Saturday, July 27, 2013

Ashes to Ashes

My father finally joined his mother on a lovely stretch of land overlooking the Puget Sound.  Always thought I'd be with my uncle spreading my father's ashes.  Odd turn of events.  Regret not getting here sooner, my trip was planned for three weeks too late.  We watered them with scotch, honoring a tradition started by my uncle.  The sun was setting on a beautiful summer day, my heart sagged with emotion.  Exhaustion was setting in as I continued to process the sudden chain of events.  I pictured my father and uncle fifteen years earlier, in the same spot, 22 paces in front of the bench, digging a hole in the earth for my grandmother.  My father most likely did the digging along with some swearing.  Most certain there was laughter.  Death brings out one's funny bone.  I don't know what happens when the body no longer exists.  I like to think there's more, the energy continues on, and so I thought of my father that night reunited with his family, perhaps having a clearer sense of what transpired when they were in the human form. 

It's only it retrospect the absurd comes into focus.  My brother's car died after he arrived from Portland two days earlier.  And instead of dealing with it by getting a new battery, we fully embraced that we would need a jump in order to start the car.  So on this particular day, we jumped the car three times and popped the clutch once.  The absence of normal described my days in Seatte.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Dinner in Belltown

The Space Needle

Thursday, July 25, 2013


Their deaths echoed the way they lived.  One spent weeks surrounded by friends and family saying goodbye to those who had touched his life. The other woke not feeling well, called a friend in the early morning light, slipped into unconsciousness in the ambulance, and died soon after, alone in a hospital room. Brothers, seven years between them, died almost a year to the day apart.  They drifted in and out of each other's lives, sometimes in conflict,  but forever bound by their childhood and need for their mother's love.  Days before my father died we called my uncle.  I held the phone to his ear.  They chatted as if all was right, as if my father's, "cheerio", was not a final goodbye.  I had just booked a flight three weeks from now to visit my uncle and bring him my father's ashes.  My timing was off.  After getting a call this morning that he was rushed to the hospital, I was barely packed when the nurse called back to say he had passed.  My father made the journey with me.  I have selfishly kept him with me since November, but now he will find another resting place beside his mother and brother overlooking the Puget sound.  Needing a break from the long and unexpected turn of the day's events, I headed out, early evening, to The Space Needle.  It was not lost on me that for all their differences, the brothers shared something significant: The day they each departed, the sunset was magnificent.


Succulents in the morning, wet from from the sprinklers

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Monkey Love

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Little Prince

Night Sky

Subtle changes in the night sky as it ebbs towards August.
  The fall sky blazes orange and red.  The June sky is like a calm lake, ripple-less, blue.
The July sky is smudged, turns almost violet as it fades into ink. 

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Renegade Crafts Fair

The Do It Yourself Movement, much like the Arts and Crafts Movement of 150 years ago, embraces traditional methods to make products over machine production.  The Renegade Craft Fair, a curated indie-craft marketplace showcasing the brightest talents in contemporary craft and design, was in Los Angeles this weekend.  Overcast skies and cooler temperatures made for a pleasant afternoon  at the LA Historic Park looking at a vast artisnal array of one of a kind goods.  Etsy sprang to life with excellent people watching.  Some of my favorite vendors were Martine Satchels, Paz Sintes, Goest Perfumes, India Jones, and Me Like Clay.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Cat Walk

Monday, July 15, 2013

Photography Project

Perhaps coincidental, perhaps not, but during my "rainbow" project the Supreme Court overturned DOMA.  Just saying.  Anyway, my eight week self-imposed task, designed to encourage me to pick up the camera everyday and play, yielded some interesting results.  Often the color of the week mirrored my mood, honing in on a color changed the way I saw things, and colors became harder to differentiate.  Orange and red bleed together, as did violet, indigo and blue.  I struggled more than I anticipated completing the assignments.  I was dissatisfied with a lot of my photos, they were obligatory, uninspired, and often looked different than I imagined.  Conversely,  one of my all time favorite photos resulted from this endeavor.  A happy accident, taken to complete a day, but when I uploaded the images I was pleasantly surprised by a particular shot.  I almost gave up during indigo, and was surprisingly charmed by yellow.  I felt sullen during the week dedicated to blue, and easily irritated during red.  Days I resisted the project echoed deeper inner struggles.  Sometimes picking up the camera helped, other times it underscored my feelings of discontent.  Overall, this has been an unsettling, transitional time in my life.  Not what I planned, or hoped for, but I try to remain open to all that is possible, and trust that I will make the best decisions.  I want to succeed at taking better photos, and at making my dreams come true.

Sunday, July 14, 2013


Saturday, July 13, 2013


Friday, July 12, 2013


Thursday, July 11, 2013

Not Red

Took my camera on a much needed sunset hike.  The days have been jammed packed, and although  good things are happening, there have also been a lot of annoyances.  For one, my computer unexpectedly crashed which I thought a routine visit to the genius bar could remedy, but this was beyond repair.  Not only an unforseen expense, but I hadn't backed it up in several months.  Although the weather has been muggy by LA standards, the moist night air was refreshing.  A cloudy day gave way to a delightful evening, and a rainbow in the night sky.  I was hoping to be inspired by something red along the way to photograph, but didn't have such luck.  However, the light as we approached the reservoir was quite beautiful and picture worthy.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013


It helps to remember
 that our practice is not about accomplishing anything…
 but about ceasing to struggle and relaxing as it is.
 Pema Chodron