Thursday, November 18, 2010

accepting whatever comes

asheville, nc

punkin patch

i am taking the GRE tomorrow morning. my stomach has been summersaulting all sorts of ways for the past few weeks. i don't think i am actually nervous about the exam itself, but because this is the first tangible part of my application process for graduate school, which scares me because everyone seems to be taking a year off. and my portfolio is only 70% finished, and i want to have this all ready before christmas. eep. entonces, i am trying to be unafraid.

on the bright side, my grades this semester are the best they've ever been, living with people i LOVE in casa de color/babe ciudad is so much fun and everything i need, mariposas, and i just spent my birthday with ALL OF MY BEST FRIENDS in savannah/asheville/hendersonville/atlanta. still intoxicated with autumn colors.

can't wait to go home to be with all of my family, be vegetarian on thanksgiving, and visit the ringling. hehe yay

my punkins



frost, hendersonville nc

triple falls, hendsonville nc

Monday, November 15, 2010

for my friends on the west coast

San Francisco

I used to think California was the Florida of the west coast,
but snowbirds don't flock there, your summers are cold.
Your city name christened Yerba Buena, (the good herb, what irony)
Or perhaps from Saint Francis of Assisi.
Are there stigmata in your hands? In your bridges? Have you ascended yet?

Or are you lost in the grime near the Victorian charm,
where the unique boutiques are really all the same,
but far enough from the trap of the barking on the wharf?
Can you find the piss scented jardín de zapatos, on top of Alamo Square?

Did you know my mother's kin is in the top room of City Lights,
the one with the chairs worn smooth from the bottoms of the beatniks?
"An individual spiderweb identifies a species," he wrote;
his audience heedless to his Identity in a tiny, seed studded town.

But you, your seeds are now in nassella pulchra, and in yellow poppies,
(I plucked one once, it closed in my slumber,)
in impossible heights; in points and hills:
Presidio, Portrero, Parnassus, Portsmouth.

At the north end of the Golden Gate, take the exit at Alexander Ave.
Apparently the colors are best in winter, high as redwoods, wide as the bay.
Cartier-Bresson, voyeurism, and Thiebaud's Three Wind Toys,
the print I thought wouldn't fit on the plane.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

sometimes catharsis is a double standard.

Sunday, October 31, 2010


being something scary/bloody/gory for the first time beats dressing cute/funny/skanky.

happy halloween punkins

Monday, October 11, 2010

the cat's pajamas

the cat's pajamas, colored pencil on paper, 9x12, 2010.

you told us there was nothing greater than a husband,
until you have children.
nothing greater than children, until you hold your first grandchild,
because your grandchildren are the cat's pajamas.

but grandma pauline, your crooked fingers,
that once delicately ran over white and black,
that studied at Juilliard, that taught, that held,
that mixed banana and mayonnaise behind an art deco countertop

amidst an olive green home, (a color i will never understand why was popular)
with the clothesline in the backyard,
in between the double beds in your room, beside the train set downstairs,
when it was always fall in Asheville,

exist more in my mind than you in your wheelchair
always waiting at your door, your abanico in hand,
the humility that has finally replaced your frustration
at being ninety three with early dementia after multiple strokes
and not being able to come over on sunday anymore.

i remember those things, that old musky scent
and the way you still smell like jergens lotion.
the way you tell us not to run through life holding umbrellas,
with much repetition, out of so much pride and joy.

you are the cat's pajamas.

my assignment for atx this week was to draw a person we love, and to write a corresponding poem. this is my grandmother pauline, who is 93, and who i am blessed to have still living so close to my family's home. "the cat's pajamas" remains one of her favorite (and most endearing) phrases.

Monday, September 27, 2010

found objects

fallen patterns, mixed media (watercolor, pencil, leaves, paper) 9x12, 2010.

my assignment this week in art therapy was to make a found object collage/painting.
a few weeks ago, while waiting outside the painting annex for class, i found this beautiful leaf that i've been keeping in my planner, a reminder that fall is right around the corner. today outside my house, i found another leaf about the same size (the yellow one) which i pasted into my sketchbook with part of a map of spain. the pattern and colors on the leaf are very similar to the mapping. i then sketched and painted with watercolor a pear that fell from our tree during last night's storm. i had forgotten how much i enjoyed painting with water color, and will probably be experimenting more with it soon. the negative space between the pear and the leaves and map is painted with very rushed strokes, which was cathartic for the stress i am dealing with right now. (three exams and a paper this week.)
but... here is to autumn, my favorite time of year.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010


scribble drawing, marker on paper, 18x24, 2010.

the scribble drawing, created (independently) by art therapists cane and winnecott, is a technique used to reduce inhibitions and liberate imagery from the unconscious. basically, you use a self made scribble as an visual beginning for an image.

in class, kharta and i made scribbles using blue and green markers. out of those chaotic, yet flowery lines, we found three very abstract figures. my favorite is the open mouthed figure on the right, mainly because the profile reminds me of picasso. the middle floating figure has its arms up in a apathetic gesture, and the bottom left seems to be throwing up. we couldn't resist coloring in a tongue. kharta and i were able to keep a similar rhythm flowing in our lines, working together to mirror the design and direction. i love this class.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

learning to be still

i miss the simplicity of a life full of intricate plans, never time to think too hard, to read between lines that don't exist. i miss spain, all of its adventures, its corners, its people, its golden late night glows. even though my spirit was so wilted. i miss tallahassee. everyone there.

we're all in this dance.
i need my song to change.

i am not without hope, only throwing my mountains & giants into the sea. i know what comes out of times like these. these are my streams in the desert.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

above the archway, it is painted:

be not inhospitable to strangers, lest they be angels in disguise.



oscar wilde
and the
pare le chais
is one of
the most beautiful
(and one of
my favorite)
places in paris.

je me suis mise a écouter la musique et jai oublié mais un air de piano vaut tout...
paris is a delightfully lovely city when rid of a lazy lot.

which memories do i hold onto?
regardless, i will never stop loving her monuments.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


andalucia. a name as pretty as the stripes and arches of ancient stones born from al-andalus, when the moors reigned this region. in the south of this iberian peninsula that i absolutely adore.

cordoba was first, the mezquita and its stripes of red and white, too many for eyes to focus amongst such ornate design. so interesting, to see a cathedral sitting squat inside a mosque that way. but so beautiful.

sevilla, my favorite, open and wide. Plaza de Espana, where parts of Planet Nabu (star wars!) was filmed. world fair pavillions and gardens so green, but the children would only stare at the ducks swimming in the fountain water, when the photos i took were tinted so blue.
the cathedral was beautiful, the bell tower views spread so nice, but really, columbus' skeleton? i "saw" them in la republica dominicana too. a shame his brittle little discoverin' bones have been jumbled about across oceans so much.

my two favorite photos

granada, the alhambra. like walking on holy ground. generalife. hen-air-alh-lee-fay. swishing of red and the claps of fierce looking women and fabio men, spanish guitar to make us melt. the flamenco show was most enjoyable. i smoked sheesha for the first time, light and dizzy and apple flavored sweetness. pakistani tea with milk&honey, leaves slippin in my sips like the smoke was slipping into the silk. those cushions weren't as comfortable as they looked. the nightlife was best; too many tasty tapas and taps at the tables and we were all too cozy and drunk to find home again.

it was a lovely few days, however rushed we were.

Sunday, March 14, 2010


these views were worth the weekend.
not the largest, not the oldest; but the most important cathedral in spain.

toledo: forty minute train ride from madrid.
we almost missed the train, we even had to run: too obsessed with the fresh zumo de naranja, siempre sin azucar: no lo necesita. i loved the cypress trees, the agave plants (that weren't quite as rare as we thought) the sandy clustered rooftops, this gym of a city on a hill we climbed and clawed and clustered our way through. el greco and his ghostly faces, our sideways lunch; i can get the check right quick? gotta stop for souvs!

love is not a victory march

my first weekend trip was to madrid, in january.

mainly madrid was full of my melting memories and magnificent museums, nicecream, the best sangria i've still yet to taste, and for the first time knowing why anyone (l) loves cold, grey weather, and seeing that beauty in the swirling lyrics in my head. we made the most of those shin splints.

windmills from windows, beirut in my ears.

it's a cold and it's a broken hallelujah.

optical illusions

exhausted conclusions.
i cannot count our endless cafes con leches.
we loved el azul.

museo nacional del prado, la reina sofia, y museo thyssen-bornemisza were breathtaking and overwhelming in the best way possible. even better than anything paris has to offer.

the winged victory of samothrace

how hollow do our hearts become when afflicted with a loss? i have hurt so hard being across an ocean, separated from my family, when this is my first more intimate experience with death.
trying to find solace in the fact that my uncle left amidst his passions, understanding that God's timing is perfect, though i cannot comprehend it.

rest in peace, Uncle Tom. i'll look through my lens for you now.

i have never experienced such a vast realm of emotions as this past week has brought, either. (sadness, emptiness, worry, annoyance, anger, more hurt.) and i am homesick for the first time. still so in love with my city, but no longer trying my hardest to extend my stay. this won't be the last time this continent is at my fingertips, my eyes in the windows of its trains and my breath held up high in its planes. such a mix of feeling too young, but being hit with the fact that life is so so short.

norby families:)

grandma pauline wishes she could have been there, too.

last time he visited orlando, he said so many of the funniest things
that will stick out to us the most:)

Thursday, February 11, 2010

do the photographs i've taken make me look blind?

it's knowing i might not figure myself out with my heart strung across the globe.

but liking & loving all the same:

the way spain sounds so separate from the hardscrabble mango town poured into the sweat of my navy bandana. (the side of hispanola that didn't shake.)

the way the windmills look from moving windows;
the ones where sunlight tickles my skin through panes as cold as ice & the sounds in my head remind me of my j's and l's and t's. especially when hallelujah resonated through all the spirals in mis orejas you described the time when things almost became complicated. grey skies were never so beautiful.

el jardin de las delicias & guernica & the death of murat & las meninas & the third of may & descent from the cross.
the green skies of van gogh and too many gauguins for me to handle at once.
and did you know they still say fish is expensive? because i didn't and was yelled at for filming these things.

almost missing the train to toledo, where el greco was birthed and birthed all those repetitive ghostly faces that float on choking frills. all the buildings the color of summer sand, where even the rust on the shingles caught my eye through the lens.

fast forward.
sick like the two times in north georgia, plus my nose dripping into purple & hands on my back that make me fall too hard again. when will i ever say no to falling?

cordoba & sevilla & granada.
arches of red and white and so many intricacies in these magnificent places, when people had the patience to create for hundreds of years on end. mixing religions & styles i used to not like.
planet nabu, wide avenidas, silhouettes in carved windows and children more excited to see feathers in the water.
taps at the bar and really, too many tapas: oh yes, ain't that fresh? and shower water bleeding onto the floor.

the way i loved bruxelles,
even when the train stopped because of an accident involving a person; and how that sent chills into my bones more than cold curdling blood when we thought we'd freeze. disappearing compositions: silver and white.
the way cocoa powder wouldn't let go of the corners of my lips
grime across the table tops and dungeon corners:
la porte noir & la fleur en papier dore. ours.
really, it was all innocent.

when waking up not alone feels too alone but tastes from home fix these things.
i'm not even sure who i miss anymore.

Saturday, January 9, 2010


flying away from a sunset and the gold & baby green of electrostatic grids into a sunrise in the land of fast speaks & late nights and the beginning this experience that's as black as flying above the atlantic ocean when the time zones intertwine and change, and has it even hit me yet?
valencia is beautiful. and i've only seen un pequito parte of its avenues and cobbled streets and parks and tastes and people. but its oozing with color, even in this biting cold.

plaza de la virgen