Friday, December 30

in winter when the garden delights in midnight













About all I've been able to work on lately. The words are coming and I'm glad of it. They can be found here.


How was your christmas and what are your plans for new year's eve? Tim works and I'll be cozying up by the fire, cooking myself a delicious dinner, and going for a late night stroll.





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Tuesday, December 27

the weather outside is frightful































Tonight's wind is gusting the tarp up off of the stacked firewood outside. Yesterday's hike by the river didn't repeat today due to the drenching rains. So we're staying inside, and cooking with our houseguests. Piecrust, bread, quiche, chocolate almond biscotti, zucchini pappardelle with fresh pesto. Delicious food, animals underfoot, invigorating company.





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Sunday, December 25

christmas brunch, now quiet
















And a walk out along the street in the cool crisp air, down the avenue of sycamores against a mackerel sky, under the flying hawk causing all the robins to be silent, catching mason, the little dog who slipped his collar, and along by the house with the suit of armor wrapped in christmas lights, the carols coming from the windows, people on their front stoops for a peck of fresh air, gardens with naked trees of red berries and frost-kissed wilted blooms and back home to the quiet hum of my wood stove.




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Saturday, December 24

a bough for a tree, and later, quiche





guest room




The tree has been up for a few weeks ~ just after thanksgiving I found a huge 10 foot bough which had cracked off a tree and I carried it home, sawed a few feet off it, and put it up in a stand. The bottom is swathed in an antique crazy quilt and the branches are hung with my collection of glass ornaments, gifted from my mom or found at the thrift shops (and there was that year I found 35 of them out with the trash in a box on someone's curb.)



blueberry pancakes






The sun awoke me this morning and I came downstairs to let the sleepy dogs out, had a green smoothie and finished up Fanny at chez panisse while continuing I dreamed of africaI went for a very cold morning walk and came back to make banana-blueberry muffins while tim made pancakes. Carrying a baby makes me so starving these days and he is often pressed into cooking duty when I know what I want to eat but can't face making it. The house is filled with red velvet carnations in readiness for a friend visiting tomorrow for the week, and I need to make quiche crusts for christmas festivities today. This week has been very relaxed ~ I think I let a few things go and it feels wonderful. The stress is not missed.



christmas eve morning blueberry pancakes



I truly hope you have a wonderful evening, whatever you are doing and wherever you are. Enjoy the stars. Enjoy your friends or your family, your animals, your weather and I hope you feel cozy and find little happinesses.


xo brooke





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Wednesday, December 21

solstice




The solstice occurs here tonight at half past midnight. Tim and I began exchanging gifts on the solstice instead of on christmas a few years ago, and it always feels like a fresh, clean day with no expectations or pressure. There is no juggling of family obligations like christmas eve and day. We can relax; we don't owe anybody our time. We try to go for a walk. We build a fire. Maybe we play scrabble or we just talk. We feel the magic of the day of the year which has been recognized for as long as humans have been. The longest night of the year.


It's also our half-anniversary. Happy solstice!


xo brooke





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Monday, December 19

banjo, and the beautiful fading of the roses

canon, kodak gold 200 expired film 


I set the alarm early yesterday to go for a frosty walk with lucy and enjoy the morning sun. It gets so dark and cold around here so early and that still feels unexpected. I can't believe the solstice is only in a few days, and then things will start to brighten up again. In the evenings I light a fire and read or clean or work on something, but that transition at dusk is always hard.


We have a busy week ahead of us. But I'm looking forward to it. Meanwhile, I've been cleaning my studio which I've been steering clear of for the past few months. It feels so good to reconnect with myself in there. I am an artist and I feel off to not be making something (besides a baby. You know what I mean. Did I tell you we nicknamed the baby 'banjo' and that banjo is the size of a lime this week?) I shared a bunch more of my artwork here if you've never seen it.


And I've been buying cacti. I keep finding myself at our garden center meticulously inspecting the cacti. I even put 'cacti' on my list for christmas this year, along with a pink geranium which we sorely lack. I have a secret love of crowded and green windowledges at odds with my minimalist leanings. I bought a hanging plant last week called mistletoe cactus, and its hairy legs have begun to bloom at the tips, white and starry like edelweiss.


I used to be all about travel and discovery and change and adventures, but as I grew older I realized that that idea of women having a strong domestic side is so true. I find deep contentment in my house, our things, and how it all seems like a greater extension of myself, my ideas, my dreams, my abilities. It doesn't seem limiting at all. It feels like there are great roots growing down, as I knead over my day and all the tasks that make it up. It feels nourishing, like touching and caring for all that surrounds me is caring for myself. It is wonderful to be a woman.


Amanda shared a post today on having time to watch the flowers grow. It feels so simple and true. Do we have time to do that? To notice those little things and to slow our pace?


I just realized that I've been enjoying watching the flowers die. That sounds morbid but what I mean are those december roses. Frost after frost has hit them and in the golden hour before dusk they still rise, their colors fading, their softnesses folding. They are continuing to be beautiful. I don't think I ever noticed the december roses before this year.





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Sunday, December 18

every morning

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DSC_1956




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She does this. It gets me every time.





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Saturday, December 17

last but not least













esme















The last of the pictures I took while at Somer's house in cambridge. So cozy.






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Friday, December 16

getting the ball rolling

sx-70 polaroid land camera, polaroid 600 expired film




It's funny how when you put something out there, finally get the guts to say, write or whisper it, it starts happening. And sometimes it takes so long just to think of what it is, and afterwards, it seems like it was the simplest thing in the world.




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Tuesday, December 13

starting to feel like color again

the little one


So yup, I'm pregnant! And glad of it. Thank you all for your well wishes! They mean a lot to me.


This pregnancy has not been very joyful. I hate writing that, but it's the truth. It's where I am. Well, I supppose where I was, since things are shifting. Thank fortune.


After my unexpected (aren't they always?) miscarriage in july, I hoped I would get pregnant again. I didn't really fear for a struggle with infertility (but isn't that usually unexpected, as well?) and was happy to soon be expecting again. There seemed a good rhythm to it, a fullness of time, a readiness. I started going to accupuncture and I was all set to rock things.


But as time passed, I realized something of the innocence, the joy, the happiness, the thrill, was gone. And I couldn't access it. I imagined it would be like the first time, where I had dreams, hopes, plans, and focus. But I just didn't have that spark this time. It was like a part of me outside of my conscious control decided to shut down a little bit, in case that bolt-out-of-the-blue happened again this time. As if it probably would. So I shouldn't be too attached. And I couldn't shake this mindset. My pregnancy lacked color. The bloom was off.



home



Perhaps it was the nausea. (Imagine feeling like you're just about to come down with the flu, and add a generous pinch of carsickness. Now go out and do some food shopping, put a few hours in doing something creative, and vacuum all that dog hair up. Don't forget your daily walk. And do this for 6 or 8 weeks.) I couldn't take photographs either, just wasn't interested. Wasn't interested in much, and that is not like me! Then suddenly came a time a few weeks ago when I recognized myself again. I felt peppy. I didn't have to wake up at 2am every night and eat a hard-boiled egg. I could stand the sight of a green vegetable. I started coming back, but I didn't feel prepared.


I want to be here for this. Fully here.


How can I trust and be present? Those words that I think about so often and can't seem to unpeel. Am I missing something obvious and major? 'There is as much darkness in growing life as there is light,' someone wise wrote to me recently. It certainly brings a lot of things up. Like fear, uncertainty and vulnerability. The thought, can I do this? the right way? what is the right way? what if I can't do that?



home



I want the meaningfulness, the comprehension, the being inspired, the joyful knowing. It's what I wanted in my daily unpregnant life and it's what I want even more now. I'm not sure how to tap it, but now that I'm feeling myself again, I'm going to try. I want to live each day with intention.



I want the magic.



A few flowers in every room and large doses of morning sunshine are crucial. I'm currently working on finding a doula and prenatal yoga and keeping the fridge stocked with organic vegetables. Writing and thinking and reading and envisioning. I'm glad the clarity has been coming back to me so I can start to see it. See what can be.








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Monday, December 12

Sunday, December 11

make your own luck

ecuadorian prosperity bowl
sx-70 camera, expired polaroid 600 film


This is an ecuadorian prosperity bowl. The black and red huayruro beans are kept in homes to promote abundance and good relationships. Seven of them are kept in a wooden bowl with dry rice grains, 7 monies found at random, along with a vase of water, a plant and a candle, representing the five elements (I love this stuff) of earth, wood, air, water and fire. (I made the sage stick from my garden for her.)


Somer gave me 7 beans to bring home to start my own prosperity bowl, and I have it all set up: a little bowl with my rice and all my tiny rocks with holes for extra luck. I just needed to find the monies and, oddly enough, I began to find single coins around the house, so I collected them, delighted that I was finding luck in my own home. Then, the other day, tim walks by in front of me, looks over his shoulder, and flips a single coin out of his pocket.


I'm pretty sure that's where all the coins came from.


Here're the rest of the 35mm film shots from my visit to her house last weekend ~



breakfast
above and all following: canon camera, kodak gold 200 expired film






tibi








on the piano























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