10.04.2014




The credit for these unedited photos goes to some old film, my beautiful friends, and Emily's amazing hair. And to summer.

8.16.2014





Summer weekend in Michigan with the babes. Yoga and flower crowns balanced with fancy jello shots and boxed wine. Milky coffee outside in the morning, in a place so much calmer than Chicago. I'm thankful for this new spot to visit. I'm thankful for these women.

6.10.2014




Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata is playing and the rain is pouring and I'm drinking hot chocolate. I've been feeling stressed out most days, overwhelmed by my workload and the late nights I need to keep in order to stay above water. But it's falling right now and I'm not worried about sinking.

Now we are ready to look at something pretty special
It is a duck
Riding the ocean a hundred feet beyond the surf
As he cuddles in the swells.
There’s a big heaving in the Atlantic
And he is part of it.
He can rest while the Atlantic heaves
Because he rests in the Atlantic.
Probably he doesn't know how large the ocean is
And neither do you.
But he realizes it somewhere and what does he do, I ask you?
He sits down in it.
He reposes in the immediate as if it were infinity
Which it is.
That is religion, and the duck has it.
How about you?


- Tara Brach on Cultivating Equanimity (Duck Meditation)

5.24.2014






We became married and moved, all in one week. Change is movement is growth is good.

5.07.2014






Joshua Tree on film in color.

I'm there in the first, with my find in the second . . . on this hike in the third, this house in the fourth . . . and finally, in the fifth, night approaches.

5.06.2014








Joshua Tree on film in black and white.

We drank coffee in the morning and eased into beer in the afternoon. A mug in one hand, a bottle in the other—eyes busy.

5.05.2014



I'm curious to see how cold-weather pastimes turn into warm-weather pastimes. Making photos and keeping a blog is a good way to notice these transitions.

4.21.2014



I need to know if the candle is going to run, if the paperwhites will topple, if the pot will take its chance to overflow. It's a form of risk-taking—thrill seeking—on a very minor level.

I'm curious.

3.19.2014


My friends,

While it is fresh in our minds (in the Northern hemisphere), would you take the time to send me 1–3 sentences about Spring? I'm specifically referring to the season, but your responses can be as literal or vague as you wish. I'd really love to hear—and, perhaps, to compile.

Both emails and comments will do.

My love,
Jessica

3.14.2014


Sam and I spent a long February weekend in Joshua Tree. There was a full moon our first night and we woke up early to watch it set—my first moonset.

2.19.2014


I'm drinking coffee and listening to country music at 10 p.m. Ally took this photo when it was warm and I didn't need caffeine to work into the night. I pine, I pine, for those times.

But the coffee's good, and I never tire of songs about drinking and heartache.

2.12.2014


Some perspective:
And as soon as the mountains were built, they began, just as ineluctably, to wear away. For all their seeming permanence, mountains are exceedingly transitory features. . . . Right now the Appalachians are shrinking on average by 0.03 millimeters per year. They have gone through this cycle at least twice, possibly more—rising to awesome heights, eroding away to nothingness, rising again . . .   
–Bill Bryson, A Walk in the Woods

2.11.2014

Instead of trying to get over it, maybe we should just embrace it. Feel what needs to be felt. Buy lunch out without feeling guilty. Pour a drink when you walk in the door. Take pity on yourself, sad little human.

Tomorrow may or may not be better, but at least it will be different.

1.19.2014




I've taken a cue from Deborah Madison and started making sage tea a few times a week. Rub six (or so) sage leaves between your fingers to release the oils. Then, steep the herb in a cup of near-boiling water for 15 minutes.

READING: The Goldfinch and The Lover
WATCHING: Kubrick's entire filmography (slowly) with Sam
LISTENING: The War on Drugs's new single
COOKING: The Canal House's Japanese-inspired breakfasts from Bon Appetit

I'm going to turn the music up, light a candle, pour a glass of port—celebrate this January darkness. Happy Sunday.

1.16.2014


I walked the length of the High Line, north to south, on a day last November. It's interesting to be elevated in a natural setting, over an urban setting—rather than the opposite, which I experience almost every day.

1.10.2014



My nephew visited just before the holidays. He loved helping, which was very adorable and unhelpful.

1.08.2014


I'm here and you're here and it's 2014. I can feel my feet grounded on the floor and the blood in my hands. It's dark and cold, but we're alive! We made it.

Overall, this year is about the ritual for me, about cherishing this strange existence.

I love you all. Happy new year.

2014 GOALS

Action
• develop a daily yoga practice
• the same for a meditation practice
• read 50 books
• post more thoughts and photos
• attend a cultural event at least once a week
• take better advantage of seasonal produce
• start backpacking
• more water; more salads
• make my office a peaceful place to work
• put a little more effort into my appearance

Knowledge
• wine
• mythology
• composting
• aromatherapy + herbalism
• classical music

Behavior
• be more thoughtful with my friends and family
• keep ahead of my workload
• be rational about my stresses—let go, love
• put more emphasis on—and create more beneficial—daily rituals