The end of September

I often dream of being the wheel which turns my emotions, like an ox cart that rolls wherever I push it. Sadly, I can only control my emotions as well as I can control whether the garden has wind or rain. Since the sweet sun rolled through August and into the end hours of September, I have felt as if I am easily mad and quick to react to those who share the same space as me. I am my own island, my own private sail boat, and each person is a twenty foot tall wave ready to put me in the water. They don't even know it, but I know it, and it can be exhausting swimming upstream as I try to keep myself to myself.

I look outside and the world is covered in Autumn's tale of flowers, leaves the colors of pumpkins and paintbrushes are scattered in the hills and trees. I watch them blow away and into the gutters of our quiet street. I seem to always forget what mood the end of September brings me. Every cloudless night, the moon shines through our window. Every September's end, I am wondering what the world is for and what I shall do while I'm in it.

For today, dusty books sitting on the top shelf will be pulled down one by one until they've all been read, the empty bath will be filled with warm water, the twenty foot tall waves will be forgiven if not understood, I will keep on breathing as I always have. I may never be able to rise in the morning with a mouthful of "yes I can, today is the day, be your positive sun beaming self" but I can learn how to keep living and growing like a bean stock that feeds the family who waters it.

If not for these pale shades of melancholy, how could I know happiness? If not for the road, how could I long for home? If not for the loss of a friend, how could I know the true value of one?

The end of September, you are tricky to navigate.

outfit details: Thrifted vintage dress, Journey boots, Aldo Accessories bow headband

the inglewood barn

All I ever want to do is press a banjo to my beating heart and strike the strings. When I am out in the city, I feel as if I am standing at a yield sign, only pausing for a moment to be social and brave, until I can return to my beloved banjo and make birds and bullfrogs fly out of it.

I wasn't always this way. It used to be reading and poetry that made me feel at home. I could sit for hours on the bedroom floor reading stories between sunlight and shadow. My favorite ones were always dark, they had the power to dampen the page from the tears of a reader. I did not want light houses or love stories, I wanted sorrow and madness because it made me feel real. I wanted life and all of its honest glory to be written into the sentences of every book.

I want to press a banjo to my beating heart for the same reasons. When I am playing a tune, I feel as if I am standing at the edge of earth overlooking a valley far below. There is moonlight and sunlight, there is stillness and chaos. I could never perfectly describe it and you wouldn't know it until you visit there too. You don't have to be a musician or a singer to feel it, you just have to be listening. When you get there, you'll find a stronger pull towards life than daylight pouring through a bedroom window. It is in these moments where you come closer to the meaning of a life well lived, to be awake and not sleeping, to be singing and not silenced. Listen to your favorite music and you will know.

We took these photographs in front of the white barn of Inglewood, a local neighborhood here in Calgary. The barn was used for storing horses when people were traveling through town, now it sits under lock and key. As much as I love going to where trees grow wide and flowers sprout from the ground, it sure is nice to find history and take photographs beside it, even if that means standing upon city sidewalks. There is beauty to see and songs to be sung from country to town, from mile to mountain, from sorrow to showing teeth, from today until tomorrow.

Keep on singing your own song.

outfit details: Chicwish dress, Oasap petal wedges, Chinese Laundry tights, Value Village coat & sunhat
location details: Inglewood in Calgary, Alberta, Canada


the direction of sunbeams

 The warm days pass and I feel right at home beside the birds pecking berries from a bough. I am temperamental like the wind on a prairie when I stay inside for too long. Let me live always in the direction of sunbeams. 

This coming autumn, I want to call upon myself to be more content, to be less worried about the outside drivel of other humans. I love people, I do. I am interested in their lives, what they call their happiness and where they hang their stars. When I ask, how are you feeling? I mean to listen, I do. If you're answer is happy, it means no less than saying you're sad. I just need to take more time for myself, the way it was when I first moved to the city and I had nobody.

I worry that I lose myself and my dreams in the pursuit of keeping others happy. I really want to stay home and listen to an old ragtime song, just myself being myself, instead I run into a city to hear the world chatter around me. I can't say no to the electric lights and the sounds of a drum in the creeks of my heart. I fear I will miss something beautiful.

I have forgotten the beauty which lives in the floorboards of my own house. I have long ago drifted from the quietness which waxes and wanes like a full moon through my bedroom window. I long to paint not because there is space on the white wall waiting to be covered. I long to paint for no other reason then the joy it will bring me. Give me stillness like the steam which lifts from tea drank in the morning hours.

Let me take time for myself so I can return to the world ready to love again. Here comes the paints, the books and the daylights spent by the soft humming of my own heart.

outfit details: Modcloth dress, Value Village boots & hat, American Eagle pink shawl/sweater
Free People knee high socks
location details: Griffith Woods, Alberta, Canada


wayne, alberta

On the fourth of September, we took the highway beside a golden and scarlet brushed prairie until we found ourselves in Wayne, Alberta. The sky was threaded by rain clouds and our windows were marked by tiny rain drops, it was the kind of weather that has the power to hide mountains and keep sparrows from soaring high above the wooden telephone poles. Some might call it dreary, some might call it strange, I called it cozy and welcomed it like a warm bubble bath after a day spent in the dirt.

On this particular day, I was happy to see and smell the rain. You couldn't pick out which wildflowers were growing on the roadside, nor could you count how many horses stood grazing in the tall grass, but you could hear the rain falling like a spoken poem. I felt safe and close to C as the wheels rolled in puddles below our feet. We took turns talking as we always do, but I can't remember what we talked about. That is the beautiful thing about traveling in a car with your loved one, you are yourself being yourself, always on your way to somewhere.

This was my first time visiting Wayne, Alberta. I had never even heard of the place until C got asked to do a gig at the Last Chance Saloon. I felt like a dog with the worlds biggest bone when I realized it was a ghost town. If only you could see the faces and stories my imagination conjures up when I hear the words ghost and town seamlessly strung together. This was once a mining town, prosperous and bright, a place where children were born and people were married. There was hope in the hoodoos and hills until the great depression came and mines were closed down. 

We stopped to take these photographs next to the Rosebud River. Clouds of rain continued to dampen our hair and give rise to the scent of earth at our feet, we listened to the river roar and tried to imagine how everything must look when the sun shines on it. I worried not for the lack of cell service, instead — I felt free like a bird who grew wings after years of being flightless. It was a joy to be standing in the rain, away from the city, no other faces in sight, a quiet symphony of solitude, the taste of a simpler life, with only C and the sagebrush beside me.

I could have stayed in this moment for longer or until my hair grew heavy, but there was music playing in the saloon and we were thirsty from catching raindrops all day. From the time we walked in until the late hours of night, we sipped and we swayed like the whole world was ours. Then we slept close together in the back of our van. It was a sweet tasting nightcap to the summer of 2015.

outfit details: value village blouse & boots, oasap skirt c/o, crown & glory flower headband
location details: Wayne, Alberta, Canada 51.382°N 112.660°W

the sparrow dress | garden tomatoes

Today, I will pick cherry tomatoes from the garden. Although, I've never liked the taste. I grow them for my mother and C, they both know something about the taste of a tomato and how beautiful its color when caught in the light of day. I often find myself wishing I could learn how to like the things I don't. If only, the child who didn't like tomatoes always grew into the adult who does, as if everything in life is simply a choice we make. 

"What do you mean you don't like tomatoes?" "But have you ever tried them like this?" "You just haven't had them prepared right." "I've got this great recipe..." I know people who will shout from the rooftops of their houses, calling down on those who don't feel or live as they do. I know many who are sugar-made, like the spoon which stirs the cereal, but they don't know how to love a world where somebody disagrees with them. If only, they could reveal to me how lovely a tomato tastes when it meets your tongue and teeth.

 I'm guilty of it too. When we meet instrument-less friends at open mics, sometimes I want to encourage them to take up playing the guitar. I see their joy as they listen, hum and sway to the songs of others, but I am quick to dream of my own joy and how it grew when I took the leap from being the listening to the listened to. I forget to remember how beautiful it is to just listen to the music. I put myself first by pressing my own feelings onto others, as if I am the needle to the thread of their hearts.

Life is strange. People are strange. You may see the creek at your feet as a place for rest, others might call it too cold. You may belong to the banjo in ways you'll never belong to your friends, but others might think you sound out of tune. You can try to eat tomatoes for the tenth time, you can dress them, slice them, squeeze them, or salt them, but you can't make yourself like them. 

When I see my mother and C taking bites out of the garden tomatoes, I feel their endless joy. This is all I need to believe tomatoes are lovely, lovely plants and I will grow them until I want to eat them too. Even if the day never comes. 
There is beauty in knowing I have tried. There is beauty in our differences.

The Outfit
  Boots Free People

The Location
Ravine behind my house