Posts tagged writing
plant wisdom

vignettes of farm mornings. in no particular order..

i walk westward, outside of the gate. the chicory greets me with it's cornflower blue hue. it is morning.
the wheelbarrow pushes against the ground, my chest heaves. gratitude for these legs that carry me forward.

a path of white lace on thin green stems ... queen anne's lace
cones of fuschia flowers reaching upwards ... purple loosestrife
yellow candy buttons with a sweet scent ... tansy
a gradient from light pink to green, colors of the heart chakra ... virginia pepperweed

when you look, everything seems green
but when you look closer you see that each leaf has it's own personality, it's own curl of a leaf,
alternating patterns, tiny hairs that breathe
diversity is beautiful.

the chicory reminds me of impermanence
it changes as the sun moves, even within one hour
the blooms welcome me, but as the sun rises the blooms close
within the week the stems have turned from green to maroon
small signs of autumn tease against the thick summer air
everything changes

a mess of a manifesto
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//My friend, Lauren, started a google community called, Creativity Hour, which has been a great way to stay held accountable for my own creativity through the inspiration of everyone's works. She suggested we all create Manifestos for 2016.

Honest to goodness, I started this in January, but managed to LOSE it twice. Once I left the brightly painted paper with "spaciousness" and notes about playing and kindness on the floor of my office and managed to lose it again while en route from the office to the art studio. So it's possible the manifesto is floating around the Lower East Side or melted in the snow. Hopefully it will provide inspiration wherever it ended up. Also, yes, you read that correctly ... I joined an art studio in January and it has been life-changing. I love being around other artists and ending my work day with painting.

The photo above is my (second!) painted mess of a manifesto which was written in my journal. I've been doing less online writing and more handwritten journaling. I highly recommend doing this first thing in the morning before the to-do lists and cell phone scrolling take over (which is fascinating to notice how strong the urge is).

In any case, below is the full manifesto in an easier-to-read fashion since the piece above is a mess and may be difficult to read online. Also, I purposely chose to use a piece of paper with a tear ... it became a way to remind myself to embrace the unknown.

... 2016 (and beyond!) ...

s   p   a   c   i   o   u   s   n   e   s   s ... because the in-between moments will allow for deep soul searching or just reveal themselves! Continued love for your relationship ❤, #sparklepartners forever! write down the magical stories of the operators of your heart strings ... more moments of playfulness, love, listening, and being open to others. Allow YOURself to see beyond the surface or judgements (esp. around social/political thoughts -- we can all be ourselves). Remember our interconnectedness especially in challenging moments ... challenge negative thinking and the inner critic. Be Yourself. Really Listen. Don't respond too quickly, let the stories and information land first. Put the phone down more! -- less random scrolling when people leave the table or whatever the situation is -- notice how strong the urge is to reach and then pay attention to the real moments. In fact, shut the phone OFF after a certain time and start the day with a quiet moment. Being overwhelmed leads to the random scrolling/need for distraction because you need to tune out, but really you just need to tune in. Call home more often. Call Diane too, find her another cat. Continued volunteering and community engagement. Keep doing work that makes a difference. Continued listening to your wisest self. Be MAGNANIMOUS. Be an architect of peace. Continue the loving kindness practice. Write more letters. More sincere compliments, notice people's goodness. Leave notes of kindness for strangers. Face fear directly - don't let it consume you. Continue tending and growing the garden of friends, wherever the home base lands ~ remember it's really in your heart. Explore creative movement or just make room for self time and care. Practice German. Pick up the guitar, play the piano. Keep singing. Embrace your voice. Handle issues and challenging moments when they appear instead of creating lists of things to fret over, you miss out on so many little details doing this. Wake up earlier, the morning light is worth it. Keep exploring nature. Remember gratitude. Trust your heart to navigate the overwhelming days and when the multiple, opposing feelings take over. Stay organized, but don't get lost in your lists or use "planning mind" as a distraction. Continue finding the balance of planning for the future, reflecting on the past, and staying present. Morning kitty snuggles, beach days, park days, lazy days. Grow the collections of feathers, flowers, shells, rocks, but give some away too -- leave them as little gifts. Paint the worlds in your mind. Believe in yourself and the innate goodness of all. Remember love, love, love. Drink more water. Be open to change, including the thoughts and scary things for 2016. When fear takes over, try to remember your breath and how you are connected to everything -- the scary moment won't last forever, none of them will. Don't be saddened by this, just try to be with it all. Feel it all. 

*Sparkle Partners Forever*
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//

I still remember the cold spring day when I met Brendan. The wind was strong when I noticed him -- deep brown curls blowing in the wind. There was something about him that took my breath away. When I saw him walking towards me (because he was with our mutual friend), fireworks started in my stomach and out of my mouth in the form of a million, rapid-fire questions.

*yes, he was overwhelmed at first*

But then we met a few weeks later and I was a little calmer -- or at least appeared to be on the outside -- but I'm sure my stomach was in knots. It's hard to describe the feeling -- nothing has ever made me as nervous as he had, but at the same time I also felt a certain surety. When I finally worked up the courage to ask for his number, I remember running home and singing to the cats. Hayden laughed.

You see, he was a little quieter than me and I never felt like I could get the words right. I found myself with one-word answers with a certain spaciousness around them.

Me: So what do you like to do?
Him: Walk.
Me: Um, where do you like to walk?
Him: Around.
Me: Well, maybe we could 'walk around' together someday. (inner dialogue: hand-to-head, did that sound stupid!?)

Being the person I am, spaciousness seemed (is) scary, but I learned that it's exactly what I needed. Over the past year, he has given me nothing but *s p a c e* to be myself -- this has been very healing.//

I’ve been wanting to write about the wedding for the past few months, but the other day experienced something to frame it.It was a really rough day for a lot of silly reasons and I spent the better part of it in tears. The mental hamster wheel was spinning. In the past, this self-depreciating, self-worth spiral to hell would last a lot longer and I would be *even* harder on myself -- forget the second arrow, it was more like ten.But this time, there was something different.

I didn't ignore the negative feelings that were coming up, but I didn't let them take over me like they so often do. There was a small, half-fingernail size part of me that fought back. It reminded me of my own self-worth.

Later that night, I caught his eye while he was looking at me. He had just been telling me how pretty I looked and I felt his gaze. It was vulnerable and I felt that nervous-feeling again from those early days.

It was then that I realized that he really does SEE me. Yes, he sees my hair and smile, but he easily sees straight through to that half-fingernail sized part of myself that understands and fights back for my own self-worth.You hear about love at first sight, but to me, meeting Brendan was more of a coming home. Because his seeing me, really allows ME to see and love myself even more. The more this happens, the more *space* there is for playfulness and adventure (which we both happened to mention in our vows ❤).

//

The above are some of my favorite wedding photos, taken by the lovely ladies at BAM Weddings.

Also, here's a little video I made, full of lots of hugs. Making this video was so much fun, because it allowed me to experience the wedding. The actual day itself was a blur, but this let me feel into it all again.

More memories/reflections on our wedding website.

Thank you to everyone who made it and for all of the well-wishes. Big love! ❤ 

The loss of Lavi
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There are certain things we can't prepare for, no matter how hard we try.

I was on the F train on my way to volunteer when I got an email with no message, but an alarming subject line."This is an emergency about Lavi - call ## - EOM." I really wanted to continue with my evening and ignore the message because I knew it couldn't be good. Not to mention, I had plans with friends to celebrate my recent engagement.

But I knew better. My heart was heavy and fingers were shaking as I called the number. I stood against a wall at the Rockefeller Center subway station and tried to ignore reality as I watched hurried commuters pass by.

Lavi-cat was in critical condition.

Tears started pouring down my face and I found myself walking towards the hospital.I called a friend and started sobbing, "Lavi is going to die. Lavi is going to die and I am a terrible cat mother."

You see, Lavi and I moved to New York City almost 8 years ago. I still remember stopping in Illinois to get her a cat tranquilizer because she would not. stop. meowing. At the time, I was newly in love and the world was my oyster. I thought that my life was going to be perfect. That my move was an "arrival point" to never-ending happiness.

How quickly I learned.

We lived with a 65-year old woman who made the cat her new best friend. She would leave letters on the door with stories about kitty. How they "filed taxes together" and how cute it was when kitty hid her toys. The stories were endless and wonderful.You can imagine how painful it was for her when I told her that I was moving out because my first love and I were breaking up.

Moving three times in a month did not bode well for my Lavi-cat and she did not like her new roommates. She was clear about her feelings by pissing all over the place in every apartment."It's behavioral," the vet would tell me after many expensive (and unaffordable) bills.

After 6 months I decided to return Lavi where she belonged. With her friend to file taxes and hide toys. She immediately stopped pissing and lived like a Queen.

I would visit regularly for "kitty spa" (nail-trimmings) and a catch up.

During that time, I also moved in with my best friend and we got two new cats. Life was good, but life was also busy. The visits became less frequent and it took me months to get there again.

~

It was a cold run/walk to the animal hospital on East End while I sobbed on the phone. I felt horrible for not getting to her sooner, for not taking her to the vet more often."Upstairs to the emergency room", the receptionist pointed. My tears must have been an instant giveaway.

We ended up sitting with kitty for a couple of hours. She was on an IV and did her best to walk around to each of our laps, but she could hardly stand. We had a lot of back and forth on what to do, but I made the decision to put her to sleep. The actual procedure took about 3 minutes and it was horrible to watch. We were sobbing.

There was a moment when I thought I saw a flash of fear in Lavi's eyes, and I briefly second guessed the whole thing. But deep down, I knew it was the right thing to do.

It's been a little over a month since this happened, but it was one of those "life moments" worthy of reflection.

Lavi's death was sad, but it also symbolized closing a chapter in my life. I've grown so much over the past 8 years. While I still struggle with loss and change, I realize it can't be avoided.Because these things happen - life and loss and change.

Losing my mother at a young age made death just a thing. I would talk about it like it were a smallthing - a regular growing pain.But losing a parent/loved one is a traumatic thing, no matter the age.

The older I get, the more I realize the weight of loss. Death happens, but life doesn't stop. Even though it may feel like it.

We can't prepare for these things.You just have to trust that you'll know what to do and how to cope. That all your experiences make you wiser and stronger than you realize.

And you'll surprise yourself with your ability to carry on. 

the past few weeks
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//

I was working on something else when Brendan said the sky was a pretty color. Little did he know (or perhaps he did; since he knows me so well), that this small comment would turn into one of those "keepers" moments. As soon as I saw the moon I grabbed my camera and his hand and we ran (carefully) to the roof to catch the last bits. I don't remember what we talked about, but I know we laughed. This happened sometime in September or October - I have no idea - time has just been going . so . quickly.

Lately, we've been walking the bridge. The first night was magical. I remember the shakiness of the bridge and the warmth of our two hands squeezed in one pocket. It was foggy that evening and there was a full moon. The sky was nearly the same color as the bridge making it seem like we were walking towards a looming monster. Halfway on the bridge, I stopped and gave Brendan a giant bear hug - the kind where you almost knock someone over. I explained that my hug was "squeezing that moment into my memory"; meaning it was something I never wanted to forget.

The thing is, I might.

Because these new experiences and these magical moments continue in a way where they become routine. I do not mean this in a negative way, but I'm really feeling into the fact that change is the only constant -- and that it doesn't always equal loss.

**pictured: That sunset | an awesome dance party with two of my favorite people that ended with sparklers! | morning rays | a boat-ride upstate to Oktoberfest where the food was, unfortunately, unforgettably horrible. | friends, friends, friends.

summertime
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**

There’s a thing about listening to yourself – the deep-to-the-core kind of listening that helps you follow your heart. You realize that you’re a lot stronger and smarter than you ever gave yourself credit for. That the answers you were looking for, were always with you.

Over a year ago I told myself that I needed three months – a brief period of time to wear the “sorting hat” – to figure out things out.In the colder months, I finally took that time.

This wasn’t always easy and there were moments of blue. Honest and difficult conversations were had with myself. I learned to appreciate the nicety in feeling attractive, but learned to hold my eager heart.Love is a wonderful feeling, but finding the person that moves your core is different - it shakes your soul.

My heart stopped the day I saw a tall, dark-haired boy with amazing curls and it started skipping when I saw him walking towards me. My crush was obvious to our mutual friends and, eventually, I worked up the courage to share it with him. There were a bunch of firsts and just like that it started to fall into place.

I am beyond grateful – for my friends, the sunshine, and my curiosity and imagination for this life. My heart smiles knowing that I’ve found my true sparkle partner.

It just took me finding myself first.♥

these days...

These days... things seem a little simpler. I stand a little straighter. My shoulders pull back and down and my gaze is forward.
Sometimes when walking I have to squeeze my hands into tiny fists to contain this excitement.
These days... time does that thing where it moves too quick and passes too slow. I feel like I can't get enough of it and that I have nothing but time ahead of me -- at the same time.

Foggy evenings on piers are like hanging out in a cloud. Tips are shared for letting eyes open in such a way that it makes light reflections look like millions of sparkles in rapid conversation with one another.
Lazy days with no plans turn into long walks around curvy streets and laying in the grass identifying shapes out of clouds.
Swing dancing happens surrounded by trees to the soundtrack of a rushing stream and little hums of familiar tunes. A lost feather found a perfect home in the room of whimsy, where the heart swelled in such a way that the only place for it to go was in tears of joy.

These days...eyes say more than words ever could and hands always find each other while walking down the streets or just before drifting to sleep.
There's a sense of knowing and just a great appreciation for another open heart.
There's a bit of fear, for this is new and terrifying and oh-so-wonderful, but I am more myself than I've ever been.

These days...happiness seems boundless and falling seems right. There's room to let time do its thing. Wrap itself around this and allow everything to just be