Now I become myself. It's taken time, many years and places...

 - May Sarton








The wingbeat of December has been filled with leisurely days and small winter pleasures. Replacing the moth perforated geraniums in the front flowerpots with fresh scarlet pointsettias and repotting the window boxes with vibrant red and white cyclamen added a festive air. A trip to Arizona to spend some holiday time with my mom, friends and family sweetened the season as well. 

Bud has had time off and we've strung popcorn and cranberries for our pencil pine, made kitchen messes with homemade fudge and gingerbread house assembly, sipped steamy cups of wassail stirred with cinnamon sticks, and have read Pablo Neruda's Memoirs and The Catcher in the Rye aloud at twilight. I've been forcing Red Lion and Dancing Queen amaryllis and paperwhite bulbs in indoor canisters throughout the house. They surprise me each day with new bits of growth, color and bloom. Friends came over for Eve dinner (the traditional chili and tamales I've had for Eve dinner since I can remember, only now they are vegetarian and gluten free). 

There are no snowmen in Santa Monica, though we do still have the company of incandescent hummingbirds and the black phoebe that's been singing here since spring.

I hope your season has been filled with so much joy.






he was a golden moment

Central Park, NYC 1999


Big Sur, CA 2010


It's been a year since we've snuggled up to these spots

or seen the happy swish of his wagging tail.

Life with him was evergreen and enchanted.

I feel forever blessed.




cafe life



I saw a cafe...The smallness of it, the intimacy of it, the humanity of its proportion, the absence of arrogance, the absence of gloss and glitter touched me and once again opened me to tenderness as Paris has always done...One could sit there and feel unique, in tune with the world, or out of tune, feel human, open to human emotions and wanting to weep. One could sit there if one felt the world too big, too barbaric, and once more experience a human setting, a proper setting for a human being who does not feel arrogant, glossy, powerful. The small cafe and tenderness were not gone, the patina of much living, the worn, the tired, the wistful, my cafe, my Paris, where a soul can be a little worn, where it does not have to be shop-new, shop-glossy, hard and brittle.

- Anais Nin (Paris Revisited)


parisian carousel


* shot with an old Polaroid SX-70 with expired 600 film






What a swirl these last few weeks have been! After nine days in Paris I returned home to my dear family just in time for vegetarian gluten free Thanksgiving preparations. There was an evening at a David Sedaris reading that predictably had us aching with laughter. There was a drive along the coast and up into the canyon where the trees are still embracing their yellow with all of their might. Along the way a white convertible with a trio of dalmatian passengers grabbed our attention and affection. There's been catching up on glowing seaside sunsets and chocolate mousse prepared in the midnight hours by a thoughtful husband. My nose is often in a book, Rave's face and paws on my lap while I catch my breath and find my daily routine again.

Along our street some front doors are still flanked by uncarved pumpkins, others adorned with Christmas wreaths. An abandoned "lemonade: 25 cents" sign from the neighbor kids' sale last Saturday (when the temperature veered past 80 degrees) adds to the mix. Today the waves rumbled and the briny air filled my lungs with satisfaction.

Most mornings since my return I have awakened with images of Paris in my mind from a leftover dream. They are not experiences from this trip, yet they feel like they belong to me. They seem important somehow but by the time I open my eyes and reach for a pen they have faded and fled.