A Strange Sort of Perfect

You all may have noted my lack of consistency in writing here on this online journal...well, ever, although last month I wrote a staggering four entries - quite possibly the most I've ever written in one stretch of measured time. It's not for lack of wanting to write, in fact, I have a fairly constant stream of thoughts that move through my head, and I can see the words formulating on the page...err, screen, as pieces come together in blocks and bits.

This space has always been a strange one to tend to, it takes time to locate where the laptop ended up - it's not something regularly accessed by me - and then to be certain that the elements to write are just so. I prefer to write in the early morning with coffee or late in the evening with a glass of wine or splash of bourbon, and there mustn't be distractions, the music must be on, the house clean, and so forth. I'm working on this, this need for the ideal circumstances in order to create in any regard - it's an odd sort of perfectionism that can be completely debilitating to my creativity, which is undoubtedly, endlessly frustrating to someone who needs to create in some form, daily, to feel and process life itself. Until then, I will likely only post when the pieces are just so, although today they aren't so much but I needed to write.

Today I've eaten - a colorful brunch mash of smoked salmon, a poached egg, pickled beets, spinach and kale, almonds, capers, parmesan - and managed to brew a cup of coffee in a quiet kitchen, yet the kitchen is vastly unfinished...we've been working on it, and the wall that housed old, flaking cabinetry is being patched, and the cabinet doors need to be reattached and the tile isn't even bought. I am sick, again, this time with a cold that makes my head feel fuzzy, Adelaide vomited in the kitchen on her way to the bathroom that is down the long hallway of our shotgun house, and Ellen's gone at work, her first day teaching at a low-income, high-risk elementary school downtown. I've not brushed my teeth or had a shower, but my daughter is sleeping and maybe this is the moment that I have...so I'm writing, even when the elements are so perfectly imperfect, but it's been nearly a month since my last entry and so much has happened.

We bought an Airstream last week, the same model we had before - just twenty years newer than the last. I'm brimming with excitement over the possibility and though we likely won't get to work on her for another couple weeks as we settle into yet another change and finish our kitchen, I find myself dreaming of design as I shower, or as the kettle is coming to a boil, or as I begin to drift off to sleep. I walked back to where we've parked her yesterday evening, as the sun was setting, to see her dusted with snow and to remind her - to remind myself - that we will take care of her soon, that soon I can throw myself into this project, to work hard again. I'm ready to physically exhaust myself, to work until my fingers are raw and sore, to see the efforts written all over my body...the tone and the glow that no amount of time at the gym gives me, because the gym doesn't exhilarate me like this kind of work does. I am becoming acutely aware of how passionately I feel about renovating old spaces, particularly Airstreams - how never before in life did I throw myself into work. The prospect of taking something forgotten or neglected and transforming it into a space that isn't only functional and beautiful - but makes you feel something - is what I want to do with my life. To have the ability to haul it around and travel with it is just an added bonus.

I am reading lately - in keeping with my resolutions, which I shared in my last post, I've purchased eight books of various genres. I'm attempting to read slowly, to not rush through any of the pages, which is especially difficult for me, my reading pace has always been exceptionally fast and when I love a book, I cannot seem to put it down and can read three-hundred pages in just a few hours. Yet there's something nice about making myself stop, return the book to the shelf, and digest it all before returning. There is a detailed list at the bottom of this post, along with links, to the books I am currently reading.

It feels good to be working toward the goals I set at the beginning of this year, even if they are small steps. It's only February tenth and we've purchased an Airstream and the books, and I'm attempting to care less about sharing perfect visual moments and instead take photos that mean something to me - sharing the real bits of life - grainy or unfocused or unfinished or messy. I spend time sketching or designing nearly every day now, even on the busiest of days I still carve out a few moments to even just browse favorite sites or Pinterest to get inspired, or to listen to a record and let my mind drift and wander. I'm working though, working and evolving and attempting, even in the face of daily life and it's shit, and that just feels damn good.

And now I'm recognizing that this post is just a whirl of word vomit, but at least I wrote, yes? More to come - at some point or another.


Coffee the morning of this post, in our unfinished but already beautiful and far more functional kitchen.

Our new Airstream in our backyard, which has a lovely story behind it. Can't wait to share more.

Sketching from a photograph for Adelaide in the fading evening sun, she loves to watch me draw.

Adelaide standing at the back window, watching for Ellen to come home from work. My new favorite photograph.

Morning light in our living room, hot coffee, some of the books I purchased and one old, given to me by my late grandfather, a man I miss daily. I love this reminder of him and his encouragement to keep learning, always.

Reading list: 

When Breath Becomes Air / Paul Kalinithi

Simple Matters / Erin Boyle

Felicity and A Thousand Mornings / Mary Oliver

The Complete Stories / Flannery O'Conner

Simplicity Parenting by Kim John Payne, M. Ed. & Lisa M. Ross

The Goldfinch / Donna Tartt

Georgia O' Keefe: A Life / Roxana Robinson