Saturday, January 29, 2011


There is a livejournal community which I really enjoy called Saucy Dwellings, which toy can find here:

I am often inspired by the posts here, and occasionally I jump in and add to the open posting thread, and today I added these few photos:

My Corner
This corner of the dining room is one I'm finally happy with. The fan was purchased at Civil War Days at Naperville Settlement, the artwork is a postcard I purchased at the Getty Museum in LA, and the other is the front of a card I received several years ago. The Moses statue and the Winged Victory statue came from my grandmother's house, and the bronze man is my wife's. The candleholder came from my parents, and the photo is of my other grandmother and me out at lunch a few years ago.

Beauty of Dreams
I just purchased this piece today at a shop called Persona, which is just north of the Music Box theater on Southport Ave. in Chicago, and now it's living in my first floor bathroom.

Rubbing Print
More art from my grandmother's house, now hanging over my sofa. This isn't the permanent home of this, I don't think, but I like it here for now.

Don Drumm Trivet
My parents have a trivet like this, which I've always loved. This Christmas they gave me one of my own.

I am excited to keep saucifying my house!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


I am the type of person who moves my furniture around every few months. Since I moved into my own house just over three years ago, I haven't done so much of that - most of the shuffling has been practical, rather than aesthetic, and the furniture arrangements are basically settled because they are what happens to fit in the space. However, the urge to change my space, to rearrange and reinvent hasn't gone away.

I stare in horror at the horrid tiling job around the window of the first floor bathroom, or the peeling paint on the ceiling in the bedroom and I think, "Gods, I have got to fix this!" and then I start adding up how much it would cost to do it right, and I throw up my hands and sigh. It's not that I can't paint the ceiling myself, or hang shelves, or a variety of other small projects, but I don't have the paint I need, and I don't have the energy to go find it. Time and energy are huge parts of the cost of these projects.

I don't know how other people do it. Go to work all day and then come home and spend time doing more things, like cooking or laundry or cleaning or whatever. I come home so fried that all I want to do is eat comfort food and read a book or play a video game.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Waiting Out the Cold

It may be staying lighter longer, but I would trade some light for some warmth. Yesterday was actually colder than today, but there is something about being chilled for a long period of time that, even when it starts to warm up, makes any amount of cold hard to bear. I clearly need a bumper-sticker that says, "I WOULD RATHER BE HIBERNATING."

I spent most of the day playing World of Warcraft and grading papers. Maybe not the most glamorous mix of activities, but the grading had to get done, and there's only so long I can stare at pieces of paper with deep concentration before I have to take a break. Furthermore, sitting still while I work just makes me feel colder.

Oh, and did I mention that I'm tired of being cold?

Yeah. 'Cause I am.

And also, I can't sleep. And it sucks.

Friday, January 21, 2011

The Moon's My Teacher, And I'm Her Student

The moon rose today, looking like a pale pumpkin, squashed against the horizon. As it rose, it got paler, and rounder, until it more resembled the face of a mother gazing down at the child she is cradling in her arms. And so here we are, the children of the moon, gazing back, wishing we could stand outside and howl. But instead we are waiting for the end of the cold, curled around our teacups and our lovers like cats around the warmth we leave in our blankets when we trudge off to our lives in the early dark of the morning. As I watched the moon rise, I kept singing, over and over, bits of a song that I have thought of often, but haven't listened to in a long time. Here, in their entirely, are the words to that song:

Calling the Moon

The moon wanted more of my night
I turned off the engine and the headlights
The trees appeared as they'd never been gone
I promised the fields I'd return from now on
And the moon kept on rising
I had no more to say
I put my roadmaps away
And surrendered the day

And I know you'll be calling me soon
And if I don't answer I'm calling the moon
Calling the moon
I was calling her then
I'm wondering will she take me again
Oh, I am calling the moon

When I called the moon back to me
I thought she wanted my beauty
I shone in the best that vanity buys
I covered the path where my life turned to lies
And the moon kept on rising
But I felt nothing at all
She comes when the empire falls
And shines on crumbling walls

Calling the moon
By the name that she chose
As Tennessee wandered in moth-eaten robes
Oh, I am calling the moon
Calling the moon
Oh I'm calling the moon

Oh, make sense of me, night
I can see so much from this cold height
The moon said oh darkness my work is done
I've poured this bottle of light from the sun
But their anger keeps on rising
And they don't understand
I've shown them all that I can
That the world is at hand

And I know they'll be calling me soon
And if I don't answer I'm only the moon
I can see by her light
This one's going out to the moon tonight
Oh, I am calling the moon

Calling the moon
'Cause I know what it's worth
To tug at the seas and illumine the earth
Oh, I am calling the moon
Oh, I am calling the moon

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Not As Hard

I came home with a car full of boxes. I threw out five or six bags of trash, and I brought home ten or twelve small boxes, plus a few other things, and two of those boxes were filled with books to bring to school, so in the end, I don't think it's all that much that I brought back with me. I left behind one trash bag full of clothes and toys, and two medium-sized boxes full of household stuff ready to be donated to someone who will use those things. I also left an empty dresser, filing cabinet, stacking bins, bookshelf, and desk. My closet is organized, my bookshelves have been combed through and consolidated, I only have one box in my parents' attic, and most of the "stuff" that was scattered around my room has been removed.

Overall, the process was a lot less emotional than I thought it might be. I gave myself permission to keep things that mattered and to put aside decisions about things that I really couldn't decide about, and that helped immensely. A lot of people have the attitude that, since I haven't used these things in years, that they must not matter too much, and I should just throw everything out. In some ways, that might have been easier, but I'm glad I took the time to make decisions about what I needed and wanted to keep.

So now I have to find homes for the things that I brought with me. Most of them, I have an idea for already. Books on the bookshelves, figurines on some floating shelves from Ikea, artwork on the walls, etc. The biggest project is going to be to run all my photos through the scanner so I can get rid of some of the scrapbooks and cards I have left over from junior high and high school. I already threw away 90% of that stuff, but there are a few bits lingering around that I have craft projects planned for as well.

And so, life goes on.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

It's Time

The Soundtrack:

A Warm Place - Nine Inch Nails
Love You To Death - Type O Negative
Glycerine - Bush
Disarm - Smashing Pumpkins
Burn - The Cure
Five Years - David Bowie
The Last Day On Earth - Marilyn Manson
Just Like Heaven - The Cure
The Passion of Lovers - Bauhaus
Long Hard Road Out of Hell - Marilyn Manson
Hollow Hills - Faith and the Muse

Friday, January 14, 2011


There's a great song Richard Shindell sings called "Waiting For The Storm", which contains the following lines:

I've opened all the windows wide
I've left the doors ajar
Everything that was inside
I've spread out in the yard

I've made my preparations
There's nothing more to do
But sit here in this rocking chair
Waiting for the storm

It's a solid song, and it's most definitely about someone waiting out a hurricane, or some similar natural disaster. This evening though, it carries overtones of a life lesson.

Tomorrow I am going to get up early, get in the car, and go to Ohio for the weekend. The purpose of this trip is to take the time to go through all of the things still left in my parents' house that I have yet to sort. These are all my things, which I left there when I moved to Chicago seven and a half year ago, and I have never gone back to retrieve. There is a filing cabinet full of things, a dresser, two bookshelves, a closet, several boxes in the attic, and a hodge-podge of other small things that are living in my room, awaiting the fate of the trash can, Goodwill, or coming to a new home. I too will have to spread things out in the yard, symbolically speaking, and wait for the emotional storm to come pass over them and see what remains.

It's the boxes in the attic that I'm the most conflicted about confronting. Some of the things up there, like the backdrop from a play I did at Girl Scout camp one summer, can be photographed and thrown away. Although these items are attached to memories, they aren't so strong that I need the actual items around anymore. Other items will need to be savored. I have a box, and by this I mean a box, not a shoe box, full of letters from my friends from junior high and high school, and even a few notes and letters from college. Many of these can be let go - I will keep the ones that are most special to me, but not everything. Then there are the more complex items, like my Senior Scrapbook. I spent hours assembling that thing, though I don't know why. I do like to look back at it from time to time, and the sensible thing to do would be to scan each page and then throw the book away once I have the images, but... all that time, and all that creative process seems to be a bit wasted if I do that.

Honestly though, those aren't the hardest items. They may be emotionally connected to the heaviest parts of my life, but there are ways to work with them to keep the memories and lose the clutter. The thing that's really getting me stuck is a blanket I owned when I was a little kid. It's an interactive blanket, featuring a farm scene, and there are pockets for putting these little stuffed ponies in. (That explanation in no way does it justice; I'm going to have to take a picture.) The trouble with this item isn't that I kept it, it's why I kept it. I saved it because it's something someone made for me, that I wanted and planned and hoped to some day pass along to my own children.

I will be thirty this summer. I know that women are having children later and later in life, but I have to be realistic. Between the demands of my job, my marriage, and my own desire for free time, I have to be honest with myself - it is highly unlikely that I am going to be having children of my own. I'm not even entirely sure that I want them. There is certainly a part of me that would welcome them, that has dreamed and hoped and planned all my life to have them, but there is another part of me that enjoys not having to worry about child care and what time I come home in the evening or about being responsible for anyone other than myself. And so... what do I do with that blanket? Or with the books that I kept with the sole purpose of passing them on to my own children? I'm really not sure. Maybe those things will have to stay in a box in the attic, because that's not a dream I'm ready to let go of, no matter what my more practical mind is telling me. I don't know that I won't have children, and I am someone who hangs on to possibilities, no matter how slim, so... someday I might have kids of my own. Therefore, I will keep these things. And if I don't use them, then I know that I will get to the point where I can let go of them. Some day. And then I can give them to someone else to love. Eventually.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Is Love...

Is LOVE a feeling, or a choice?

This question came up during my work on Romeo and Juliet for CPS Shakespeare!, and it was a topic of many a heated discussion. Today, one of the ensemble members re-posted the question on facebook, and here is my response:

Both! You can act in a loving manner toward someone you're mad at, which is entirely a choice. And sometimes it's impossible to not keep on loveing someone, in spite of all the logical reasons you have for thinking that loving them is a bad idea.

I also think there's a big diffe
rence between LOVING someone and being IN LOVE with someone...


Wednesday, January 12, 2011


In traditional magickal teachings and energy manipulation, the chakras are the energy centers of the body, and the seven of them run from the base of the spine to the crown of the skull. Each chakra has its own designated color:

Root - base of spine - red
Belly - abdomen - orange
Solar Plexus - beneath rib cage - yellow
Heart - center of chest - green
Throat - hollow of throat - blue
Third Eye - middle of forehead - purple
Crown - top of, or just over top of head - white

I am not fond of these designations. I was thinking about them as I was falling asleep last night, and I kept thinking, "But that's all wrong for me. My heart isn't green. It's red." (For some reason I keep wanting to type "red" as "read".)

Since these colors aren't working for me, I decided to create a body map of my own energy centers, tapping into my own sense of color/body energy correspondence. Here's what I discovered:

Hands - green: Hands are for making things, creating things, growing things. Green is good, creative, positive, healthy, healing energy.

Head - blue: Blue is my color of thinking. It's a cool color. It's a color that means being relaxed, of letting my thoughts flow. It's the color of the sky, so it corresponds to air, which is all about intellect.

Mouth - white: I think this is because I tend to not think before I speak. When I see something, I say something, and often the unvarnished truth comes out at inconvenient times. So white is for clarity, for purity, for a lack of obfuscation.

Third Eye - yellow: Yellow is another intellect color for me. It's the color of far-seeing, of true-seeing, of seeing things in the "light of day". It's a sunlight color, so it also means looking at the world with warmth and seeing the good in people, seeing how they can shine.

Heart - crimson: It's not just red. It's blood. It's passion. It's life.

Groin - blue surrounded by yellow: I'm still thinking about what these colors mean. Creative potential, joy, energy, happiness... that's as far as I've gotten.

Neck - orange: Orange is my pain color. My neck is where I hold my tension.

Spine - crystal clear: It's actually more like a column of liquid diamond, if such a thing could exist. All the colors sparkle and flash in here, running up and down.

Quads - green: This is where the most powerful muscles in my body are. This is the center of my balance. This is my stability, my grounding, my connection. I spend a lot of time sitting on the ground, so my thighs are my connection to the Earth.

Calves - blue: This is the blue of running water and rolling waves. This is where movement and motion, travel and adventure come from.

Shins - white: I don't know what this is about either.

Feet - red arches, surrounded in brown, with a black outline: I have a love/hate relationship with my feet. When I stand strong I am grounded, connected, channeling energy, but when I'm not, I'm just a mess.

Aura - dark violet with golden-yellow flecks: Yes, I can see my own aura. No, I'm not going to explain it to you. Any questions?

I'm still working with all this, and playing with energy and colors and imagery. Snakes seem to be becoming important. Something about slipping their skins and being born again new, and yet the same. That fascinates me. Snakes are Fire creatures, but they live within the Earth, and Fire and Earth are my two weakest elements.

And if any of this makes me sound crazy, just you try explaining your religion to a skeptic and see how it sounds in their ears. =)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Dreams From The Ivory Tower

I don't think that every little girl dreams of being a princess, and I'm quite certain there are many little boys who do. I, however, am one of the little girls who lived quite happily in princess-land. I don't know how old I was when I found out that my first name means "princess", but in many subtle ways, it shaped the narrative I created about myself.

I don't remember when I first saw the movie The Neverending Story, but I do remember that it was some time during elementary school. I remember sitting on the gymnasium floor, it was raining and we couldn't go outside for recess, and I could barely see the TV, but the story captivated me. Falkor, Atreyu, Bastian, the book shop, and a book that someone could really, literally go inside of. I wanted to be Bastian. And then, somehow, the character of the Childlike Empress in the Ivory Tower got into my head. Oh, I still wanted to fall into a book, or many books, the way Bastian did, but the reason I wanted that was because I wanted to live in a world that was a little brighter and darker, shinier and macabre than the "real" world. I nicknamed my bedroom The Ivory Tower. It was my magical place, my sanctuary, my sacred space.

The next story I remember internalizing in that way was Dragonriders of Pern by Anne McCaffery. The character of Lessa absolutely captivated me. Her strength, her struggle, her transformation from abused and overworked servant into, well, Lessa of Pern, rider of a queen dragon inspired me and made me believe that I too, could transform, could transcend my circumstances, become someone powerful, beautiful, and respected. So I'd stand at the sink and wash dishes - to this day, the most hated of chores - and I'd carry on conversations in my head with Lessa, or as Lessa talking to other character in the story. I even had a pair of boots, grey suede winter boots that I persisted in wearing until they were a size too small for me and I had to give them up, that I called my "dragonrider boots" in my head. I have a very clear memory of sitting in math class in 7th grade (maybe it was 8th?) and thinking about whether there was a single other person in the whole world who would understand why I loved those boots so much.

Oddly, although I loved connecting with characters in my head, I was never a terribly good actress. I found those connections to be too intimate, too personal to be comfortable sharing them with the world. I was never able to separate myself and my own feelings from the character to the point where I didn't feel vulnerable, and I was never able to lose myself so fully in the character that I forgot to worry about myself.

Twenty-nine and a half years later, I am still writing the story of my life. There are still many days when I don't know what character I want to play, and getting dressed is frequently more about putting on a costume and assuming an identity than about anything else. I play at being myself through the lens of being someone else, and every time I meet a new character who I like I assimilate a little of them into me.

I am aware that this may make me sound completely unhinged to anyone with less of an imagination than I've got. All I can tell you is that it made a very good distraction when I was doing something I didn't like, and that I find my life has been made richer and fuller by the sheer number and variety of viewpoints I've attempted to embody in my search for myself.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Making Progress

I finally set up my Etsy store! You can find it here:

This is remarkable only because I've had a store name reserved on the site since 2009, but never posted any items until this past weekend. I spent a couple hours on Saturday setting up my information and uploading three items. One is a necklace I made, and the other two are photographs that are available as prints. I'm finding the process of uploading item photos to be the most frustrating part of the process. Images have to be under 2mb each, and I, using my good camera, mostly have photos that are 3mb - 5mb in size. I think my next project in Etsy-land is to resize all the good photos I have and re-take a bunch of the ones I'm not happy with. My goal this year is to sell one item. I know that seems small, considering that it's only the second week of the month, but I've never thought of my crafting as a job. I just happen to make things that I think other people will find cool or interesting or beautiful. If I can sell one thing, then I'll feel as though I've made something worthy of my audience, and that will be a very nice feeling indeed.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Doing and The Being

Words are hard and mischievous, and they slip from my mind like sand through a sieve. I want to capture memories and moments, to record them and the essence of them, but words will not do. I get one sentence in:

I am reading an interesting book.
I went to see True Grit today.
I spent the day yesterday grading papers and writing lesson plans.
I am ready for spring to get here.

and the ideas can no longer be expressed.

Today is definitely more of a day for being than for doing, but all of being is doing something. Breathing is an act. Swallowing is an act. Smiling, pushing my hair back from my face, even sitting in the car watching the world go past - all these little things are moments of doing that make up some of the essence of my being.

Even those words are not enough. Maybe I will delete this post tomorrow, but probably not.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

...And A Player With A Handful Of Dice.

I have a very clear memory from when I was a child of sitting on my knees on a chair in the dining room watching my father play Dungeons & Dragon with some of his friends. As far as I was concerned, the best part of D&D was the dice. My father kept his in a Crown Royal bag. There were a few that I particularly loved - 4 d20's, one red, one blue, one green, and one golden-yellow - that were translucent when held up to the light. I used to call them "the gem dice". I used to kneel at the table and play with those dice while my dad ran his game. Sometimes I pretended I was a princess in my castle counting my treasure. Other times I imagined I was an architect, and I built myself impossible towers with as many dice as I could gather.

When I got older, I started developing an interest in creating a D&D world of my own. I was twelve when I started seriously drawing maps. My dad used to keep pads of graph paper, the green kind that engineers used to draw on before CADD, and I would steal them away along with his dice and his books so I could generate towns and dungeons of my own. I taught myself cartography and geography, the rules of weather systems and the logical placement of towns. The summer I turned 17 I got lucky enough to go to England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland for three weeks. We toured towns and castles, palaces and gardens, and I took notes, made sketches, and wrote stories. When I got back, I had so many ideas that I thought I might explode if I didn't find someone to share them with - it never occurred to me to see if my high school friends were interested in playing.

Thankfully, when I got to college there were a lot of people who were interested in table-top games. I even learned that I was "cool" because I played "old-school" 1st edition AD&D. I started acquiring books and dice of my own. By my junior year I was running two semi-regular games, and my senior year I continued one of them. I was also introduced to the world of White Wolf via LARPing. I never fell in love with LARPs - I adore the idea but am entirely too timid to pull off the reality - but Changeling: The Dreaming (Thank you, Phil!) is a story-world-concept I love.

After I started teaching I despaired of ever finding a group of people to game with again. None of my teacher-friends were interested. A few people said things like, "Oh yeah, I used to play that," and they'd laugh like it was a part of their life they were embarrassed to remember and wanted to forget. That made me terribly sad and extremely lonely. Then it occurred to me - why not ask the students? Most of them won't be interested, but the few who are might benefit. It got me started thinking about just how I'd manage to explain an AD&D game as a school-appropriate activity and what I would even call it.

Enter: The Storyteller's Society. A casual club where members work together to create characters and use role-play to interact with each other inside the construct of an imaginary environment, or in other words "Let's get together and make up stories!" And yes, I too keep my dice in a Crown Royal bag.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

I've Always Wanted

Ever since I learned about Dragon*Con some time in college, I have wanted to go. A couple years ago, my wife and I were talking about going to some con or another, but we never got around to making any concrete plans. I want to make this the year when I go. I already added the dates for Comicon (Kim Harrison will be there!) and Dragon*Con (Oh, how to choose a track?!) to my iCal, and I'm hoping that I can make it to both of them.

I have very conflicted feelings about my desire to go to these events. On one hand, I feel completely ridiculous and childish. I'm going to turn 30 this summer (and that's going to be the subject of a separate post), and there is this voice in the back of my head, telling me that I should get over all this "kid stuff" and be more grounded and realistic. I am trying to be more of a responsible adult, and for the most part, I think I'm doing a decent job. I pay my bills on time and I love my job, and those seem to be the two things that qualify someone as having achieved "adult status" in our society. This is the first year in many years that I didn't re-read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings over Winter Break. I'm sad that I didn't. That little voice makes my soul hurt.

Still, I don't think it matters how old I get in years; in my heart I am still in love with the world of the fantastical. I allow myself to be enchanted by beauty, transported by stories, and inspired by dreams. I'd rather read science-fiction or fantasy over non-fiction any day. There are a few upside to this whole getting older thing, though. One seems to be that I have expanded my aesthetic horizons through my exposure to the gothic, the macabre, and the twisted. Also, I have the money and the freedom to explore and indulge my interests and hobbies. So, it's not all bad.

Maybe tonight I will go home, dust off my books, and revisit Middle Earth for a while.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Alice, and in the mirror, a hallway of doors

Last night, I had a dream. I dreamed that I was walking down a hallway full of doors. It was a narrow hallway, and dark, and all the doors looked the same - heavy wood, with a small square window made of one-way glass looking out just at eye-level. Each door opened onto a path, asphalt-paved and winding, unkempt around the edges. Some of the paths ran through the woods, others through the desert or the tundra, and all under a twilight sky. The only sound was the blowing wind.

Sometimes I think I am like Penelope unraveling Ulysses' shroud. I walk a path each day, and at night I run back to that hallway of doors, undoing all the progress I've made. The hallway of doors isn't endless, but I haven't yet found the end, and I cannot bear the thought of choosing one door only and losing all the rest of the possibilities.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

In the last couple weeks I've been doing a lot of reading. Some of this has to do with getting a Kindle for Christmas, but mostly it has to do with finally having time to curl up in a chair and not have to do anything for a while. I was very sick the two days before Winter Break started, so I didn't go to work, which means I didn't collect my students' papers. Therefore, I have nothing to grade, and have filled the time with books. Of these books, three of them have been about magickal housekeeping. (I'm spelling it with a 'k' to differentiate it from slight-of-hand-type magic.)

Book One:
Magical Housekeeping: Simple charms and practical tips for creating a harmonious home by Tess Whitehurst.
I picked this book up because it had a chapter about clearing clutter. I have always struggled with this. I like stuff, I like things, and it's very hard for me to let go of things because most everything I own has some sort of positive emotional connotation for me. Since I live with someone who doesn't tend to keep things, this is often a source of tension in the house. Furthermore, I am about to acquire boxes and boxes of stuff from my parents' house. Some of it will be things that are mine that never moved to Chicago with me - books, knick-knacks, and a few pieces of clothing - but there will also be several large pieces of furniture, including a piano. I don't currently have space for these things. I am going to have to rearrange the furniture in the office to get the piano into the house. I don't mind doing that, but it means that I have to get rid of what I don't need anymore. Since this is a challenge for me, I went looking for help in this book. I'm not sure I learned anything new, but I did come away inspired to actually get on my feet and do some of the getting-rid-of-things work, so in that respect, the book was certainly helpful. It also inspired me to download two other books, which I'd been eyeing for a couple months.

Book Two:
Cottage Witchery: Natural magick for hearth and home by Ellen Dugan
Ellen Dugan's books came highly recommended, and I understand why. Her writing is clear and lighthearted, and she comes across as a competent, grounded witch whose charms and rituals are simple, focused, and practical. I haven't done anything she recommends yet, but that's ok. What I was really looking for was inspiration and focus, and I found both of those things. I will go back to this book more and more as I continue to work on myself and my home.

Book Three:
Garden Witchery: Magick from the ground up by Ellen Dugan
Oh, this book. This book makes me long for spring so I can go get my hands dirty. I have long been fascinated by the idea of garden witchery and kitchen witchery, and this book is perfect for me. Not only does it have information about magical associations of trees, shrubs, flowers, and herbs, but it also contains loads of practical gardening advice. Ellen Dugan is a certified Master Gardener, so she talks a great deal about how to care for the plants she describes. She includes information about growing zones, wintering plants, light requirements, soil types, and watering - just about everything a gardener needs to succeed. My favorite chapter was the one about shade plants - my yard has three big trees, so I despair of ever growing sun-loving plants like roses. Instead, I am learning to love shade plants. Happily, many of these plants have magickal associations and properties, and now I have a whole list of ideas for what I can add to my garden come spring.

And now, as I am typing this, I find myself feeling restless and ready to go tackle another project. Lesson planning will just have to wait until later. It's time to go clean some more!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

I am avoiding making New Year's resolutions this year. It's not that I don't have goals, or dreams, or plans, but more that I feel as though making a list of "must do's" inherently denies the fact life doesn't always go as planned. We can either embrace those changes, or fight against them, but setting myself up with a list of potentially unachievable hopes seems self-defeating. Perhaps, this year, I'll focus more on living, and less on planning to live some day.

Also, I saw Black Swan today. It's a very good film. If you're squeamish, I don't recommend it, as there are parts that will definitely make your stomach turn. If, however, you like magical realism, twisted fairy tales, dark beauty, ballet, passion, and things-that-make-you-go-"hrm", then you might enjoy this film. It's a film about a woman who dances in Swan Lake and how she struggles with her obsession with perfection, and how she eventually embodies both the White Swan and the Black Swan. Natalie Portman does a lovely job playing Nina Sayers, the Swan Queen, and the supporting cast is phenomenal as well. I give this movie 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Half Way Out

Half Way Out
Originally uploaded by ninniane

Fifty-two / Fifty-two 12.25.10 - 12.31.10

I chose this photo as the final one of the year because it expresses to me what life ought to be all about. Light in the darkness. Warmth in the cold. The last week of the year is always bittersweet for me. There are so many things I look back on with joy and pleasure - things I've accomplished, friends I've made, moments of awe and inspiration that have found me. At the same time, there are always moments of doubt, of fear, and of anger; moments that might feel better if forgotten, but in forgetting, I think I lose something precious. So I strive to remember the good moments, and the bad, to take both in stride, and to remember, as The Doctor says, we're, "...half way out of the dark."