TA-NEHISI COATES | IMAGINING A NEW AMERICA

With Krista Tippet, On Being  ♥

FIVE YEARS ( + 2 = 7 )

“The point of marriage is not to create a quick commonality by tearing down all boundaries; on the contrary, a good marriage is one in which each partner appoints the other to be the guardian of his solitude, and thus they show each other the greatest possible trust. A merging of two people is an impossibility, and where it seems to exist, it is a hemming-in, a mutual consent that robs one party or both parties of their fullest freedom and development. But once the realization is accepted that even between the closest people infinite distances exist, a marvellous living side-by-side can grow up for them, if they succeed in loving the expanse between them, which gives them the possibility of always seeing each other as a whole and before an immense sky.”

♥  Rainer Maria Rilke  ♥ 

A week ago, we were forced to evacuate our home at 1 AM when the Thomas fire started creeping over Sulphur Mountain towards our property. As we drove out of Ojai, to our left the entire ridge that separates Ojai from Ventura was in flames. Visibility on highway 101 was already poor because of the smoke. Junior was in the back seat crying, Mr Mr was running all sorts of scenarios out loud. All I cared about is that we were out of there and on our way to safety. Without fail, everyone asked me what I had grabbed and the truth is, that while we had loads of time before departing, aside from a weekender full of jeans, t-shirts, shoes and toiletries (which is pretty much always packed and ready to go), all I took were the box of my wedding photos, an original photo of my parents on their wedding day, and one of me and my brother. Faced with the possible loss of all your personal belongings, I nabbed what so many people do; family photographs.

While Mr Mr returned the following morning to Ojai to stay with our house and protect the property by setting up a defense perimeter, Junior and I headed even further south to better air. In the end, most of Ojai was spared, there wasn’t a single loss of property on our road, and the incredible, tireless firefighters did an excellent job of keeping Thomas away from our town.

I’ve lived in Ojai for nearly 6.5  years now. An urbanite to the core, I can nevertheless appreciate its natural beauty and the respite it offers me from my hard going travels. As it is the home of My Mr + My Monkey, it is now also my home. These past 7 years have been filled with so much love, so much generosity, adventure, kindness, and spiritual evolution. I am married to the most spectacular human being I have ever known. Not a day goes by that I don’t consider this a complete miracle, one for which  I am deeply grateful.

My life is filled to the brim with so many blessings.

♥ ♥ ♥ I love you, Mr Mr! ♥ ♥ ♥

♥ ♥ ♥ I love you, MonkeyDoodle! ♥ ♥ ♥

#loveisloveisloveislove

all photographs |  ♥ Roger Thompson ♥

SOMETIMES

I fall in love with that one
glimpse of her from behind,
something about the bend of her arm,
the tilt of her head now, listening,
or simply the weight and sheen of her hair,
hoping sooner or later she may turn,
that she might be someone I loved once,
or the other me I sense now
standing beside me may have loved.

Dan Gerber | from A Primer on Parallel Lives, 2007

Juana Olga Barrios | Primitivos, 2017

by Austin Kleon

FILMS 2017

Planning my year-end avoidance of all things Christmas (mindless, consumer, herd mentality, although the lights are nice . . . ) and (which I avoided even as a child) by watching and reading. I was always smart that way.

CALIFORNIA

It is hard for people who have not lived in Los Angeles to realize how radically the Santa Ana figures in the local imagination. The city burning is Los Angeles’s deepest image of itself… Los Angeles weather is the weather of catastrophe, of apocalypse, and, just as the reliably long and bitter winters of New England determine the way life is lived there, so the violence and the unpredictability of the Santa Ana affect the entire quality of life in Los Angeles, accentuate its impermanence, its unreliability. The wind shows us how close to the edge we are.

Joan Didion | Slouching Towards Bethlehem

MAD LISTEN | ELLEN LANGER

Her unconventional studies have long suggested what neuroscience is now revealing: Our experiences are formed by the words and ideas we attach to them. Naming something play rather than work — or exercise rather than labour — can mean the difference between delight and drudgery, fatigue or weight loss. What makes a vacation a vacation is not only a change of scenery, but the fact that we let go of the mindless everyday illusion that we are in control. Ellen Langer says mindfulness is achievable without meditation or yoga. She defines it as “the simple act of actively noticing things.”

via On Being

LIKE A PRAYER

PRAYING FOR CALIFORNIA

. . . for our tireless fire fighters, for our terrified and homeless wildlife, for everyone who has lost her home, for the police and paramedics, for all the volunteers. ♥

THE HANDSY MAN

THE SILENCE BREAKERS | #METOO

NYT

Washington Post

I’d write more, but I’m trying to keep the flames licking at our property’s edges from consuming our house. Suffice it to say this is a watershed moment. May this movement continue doing the important work of shedding light on this systemic abuse.

#metoo

#thefureisfemale