deep, deep)

catalog of unabashed gratitude (ross gay) (if I could wear his poems like perfume, I would)

there there (tommy orange) (polyphonic and beautiful and so incredibly important)

diane arbus: in the beginning (diane arbus, jeff rosenheim) (I saw this exhibit back in the summer of 2016-- it left me speechless and I wanted the exhibit book for all the reasons you want an exhibit book after you've just experienced an exhibit that leaves you speechless. but really, I wanted the book for one photograph and one photograph only. I couldn't afford it, I can never afford the exhibit books. that's just the way it is. I've never forgotten that photograph, though. and then I was recently gifted this book by my better half and when I opened it up, there it was-- that photograph-- and it still moves me just as much as it ever did. but what I love more than anything, maybe even more than that one photograph, if I'm honest, are the lists. diane arbus made lists. messes of words scribbled in pencil. and they live on the pages of this book and I can't stop looking at them, I cannot)

02 January 2019


seven books

books read in twenty eighteen (the order in which they were read):

alias grace (margaret atwood)
the hate u give (angie thomas)
sing, unburied, sing (jesmyn ward)
we were eight years in power: an american tragedy (ta-nehisi coates)
wise blood (flannery o'connor)
march: book one (john lewis, andrew aydin)
march: book two (john lewis, andrew aydin)
march: book three (john lewis, andrew aydin)
anonymous: enigmatic images from unknown photographers (robert flynn johnson)
cat's cradle (kurt vonnegut)
prayer: 40 days of practice (justin mcroberts, scott erickson)
a little life (hanya yanagihara)
the sun also rises (ernest hemingway)
to kill a mockingbird (harper lee) 
every day is for the thief (teju cole)
so you want to talk about race (ijeoma oluo)
on photography (susan sontag)
the shell collector (anthony doerr)
beautiful ruins (jess walter)
photographic: the life of graciela iturbide (isabel quintero)
roadside america: architectural relics from a vanishing past (john margolies)
half of a yellow sun (chimamanda ngozi adichie)
the redemption of galen pike (carys davies)
I'm still here: black dignity in a world made for whiteness (austin channing brown)
catalog of unabashed gratitude (ross gay)
dear friend, from my life I write to you in your life (yiyun lee)
the mothers (brit bennett)
chronology of water (lidia yuknivitch)
exit west (mohsin hamid)
how to love the empty air (cristin o'keefe aptowicz)
where the line bleeds (jesmyn ward)
a confederacy of dunces (john kennedy toole)
girls standing on lawns (maira kalman, daniel handler)
there there (tommy orange)
diane arbus: in the beginning (diane arbus, jeff l. rosenheim)

01 January 2019



on this first day of january:

sunrise, welcomed
photograph, taken
coffee, consumed
new day, considered
new year, considered