where the light is

This is my favorite coffee shop in the city. I love it for so many reasons, but mostly because on sunny afternoons, the light falls so beautifully here, turning everything it touches into something so sweet I could stare at them forever --- the froth on my latte, the pages of my journal, the chair cushion prints, the paintings on the wall, the single white rose on each table -- even the view from my window is lovely.

This last picture is my favorite. I saw these two happily scribbling away in their own tables and I was secretly rooting for them to be together. It was like a scene out of a movie and I couldn't help myself, I thought that they'd make a gorgeous couple. Isn't it funny how you see certain people and start to imagine what their story could be like?

today at duboce park

A lady gave me this yummy cupcake. Her family had a birthday party and there were so many cupcakes left so she started giving them away. Pretty soon most people on my side of the park were happily eating a cupcake. It totally made my day.

happy weekend!

Photo by f letter via sfgirlbybay

I am in love with this photo. It pretty much sums up how I aspire to live -- go somewhere spontaneous, explore each lovely detail of the place, get lost. It doesn't even have to be far away, I've lived in this city for three years now and I still get excited whenever I find a new garden or street or coffee shop or patch of grass in a park that's just right for people-watching or writing away in my journal.

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Have a wonderful weekend everyone! The weather is so beautiful these days and we are planning to go to the beach. Hope it is also sunny where you are.

a thousand paper cranes

Hello friends! Guess what I've been doing during my free time lately --- folding paper cranes. Yes. And I've already folded a hundred.

Now before you think that I've gone completely nuts, I'm doing this as a special project with a group of girls, our gift for a very special couple to celebrate their love. Its kind of a secret so I can't tell you who they are. Our goal is to fold a thousand paper cranes by July and so far I think we've already exceeded that goal.

The gift is based on an ancient Japanese legend that says anyone's wish will be granted when you fold a thousand paper cranes. Cranes are mystical creatures in Japanese culture and is said to live for a thousand years. I can't even tell you how excited I am to be a part of this project.

The act of folding itself is very soothing, I'm using a certain origami paper with retro flower prints (sorry for the blurry pic, its from my cellphone camera), that after crane #10 I fell into a Zen-like rhythm and its almost disappointing when I have to stop and do other things. In fact, I love it so much that I'm thinking of folding a thousand cranes for myself and making a wish for my 30th birthday!

In other news, I have been writing like a madwoman, filling pages and pages of my journal with really bad, incoherent writing. Re-reading Natalie Goldberg's Writing Down the Bones reminded me once again to just get on with the practice of writing and not even worry about anything else. So that's what I've been doing right now, writing and writing... aside from folding paper cranes, of course.

How about you, anything you want to share? Are you doing a special project or starting something new?

Update: Alyson just posted a lovely paper crane tutorial on her blog if you want to make some. (thanks Alyson!)

have a relaxing weekend.

I hope you will find time to do something that you love.

(Photo by William Eggleston, via fieldguided)

we own the sky

We went on a long hike in Muir Woods last weekend. The longest mountain hike I've ever done, and with only 4 hours of sleep the night before, I thought that I'll surely turn around within the first 2 hours or so. But I didn't. In fact, I didn't feel like giving up at all. Walking amongst the redwood trees, passing by a creek, stopping to look at a lone deer, resting on a tree stomp while smiling at other hikers walking by, the sun shining bright -- I felt energized, renewed, light.

My companion said, "this is the place that I saw in my dream... the redwoods, all these wildflowers." Yes, it did feel like a waking dream. Especially when we came upon a meadow where you can see the wide expanse of the ocean below. At that point, I said to myself, how lucky am I to be here?

"My happiness is a kind of challenge", Nabokov wrote. And I totally get what he said. Sometimes its so much easier to linger in our misery than to admit that we're happy. Lately, I've had my share of self-doubt, those times when I start comparing myself to others, those times when I start to question why I am still here, those times when I start missing a place or a person, wishing I was somewhere else instead. But there, in that wide open space, a feeling so simple and true came upon me, and I refuse to call it anything else than happiness.

My friends, I hope that wherever you are, no matter how difficult, no matter how small, you will also find your happiness.

Song by M83, Video by Young Replicant

a string of joys

Waking up early.
Breakfast of croissant, fruits, and green tea with honey.
Yoga for the first time in two weeks.
Seeing lots of people inside the library.
An afternoon nap.
Checking things off my list.
Slowly finding my way back to writing.
Reading this book.

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How about you, how was your day?

(Photo taken while walking in my neighborhood)

two things

Have you ever felt homesick for a place you've never been? I have. Right now, its a city with no name, but I have a feeling it's this one.

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I listen to this song and I'm in love all over again.

(Photo by Lena Corwin)

balzac and the little chinese seamstress

Such a sweet, understated movie about the power of literature (in this case, the French novelist Balzac) and its ability to open new worlds and transform people's lives. It is based on a bestseller book of the same name, set in rural China during Mao Zedong's Cultural Revolution.

I had randomly picked this DVD from the library and I'm so glad that I did. It took me to another place and time, back to the moment when I first discovered books, and how I much it changed me. Highly recommended.

P.S. You can read parts of the book online here. Thank you, Google books.

confessions and wishes

Today I woke up early and thought, "I really want a bike". The only reason I've been hesitating in getting one is that I'm not sure if I can bike the hills in my neighborhood and because my studio is so small that I don't even know where to store it. But still, looking at this lovely sketch makes me want it even more (photo via frolic).

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So its been quiet here lately. End of the school year and all that. "All that" means I've been thinking a lot. About my family, (future) travels, where I want to be next year, etc. Like I said, its the end of the school year. I tend to be more melancholy in June.

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I just found out this weekend that the guy I have a massive crush on just got engaged. *um, can you hear my heart breaking?* So sad. It's not like there was ever any hope for us but I've always thought that he is one of those eternal bachelor types, too passionate with his artistic pursuits to ever settle down, so his status update on Facebook was such a surprise. Sigh.

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This concert was all kinds of wonderful! I squealed and jumped up and down when they played the song 'French Navy'. Haha. And I got to spend time with a friend who just got back from Paris so I was over the moon.

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It's 58 degrees and drizzly here in San Francisco. I wish I was somewhere sunny and warm, riding a bike with flowers in my hair.

thank you, camera obscura.

Because your music makes me happy. Because you are one of my favorite bands. Because you said you love playing in San Francisco. Because you sound so much better live. Most of all, because you are exactly what my heart needs right now.

P.S. This song simply took my breath away.