here and now





I suppose the wind still blows
at ease across the sleeping face
of the village I fled all those years
ago, and some young man comes
down to the sea and murmurs a word,
his name, or God's, or a child's,
or maybe just the sea's. Let him
be wiser than I, let him fight back
the tears and taste only the sea's salt,
let him take what he can -
the trembling of his hands,
the silence before him, the slow
awakening of his eyes, the windows
of the town opening on first light,
the children starting suddenly
from their twisted sheets with a cry
of neither victory or defeat,
only the surprise of having come back,
to what no one promised, here and now.

-Philip Levine, excerpt from Here and Now

It's only fitting that I celebrate the start of April, and poetry month, with a poem by Philip Levine. The news of his death, over a month ago, really filled me with unexpected sorrow. His poetry have always touched me so deeply, and I plan to share some of them here, in his honor.


Photos were taken in Point Reyes National Seashore, October 2013. I found them again today and was reminded why I love the solitary headlands so much.

Happy April, my friends!

the coming of light



On Christmas Eve we traveled all the way to the northern coast of Mendocino County, it rained so hard and we were driving along windy roads through a redwood forest, the only way through. We were an odd and mismatched group, away from home, displaced in one way or another. Someone turned on the radio and Bing Crosby's White Christmas started to play, and I felt like I always do every time I'm about to visit somewhere far and new, excited and alive, ready to take on anything that will come my way.

In so many ways, 2014 has been one of the most exquisite and the most difficult moments of my life. I've had this ongoing inner ear problems that really flared up in late October, making me unable to go to work, or do much of anything really, my world literally off-balance and all I could do was take care of myself and go to through different tests and medical appointments.

When I'd wake up and start to feel dizzy again, or when I'm walking down the street and I'd lose my balance, I kept telling myself, one step at a time, just one step, and you will get there. And now, I know I've weathered through the roughest part of that storm, I keep going back these words by Rilke: “This is what the things can teach us: to fall, patiently to trust our heaviness. Even a bird has to do that before he can fly.”

And so it was, on Christmas Day, the winter sun was shining so bright, we walked amongst the ancient redwood trees and marveled at all that wildness and beauty. I would never have thought that was possible just a few weeks before, me standing on the edge of a coastal cliff, my feet sure and steady on the ground, my world starting to feel right again.


Here is a poem that I picked for the New Year. I wish you love and light, and small moments that make you feel alive and true. May you dream well, and be patient with yourself.

The Coming of Light
by Mark Strand

Even this late it happens:
the coming of love, the coming of light.
You wake and the candles are lit as if by themselves,
stars gather, dreams pour into your pillows,
sending up warm bouquets of air.
Even this late the bones of the body shine
and tomorrow's dust flares into breath.

All my love,

film friday: the graduate

Screen Shot 2014-11-20 at 11.49.30 PM 1

Screen Shot 2014-11-20 at 11.55.11 PM

Screen Shot 2014-11-20 at 11.55.19 PM

Screen Shot 2014-11-20 at 11.55.34 PM

"There is nothing better than discovering, to your own astonishment, what you're meant to do. It's like falling in love." -- Mike Nichols

Last scene from The Graduate, in honor of its brilliant filmmaker who passed away two days ago. If you haven't seen it yet, go watch this movie. It is perfect in every way.

Here's to you, Mr. Nichols.

for a traveler

by Jessica Greenbaum

I only have a moment so let me tell you the shortest story,
about arriving at a long loved place, the house of friends in Maine,
their lawn of wildflowers, their grandfather clock and candid
portraits, their gabled attic rooms, and woodstove in the kitchen,
all accessories of the genuine summer years before, when I was
their son’s girlfriend and tied an apron behind my neck, beneath
my braids, and took from their garden the harvest for a dinner
I would make alone and serve at their big table with the gladness
of the found, and loved. The eggplant shone like polished wood,
the tomatoes smelled like their furred collars, the dozen zucchini
lined up on the counter like placid troops with the onions, their
minions, and I even remember the garlic, each clove from its airmail
envelope brought to the cutting board, ready for my instruction.
And in this very slight story, a decade later, I came by myself,
having been dropped by the airport cab, and waited for the family
to arrive home from work. I walked into the lawn, waist-high
in the swaying, purple lupines, the subject of   June’s afternoon light
as I had never been addressed — a displaced young woman with
cropped hair, no place to which I wished to return, and no one
to gather me in his arms. That day the lupines received me,
and I was in love with them, because they were all I had left,
and in that same manner I have loved much of the world since then,
and who is to say there is more of a reason, or more to love?

Via Poetry Magazine (May 2014)


Sometimes a poem comes to our lives, at exactly the right time, and speak to us 
in such a personal way, as if they understand exactly what we are going through. 
They gift us with a moment of clarity, a window to our hearts.

november and middlemarch




I would not creep along the coast, but steer
Out in mid-sea, by guidance of the stars.

-- George Eliot, Middlemarch

I was cleaning out my "drafts" folder and found these photos, from years ago, taken with a disposable camera at Ocean Beach. If I remember correctly, the light was brighter then, though I actually don't mind these grainy images as they seem to reflect the pensive mood that I am in. Autumn always inspires introspection, and even more so lately, as I've experienced some personal setbacks that made me to slow down, and re-evaluate what is really important.

A few days ago, I read the last page of Middlemarch, after carrying it around for three weeks. I felt bereft, and yet elated. To have read it, especially at this time in my life, is like a quiet affirmation. And how does one make of a book like that? One that is so inherently human, so psychologically on point, it was sometimes difficult to recognize parts of yourself, with all your faults and expectations, reflected in its characters? I know I've yet to comprehend how much this book has touched me, but I feel like I am seeing the world through different eyes, partly because of it.

Has any of you read Middlemarch? I'd love to hear your thoughts. I was dying to discuss it with someone while I was reading it. In fact, it was one of those times when I wished I was a literature major in college, for I would've loved to have a long discussion about Middlemarch, and all it's complexities.