a windfall


How I Would Paint Happiness

Something sudden, a windfall,
a meteor shower. No—
a flowering tree releasing
all its blossoms at once,
and the one standing beneath it
unexpectedly robed in bloom,
transformed into a stranger
too beautiful to touch.

by Lisel Mueller, from Imaginary Paintings


Today I briefly sat under this tree, the wind was blowing steadily, and I found a pink blossom that fell on the grass. I tucked it between the pages of a beloved book, and left because it was starting to get too cold. Then I went to a coffee shop nearby and had hot apple cider, while writing a letter to a friend who lives in Amsterdam.

Is it possible to miss a place you've never been? Because I feel that way about Amsterdam, and other cities I've known only through books, or stories from friends and loved ones. 


Poem taken from The Paris Review, Issue No. 124, Fall 1992


by Carl Philipps, The Kenyon Review



I miss the sea.

I miss the storms
that stopped there.

How much is luck, again opening,
and luck shutting itself down, what we
never expected, or only sort of did,
or should have?

The windfalls of my mistakes sweetly rot beneath me.

Two hawks lift—headed north—from my highest bough.



So he’s seen the blizzard that the future
looks like, and gotten lost,
a little. All the same— 

he gathers the honeysuckle in his arms,
as for a lover. Cloud of bees,
of yellow.

His chest, blurring bright with it.

Who’s to say brutality’s what he’ll be wearing,
when he goes?



There’s a light that estrangement,
more often than not, briefly
leaves behind it.

                         Then the dark—blue and damned,
erotic: here, where—done at last
with flashing like
power itself at first, then what power

comes to—the field
lays down its winded swords. —My head;
beside yours.


This poem is very special to me. It got me through those cold days in December when I was very sick and could only stay in bed, longing for the day when I will finally see the ocean again.

I took these photos with a disposable camera on New Year's Day. The tides were so huge, the light so luminous, you can't help but feel your heart expand to contain it all. 

Poem is taken from The Kenyon Review, Winter 2014, Volume XXXVI.

today's inpiration: the redwoods


“The soul should always stand ajar, ready to welcome the ecstatic experience.”

--Emily Dickinson

sand dunes

Sand dunes

sand dunes

sand dunes

sand dunes

Late Autumn, Winter, Early Spring

I've sat in this same spot through the years, watching the ocean, sometimes squinting at the sun, or shivering in the cold. Most of the time, I come here when I am overwhelmed, when the daily grind is too much to bear, I take my shoes off and dig my toes in the sand, leaving all my worries behind. My heart feels at home here, with the shifting sand dunes.

Have a listen to this lovely piece by The Cinematic Orchestra.

good days


Uitwaaien is a Dutch word which means to take a brief break in the countryside to clear one's head. It literally translates as “to take a walk in the wind.” (Pronounced as out-vye-in)

I don't know about you guys but uitwaaien sounds really good right now. I had a terrible last few days, one that started with me crying at a train station in the rain, to spending Thursday evening inside a friend's car while we drove around a couple of blocks because it was too cold and I couldn't remember where I had parked my car.

I kept reminding myself to just let go, there will always be people who will treat others badly, and I can't do anything about that. To focus on gratitude and what brings me joy instead.

Spending time by the ocean, climbing up and down sand dunes, whilst watching the last of the sun disappear on the horizon. Hanging out next to a little greenhouse, thinking about my mom, and how much I miss her rooftop garden filled with all kinds of tropical plants. Taking inspiration from Jane Eyre, and these lines.

One of my best friends sending a hilarious photo of someone we both love, with a subject line that says: "To get through a sucky day, you just need to grasp at anything that can make you smile."

And some days, it works.