and i don't even like sleeping this much...

i have slept a total of sixteen hours since last night. i'm home sick again. i went to bed at nine feeling awful and woke up feeling awful. hopefully this influx of sleep, apples, and water (oh, and a handful of those mini cadbury eggs) will knock this out of me. for good.

from my bed i've
1) read the newest issue of jane 2) am on chapter six of erica jong's fear of flying 3) have read a lot of emails 4) have watched a few trashy television shows that i won't even name 5) have made a few new playlists

and now i'm going back to sleep.



is spring here? i'm sure i'm speaking too soon. i have a habit of that. i walked outside today wrapped from head to toe in a scarf, mittens, and my winter coat, and was peeling off layers by fourteenth street. it's strange that after just a couple of months of actual winter, i'd kind of forgotten what it was like to feel warm (at least in d.c., negril was more than warm.) i remembered one day in july when brian and i stopped by l'enfant, a little french restaurant on the corners of u and eighteenth streets, drank several belgian beers and then headed to meridian park for the drum circle. it was unbelievably hot, but we were able to shimmy our way into the circle and sit on a concrete ledge under a tree. it seemed like the perfect thing to do on a summer sunday. ah, warm weather.. flip flops, yoga in the park, lying on my deck to take a nap, long runs and bicycle rides, ice cream. i don't know if i could ever live somewhere where there wasn't four seasons. i love the ebb and flow.


being here.

for some reason i pictured the weekend weather as perfect for a bike ride but was wrong. i was snowed it for the majority of the weekend. friday i went to an early yoga class after work and then met with michael francis (fondly known as francis to most of his friends) who was visiting from san fran. we went to etete for lots of spongy bread and veggies and then headed to saint-ex for a few belgian beers. i hadn't seen him for at least a year, maybe two years, and it was so nice to spend the evening with someone who was a part of my life in iowa city, though it does make me a little nostalgic. seeing pieta brown at the mill, reading magazines at prairie lights and drinking a huge latte, bartending till three and then making pancakes with doug, going for long runs down governor and ending up god knows where, 109 east market (ofcourse)... but it doesn't make me nostalgic the way it used to. when i left before i was always heading back, whether i was interning in new york or studying in london, i knew i'd be going back so i could never firmly plant my feet where they were. one foot there, one foot here. but now i can make a list just as long for my life dc of the things i adore, abhore, all of the above. for once, i'm just here.

"it is often the case that whatever we are doing, be it sitting, walking, standing, or lying, the mind is frequently disengaged from the immediate reality and is instead absorbed in compulsive conceptualization about the future or past. while we are walking, we think about arriving, and when we arrive, we think about leaving. when we are eating, we think about the dishes and as we do the dishes, we think about watching television. this is a weird way to run a mind. we are not connected with the present situation, but we are always thinking about something else. too often we are consumed with anxiety and cravings, regrets about the past and anticipation for the future, completely missing the crisp simplicity of the moment."
b. alan wallace, tibetan buddhism from the ground up


excerpt from "through the looking glass" :

a human face is a particularly cooperative subject for contemplation, as our faces are such miraculous and expressive creations. from the small vicinity of your face, you are able to blush, kiss, speak, sing, and weep. it also by your face that you are recognizable, and also from your face that you are able to recognize others. more than 1,500 year ago, st. augustine wrote that he was astonished every time he walked down a city street and considered the sheer variety of human faces. what an extraordinary artist god must be, he contemplated, to create such a multiplicity of appearances using the same basic components each time: two eyes, two ears, one nose, one mouth...

elizabeth gilbert



ah, travel. the split-second decisions as simple as should i go right or left?, the surprise of new friendships, the unmatchable beauty of see(k)ing a place with fresh eyes. i danced at rastafarian reggage shows. i ate plantains and ackee. i climbed a waterfall. i got a sunburn and freckles on my nose. i was proposed to by my taxi driver. i hitchhiked a ride with a colorado bluegrass band. i did sun salutations on a cliff overlooking the ocean. i bought shell earrings on the side of the road. i awoke naturally to the sunrise. i drank red stripe before noon. i cliff jumped. i got stung by a jellyfish. i stood on my hands. i slowed down. i was able to just be without the distractions of everyday life.

"tension is who you think you should be. relaxation is who you are."
chinese proverb


cupid's day

happy valentine's day.

tomorrow i take off for jamaica for a week of yoga and sunshine and no distractions. lots of writing and musing when i return.


an adventure in motherland.


no, not that kind of love.

this is love: to fly toward a secret sky,
to cause a hundred veils to fall each moment.
first, to let go of live.
in the end, to take a step without feet;
to regard this world as invisible,
and to disregard what appears to be the self.

heart, i said, what a gift it has been
to enter this circle of lovers,
to see beyond seeing itself,
to reach and feel within the breast.


a different sort of morning.

this morning i woke up at five to a two-year-old heel kicking me in the stomach. liam wanted his "binky" and once i'd found it, he snuggled back under the covers for a two more hours of sleep. i, on the other hand, couldn't sleep. i started worrying about getting them both dressed for school, fed, and dropped off at daycare in time. the worries were completely unjustified though. we all glided through our own morning routines - mine being a shower, mascara, and my bag packed, liam and turner's being pirates, dinosaurs, dragons, avoiding getting dressed, and toaster strudels. i decided to get a chai before dropping them off at daycare. turner opted to sit in the car, but liam wanted to come along. while i stood in line, liam wandered around falling down, getting back, falling down again. i kept laughing at him, as did everyone else in the shop, and helping him back up. only when we got outside did i realize that his bright green snow boots were very obviously on the wrong feet.

"who is this young delinquent mother who can't dress her son?"


but now i'm back to only dressing myself, and my boots are always on the right feet.


stand-in mommy

i am forty-three hours into what my mother refers to as "mommy basic training." for three days, i've swept into a beautiful, cottage-like house on alexandria avenue to play mother to four- and two-year old boys. my evenings have consisted of chicken nuggets, scooby doo, dirty diapers, imaginary pirates, bubble baths, and a nine-thirty bedtime. the first night i was here i put both boys in their beds and lay down in my bed to read. i made it about 1/10 down the first page until both boys were back in the bed wanting to sleep with me. liam had no explanation but turner said he has nightmares about a cloaked man with red eyes and a crow on his shoulder. i told him to wake me if the man ever came to visit. he didn't. the past two mornings i've awoken at sunrise to one little boy nestled into the curve of my stomach and another with his arm around my back. i don't dare move and wake them, so i just lie there and soak in this wonderful, and so very different, lifestyle.

my twenty-one year-old brother came to visit yesterday. liam was dressed in a spiderman outfit with bright green snow boots and turner as a pirate. we took them for pizza on king street and walked around - turner on john's shoulders and me swinging liam around on every street corner. liam's laugh is straight from the belly, no hesitation, and turner, who is a little shyer, is a treasure chest of stories and ideas once he knows you're one of the "good guys." john and i brought the kids back and we watched a pirate movie on their big white bed. john dozed off and when he woke up he said, "this is such a good day. such a good day." and it's true. as much as i love my twenty-three year-old life, and all of its crazy ups and downs and discoveries, it's amazing to be a part of this nest. i know that i will someday build one of my own.


is there an elephant in this room?

in eat, pray, love elizabeth gilbert is talking with ketut liyer, the balinese medicine man, about god.

"i have a good idea, for if you meet some person from different religion, and he want to make argument about god. my idea is, you listen to everything this man say about god. never argue about god with him. best thing to say is, 'i agree with you.' then you go home, pray what you want. this my idea for people to have peace about religion."

we are always drawing lines, naming names, averting our eyes. you are this, i am that. i see it most clearly living in a city that has been plagued with racism for decades. people are most comfortable when a person is doing what is expected of them, but when we challenge life and challenge what we want from it, this is scary and unsafe. the most important thing we can do to step away from these lines is to stop drawing them, and to do that you have to start a conversation.

growing up in a small midwestern town, i was exposed to only one religion - catholicism. there were sprinklings of other religions across town - lutheran, methodist, episcopalian - but my parent's dinner group was comprised of mostly catholics who spoke mostly of catholics and therefore my social foundation had already been laid before i could really define the term. i was in no way raised to discriminate against people with different beliefs; parents took us around the world, they signed us up for a variety of classes, they had friends from all walks of life. but even early on, i knew catholicism didn't fit me. i couldn't relate in any way to cain and abel, i didn't like the never ending rules, and i absolutely abhored catechism class with my peers. so around age seventeen i started searching. i tried a few different churches. i pored through books - sufism, judaism, existentialism. all interesting, but still wasn't sure how to get started. don't they need to initiate you or something? i'd grown up in such a ritualistic (and beautiful) religion, that i did not understand that you could just be.

by nature i've always been spiritual. i love art. i pray. i take long walks. i crave connection. i love hearing about what inspires other people - their beliefs, art, loves, lifestyles. i'm on a quest to find out what fits me, though it most certainly might not fit the next person and my own beliefs today might not fit two years from now. today it's pablo neruda, the yoga sutra, ecclesiastes, hil st. soul. this is what i believed when i was eighteen (much of which is the same)...

"i believe in love. i believe in daydreaming during every quiet moment. i believe in losing yourself to find yourself again. i believe my little brother is going to have a lot less heartache, and be stronger. i believe in days dedicated to green tea, long naps and a good book. i believe in traveling lightly and often. i believe in black and white photographs. i believe in sleeping in late. i believe in kisses on the nose. i believe in change. i believe in long drives with good music and good conversation. i believe in rock and roll. i believe we should embrace, rather than criticize. i believe in mistakes. i believe that no person or situation is black and white, nor should be treated like it is."

when i found yoga, i found middle ground. the term yoga actually means "union" in sanskrit. it is spirituality without the stifling parameters and requests. you are just to be. it's like a big comfy sweater that is loose warms when you're a child and something that fits you better but still allows you room for growth when you are an adult. this is the core essence of my being, and the way that i explore or communicate this is my decision. it's the lens through which i view the world.

"we are not human beings having a spiritual experience. we are spiritual beings having a human experience."
teilhard de chardin

i know that religion is something not to be taken lightly. when disagreed upon it can incite a hell of a lot of anger - whether that is an argument at a dinner party or a decade-long war. but i believe it something beautiful and integral that should be explored. i pass no judgement on anyone's beliefs and wish the same from others. xoxo.

i would like to live in this photograph.

please? pretty please?

(from boligliv)


the past few days my insides have felt jumbled up and tangled together, with no real starting or ending point. nothing frustrates me more than feeling "off" and having no idea why. so what do i do? sit down with a pen and some paper and trying to figure out what the hell is going on. my ex-boyfriend always used to laugh and say i tried to rationalize things too much in order to figure them out. "just let it be," he'd say, though he could never do it himself. "you won't feel this way forever." but it's not that i wanted so much to rationalize it and pinpoint a problem, like you do when you have the flu. it's just that sometimes i feel too full (whether it's happiness or yuck) and i have to let some of it spill out. what came out on the page wasn't so much a problem, just me being overwhelmed with all of this living. i'm overwhelmed with being engaged by what's around me and overwhelmed by how much more i want to do. i just need to slow down a bit.

so today that's what i did. woke up slowly, made myself some eggs, got an almond latte, walked to work sans headphones, and really looked around. my equilibrium rediscovered.

"i write entirely to find out what i'm thinking, what i'm looking at, what i see and what it means. what i want and what i fear."

joan didion


nathan: how'd it go?
me: good. not sure i want to get involved with a boy again though.
nathan: what'd he do?
me: nothing. he couldn't have been more charming.
nathan: become a houseplant. then all you'll need is water.

well said my friend.



over brunch a couple of months ago, jeri called me introverted. "introverted?" i said. we'd just spent the prior evening dancing, laughing, running down fourteenth street. "it's not a bad thing," she said laughing at my reaction, thinking she meant i didn't even enjoy being around people. "you just recharge from being alone rather than from being around a huge group of people." she was right. i am introverted, and i had a completely misconstrued conception of what that meant. i felt like i was still carrying a little fifth-grade fear of being found out that i'd rather stay home and finish reading roald dahl then go to the skate along downtown. (my hangouts and reading preferences have since changed.)

i'm moving into a studio apartment in a couple of months so that i can walk around in my underwear, listen to the same songs on repeat, and go to bed as early as i want. i'm taking a trip to jamaica alone in a couple of weeks. i like to spend the occasional weekend evening alone in my pjs watching old black and white movies. but i also love being around people. i'm always looking for inspiration - books, quotations, bands, art, whatever it might be. i was confused by this when i was younger. was i the social butterfly type? or the book-loving coffee shop girl? it took me all through college, and living in a couple of very large, daunting cities, to realize that i could be both. some of my loneliest times were ones that i was surrounded with hundreds of people.

settling into my post-college life has allowed me a balance. since i'm not a bartender anymore (thank god) i don't have to muster up the energy to serve perfect strangers pint after pint. instead i get to sit cross legged at my desk editing copy, drinking tea, and today listening to the be good tanyas. and i have a choice at the end of the day - head home to put on pajama pants and finish the book i've delved into or head out for a cup of coffee with a friend. i think today is the sort of day for the second option.


very much a monday.

today is just one of those days. the sort of day where you hit snooze for an hour, panic, then run around the house in a frenzy wishing you were still in bed. it till pass - the jumbled emotions, the bad hair day, the cold temperatures. it always does.

here's a few beautiful poems i enjoyed reading today:

this was once a love poem, by jane hirshfield
tear it down, by jack gilbert
on turning ten, by billy collins
falling and flying, by jack gilbert

more yoga speak

from my studio:

yoga is about honoring the body as our first home, and keeping it safe at all times.

because sometimes we need to feel a little unsafe in order to effect change, right? surely a butterfly emerging from its cocoon doesn’t feel totally safe, but i would suggest that it feels trust. when we are facing our demons in meditation, or handstand, or in a deep backbend, playing the edge of safety is, in effect, deepening your trust in the fact that it’s all good. i don’t think we feel safe in a hailstorm, but we have to trust that she’s throwing ice down on us for a reason.



i woke up slowly today, lying in my bed and looking out the window. i didn't have yoga for two hours and i thought some bed-time was in order. i read for awhile; i'm reading "eat, pray, love" for the second time. i made tea. i took a long walk to work, stopping in a boutique on fourteenth to buy some beaded earrings to wear to the party tonight.

when i got home i had an email from my mom. "elizabeth gilbert will be in dc at three o'clock on saturday." it was 2:40. i threw my laptop on the couch, grabbed a jacket, grabbed my copy of the book still on my bedstand from the morning, and went running to u street (literally sprinting) to hop into a cab. when i got to the bookstore there were a couple hundred people there but i was able to sit crosslegged in the very front since everyone else was in chairs. i can't explain how happy and bewildered i was to be there. the other day i was looking at her website which has a large photograph of her, barefaced with open eyes, and i thought, wow i'd really like to know her, or just sit across from her. and here i was sitting across from elizabeth gilbert who was as barefaced and open-eyed and absolutely beautiful as i'd imagined while reading her travel tales. i felt like a ten-year-old who was sitting across from justin timberlake.

she told this story:
in the midst of her divorce she was standing inside a post office in new york, her face pressed up against the cold marble, utterly exhausted from all of the pain she was going through. she made a bargain with herself - "liz, if you can find just one beautiful thing in this city today, you are allowed to go home and throw yourself on the couch and fall apart." she stepped outside of the post office, ready to conquer this obstacle, and there were four elephants walking down 8th avenue covered in sequins with show girls standing atop. they were heading to the circus at madison square garden.

she spoke of our insatiable appetite for the "quest" and how important that quest is inside of your heart and while traveling through the world. she talked about the little omens she receives everyday and how important those are to her. she spoke of how important it is to listen to every little movement in your heart and to follow that.

i am so grateful for this day.

we try so hard to hang on to the teachings and "get it," but actually the truth sinks in like rain into very hard earth. the rain is very gentle, and we soften up slowly at our own speed. but when that happens, something has fundamentally changed in us. that hard earth has softened. it doesn't seem to happen by trying to get it or capture it. it happens by letting go; it happens by relaxing your mind, and it happens by the aspiration and the longing to want to communicate with yourself and others. each of us finds our own way.

pema chodron



after my jamaica news this morning, i feel even more grateful for everything that has happened these past few months - both inside and outside of me - and i think a big universal thank you is in order.

thank you
/for my brother's presence in dc this spring/for my daily yoga practice/for my new cozy slippers/for my roommates' laughter and comfort/for amanda's visit to buenos aires/for my stove top espresso pot/for christina's internship/for the stack of books i have next to my bed/for funny text messages from heith/for keeping me safe/for the beautiful inspiration through the blogs i read everyday/for the people i pass in my neighborhood who extend even the tiniest hello/for my health and the health of those i love/for my walk to work every morning along rhode island avenue/for the weekend i had in iowa city/for my family (i can't even put that thank you into words)/for my blue row house/for alyssa's gift of chai tea/for letters from anna/for the new coffee shop on fourteenth street/for amel larrieux's newest album/for my cowboy boots/for the great coworkers & friends at national geographic/for long walks no matter where they're headed/for live music/for making me realize how much happiness i'm capable of/for my buddha necklace/for marie's impending visit/for my moleskin journals/for blue moon beer/for my red room/for my love affair with dc/for making me aware of my own strength/for my childhood/for my freelance assignments/




a reflection on january

seventy-degree bike ride to clarendon/my evergrowing addiction to soy lattes/john in the city!/hatha yoga/susanne's lovely birthday party/jazz at utopia/eastern market/buying erica jong at capitol hill bookstore/the joy of cooking which still hasn't been opened/finding balance in every aspect/freelancing/ringing in the new year with "prairie home companion"/one snow day/john's insane twenty-first birthday party/sleeping in/reading eat, pray & love again

in other news (and i hope i'm not speaking too soon) i may be leaving in two weeks for a five-day yoga retreat in jamaica. fingers, toes, and anything else that can be crossed is. i'm just waiting to hear if they have an open room. please, please, please!