my life in photographs

Let me have banjo and birdsong for as long as I shall live.

Each passing day is one day closer to soil, plants and flowers. Surviving winter comes first.

I feel like finding a soft piece of earth and sleeping the day away. Instead, I stretch my arms to the ceiling and yawn like a woman who has already grown bored of the week ahead. My heart howls for an adventure.

 A day without music-making has become barren like a mountainside with no lodge pole pines or an ocean with no waves.

Medicine for the mind.

 I happily played the Market Collective back in December. Thank you Brendan Kane for capturing this moment!

 The crying cloud grows pretty little flowers. You can tuck them away in a book or two, it's almost as if you've kept a bucket of honey hidden away from the sun and every time you see it, you feel like spring has sprung.

 I spent the entire night tossing around like a cotton dress in a washing machine. I have a to-do list longer than a growing evergreen, but I am alive. Yes I am.

The flower pressing station.

 The beauty of the world lives in a drop of warm coffee and a book to read.


thoughts from above

I am writing to you from a downtown skyscraper — an odd place for taking the heart and twirling it into words with a pen. I am here because my mum asked me for lunch and I never say no to mum or lunch. I sit down at the biggest window in this office and I see people everywhere walking. I imagine they have families who love them and somebody who thinks of them often. To me, they are a stranger walking into work, but to somebody else, they are the sun or the milk white teeth shining at the end of a hard day.

I learn a great deal of empathy when I stop staring at my shoes. I am alive in a world full of people with their own anxiety and hard loneliness, a world full of languages and dreaming of home, a world full of winter's passing and summer's returning, a world full of unrequited love and empty beds, a world full of teeter tottering between days where there is laughter and days where there are tears. In the pursuit of my own story, I often forget just how dark the floor or startling the sky might be for somebody who is not me. I look at the people walking and I imagine they must know beauty but perhaps they have only glided on the grasses of grief and hard luck. I want to believe there is more to a stranger's eyes but I worry that more only means the kind of sadness you cannot see.

What do these strangers see when they look at me? How could my beret and coat the color of a pine ever tell them my favorite song or the fact that I cried last night because somebody I love didn't listen to a word I said? They may see me walking slow as if standing in syrup and not realize that my stomach hurts today or that I'm worried about somebody. To them, I am a stranger walking into work, but to somebody else, I am the sun or the milk white teeth shining at the end of a hard day.

When you see a stranger, even if they sit under the same moon or kick the same pebbles on the same street, remember, they are still writing their own story with pencil and red ink. Just like you. Just like me. Sometimes, we look at others and believe the grass where they grew is greener and softer than our own. I don't know if this is because we'd rather envy than see the actual weeds which grow in every garden. Maybe, we don't want to believe there is somebody out there who is sadder than our own sad, madder than our own mad, or more lonely than our loneliest hour. Maybe, the comparison robs us of our own right to feel what we feel or makes us feel even worse.

To me, sad will always be sad, mad will always be mad, lonely will always be lonely, but strangers won't always be strangers. I look up from my shoes and in doing so, I see the world and it makes me feel less alone.

outfit details: sanuk boots, american eagle jacket, the body shop lipstick, eddie bauer jeans, joe fresh blouse

february air

What am I to do with the days where I count down what is left of winter? I hear the sound of ice cracking and the delightful sense of springtime growing flowers on my shoulder. I open the bedroom window to let February air fill the living's lungs and soon after, I am hearing children ride their bicycles and the fields mailing invitations to the warmest wind. I don't want to live for tomorrow. I want to live for today, but it's hard when your head calls for the gardening season while your feet are firmly planted where you are. I long for the sprout of a daffodil to rise above ground and the music of a spring bird to play while I sit on my back porch. I want to count stars in the night sky without shivering. I want to swim in the lakes while sunbeams kiss the top of my head, but first, I must wait for winter to pass.

February is a busy month for me. As is March. I'll be playing more shows than usual which means my spirit must stay glued to the strings on my banjo and guitar. A day without music-making has become barren like a mountainside with no lodge pole pines or an ocean with no waves. I am ever changing and always learning when it comes to these songs. I could never dream of a different life where it was always summer if it meant I was without the music.

I hope you're happy and feeling well wherever you may be.

outfit details: value village sweater & dress, free people socks & boots

365 love songs

When I dream of romantic love, I dream of two things — the poetry I grew up reading on bed springs and the oval shape of one person's face and how it came to move me. Before I knew the way ears could wander when anticipating the sound of somebody else's footsteps, I spent most of my days alone. I did not yearn for another. Instead, I lived my life as if looking out of a window seat on an airplane. If I were to invite somebody to share their world with me, they could very well take the window seat and I'd be left watching my feet as the carafe of soda pop travels by.

 And then one day, it happened. I fell in love — summer every season, messy like the pulp of a pomegranate, longing when apart, giving up my window seat because I want to see you happy, I love you, I hate you, I love you again, planning a future, cleaning up your dishes kind-of-love. The truth is, I never knew at sixteen, I would tell somebody besides my mother or father how much I love them.

Now it is this many years later and I'm still in love. If I could tie a ribbon to the clouds for us to sit when we're weary, I would for him. If I could swim in the river where his worries rise above bedrock, I would for him. If I could catch sunbeams to keep in his coat pocket, I would for him. If I could shake the rattle and buzz out of his guitar, I would for him. The most beautiful of all discoveries is that he would do these things for me too. 

Despite the beauty and art we all find when we find love, it has never been easy and a human should never compromise their deepest inner workings in the pursuit of romantic love. It is not all roses and soft kisses. Love is far too powerful for it to always be easy. After all, we define our entire lives by how and who we love, but it's important to remember that self-love is the blade which shapes the fruit, not the love of another. If I did not have those hours of loneliness or growing by myself, I would never be able to love myself or my beloved as I do now.

As for Valentine's day, there are 365 days in a year, 365 love songs in each day. 
Life in itself is an occasion for me.

 outfit details: h&m from value village heart-shaped dress, value village boots, mums closet cardigan

the meaning of life

There are two things I think of often — what will I eat for my next meal and how will I find a happy life where I am free to visit the woods and play my banjo whenever I want to. I don't imagine myself rising early in the day only to miss the birds singing because I am sitting in city traffic on route to a box or a boss who doesn't care about my misfortunes. I want to feel like the work I do matters. I want to believe there is more to the stars than just brushes of light. 

You were not born like a butterfly rising from the cocoon or a bird flying from her cradle of wood, it is not in the length of your soar or the first spot you land which reveals the meaning of life, it is in your everyday discoveries, even the ones that seem little and unimportant right now. Coffee in the morning, tea for when you're tired, a new little restaurant on your side of town, the moon at your bedside, seeing friends in rooms you like, the sound of a lone leaf rolling by concrete, this is what matters.

If there ever comes a day where I am sitting in traffic on route to a box or a boss who doesn't care about my misfortunes, let there be music on the radio and Saturday mornings to dream upon. I can only hope and try to build a life where dreams don't stay wrinkled in my coat pocket. Let me have banjo and birdsong for as long as I shall live.

outfit details: chicwish tulle skirt, value village boots, beret a gift from my dad, hairbow a gift from sara