the wilderness

 One day, we will all walk into the wilderness. We know not when, we know not why. It is something that will happen whether we ask for it, whether we live good lives and do good deeds, whether we drink green smoothies, run great miles or sit on the sofa drinking ginger beer out of a tall can. The end of a season, the end of a love, the end of a life, it is all just a matter of clock spins and what we choose to do within them. I say this because I watch the world around me and I see a small army of ruthlessness and hurt that makes my own eyes fill with salt. Why do we have to always be 'experts' on everything? Why do we make friends only to talk over them? Why don't we ask more questions? Why is "how are you" considered small talk? When will we rise in the morning and discover the bees need our help, the girls need our love and taking a second out of our day to think of somebody else and not for them is beautiful like flowers in the spring or dogs putting their heads on our laps. We spend so much time wanting our hearts to be like mountains — the bravest, the tallest, the least footprints on it. We want better, always better and we don't want others to know that we too can fill our bathwater with tears.

I know the world has its greatness. I write those stories all of the time. I know the clouds will part to reveal hazy sunshine and happy children running home to a warm supper, but sometimes, the floorboards snap beneath my feet and I become air - floating and falling while my heart beats on. I overhear somebody say "she's just a girl" or "look at me, look at me!" When this happens, I can feel myself walking closer to the wilderness and then I have to pause to remember the times when I saw something treasured - like people being themselves or the sea whispering in and out by the sand where I built my castle. I have to remember for every crooked moment, there was a hummingbird buzzing or a mother being kissed on the cheek. Yes the opposite is also true, for every awing moment, there was somebody breaking glass or bruising a heart, but I can't afford a life where I am haunted by what could be dressed in the darkness of night.

I don't want to live in a world where I forget what is beautiful and what bandages the broken skin, but I also don't want to live in a world where I turn my head away from the crying and only look for the days dressed by sunshine. It is a trying balance and it leaves me tired. Who will mend this suffering? Who will keep the poetry alive? Who will allow us to marry or not? Who will turn to the girls and say "you can do this." 

You can do this.

We are learning and we will always be learning until the day when we leave for the wilderness


 come back.

outfit details: all thrifted

how to be me

Sometimes, the sun leaves out compromise and summertime boards a train sooner than you'd want it to. It's like having a whole bag of dill pickle chips waiting at home for you and when you get there, somebody else ate them. I want to always be aware of how lucky it is to be here, to be living on this planet, to be me, but sometimes, all I can do is let images run through my mind like moving pictures on a little screen. What do I see? A garden, a beanstalk towering over me, barefooted on the sand, waves rolling in and out, smiling dogs, an endless summer being drank like a sweet juice that leaves no cavity. It is in these images I have come to know who I am and what I dream for, but it's not always easy to watch summer leave you while you're living in your head.

On December 13th, in the wintertime, I was born. I have spent every waking hour since then traveling between what is and what ifs. I want to slow down — to follow my own advice, dying is a guarantee, live for today, don't waste your wishes, be yourself, and fight for your solitude. Even I, the woman who pens the ends of poems and stories with messages about saying c'est la vie to the fear and the doubt can cry over small things. Even I can let my coop be ruled by somebody who hurt my feelings or the way the world looks when I'm watching the news. A gust of wind can roll into town and suddenly, my day is teeter tottering between sad and downright angry.

I want to land among the stars.
I want to always have guts, hope and moving pictures.
I want to know how to love in every season — even the ones where flowers don't grow.

I am still learning how

outfit details: chicwish dress, crown & glory floral crown

the sound of music

 In my head, there is a home for every wildflower and summer bug, for every wisp of grass, for every sunrise and cheek made rosy by it, for every singing chickadee and berry fallen from the tree. I grasp the seconds of this season so I can place them in my memory hall and carry it with me wherever I go. I run through the garden with my dog, I press my fingers against a tanned arm as I try to remember how pale the skin is when summer is gone. I live and I breathe a thousand times more. To fill my lungs with August is to put photographs into frames and hang them on the hallway leading me home.

When I visit the ravine after rainfall, mosquitoes appear like tiny warriors. Until today, it has been raining at least every second day. The ponds were starting to look like tiny oceans as they spilled over pathways and drowned many flowers. I was starting to befriend misery. I have spent too many hours longing and writing poems for this season, how could it be taken away from me and made short by storm clouds? Nature, like music, life and love, can devour you and all of your joy without a firing signal. It can give and give and give like the pulp of a fruit or the vitamin from the sun, but it can take and take and take like war or the words "I don't love you anymore."

Now that the forecast sings its warm weather song, I run to the hills and listen for the birds I couldn't hear when it was raining. Music is around, on the prairies and the valleys, in the ponds and the flowerbeds. The days may soon begin to turn green into orange, blue into gray and flowers into floating leaves, but we still have the rest of August and my hope are for its leftovers to carry well into September. 

Must I say it again? Summertime, I am yours. Always.
outfit details: value village hat, chicwish skirt, the body shop lipstick, oasap blouse

old books, old friends

 The days between today and the last time I read a new book is longer than I care to admit. It seems that all of my reading is done with two palms holding a phone to my face. It's not so bad when you're just seeking the sentences and their words, ones that live to move or educate you, but when you're looking for the scent of once living trees to dance against your skin and make you feel closer to a stranger who calls themselves a writer, you want to be paper back bound. I can't even bring to memory the last time I read a new book. Instead, I am always rereading the old ones I own or finding books with battered and dusty spines at the thrift store. If I go to the pub, I may order the same grub as last time, because it is good, because each time you taste it, you taste something new. I have come to know literature this very way too.

These old books, they decorate the wooden shelves the way old friends decorate our lives. If not for their stories and every tear-stain or tea spot on their pages, how could I, the one born with a bad memory, remember what secrets they told me? I can often feel myself wanting to be library bound so I can fish for new books that become old books as time wears on, but then, I look to the books I've already found and I begin to read them again. These books are my bear trap, or Amy trap if you will, they invite me in the same way constellations and milky skies invite those who camp below them. I look for the sentences I've already come to love and then I run around the house looking for somebody to read aloud to.

"I remember the last time you read this aloud, two months ago." 
"Oh, I know, but it kisses you harder each time you hear it."

What books are you reading? Any 'new' book recommendations?


summers from the past

 My summer has been built by plans - something there, something here, something tomorrow, and something today. I am hoping to see a quieter August where more hours are spent at a turtle speed. For now, I am feeling a bittersweet nostalgia for yesterday so here are some photographs alongside words from the summers of the past. My favorite season.
Squirrels and Dandelions
I wander to a field with my banjo, I feel lonely as only one can feel when they are alone in a field and everybody else is a stranger. The trees cast shadows and I look to them for company as I sit down in the tall grass. This is who I am a girl who needs solitude as much as she needs spoons for stirring and lungs for calling a loved one home. Surely, it is in these moments of wondering whether I am lonely or simply alone that I realize how much I need to be wandering freely on my own, how I thirst for such an occasion. If I am to have ears for listening to my friends and happiness within each tooth as I grin, I need to keep and hold onto quiet moments where it's only me.

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 Birds and Dandelions
We went to Griffith Woods to take these photographs. I had hoped the bird covered shirt would invite birds to sit high on the treetops and look down over us. I was feeling blue for days leading to these moments, not for any reason I could name, mostly just because I am Amy, I was born in December, and I always carry a little bit of that winter shade of grey inside of my heart. It is the shade I've come to know which compels me to write, to sing with the belly, and to listen for songs by birds and other worldly things. I came to Griffith Woods, not only to take these photographs, but to remind myself that there is a bright kindling of afternoon skylight within me too.

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A few proud flowers
 Several times a day, I look to where the sun is pointing and I put my body there. I could sit underneath the sky for hours, even when it's warm like a kettle after it coos. All I need is a few proud flowers, a cold cup of water and a spot in the shade for when my cheeks turn rosy from the sun. I don't want to miss anything, not the ladybug, not the bare sleeve, nor the green foliage that lights the forest like moon shimmer on a boat at sea.

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What makes the gardener garden
I wander to the watering hose and fill my bucket till it weighs like a full grown dog leaped upon my lap. I use all of the strength I've ever known to lift it. I water the flowers. My arms twitch. I find a sense of motherhood by carrying a heavy bucket to give life to delicate living things. Other times, I feel like a hurricane, swishing and sloshing as wobbly me carries the bucket from the hose and into the garden, losing most of the water along the way. There are little things in the daylight of June that make even the most melancholy of my moods disappear and seem forgotten until darkness comes around again. I understand myself best in the world of shoveling soil, carrying buckets of water, and being hugged by the electric blanket we call summer. I see everything as it is — short lasting but bright like a life well lived.

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Be Here Now
Most of my regrets have something to do with summertime. If I don't wander enough through the green grass or eat enough fruit underneath a golden sun, then I am left hollow and full of regrets like a boy whose too afraid to tell his father how he doesn't like fishing. I want to touch every wild oak as if my hands were new to me. I want to taste the raspberries as if I had never tasted sugar. I want to walk into the garden and see the flowers climbing towards the blue sky, not dying and becoming crumbs of what summer was supposed to be.

What will be will be, I say to myself. If a hailstorm were to arrive, like a grave in the ground, here only to bury my garden, I would have to let it go. I spend so much of my waking life being bothered and worried about tomorrow. I stand at the edge of seawater thinking only of how I will miss the sea when it's gone. Sometimes, this way of thinking is beautiful and nourishing to the spirit. Other times, I feel like I am living on the last sentence of my own chapter book.

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 August Thunderstorms

We often look outwards when summer is here — we dream in the cotton clouds hanging high above us, we linger in the tall blades of grass at our feet, we shine so brightly when we crane our necks to smell the wildflowers, and we stand so close to our own heaven in the beaming sun. I have only youth to remember at summertime's beginning. Sometimes, in the stories, and in my thoughts of summer, I am quick to forget about the thunderstorms.

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About a dream
 I realize now, as I look longingly onto the garden, a place where tomato plants burst and bloom like tiny emblems of a passing summer. Maybe, the dream only hollers of my wish to be swimming, to always be summer bound, and to be free as the apron which flour spills onto. Maybe, the dream is less of a dream and more of a tiny siren song warning me to live a little louder before the riverbed dries. 

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How to be an explorer 
If there ever is a time where boredom feels like my only season, I can always count on a day of exploring to lift my spirits. Stepping outside of myself, wandering to where sunbeams sit on the trees, peeking through binoculars, embracing my five senses, taking mental field notes and coming home to share all of my discoveries, this is how I cure the boredom blues and find happiness again. 

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