Monday, December 31, 2012

radiance for 2013

1. Cultivate genunie friendship
2. Be grateful for every moment as it is. Asking for no more or no less then what it is.
3. Move forward with open arms.
4. Cherish the past for what it was: the past
5. Be open to what may not fit your perception of things
6. Play more
7. Stay awake to the right now
8. Take care of your body, mind, and home. Give them the love they deserve.
9. Be in awe of who my children are becoming and guide them well each in their unique way.
10. Love deeply

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Robert Bereny

For my Äya


Part of spending time upstate this holiday with my children was the pleasure of having uninterrupted time together. No cellphones, or buses, no trains to run and catch. We went to cut down our own tree, brought in wood to feed the stove and gathered fresh water from the spring well. We also made a lot from scratch, including our first Buche de Noel (with only a hand blender!) and gifts to each other. What struck me was the attention that the children had in the craftsmanship of what they made. Jan would measure his design on Aya's american girl doll for her spy mask and cape, carefully considering how it would fall and tie on. Aya's king doll for Jan had a hand stitched fur trim and felt crown. As for the Buche, I think we were all in awe with how it turned out. One thing that stays with me, as the more I make with my children, is how much they are teaching me about being creative and being open to the unexpected.

the real toy story

These striking and important photos by Michael Wolf are timely in this season of excess giving. Just this morning I read of a plea of help from a Chinese worker discovered rolled up in a christmas toy. I want to think that there are some factories in China where their workers are treated humanely, that not all that is mass manufactured over seas is in forced and exhausted conditions. And yet this is what we see. More of Wolf's installation here

Sunday, December 16, 2012

poetry and illustration lives

Nice piece in the NYtimes including the beautiful illustrations by Luke Best

Thursday, December 6, 2012

I live my life in widening circles
that reach out across the world.
I may not complete this last one
but I give myself to it.
I circle around God, around the primordial tower.
I've been circling for thousands of years
and I still don't know: am I a falcon,
a storm, or a great song?


Sunday, December 2, 2012

a saturday

India St pier > South St. Seaport > Williamsburg

My cousin took this photo of my mother while visiting her in Sarasota a few days before Thanksgiving. She looks so radiant and eternally youthful. A beautiful rose really. She defies the odds, can I openly say she is much older (chronologically) than she looks? I wish I could tell you her age, but in respect I'll bite my tongue (damn!).

aestheis for the day

Walking into a shop, mindlessly at first, I realized that a man was walking out. In a strange attempt to spin around to hold the door for him as entering, I blocked his path. Somehow my intension was to hold the door from within for him, but in order to do this I would have to enter, pass him and then hold the door. Totally irrational, yet it is what happened. He was offended by my rudeness at cutting him off. Worse was that I wanted to explain my intension and was countered with a scoff. It is beautiful to note the humility in this encounter, how wrapped up we are in our daily motions. If I had been more present upon entering my actions would have been more thorough and also had I been more noble, I would have just said sorry.

So without further ado, to that gentlemen where ever you are, I extend my apologies.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Every once and awhile, there comes a film, so perfect in it's gripping and emotional intimacy that you are left clinging to the end of the film and beyond. Rust and Bone (De rouille et d'os) by Jacques Audiard is one of those movies. It is really a basic love story with two seemingly banal characters, but the acting by Marion Cotillard and Matthias Schoenaerts is so outstanding with a direction and cinematography that has you breathless till the end. A masterpiece in the power of human transformation.

Monday, November 26, 2012


Oh do I push you too hard at times my darling?
You linger beautifully at the mirror,
brush in hand over your silken hair.
The future flashes in coils, a spring tense as the dominos of what ifs they pass through.
I want the best for you
and it falls apart in my anxious mess of failures.
Oh linger in your vibrant youth
as you are life living.
To hell with rules, time and conformity
as there is that silken hair of yours to brush, threads of self-reflection and beauty.
Let it shine my love!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

These times have been topsy turvy. Sand in houses, water in our urban veins, children climbing horizontal trees. We wait in lines that stretch along highways and light dinners in hushed darkness. It's cold out and the wind carries held in sighs from the ballots.

And then looking down at my phone an image from a dear friend appears in my inbox. Ombre blues, fingered leaves reaching in, framed by a touch of roof at the bottom. She states, curiously, "an upside down rainbow, after Sandy".

According to the Mayan calendar, Dec. 21, 2012 marks a time of transition from one world age to another. A lifting of the veil, a revelation. The end of an era so to speak, where we are now faced collectively, with a choice to see the world in a new way. A world with global warming, super storms, and rising seas. Our children will not be following in our footsteps. Their journey will be another. And if this new life, how ever uncertain and frightening, be exactly where our humanity needs to be? That it could just very well be magical, like upside down rainbows?

photo by Judy Wong

Monday, November 5, 2012

beautifully stated


Outside my door there are things on the news. Neighbors
stagger on their walks home. A pajama-clad boy
in rain boots leaps onto a filthy tire and bounces there.
Makes you wonder. Makes you thick with grief for all
we stand to lose, stand up. Slow mucky
is the motion of sludge in a living room
buckets of sand removed in time for the wallop
of another mess, the weather. All that I could
remember, is not. I could show you me mocking the wind
arms stretched wide in the hazy damp breeze,
the salt from the ocean in the river swirling
behind me as the storm gathered.
Light agitation of the heart muscle
pumping blood with that same water in it. All
the mists, croaked in relief, storm water
come creeping into us, in our places we call
home, twisted. We, and I do mean us, this
pall comes into focus, a headache of light
when the light reveals the spanking of the day
with little to show but these dwellings:
hoses extending out from cellars burping
black water into the street, family photos
on the porch, curled and drying, artifacts
strewn on the cracked sidewalk, a damp bloated
dresser, moldy blue jeans, a pile of yellow
books fluttering in the wind as each page dries.

In the tangled remains of wind and torrid waters, the earth trembling and you on top of me, my fortune under your warmth while they suck on cold fingers. Why is it that I feel guilt in my pleasure riding free on two wheels as they below me inch away in grinding metal? And if I was the one warming my hands next to faith, my house a deck of fallen cards? Would I be rejoicing at the rays of light streaming from behind the clouds? Oh I hope so, may I remember all the gifts that have been given.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Went to see Pina Bausch's last piece "… como el musguito en la piedra, ay si, si, si …” (Like moss on a stone) at the BAM last night. The theme revolved around the Chilean landscape, deserts, folk songs and the bustling city of Santiago. In contrast to her previous Vollmond's dark and wet landscape, the scene was light and dry, with a floor that would crack open like parched earth as women in vibrant colors danced on it. It was filled with her usual absurd theatre and humor, followed by solo pieces of pure emotional expression. At times it felt a bit erratic and void of the driving energy of her earlier pieces. But there was a beauty, longing and a sadness, interactions of meeting and being pulled apart, ending as it began, one dancer- alone on stage. I couldn't help but wonder, as this being her last work, if this is how it ends, the way it begins. And all that was in-between, the joys, humor, absurdness, sadness, love and terror, come and go in vibrant flashes. Left with nothing and everything.

Monday, October 22, 2012

yellowfooted magic

Yesterday during my afternoon stroll I found myself tromping down to the stream bank not far from the house. In the summer a tangle of undergrowth by the road makes it a prickly mess to enter, but fall's thinning makes for easy access to the forest floor. The hill slopes gently to the stream and opens to a conifer canopy creating a dark and enchanting environment. The mosses were thriving in the cool moistness of the pine's shade, nourishing themselves on fallen needles. It was there on a plateau near a tributary trickling down to the banks that I found myself surrounding by a fairy ring of mushrooms.

I don't really know much about foraging mushrooms, except from stories of my mother's childhood in the woods of the Swiss Alps. I've had the fortune of dinning on black trumpets with friends along the lake of Geneva and admiring collections of wild things at markets. Out in the wilds myself, alone on top it, my exploration stop at fraise de bois, raspberries, black berries and the ocassional dandelion shoot. Certainly don't want to end up sick for days, or worst dead from an innocent mistake. What drew me to these beauties, I'm not sure. Something about them, the way they were growing, on moss and dead wood, in a ring, gave me a clue. Jumping on the internet they kept looking like winter or yellow footed chanterelles. Everything about them matched up. I went back and collected more, took photos determined to verify my find.

My "mushrooms of the northeast" search on google came up with Ari and Jenna who run The Mushroom Forager in Vermont. Their quick and enthusiastic response with confirmation of my yellow foot chanterelles was a delight. Can't wait to cook these up with butter and white wine over pasta tonight. The rest I'll dry up for winter. Yum!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

fall's abundance

Along Wolf Hollow a ray of sunlight wove its way through the trees, a beckoning light streaking the hill. I put my collection of leaves and pods on a rock and scrambled my way along the ridge following it. It was if it pulled me, a pulley of light, blinding and completely directional. Whiteness, and warm, tangled with shale trunks, orche and chartreuse flickers. It was in this light my heart felt at home, “beam me up Scotty!”, a reassuring hand on my shoulder from “him”. Is this what we long for? To return home? Yes, I think so. It is not in a lover, or a house, or anything else but there. And it is also in all those things. We long to return home.
wonderful article on Yoko Ono here:
These two lines from the writer particularly held me " It takes willpower to overpower the will to power" and "It’s paradoxical, but it seems that when you accept loss, it loses its tenacity to stay lost". Oh I want to not forget that.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

kids kids kids

sampling of art direction for Scholastic's Parent & Child. More to come!
Thank you to all the amazing talent that work so hard to make all these beautiful images happen.
(photographers: Tara Donne and Cheyenne Ellis stylists: Elizabeth Maclennan, Corinne Gill, Marcus Hay and Yael Gitai )

Friday, October 12, 2012

After 5 months of hard work, the redesign is happening: My covers from the Sept, Oct. and Nov 2012 issues of Parent & Child. Saving the best for last, december ROCKS!

This morning was painful. A sleepless night, rumpled sheets and tear damp pillows. Diving through big waves. The soft words of a beloved friend upon waking, a comfort. These dalias, a japanese maple and my shadow, reminding me that even on the humble sidewalk beauty awaits.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

on the streets

I've been turning my eye to the street these days, meditations on what becomes in front of me at any given moment. In New York this often involves others, people, dogs, beautiful like flowers and plants in a field. And just so, when I'm in the woods, the country side, my eyes turn rightfully to what I encounter there. A friend recently asked me if my subjects know that I'm taking their photo. Most of the  time I'm sly, but lately I've found myself to be bolder. Taking the courage to approach another, to share with them what I'm seeing, that I find them beautiful for whatever reason, to make a contact, touch the moment, and then, if they are willing, the photo becomes an exchange of kindness.