April 22, 2016

Two whirlwind days in Amsterdam seeing old friends from Paris. A bike ride through the smaller towns Lisse, Haarlem and through Amsterdam. Along the canals, next to the rows of flowers blooming for the spring. Windmills, locals fishing off the bridge, tourists. My sweet friend Lili – hungarian born. My friend Yasmina – Belgian born.
Vandelpark in the spring, a different world. “They say stones choose you”.. And I a Aventurine Green heart chakra is mine. The stone of luck, chance and for increased perception and creative insight. I’ll take it.

Then off to Zurich staying with my dear friend Danielle and her family. Brizillian born living in Zurich wedding photographer I met i Bucharest last spring. Karin, Swiss born met in Vietnam my last few days in Muine. Charming old city, rolling green hills set with the sharp contrast of white alps against a blue sky. A run along Lake Zurich, dinner in old town as the sun set, a shanti tea room and hipster neighborhood. Dinner with Karin and her friend and promises of SF rendezvous in the fall.
I feel like I slept for days.. I needed it after the go go go and high of Italy. Some downtime and some chill moments with Dani sharing similar stories and different paths. The grass isnt always greener. Always be thankful for your current place.

I can’t get enough of this traveler life. All these people in my life because I chose to take a small step forward.

I’m going to give Arturo another chance.. Maybe a first chance and see what will happen. I have to, or I will always look over my shoulder and wonder. A last few days in Paris, and then it is home again home again and very much looking forward to it.

April 22, 2016

Italy for 72 hours

Poets, writers, painters, musicians, a photographer, a dj.

Planes trains and buses. French, American Italian, Syrian and England. Ages of 50 to 22.

Spanish, Sing songy italian, francaise and british, New york and california.

I just have to write this here.

“I am not worried about you” he said .. “You are already on your way..”

::: L’avenir – returning to light. :::

An exchange I didn’t expect to have.

But, How could I have not expected to experience these things in this sort of atmosphere…
When you’re with artists, things happen. Haha..

This wasn’t about me. I came here for something else. I can to witness and share what I saw.
I didn’t realize I had put forth this feeling of restlessness and searching. He heard it, and gave me light.

“There was a softness there”. “I asked myself, is this what chemistry looks like, unfolding before me?”

I need to unpack my emotions.

I don’t know if it’s my biology or chemistry or what.

This is the thing about artists. We share the same soul. But Im not convinced we need to share the same space in order to maintain that. because what we share goes beyond presence. It is something we feel when we are living the way we are supposed to – what it is to be: alive, our best, free, light. And when we are together, we reflect back to each other, what we see, with our own voice, and even though it is a different language, we understand.

Standing amidst the chaos of noise :: the beat of the music competing with the pulse coming from the melodic sound of 200 Italian students vying for each others attention. Beer and wine bottles crashing to the cobble stone road, the myriad of clangs turning into one throbbing echo and somehow I am separate – like its a white noise . I am invisible. I am a witness. I feel the reverberations and yet I am not there. I am unaffected. People move around me but do not see me. Funnily enough, I am not drunk nor have had a drink. This is a real visceral experience. And among that is a voice, clear as a bell, repeating back to me all the things I’ve felt and seen, my journey repeated back to me, As if he read the book I never gave to him and yet he knew every page.

6 words to describe a memory – simple notes for writing later

Protecting your magic. Sweet souls coming alive. Separate journeys converging and sharing space for a while. It’s the sweetest drug and kindest fall off. My soul is happy to feel the sweetness for the moment. The high. The reprieve. The hangover. The souvenirs.

Cobblestones, cigarettes, voices, community, transitions, love.

April 22, 2016

Copenhagen –

ARrived and had dinner nearby the hotel at a cafe called Laundromat. Got the downlow on good music and made our way to the inner city by walking and bus to a place called Mojos. A cozy blues jazz bar. A beer and a few bands later we called it a night. Jet lag had me up early and I watched the sunrise while doing cardio at the local gym with a view the city waking up and beginning to bustle. I had located a cute cafe with good Kaffe and walked the brisk sunny morning through town. Avocado toast and traditional breakfast and we headed to the inner city again in search of the photography museum where there was a press exhibition. We walked along the canal from there, happened upon Nyhaven, and continued until we found the little mermaid. Wine and seafood at a cozy classy bar as we watched the sunset on the water. Saturday was traditional breakfast at a great spot in Vestabro called Bang and Jenson. We shopped and bit and wondered around. Amel had a class to teach and I wanted to work out. I also discovered there was the internatioal pillow flight that day, just two blocks away and so I took my camera and observed the fun. The afternoon was explored by foot, watched swans nest and snuggle, cyclist zipping by and were amazed by the quiet serene element of the city also known as no traffic noise. Desert, coffee and then walking through a park to stumble upon Han Christian Andersens grave. Reservations for dinner beckoned us and we ubered back to our hotel for a traditional meal of pan fried fish and boiled veggies. All very delicious. Recommendations from a friend took us out for the evening to “kind of blue” in a hipster part of town. The bar was great and the vibe chill. We made friends with a couple of very sweet guys who decided to show us a few of the fun spots in town for the evening. We managed to double up on their bikes with them and made it across town to a club that I wasn’t feeling and we called it a night. We grabbed brunch with them the next morning at another great spot and then spent our final day in town by covering Christiania, the stairs to the top of the steeple of Christ church, the street food market on the canal and then another final dinner at Bang and Jenson. Final morning had us getting out of bed slowly and then off to the airport after a little shopping.

March 28, 2016

Amel leaving, Vegas, reconnecting with Scott, refocusing and then signing up with a trainer. The last 10 days have been the most productive out of the whole month. Two days until I board a plane back to eu for 3 weeks. Denmark, France, Amsterdam. Maybe Switzerland. We’ll see!

Unexpected Kenya penpal. India projects, Paris projects, portrait projects. Oh yea, I need to make money too. UGH.. aside from that task, these days I am happy.

Words collected recently ::

The path to our destination is not always the straight one. we go down the wrong roead, we get lost, we turn back. maybe it doesnt matter which road we embark on. Maybe what matters is that we embark. – barbara hall

what good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness. – steinbeck

what happens when people open their hearts? they get better. Murikami

I believe in movement. I believe in that lighthearted balloon, the world. I believe in midnight and the hour of noon. but what else do I believe in? sometimes everything. Sometimes nothing. it fluctuates like light flitting over a pond. – patti smith

February 19, 2016

Tom

Oakland and Tom at the stork Club.

I walked in while glancing around the room to see if my date had beat me there or not. It was place that would definitely fit the comforting and nestalgic term “dive bar”. The collection of old barbies up that lined the mirror behind the booze. I was texting my date to let him know I had arrived when I heard – “Can I see your ID maam?” I”m slightly embarrassed and smile as I hand over my id with an a chipper “of course!”.

Early 40’s, jovial and kind face. one that is always smiling without actually ever forcing the muscles into the obvious emotion. He hands my Id back and sticks out his hand and says “Hi, I’m Tom. Welcome.” No particularly distinctive features. About 5’7 and bald. Probably really good looking at 20 with hair and slimmer stature.

Calm content and grounded demeanor. Knows everyone that walks in by name and if he doesn’t he quickly learns it.
It’s his moms place but he works there most times. He’s married, no idea of kids yet.. but you can tell he has spent most of his years being in that room serving that bar. He makes jokes about the barbies being his inheritance and speaks compassionately about the fish in the corner tank that isn’t doing so well lately.

I’m exhausted so I have a seat at the bar. It’s blue grass jam night and i’m a little early. Everyone is slowly arriving and a few are tuning their instruments. I’m excited to see banjos in the mix.

Tom is maybe a little intuitive (as a good bartender should be) and asks me about my day. Im beyond tired and it probably shows on my face. He puts a plate of freshly delivered chinese food in front of me. He claims its the best in town. He should know, he’s been going there for 30 years. I’m not a big fan generally but it is pretty great. Another girl stops by the counter from a backroom where I can hear probably billiards in the distance. He chats with her and offers her some chinese as well.

24th and Telegraph with the old neon sign outfront that was hung 30 years ago. I don’t think the electricity in it still works but the bulbs are still in place.
This is Monday night.

February 19, 2016

feb

I find it harder to write when I am home. My life feels adventureless when most of my days are spent attending to the logistics of banal living.

“I have just three things to teach: simplicity, patience, compassion. These three are your greatest treasures. – Lao Tzu”

The last six weeks have been spent chasing intentions and self. Investing into people and myself. Lots of work accomplished, but mostly personal projects.
Thanks to intentions I am headed to India in the fall to teach and also do a photo project all my own. It feels a little unreal at the moment. I hope I have the mental tenacity to see it through.

January 1, 2016

Pre celebration with my E*. Dinner, conversations and french wine bar and invitations to “party”. ha.

Three weddings this week and a broken camera that was fixed for free. My “luck” continues. (Thank you Jesus). NYE wedding that was ok.. my frustration of not enjoying weddings anymore continues. I’m unsure of what to do with it. I need my heart to change. I need something to change.

Excited for what the unknown adventures of what 2016 has for me. More new faces to love and cherish. Yes, please and thank you.

My goals for this year involve – literally giving thanks to those who have impacted my life. Creating community in oakland, capturing faces weekly, learning about wine and whiskey. Finishing my Paris book. It’s a decent list.

Allez

December 23, 2015

Hawaii bound with a newly purchased ticket.
bumped into an old friend and shared a meal at the airport. Good news and not. wrecking my heart and my world. fuck cancer.
About to hug a sweet family that has been just that, family to me this last year.
Roommate jam sessions and Sunday brunchs and dinners.
Dancing the night away with my favorite while being fancified and embracing my city to its fullest.
I didn’t get his name or info, nor him mine. we talked a bit and it was enough. hooked. I tried looking for him when I left but to no avail. A friend request that sent me gleefully screaming through the house and now an invitation for tea. I”m terrified. haha… and giddy. Slow and steady I told her. Slow and steady I tell myself. I find myself on my knees hoping that healing, timing is finally in my favor. I dare hope. Somehow it always finds space to rejuvenate even though I feel so emptied out after each bout. Take courage dear heart.
Isn’t it funny how lists work? I wrote it and it became intent. Intent became vision. Vision became possibility. Possibility.. reality.

someone asked me how I felt at the end of my trip.. I laughed as the words came to me.. I held them back for a second because I knew they would sound a little ridiculous, but nothing described it better. ” like a champion “. I said with a satiated smile and quiet strength.

Words collected lately::

Of course I’ll hurt you, of course you’ll hurt me. Of course we will hurt each other. But this is the very condition of existence. To become spring, means accepting the risk of winter. To become presence, means accepting the risk of absence.
—Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, from The Little Prince

“You’ve gone far away to a place with no horses and very little grass, and you’re studying how to write a story with a happy ending. If you can write that ending for yourself, maybe you can come back.”
― Jennifer Echols

I remember the first time you tried to love me;
You, in your Audrey Hepburn dress,
Who I told you I found quite attractive.
We ate Italian, because, like me, you like Italian.
You fed me an analysis of symbolism of Murakami
That I thought I read off of Google.
And you wore red lipstick because that’s
What classy women who fall in love wear.
Your eyes were a clouded amber,
And your hair dyed jet black, like my ex.
You want to travel to Barcelona, Spain,
Where my public Facebook pictures show I was.
And this planet’s too big, and this town too small
Not to have wanderlust, you say.
Your favorite season’s winter.
Because you love winter landscapes,
Like the snowflake wallpaper on my phone.
I call you everyday.

I remember the second time you tried to love me;
You, in your blue dress,
Which I told you was my favorite color.
(It’s yours too.)
You talked about the latest in deep space explorations
A week after I shared my moon photographs.
And isn’t NASA fascinating?
You told me about a movie you saw,
By my favorite director.
You dreamed of traveling the Nile and seeing Egyptian pyramids.
And you loved the smell of coffee,
Which I smelled like on our first date.
Your blonde roots are showing.
I didn’t call you back.

I remember the first time you loved me;
You wore purple because that’s your favorite color.
And we got breakfast because you love breakfast foods,
Not Italian.
You drank water; coffee makes you sick.
You pointed to some lilies because you love that flower.
And you told me you didn’t think Gatsby really loved Daisy
Because she was a reflection of all the things he wanted;
He was just pretending to be something
To impress her, you say.
And this wasn’t something I found off of Google.
And you mentioned how you never wanted to travel,
Except by boat,
Because airplanes are terrifying.
You hated dresses and how thick makeup feels on your face.
And NASA is interesting, but you’d rather explore the earth.
You were living with me then.

I remember the last time I loved you;
I tried finding cruise ships so we could travel
To Germany because you don’t really care for Spain or Egypt.
And I researched German alcohols because that’s what you liked.
And I wore red because you liked how it brought my eyes to life.
I talked about how fascinating ocean life is
Because you majored in Marine Biology, not Film,
Like you told me on our first date.
Murakami has dust; I read Thoreau.
Your eyes are cerulean,
Completely unlike the dark amber of the coffee I don’t drink.
And you’re gone.
Just like the man who liked Murakami and Italian food.
But I’d sell moonshine for you, sure. by Jessica Monet

December 18, 2015

Jet lag is kicking my ass this week and I find myself awake at 4am baking cookies. I wanted to keep the travel momentum going and so I’ve spent almost every evening out around town, meeting people, chatting with strangers, enjoying my new town and city. That’s how it is done right? and it’s working too. I am making plans for a lot of things come 2016. But first to wrap up 2015. I struggled a lot this summer. Not my finest season. But I feel renewed and able. And grateful. oh, so grateful.

December 5, 2015

I’m having a hard to adjusting back to “real” life. Jet lag has me good and my morning was spent researching teaching english abroad and volunteering for the refugee crisis. This trip got me good with the mindset and open eyed element of people in need. More so, so many conversations with travelers from all over the world and “who what how” is responsible and what actually to do about it. Facts – no one is fully informed and everyone has an opinion, but not really any idea as to what to do about it effectively. I want to donate my time and skills. I want something bigger than my little life in Oakland. I’m choking on the attitude of entitlement and I just want to breathe. I want more then consumerism and pretentious trends. It’s just a part of the life on this side of the globe though. So how do I adapt without losing my resolve?