Studio time by Christina Rosalie


Hello friends,
I can hardly believe that summer's (almost) over. It was everything summer's supposed to be: Art and sun and wine and friends. Late evenings and late mornings. If I'm totally honest, I'm reluctant to head back to the constraints and rhythms of school.
Summer's moments of extra light and days without schedule allowed for more time for making, and I've been taking every advantage of that.
I thought I'd share a few glimpses into my studio and a new series of paintings that I'm making. The paintings are on much bigger canvases than I've ever painted on before, and I feel like the rules have changed. They're experimental and unfamiliar and all I want to do is spend time with a brush in my hand, following where the ink and paint take me.
One of the biggest pieces began as a compilation of the 100 circles I made for the 100 Day Project. It felt incredibly risky, and then incredibly freeing to paint over that work. To let it evolve, become more.
This is something I've been exploring in general lately: How to not be too precious with things. How to let things go easily, and move towards the things that fill me up or move me in the moment, without needing to cling to them, or to contain them.
This is a theme I've also been exploring over on Tumblr, making 100 poems for 100 days. They're raw, in the moment gestures that allow me to slip around the side door to my subconscious and tap into the stuff my heart knows, but my mind tends to get too clever about. Like I did with the 100 circles project, I've made the rule set super simple for these poems: In the moment, wherever I am, without much fuss or editing. Just write. Hit publish. Let go. It's pretty sneaky how this work has started to change me.
How showing up for real, without doing much talking about it, or procrastinating, or posturing, has made me a better artist and a better writer. It takes a certain kind of daring and discipline I'd lost for a while, and I'm grateful to have rekindled it this summer.




I'm deeply filled by this new approach to work, in a way I didn't expect, and can't quite put a finger on, except to say: Each time I show up, I feel myself become re-grounded. I find my breath differently. It's become a practice, again, anew.
Thanks for stopping by. I'm so grateful for the scattered community that still finds its way here. And I'd love to hear what you've been up to this summer, and see glimpses, if you have them to share, of your creative practice, your work, your workspaces. xo, C

The quiet is on purpose by Christina Rosalie

           SelfPortrait_ChristinaRosalie The quiet is on purpose. I've been gathering and holding close the moments as they come. Time for stillness. Evenings with books. The occasional afternoon when I can slip away at work and walk with my turquoise Hunter boots fingerless gloves down to the peer, over snowy grass or mud or pebbles, to watch the water move and feel the sky grow bigger there, unobstructed by things made by the human hand.   The quiet is my way of starting out the year: between the new year and my birthday, 26 days exactly to dwell and ruminate; to take inventory of where I've been and where I'm headed. What I've done, and what I long to do.   And maybe this year, more than any other year, I've needed the quiet. Craved it, like a hunger, all the way down to my bones after nearly four years of non-stop creating. First Sprout, then Kickstarter, then grad school, then writing A Field Guide To Now, then a new job, then the book launch, and now, finally here. A new year. I'll be 35 at the end of this week.   That feels significant. A year for becoming... in new ways. Hence the reason I've changed things up around here design wise. I've been wanting things to be simple. To be just enough, nothing more. Room for art and words photographs and enough white space also for some breathing room. I hope you like it.   I'm also planning some truly lovely, simple things for this space. A little daily collaboration with one of my dearest friends. The most wonderful interview series I could ever imagine, slowly coming together with some of the most incredible creatives I know.   And quite soon, quite soon indeed, I'll be having a pay-what-you-can studio sale, to make way in my small corner of the world for new work. If you'd like to be among the very first to know--and get a special sneak peak before it goes live for everyone else, sign up for my newsletter here. I'll be sending an update out before the end of the week, and you don't want to miss it. Really.

A glimpse at right now: by Christina Rosalie


California was rain. At turns soft and steady and other times torrential, filling the concave places curbside with wide lakes the color of coffee, to be splashed at unsuspecting passer-by as cars churned passed.California was palm trees and bougainvilleas and trumpet flowers and a wild abundance of deciduous trees still with golden leaves even in early December, the sidewalks strewn with flecks of yellow like so many fallen stars. It was a trip on the tail-end of the stomach flu; it was dizziness at the airports and sleeping in uncomfortable positions on the plane, and all of it was worth it to see my dearest friends with new babies, and to do a reading in a beautiful loft, celebrating my book with the people who knew me when I was who I was then: a California girl, back in high school, with windy hair and a crooked-toothed smile.   I hadn't seen some of them in 16 years, but seeing them again felt familiar in the way riding a bike is familiar after not riding for years. You just know. You remember. There is body memory to the hugs; and a timber and depth to the laughter. It was the first time, really, that I felt myself reveling, a little bit, in the accomplishment of writing a book. It was a lovely way to wind the season down: seeing my book in the hands of friends and loved ones.   And now I'm back, with rain here too at the end of this dirt road. The warmest winter we've had here in my memory; the ground still soft and the air sweet with decomposing leaves and ozone as the wind blows in and the clouds lift, revealing the cerulean bowl above. In the morning, the boys run down the hall to find what the Advent Fairy has brought. She slips into our house on fairy wings, bringing special notes and tiny gifts; and after dinner the boys write loving notes to her: Bean, with uneven printing and phonetically spelling and a zillion questions about her wings and adventures and magical names; and Sprout, who has just learned to write the letters of his name, practices them gleefully on snippets of colored construction paper that he carefully cuts.   There are just a handful of days really; two weeks exactly before we slip away again for a holiday adventure as a family. And between now and then a hundred things, the least of which is laundry--though it's taking over our lives. I can't remember the last time it was all folded and put away; still every night we have dinner together and over shrimp tacos with lime and mango, T and I laugh and listen and map our future--here, and then somewhere beyond here--and then the laundry doesn't really matter at all. Instead what matters is going to bed early, the warm coffee-colored fur of the dog against my hand, silverware standing like soldiers in tidy rows in the dishwasher to be cleaned, and plotting creative collaborations with friends. Here's a peak at some new work. Nothing makes me happier lately than having a brush in my hand.   How have you been? What does this time of year look like for you?

A glimpse into my studio right now: by Christina Rosalie

Working on illustrations for the book. Mixed media collage + digital + graphite sketches.


Also: A midsummer migrane; cicadas singing into late evening.; trying to remember to drink enough water + follow garment care instructions for washing; wishing for decompression; wrapping up projects for the summer semester; singing songs to Sprout until he falls asleep in my arms (a rare occasion for us both.)

Still between here and there by Christina Rosalie

' It has been stormy the past few days: dark skies, fierce winds, rain at the slightest suggestion, then tempestuous blue skies all over again, and this, friends, is where I am at too.

Earlier this week I got news that financial aid for school may be a question and it's such a complex situation, our lives, our finances, the lot of it...and so here I am again, in limbo, opening my heart up wide to the universe.

I want to trust, to believe that all will be as it should; that things will align and fall into place. But oh, must it be this intense, this tenuous, this thinly threaded? Must everything come like the rains, abrupt and last minute, tearing down dead branches, and leaving everything rinsed and and astounded and green? This seems the way now, that things unfold around here.

So. A little more wondering.

More fingers kept crossed.

More breath held.

It's their busy time in the financial aid office, and so I don't get my answers any faster than anyone else gets theirs. Seven to ten days, more or less. Damn.

Will you cross your fingers for me?

Love, C

PS: I hardly have the words, for grinning, at how all your lovely offers for my art made me feel. THANK YOU. I'll be shipping the pieces tomorrow--and enjoying more space in my studio to create new things.

a work in progress by Christina Rosalie

It's been twenty days since I launched A Field Guide To Now, and in those twenty days I have been more intensely creative than I’ve been in over a year. I've been forced way outside my comfort zone. My word for the year was action, and this project has forced me to take action on behalf of my career as a writer and artist in ways I couldn’t have conceived of when I first took the plunge. I've had to learn how to query and research and push the limits of my ability to create at night after small boys go to sleep. I’m working on this book project, my novel, paintings, and a few other big projects that are under wraps with fingers crossed.

(I am also working part time, at a job that is pushing me to learn In Design and Photoshop, always under deadline. The child-free hours of my day are spent thusly: designing ads and view books and writing press releases. The rest of my day is spent juggling, with a single-minded focus pounding in my head like jungle drums.)

I am compelled, determined, wired, moody, thrilled, exhausted, inspired. When I sleep my mind is active in a way that is almost new to me. It’s frenetic and repetitive: gnawing away at the creative tasks I’ve left off from before bed. This past week I’ve begun dreaming of whales—and they’ve inspired some of the newest art for A Field Guide To Now. Here is a glimpse (in progress.) Incidentally, when I looked up what it means to dream about whales, this is what I found: Whale reintroduces us to our creative and intuitive energies to show us a talent we've forgotten about or haven't been aware existed. How spot-on is that?

I’ve had more coffee and less sleep; more wine, more sex, more dreams and less rhythm. I’m spending less time on laundry and dishes (and the house is in probable shambles because of it) and more time perched on the stool in my studio painting, with gauche on my fingers. Less time taking leisurely walks with my boys; more time trying to multi-task while they’re under foot.

It's made me think about my identity, about who I am and how I define that. For a while, after Sprout was born, I slipped wholly into the identity of mother, and felt my world narrow to the small, domestic orbit of that life. It was restful, to be there. For a while. Sprout was such an easy baby that I enjoyed his babyhood in a way that I never fully did with Bean—who cried more and was more needy, just as I was newer and more anxious at the whole mommy thing.

But now, Sprout is walking. Bean is 5. The house is littered with legos (Sprout holds lego helmets in his mouth like a chipmunk. I’ve checked his diaper but he’s never actually swallowed one. Go ahead call me neglectful. YOU just try to keep legos off the floor with two boys in the house, four years apart.) There is a constant stampede of activity and peanut butter sandwiches and glasses of milk that get spilled. The vacuum is out all day long. Money is tight. Bean has outgrown all his pajamas. Sprout is starting to say words.


And in the midst of all this messy, simple, regular domesticity, I’ve begun to long fiercely for myself. For myself not as a mother, but as someone entirely separate from my children.

Truthfully, I’ve always had an uneasy relationship with the definition of motherhood, and now, more than ever, I am enjoying my boys and wanting to be distinct from them, in my own right. A writer. An artist. Right now my mind is preoccupied with the craft of writing, with images, and also about self-doubt, and longing…

How do you define yourself? Where does your definition of motherhood (if you are, or want to be a mother) shape you? What are the words you use to tell yourself the story about your life as it is at this current moment?

Love & LAUNCH! by Christina Rosalie

I did it. Days of mapping out details and collecting information and editing video clips (whoa, no small thing!) and finally, here it is. A Field Guide To Now. It kind of feels like giving birth. A lot like it in fact: the risk, the unknown, the realization that it's all beyond my control even though I'm going to give it every single thing I've got.

It's the first time I've ever taken a leap like this. Plunged with a fluttering heart towards a dream.

Please support this.*

+++ And also: I have two birthday boys this week! Bean's birthday is the 16th and Sprouts four days after. This is the week that has changed my life, twice, momentously. It felt so utterly right to launch this project today. (Still. I'm nervous.)


*Things are tenuous financially, and this would make a huge difference. Please Share this project with everyone you know.

tonight by Christina Rosalie

In the pale crook of a birch a robin threading its song through the fluttering green of newly furled leaves makes my heart tremble.

Things are up in the air, and I’m holding my breath waiting for unrecognized brilliance. It’s like I’m occupying the thin space between air and water in a drinking glass, where the whole world is reflected in a line.

I spend whole days skimming, flitting, careening. In my molskine I’ve started writing again, finger bones gripping in quiet concert, the lead becoming a rush of loopy js and ys, answering the same questions each morning: what do I feel? What do I want?

Today I don’t know how to get myself started with the rest of my life. Today I am trying to catch up with myself. Trying to be something.

Across the sky clouds the color of cinnamon remember the fiery circle of the sun, then draw together close like stitches over a wound; gathering indigo, gathering twilight, gathering the night.

*** What do you feel? What do you want? Right now. Today. Right this moment.

A new start by Christina Rosalie

Before it melted, the snow was boot deep and crystalline. Now unseasonably warm rains have returned and the ground is slick with black ice at night. Above the bald mountains that rise up from the lake, the full moon was setting just as the sun was rising this morning, white and round like a plate against the pale tablecloth of pink and blue.

I’m busy again, but the past two days have been deeply satisfying. DH and I keep talking, and each time it’s getting easier and richer. We’re moving, not stagnant, and also we’re starting to train for a half marathon. Five miles at the gym yesterday, and then dinner all together. Ice cream with cherries for dessert, and Bean licking his bowl. We’re trying to be gentler with each other than before, and this is good.

I’m also back in the thick of creative work, which I love. Somehow I managed to forget I’m doing an art showing in a café and am supposed to hang my work this weekend, so now my studio is spread with frames and canvasses, as I scurry to prepare for the show. I like it this way, a patchwork of rectangles and brushstrokes.

A good way to start the new year.

Good vibes by Christina Rosalie

My sister is here, from across the country, and she's brought a good vibe with her. Aside from being a saint---making exquisite food, plying me with yummy wine, and bathing my kid, she's also given me some space to unfurl a little. To talk, to feel safe, to unscramble. She's perceptive and determined and encouraging, and it's been just what I've needed: to soak up her affection, knowing that she gets me in a different way than anyone else does. And maybe because I've allowed myself to let go just a little, and let my guard down just a twinge, all sorts of good omens have come my way regarding grad school.

Whenever I'm contemplating big ideas or changes for my life, I sort of send out a universal query, before I wholly commit. Then I wait to see what the universe says. In this case, I got a big YES from four different sources yesterday, and that made me feel good. So good. So I'm trusting that I'll get all the pieces figured out and get the applications sent in on time. Trusting that my life will take me where it needs to go.

It's been the first time in a long while that I've felt like things were going to be okay. And therein lies the lesson: let go just a little and trust. See what happens.

5 good things by Christina Rosalie

A recent painting (that I made for DH’s birthday). What do you think?

A three mile run tonight with DH along the muddy road. Rain falling softly. Leaves the color of ocher and rose drifting earthward. Cattle, with their ruddy brown fur and white bellies all facing the same way, grazing in knee high grass. The creek, a ribbon of indigo with cattails up to my waist.

Thai food, the three of us out on an impromptu date, at a tiny restaurant near here. The chalky sweetness of traditional Thai iced tea. Moo Ping. Tom Kha. Bean using a grown up fork to shovel fried rice into his mouth (his overall bib pocket was full too!) The leisure of sitting back, aimless conversation, and no clean up.

Ben & Jerry’s and a the latest Project Runway on Tivo.

And rocking Bean to sleep in the dark, his heart against mine. There is nothing sweeter in the whole world.

What are yours?

Summer by Christina Rosalie

We blow a hundred bubbles one by one. Our breath caught up in the glycerin spheres that float up above the trees. Bean watches each faint rainbow circle as it drifts away against the backdrop of pale blue. It is the beginning of summer. Lazy afternoons in a plastic wading pool with a red rubber ball, with the smell of sunscreen slick on our skin. Days of short attention, and grilled corn; afternoon naps and magazines piled high on the coffee table. Popsicle days. Late evening ice cream stops in town. Firefly nights, lying on the lawn and kissing after dark.

The way imagination happens...and, a new painting by Christina Rosalie

15" x 30" mixed media collage.

Here are some up-close shots.


Of course, the good ideas always hit at the least convenient times: in the shower maybe, when I’m out on a run, or just drifting off to sleep—any place far from pen and paper. I know why this happens. My mind will start to dislocate then, slipping out of the present and into the luminous space between what is real and what is imagined.

Then, images like bright sun spots start to dance across my internal page. Sometimes I’ll see an entire picture, as though the bulb on a slide projector were suddenly flipped on and the scene dances towards me on the particles of light. Other times I get only a slight inkling. A whisper of theme or color, wending it’s way into the chinks of my busy mind, catching my attention the way the tiny rainbows do, that scatter out about a café, refracting light from the diamond on a lady’s finger as she raises her cup to sip café au lait.

For days after I get an idea, I’ll carry it around in my mind like a pocket full of sea glass, carelessly fingering each smooth shard a hundred times. Then in an evening after the house is quiet and my baby is asleep, I’ll pick out a canvas, and begin, smudging the page with dark blues or pale ochres and white. I cannot remember a time when I didn’t know the colors of the rainbow—nor can I remember not knowing how colors blend: my young fingers holding stubby beeswax crayons already understood that bright yellow mixed with emerald would make the chartreuse hue perfect for drawing new foliage.

Color always comes first, for me, followed by shape and the juxtaposition of realistic sketches and collage. It is rare that I am able to put into words what I will paint before I do. Even when I think I know exactly what I want to draw, I also know it will be different from what I’ve imagined when I’m through. This is the secret I am always learning: painting is about the unexpected, the crazy, haphazard, willy-nilly, process of imagination, and it cannot be defined or controlled.

Each time I come to the canvass with my brushes, my pallet thick with paint, and my heart wide open. Then I follow with bold marks the wild flight of my imagination through some internal landscape of wonder.


PS--I've added this one to my gallery.

I need your help by Christina Rosalie

I'm ashamed to admit--I actually know next to nothing about web design and I barely understand how my publishing platform works. Are you surprised? Yeah, I'd like to learn--but seriously, where would the time for that to be found? So instead of learning, today I am begging. If someone has the fancy shmancy web skills to help me integrate a gallery to display my artwork into wordpress, I'd grovel willingly at their feet. Doesn't sound enticing enough? I can throw in a year of free hosting from Wired Hub. Better?

Email me if you're interested.

And for everyone else, this is the best I could do. Enjoy.

Time for sleep by Christina Rosalie

Even now, after a year, sleep isn’t the same. Maybe it will never be like it was pre-baby: eight hours without a single moment of semi-consciousness. Now night is a blur of dreams, wide awake moments flushed with hormonal heat, moments yanked from sleep yet again, moments still nursing.

As a result some days my moods are like salmon migrating upstream. Often, they storm the turbines of my heart. Up, then down. Flailing. Inevitably.

Today, after a weekend of sun, fun, extroversion, and no naps, I woke up exhausted, with mastitis. Again. The cumulative lack of deep sleep has caught up. Things feel tangential and disconnected.

Most weeks I stay up late into the evening. These nighttime hours are my time for painting and writing; for locating the fragile connective tissue that holds my days together. This only works if I get a nap in with Bean in the morning, though.

We curl like puppies, a tangle of limbs under the down comforter. His bare feet pressed into my belly. We sleep like this for an hour at least. Sometimes two, and everything is okay. But last week there were no naps. Days of go, go, go. Days of longer sunlight. More to do. Friends visiting. Deadlines. It’s easy for me to try to live on credit with myself. To take out debt after debt in the sleep department.

I’m trying to learn how to listen to my body. To heed the warning signs. But it’s hard when most days I feel like I accomplish so little. A handful of sentences written maybe. Possibly a load of laundry. (And of course caring for Bean.) It’s hard to allow this to be enough. I’m so goal driven, so pushy, and impatient. It’s hard to bring myself back to the present and wait for the well to fill again.

Chiaroscuro of the heart by Christina Rosalie

I sit at the dining room table with a good mechanical pencil and some soft lead. The house hums with the regular quiet of evening. Into the corners of my mind the hubbub of the day still seeps, like spilled ink soaking into a paper towel. I give myself a task: focus wholly on these two little boots. Let my eyes move along their contours. Stay focused. Follow with my hand.

I sketch the outline of each boot. My mind slips into a place between thinking and not—a place without language where I hover like a humming bird, millimeters from a flower anticipating sweet nectar. I start painting the shadows.

I’ve been trying to do this more: directing my focus towards everyday objects. To notice how things are. To try to accurately observe. Everything doesn’t have to be good, it just has to be.

I've begun to notice this week how often I put value on moments, on whole days: “this is horrible,” I hear myself saying, or “I hate this.” Often I am overcome with these emotions—the value I give the moment obscures it.

The shadows are hard to capture. The quality of shiny rubber catches the light. The boots are still new, only used indoors by Bean’s small feet. He’s walked about in them like a bowlegged cowboy, high stepping, with a big grin on his face. Soon they’ll be muddy, their sheen tarnished with a glaze of puddle mud.

The shadows are important. They give depth and angle. Without them the contours I’ve drawn will look distorted and not like the boots at all. It is the shadows that bring dimension, and I’m starting to understand that about my life too. It is hard for me to allow the shadows to simply be, without resenting them, or allotting them a value. Hard to come face to face with my sorrow, anger, or aggression, without letting these emotions spill over my entire perception self. Hard to let them exist alongside my breath, without holding my breath.

I’m not good at allowing these emotions to rest in the open palms of my soul, without clenching my fists.

Some nights when I paint, I let things distort, grow wild, brilliant, abstract, but tonight I want to capture things as they are. Tonight I want the chiaroscuro to be as it is, there on the table before me. Light where the bulbs above my head illuminate the toe tips. Dark where the soles touch the table top. Light where my breath comes freely. Dark where my mind comes up against the sharp edges of undefined worry.

I recall reading about this years ago when I was trying to learn how to be mindful, rather than just being mindful. I never got it then: this process of acceptance. I never understood how hard it is to sit side by side with frustration, with self pity, with a knot of anger, and allow these things to be without allowing them to flood the page with darkness. To accept them, but not to give them reign. To see them as they are, without the distortion.

I go back over the boots, working with watercolors, adding layer upon layer of red pigment to create the shadows. I begin to notice that there is shape to the shadows. They have borders. I focus my mind on the page. The meaty part of my palm rubs up against the fresh paint, smudging it. A trail of dark pigment flecks the outer edge of my hand.

I realize that often in these past few days, when work has been highly stressful for DH, I’ve allowed myself to absorb his aggression and frustration. I’ve internalized it and allowed it to spread: an unidentified fear spilling across the page of my heart, and my whirling hormones (after two years, nearly, my cycle is finally returning) have added to the blur.

When I look closely, this is what I see: the boots. Two tokens of puddle-stomping joy to be had by the small boy who I love. My anger: not really mine, but absorbed from the environment of stress I’ve been in this week. My worry: money, always money. My fear: that I am not good enough.

When I observe closely this is what I feel: breath. Tension. Focus. Acceptance. Release. Here are the boots, and my soul as I see them tonight.

Dislocation by Christina Rosalie

I just finished this painting, and am fascinated by how it turned out. The process of painting is so organic for me: far more wildly right brained than writing is. I start with a canvass, and just push paint around. I let the background sit for a couple of days, there on my easel in the middle of the room. I allow it to saturate my subconscious. I think about it in the still moments when I’m nursing Bean, or rocking him to sleep, or when I’m lying in bed just at the cusp of sleep myself. If I’m attentive, images will often alight on the cinemascape of my mind. I’ll see stalky bird legs, or a particular wash of color. Or I might pick up on a mood.

Days go by this way. Until I find the right image to follow, and then I do.

In this painting the colors of the background were so moody, I struggled with how to extend an image beyond their sheer rawness. I wanted this piece to be another in the series I’m making for upcoming café shows, so I wanted to stick with the theme I’d chosen of juxtaposing organic and inorganic; detail and chaos.

Flipping through the bird book DH gave me for Valentine's Day (along with a pair of incredible binoculars! Yes we’re like that. I gave him a telescope. And no, we didn’t discuss our presents in advance. That’s just how we think.) I found myself lingering over the image of the great blue heron: so majestic, wild, fierce, lonely.

After I’d made the bird, the dark city landscape evolved to go behind it. I was writing about dislocation and creating home at the time, and these ideas became the narrative of this painting.

In Connecticut, where I used to live and work, I’d drive along 95 and I’d feel heartsick at the trash, the urbanization, the acres of cement overrunning coastal wetlands and marshes belonging to egrets and herons, red tailed hawks, grebes, and mallards. Now I’m living northwards by several hundred miles and things seem more in synch. There are wide swaths of open space designated for the birds. Along the sandbar heading towards the islands in Lake Champlain, and huge osprey aeries sit atop telephone poles every mile or so.

But I can’t help feeling like somehow it’s up to me to be a part of making this last. It’s easy to feel entitled. Easy to say, “this is my land.” Harder to make actions reflect the fluttering wonder of my heart.

I am interested: what choices do you make consciously to protect the natural habitat where you live?

Becoming by Christina Rosalie

To grow is to go beyond what you are today.

Stand up as yourself.

Do not imitate.

Do not pretend to have achieve your goal, and do not try to cut corners.

Just grow.

--Svami Prajnanpad


I am surrounded by notebooks, and I am taking notes. Like an archeologist, I am looking for clues about the piece (a book?) I am trying to write. I want to find the veins that traverse it, that bring meaning to it’s peripheries. I am re-reading all the scribbled pages and documents I’ve written since the winter of 2004 when I was hugely pregnant, exhausted, and severely dislocated from my sense of self. It is startling and sometimes funny to go back and read all the thoughts I’ve dutifully recorded.

Over and over againI write the same things, tugging at the girdle of phrasing, couching my words this way and then that---trying to get closer to truth. And then over and over I forget.

I find I’ve written things down that make me laugh out loud. Like this:

“I look around the apartment today and think: god, I’ve all but killed the houseplants.”

Other things make me go quiet inside, the way a bird must feel after it has landed. Like this:

“The map of your identity changes when you love someone. “


“On the train home, we slice through the dark—an isolated rectangle of light and breath and shifting weight.” **

“The days of recovery from labor and bonding with Bean have blurred together into a continuous present. I find I am unable to think very far forward or backward and instead end up lingering in the moment doing nothing except watching and listening to my son breathe.”

** “His little fingers curl around my thumb, and I am learning humility now. The moments of each days fabric have become a string of little wonderments. Little things matter now. Like coffee, and the incredible smell of his hair.”

** “Everyone lives through periods of intense change, yet few give pause to these moments of turbulence. Few are present and reflective right in the moment of becoming.”


I’ve started to feel present in the story I am trying to write for the first time, and have begun to realize that it is more than a story about birth (my son’s) or death (my father’s) or love (my parents, my own). It is a story about becoming.

I want to know your stories of becoming.