Saturday, December 26, 2009

safe home

hello hello and hello a late merry christmas to all!
I'm up in Maine with family for the holidays and it's been eating eating eating since the moment we got here. I'm not going to fit in the car to go home!

The days here are muffled by snow and you come to think of the house in a whole new way. It's your protector from the whirling wind that calls you to come dance. The house keeps you safe and silent and out of danger- a little shelter you built yourself (though I know I didn't really)

And when you survive the storm, resist the call, you go out and survey the result and build lookout perches from the rubble

Stumble inside tired but happy into that house full of food and animals and fire warmth and family and white cats curled up in the chair by the stove. And pie.

Cat's sneezing in my lap now...
There'll be more pictures to follow- Happy Holidays


Thursday, December 17, 2009

that last bit

What an awful day.
It was one of those where you just don't have any more strength when you come through at the end. You try and try and you give it all you've got and then you give just a bit more and it's that last part that kills you.

It's one of those where your heart is far too worn out for emotions. It says hush now, go away for a bit and let me sleep.
shhh shhh, quiet a bit longer dear heart, just stay a bit longer.

"You can do nothing more for me. You stupid tenacious child, don't you see? You can't fix this like one of your clocks that you pull apart and fiddle with until they chime again!"
In a breath it looked to his eyes as if she deflated. Head still held high, she was smaller, something delicate to be blown away by an impatient sweep of the eyes. She shuddered

"But you said- you told me... You said." her m
outh accused
"I lied. Don't you see? It was a dream- nothing more"

Saturday, December 12, 2009

the very best word

What is the best word anyone has ever called you?

When I was fourteen, the boy I had a crush on told me I was 'unflappable'
I thought it was the greatest thing anyone had ever said to me.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

fog thick as stew

the fog rolled in tonight. driving along the roads by the shore, it was so thick you could knit a blanket from it. "thick enough for stew" grandma would say. familiar sights and places became strange and twisted, wrapped up in ghostly grey tendrils of mist.

on the road home, headlights from cars carried miles in the fog, illuminating the cloud from within. but once the car passed, it was just me and the mist.

in a small coastal town, when the mists come, it's no joke. everything shuts down- everyone goes inside. inside it's bright and cheerful against the chill, but once you step out, you wish you hadn't. things crawl in from the sea. you can never see them- they're good at staying only in the corners of your eye- but you feel them there. things that aren't meant to be touched. they brush up against you when the mists come in.

i had to jump over the threshold with both feet so the sprites wouldn't catch hold of the foot left behind and sneak a ride into the house to cause trouble. you never know on nights like these...

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

winter dancers

hello again- haven't written in a while (blame it on the schoolwork) but hopefully I'll be able to get back into the swing of things now that all there is left to do is sit and wait...

winter is here. the first snow fell in the tiny town I call home and although the flakes didn't stick, the feeling did.

all I want to do is curl up by the fire and watch the flame fairies whirl and flicker through the burning twigs, quietly touching each one until every branch joins in the dance. that dance will be the last thing they do, but oh what a way to go. If you aren't careful, you might lose yourself in the dance. Then when they beckon and call you to join, you might forget that you mustn't answer and they'll have you. They mean no harm I'm sure, but all the same...

Can you see them? Can you see the little dancers at their games?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

sunday is of

Sunday is of:
~ hot chai tea
~ rain tapping pat pat pat on the roof
~ wrapped up in the warmest sweater of all and the jeans that have seen this life
~ a good book and a good pen to scribble in the margins
~ bright red fire wet leaves slapped against my window
~ boxes of old photographs that smell of memory
~ and I hide from the day, from the cold, from the icy rain with a gold locket and key around my neck around my heart

listening to this over and over and over and over

Saturday, October 17, 2009

homecoming weekend

What the imagination seizes as beauty must be truth, whether it existed before or not.
~John Keats
I was seized with the imagination of the day and ran eagerly out of my house, dragging one of my sisters by the arm. She wasn't thrilled at first, but we were both soon caught up by the beauty of early autumn and homecoming weekend in my town. Hopefully we win!!! Football is kind of a big thing here- and when I say big, I mean the greatest thing since sliced bread to a lot of people...
But we were able to find some peace and solitude in the ancient overgrown graveyard hidden away in the woods by my house. That's my little sister with the camera around her neck. Isn't she pretty?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

hold that thought reality

Every now and again in life (and especially in fall and especially when one is stressed) you need to just let go of reality for the tiniest moment. In class or at home or in transit just for a second, if I let my mind wander to the places it wants to instead of keeping it on a very short leash, I find the rest of the day becomes lighter and oh so much more fun to experience.
Try it! I promise it does wonders
"There is no use trying," said Alice; "One can't believe impossible things." "I daresay you haven't had much practice" said the Queen. "When I was your age, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast"
~ Lewis Carroll


Thursday, October 8, 2009

*autumn* not fall

(the ancient amusement park my town- down by the sea)

Whoever invented the college application process must have had a deep, dark and dastardly vendetta against all young scholars. Perhaps he himself was rejected and decided to make it as tedious as possible for others to get in... or maybe (as I am inclined to believe at this point) colleges are just evil and like watching their prospective students writhe in agonizing anticipation... oh dear.

however, it was an absolutely beautiful day today, with those autumn clouds just the perfect shade of puffy and nearly silver in sound. As soon as class ended and I was able to reclaim my car keys from a mischevious friend I took my dog to the park and spent nearly an hour bathed in that thick yellow sort of light that one may only find on October afternoons.

Made this simple french pastry rather late last night, but it turns out to be the perfect thing to nibble on an autumn afternoon- especially with a good cup of hot coffee!

Instructions: must be eaten outside (weather permitting)
must NOT be consumed in a rush

(recipe from Darjeeling Dreams- thanks!)

Raspberry financier

5 tbsp of butter, cut into cubes
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 c finely ground almonds
1/2 c all-purpose flour
1 cup of sugar (caster or confectioner's if you have it, I used caster)
1/4 tsp salt
3 egg whites
1/2 tbsp honey
12 tsp (1/4 c) raspberry jam
Preheat oven to 400 degrees f, and grease a madeleine/muffin pan.
Melt butter in a saucepan, until nut-brown.
As soon as it turned brown, transfer into a bowl. Add vanilla extract.
In a separate, larger bowl, combine ground almonds, flour, sugar, and salt.
Whisk eggs, then honey into flour mixture. Whisk until well incorporated.
Whisk the melted butter-vanilla mixture into the egg-flour mixture.
Pour two tablespoons of batter into each madeleine/muffin mold.
Spoon a teaspoon of raspberry jam on top of each financier.
Bake for 15-20 minutes, until just golden-brown on the edges.
Makes 12 financiers.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

wild adventures


This morning I woke up at 2am because it started raining. Now normally I'd love that- laying in bed listening to the drops rush down my windows and roof- but instead, i threw myself out of bed and raced outside in the pitch black to close the sunroof of my car. Dumb move leaving it open- yes.

But it didn't get too too wet and it was somewhat/mostly dry by morning... life has ways of making itself interesting whenever things get too normal...

On a totally unrelated note, I am BEYOND excited for Where the Wild Things Are to come out!!!! It was one of my favorite books as a kid and just hearing the lines brongs back memories- can't wait for Spike Jonze's interpretation!

I must have it on the mind because i found myself doodling in a notepad during class and what came out was the picture at the top of the page (i used whiteout to make the clouds and sail) It made me think of Max and how I wish I could go exploring just like him.

Oh well... I guess I'll just have to create my own adventures!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

wishing on raining stars

Being sick is so much easier on a gary-ish day. This one was perfect in fact- I'm curled up in my bed feeling miserable (so many of my friends have mono, I hope it's not that!) Looking out the window at the very beginning of October (even remembered to say rabbit when I woke up yesterday!) The leaves should start changing soon, and falling. Fall is my very favorite season. Sometimes the sunlight seems almost tangible and the clouds are thick and puffy, turning deep purples and pinks at twilight. Plus you can pull out all those warm comfy clothes and just sit, with a cup of tea, and forget about everything you need to do for a bit.

A few days ago, before I was cursed with this stuffy nose,scratchy throat and achy body, I was walking my dog in the park by my house with my baby sister (she's not really a baby anymore, but I still like to call her that) a gust of wind came through and coaxed the leaves to jump from their branches and twirl through the air to land at our feet. My sister danced down the path trying to cath them. "Look!" she cried "It's raining leaves!"

She was so beautiful spinning and jumping around, i could only stand and watch her. She finally caught one before it hit the ground and brought it over for me to see. She told me that if you catch a leaf before it falls, you get to make a wish. So i wished- well, if I told you then it wouldn't come true!

Happy Autumn and may all your wishes come true!


Monday, September 28, 2009

if only time

While wasting what time I have by trying to put off unpleasant things that must be done (like applying for scholarships and writing supplemental essays) my mind wandered as it does now and then... Googled "if only time" and here's what I got:

if only time could stand still and embrace the day

if only time were more like plasticine

if only time flew like a dove

"it’s a great pity that time is not more like plasticine, where one could gather up all the little bits and pieces — the leftover minutes and hours that were spent waiting for meetings to start, standing in queues, sitting in traffic, watching someone else’s food go round and round in the microwave — and squash them together into usable hours, like one big ball that gradually turns the colour of mud."

~ Sarah Britten

I think this is a wonderful thought (and plus, plasticine is a much nicer word for the stuff than Play-Doh, which has become its name) If we could use all that wasted time and bunch it together like leftover cookie dough once you cut out the shapes, you would get so much more delicious pastry out of life.

However, this is not the case, unfortunately, and I must stop wasting my plasticine lest it harden into unusable clumps that crumble and scatter all over the floor when you pick them up.

(pictures from when I went to Paris last winter)

Saturday, September 26, 2009

la france

So, here's the only deal:
I adore France to the absolute bottom of my heart- I love visiting, I love reading about it, I love seeing pictures, I love the food and the art and the atmosphere- and yet, I am going to fail AP French in school parce-que je ne peux pas parler francaise (because I can't speak it). I wish I could just open my mind and my heart and the culture would flow in through my pores.

My mother grew up in France. What a life that musts have been... Paris in the '60s...

To live in the twists and turns and secret corners of this city

And spend summers in these fields by the sea in Normandy

To lie in these fragrant fields for hours...

And when you tired of that, to lose yourself in a place where no one knows you, but the city itself accepts you...

To drive this car along endless roads when you needed to get away...

To come here and picnic with family (she has four brothers) and read poety on a blanket...

And to come home and curl up in a window seat and watch winter strike Paris with all his strength, but never conquer...

Photos via here, and here

The one story that stuck with me out of all the Paris stories was this:

One morning when my mumma and her twin brother were just two years old, they got up before anyone else and (god knows what possessed them) picked up their mother's huge old Underwood typewriter between them and proceeded to shove it out a third story window of their appartment at the Place Vendome (here). My grandmother was awakened by a knock from a kindly, albiet slightly apprehensive, Parisian holding her mutilated typewriter. By that time the twins, having acomplished their goal, were back in bed like little angels.

Aren't children delightful?

Monday, September 21, 2009

welcoming autumn

Sunday was spent saying goodbye to summer. It was a good season, it really was, but time to move on I think. Took a couple of friends and a certain boy down the block from my house to the beach. They brought their guitars and the boy and I listened while they played an adage to autumn.

It was one of those afternoons that goes on forever and the sunlight just gets thicker and softer, causing time to move slower and slower through it. We lay on our bellies on the rocks and watched the drama that is life in a tidal pool unfold. The crabs and the snails and little fish- the green grasses waving in the invisible current.

We left before the sun set so that in our minds, the place would stay perpetually afternoon and the night would never bring an end to the light.

Today I made a cake: baking has a wonderful ability to soothe- and noticed a snatch of unexpected beauty in the way the light hit a bottle of water on my windowsill

Autumn's Here