Beauty in the Desert

 

The voice of Siri instructs us to turn. I’ve been here many times, but for some reason always get a little nervous that I won’t know the way. We pull in the parking lot and the I glance at my watch. We have about 45 minutes until sunset. This should be enough time if we get going. The entrance to the Desert Botanical Garden is just as beautiful as you’d imagine. I remember how much I used to hate desert landscape and how I thought that the big full trees with changing leaves was the only real definition of landscaping beauty. These days, I can’t get enough of this rough and southwest terrain. I think I just had to come into my own. This is the perfect backdrop for a family photoshoot.

As much as I like to plan most things out, a photoshoot tends to be the opposite. I like to see an idea and act on it. There’s a chance that it won’t work out, but there’s a chance it will.

Sneaking baby smiles, tickling tummies, and splashing in the water all made this afternoon special. Capturing memories and being a part of family’s story is such an honor. Every time I do this, I think… I should do this more. Maybe I will. Maybe I’ll own this part of myself and grant permission to be happy behind the lens.

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Many thanks to the Nardone family for letting me follow them around for a bit and document their sweet family.

SaraSig

Book Review and a Painting: The Girls by Emma Cline

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This book broke me. It made me cringe and it made me uncomfortable, but it also made me think. It made my heart sink at the sudden onset of the vulnerability and angst of adolescence.

Loosely based off the Manson murders of the 1960’s, The Girls offers us a fictional look at the painful manipulation of young, impressionable girls, which uses their obsessive sensibilities, lack of insightful judgment, and rebellious tendencies to lure them into the edge of darkness where they can no longer distinguish right from wrong and are disillusioned enough to leave the hollow outside world for seclusion and manipulation disguised as freedom. It capitalizes on their insecurities to create an isolated world where patriarchy abounds and you’re willing to do anything for some coveted attention.

Evie Boyd is in her 60’s now and a chance happening upon a friend’s obnoxious son and his complicated, desperate girlfriend sends her into a fierce observation and retelling of her youth and how she was briefly drawn into a murderous cult that reshaped her entire life, but left her longingly on the outside.

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The novel goes back and forth between Evie’s current static life including her interaction with the reckless teenagers and the summer of 1969 when she was 14 in northern California. Evie is the wealthy granddaughter of a celebrity and the daughter of two parents who are desperately trying to redefine themselves post divorce. Evie falls through the cracks and finds herself amidst all the same failed trappings of all young girls on the verge of growing up. Cline so perfectly writes through the eyes of a young girl in transition to adulthood, making muddled and yet precise observations, while still somehow remaining completely oblivious to the dangers around her. She’s acutely aware that her newly developing body affords her a certain level of power, but with that comes the dangerous rhetoric of female value that hinges upon sexual attention from men. Desperation for love and validation mixed with self-loathing and vulnerability make these girls perfect targets and while it’s easy to peg them as naïve and young, we all know that deep down, we’ve been them, we’ve thought those thoughts, and we’ve believed the lies that the world tells us about being women. The feminist undertones make the sort of observations that all women know all too well, but might not have been able to articulate, until now.

 

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“That was part of being a girl—you were resigned to whatever feedback you’d get. If you got mad, you were crazy, and if you didn’t react, you were a bitch. The only thing you could do was smile from the corner they’d backed you into. Implicate yourself in the joke even if the joke was always on you.”

“I waited to be told what was good about me. I wondered later if this was why there were so many more women than men at the ranch. All that time I had spent readying myself, the articles that taught me life was really just a waiting room until someone noticed you—the boys had spent that time becoming themselves.”

“I’d enacted some pattern, been defined, neatly, as a girl, providing a known value. There was something almost comforting about it, the clarity of purpose, even as it shamed me. I didn’t understand that you could hope for more.”

When her best (and only friend) separates herself from Evie, she flounders into emotional desperation latching onto Suzanne (who she describes as “tragic and separate, like royalty in exile”), an older girl that she has admired from afar. Soon enough Evie finds herself inseparable to life on the ranch with various characters with questionable moral standards and bizarre life choices including a group of young impressionable girls and their charismatic leader who all become an integral part of her story.

Cline has a way with words that just gets me. They’re sharp, lyrical, and sometimes nonsensical, often relying on over-written metaphors that make unique comparisons. Some people aren’t into it, but I like her style.

“She seemed as strange and raw as those flowers that bloom in lurid explosion once every five years, the gaudy prickling tease that was almost the same thing as beauty.” 

This quote from Ron Charles of The Washington Post perfectly captures how I feel.

“The most remarkable quality of this novel is Cline’s ability to articulate the anxieties of adolescence in language that’s gorgeously poetic without mangling the authenticity of a teenager’s consciousness. The adult’s melancholy reflection and the girl’s swelling impetuousness are flawlessly braided together.” 

I only have one major criticisms of the novel as I deeply enjoyed it. I wish that the political undertones of the 60’s were more prevalent. While I understand that the free-spirited hippie refusal of popular culture might not have been in the wheelhouse of a 14 year old girl, I think that it deeply influenced the culture behind the ranch and without it, this story could essentially be told in any era and setting. The time of the story had a huge impact on each of the characters and I would have appreciated understanding the philosophy and worldview behind the formulation of the ranch in a bit more obvious way.

What could have been a cheap exploitation of a famous cult and murder was anything but that. It stood on it’s own, but more than anything it made me happy to no longer be a teenaged girl.

SaraSig

 

 

 

Dawn and Stefano Say I Do in Flagstaff

A few short weeks ago I photographed my first (and possibly my last) wedding.

When my dear friend casually asked me to photograph her wedding, I was kinda stunned. I immediately said yes, but the weeks and days leading up to the event had me in an internal panic. I’ve never shot a wedding before and I hadn’t really ever intended to. They seemed so stressful and I thought it was so clearly outside my skill set. I researched and rented new lenses for my camera, I created a shot list and a timeline, and I (in painstakingly great detail) walked myself through the day many times. I was nervous, but thrilled at the same time.

Dawn isn’t the kind of bride who had a whole host of preconceived ideas and monumental expectations. She trusted me to do my thing and I couldn’t be more grateful for that. I set out to do a good job, and while there are a ton of things I wish I would have done differently, I know I accomplished my goal. While I have no intention of becoming a wedding photographer, I feel more confident that I can do it. Here are my favorite captures from their big day.

 

I couldn’t have done it without my wonderful husband. It was such a pleasure to do something I love with him by my side. He kept me calm, encouraged my ideas, helped me pose, and even took some fantastic shots himself.

I learned a few things, including:

  • Large zoom lenses are extremely heavy
  • Bring a charged backup battery
  • Dad jokes can do wonders on a person who refuses to smile
  • Large families and dark spaces are stressful to photograph
  • Bring snacks for yourself because you probably won’t get a chance to eat
  • Use your surroundings and improvise
  • Sandals without a sole probably aren’t a good idea
  • Don’t let your props out of your sight
  • Sparkler photos take practice

Ultimately, I’m pretty proud of myself and I know that both Dawn and Stefano have pictures they’ll be happy to have in their family for generations to come. I’m honored to have been such a big part of their love story.

SaraSig

My Wild Heart- Week One

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I recently joined a writing course called Wild Hearts. It’s 30 days worth of writing prompts intended to help you write your way home, to move you out of your comfort zone and push you deeper into yourself, into the wilderness within. To get you writing honestly about where you have been, where you want to be, what you need and what you desire. There were parts of this course description that spoke to me, specifically these call outs that felt like they were written with me in mind.

  • You are one of the wild, restless ones – rarely content to swim on the surface of things. You’re meant for freedom, hearing the call of the wolf, longing to dance under the moon, made for diving deep.
  • You know, right at your core, that you are meant for more than the constraints of your current reality. That there is something waiting to be born.
  • You deeply long for community, a safe space, a tribe of like-minded souls and an inspiring container in which to create. A collection of wild souls – just like you.
  • You want to be pushed farther, held accountable, and encouraged to show up.

We are a little over a week in and to be honest, I’ve been overwhelmed and absolutely paralyzed by the prompts. They’re wonderful and deep. They’re inspiring and thought-provoking. They’re rich with meaning and beg me for more time. I thought that I’d post them here each day to share, but that expectation quickly diminished into the background of life and a desire to do myself and my own writing justice. Instead, I’m committing to posting them a week at a time. This way, I can push myself to answer them instead of setting them on a shelf to collect dust. This way I can give them the thought and intention they deserve. This is my balance. This is my way. I hope you enjoy my heart-felt answers and join me as I seek to challenge my voice through words.

For so long, I believed that you are who you are. I didn’t used to consider the deep theological questions pertaining to identity, but who ever I decided to be in that moment was who I was always destined to be. There was never any thought or acceptance of change, morphing, evolving.

Today, I sit in a more empowered place. I feel like I’m living out who I am and embracing the parts of me that just are as they are by design, but I’m also excited that I have power in my hands and my heart. I have the power to create who I am. I have the power to mold my life into something that best represents how I want to live. My faults don’t always have to be my faults. My heartbreaks can heal and I can choose to forgive. I can be more generous. I can be more selfless. I can be an expert in anything I choose. I can learn. I can adapt. I can understand. I can be.

I am begging to be created.

I’m not fully who I am to be. I’m in process. I’m not discouraged by this journey. I’m pinning for it. I’m excited for the next bend in the road showing me new scenery, giving new air to breathe and allowing my eyes to set on sights never before absorbed into my soul. Tomorrow I will have new words and new thoughts and new observations. Tomorrow will be better than today because I’m just a bit closer to who I’m supposed to be. I’m being crafted into a new shape with each passing day. Each daily form brings newness that I’ve never known. I am who I decide to be and in that is a passion that stirs; never satisfied. It’s constant. I’m embracing each phase of this life as beautiful and owning each moment as mine to have. I don’t think about this life as having a completion, but more of being recreated over and over until my days exhausted. There are constants that run through the thread of all my morphs, the medium by which I’m made cannot be altered, but my shape, my purpose, my path is begging to be made and then be made again.

 

If you cracked open a song of my youth, you’d be flooded with misplaced angst. You’d be covered in tears flowing from streams of loneliness begging to be loved by someone, desired by someone, seen by someone. You’d see confusion and constant searching for understanding rush toward you in a wave of words that don’t make any sense; they’re jumbled and misunderstood. They’re long and out of context trying too hard to sound smart and superior. Hiding in the melody, you’d wouldn’t be able to ignore the pain that sweeps over you like a light that hides all the shadows. You’re unable to cower in the dark forced to face those who tear you down and confirm all your darkest thoughts about yourself. In the songs of my youth, you find tons of eyeliner and fishnet stockings wrapped in passion disguised as indifference desperately trying to blend in to the crowd of misfits.

My pain lives in my mind. It eats away at my confidence and self worth like flesh eating bug determined to devour every last morsel of my existence. It’s the dark thoughts that protest through the busy streets of my mind. Their large hand-painted signs on poster board from the corner convenience store all say the same thing. In bright letters with wonky spaced type, you can clearly see the words “You’re not good enough.” They chant over and over marching with such persistence. They’re armed with reasons and logic to defend their stance to anyone who questions them.

My joy lives in my mind. They’re building up a resistance to pain set out to destroy me. They’re armed with riot gear ready to fight off any signs of negativity. Their shields are lined with my accomplishments and their weapons are the faces of my closest friends and family. Their words are powerful and come from my deep desire to create. They cover the pain like a blanket of gas meant to extinguish pain with hopefulness and love.

The fight of opposing sides continues. The resistance of each side meets in the middle and the war wages on. Pain is mighty and strong, but joy always has the upper hand.

 

This depth, this feeling, this constant state of being affected is both a weight and a privilege. One cannot exist without the other. This weight leaves me feeling depleted at the end of the day. The weight cannot be lifted, but somedays it feels heavier than others. Some days are light and it merely feels like a penny in my pocket that serves as a reminder of my depth, but other days it feels so heavy that I can feel my bones crushing beneath the insurmountable pounds that seek to rob me of my breath. Even in this burden, I feel privileged and singled out. I see others without this weight and I can’t imagine a life lived in such oblivion. I feel honored to have this gift. I can see things that others cannot. I can feel the searing pain in a grieving mother’s eyes, I can grasp for breath with a victim’s injustice at a criminal walking free, I can weep alongside those who are displaced by wars. I have empathy on a level that I’d never surrender to indifference. However, I can celebrate in the news of a new baby as if it were my own, I can shout in victory as we conquer another plight of social injustice, and I can offer my most sincere congratulations on the marriage union of someone I’ve never met. I can feel both extremes of joy and pain. I know that the weight of the pain is payment for the privilege of joy and I happily make that transfer each day.

 

Holy is capturing ordinary moments in my mind for safekeeping. Holy is the space between sleep and awake where my consciousness is unsure how to separate reality from dreams. Holy is the promise of a blank sheet of paper and nightly prayers before bed. Holy is in the imagination of created spaces separate from reality. It’s toy cars and wooden puzzles. It’s slow kisses and family vacations. It’s in living room dance parties and red wine while cooking dinner. Holy is grace upon grace that I humbly accept even though it’s undeserved. It’s in bedtime stories and seemingly endless hugs. It’s in cracking open a new book and the sound of keys being punched on a keyboard delightfully expressing a slew of built up thoughts. Holy is paint covered hands and the excitement of a new project. It’s in the friends that fill my home and the sounds of laughter that they bring along. It’s long conversations and deep contemplation. It’s in loving others above yourself and teaching our kids to do the same. It’s in the everyday. It’s in the extraordinary. Holy is in the promise of a new day.

With your ear pressed firmly to my chest, you’d hear it. You wouldn’t even have to try that hard. You’d hear it clearly and boldly and loudly because I never seem to be able to do anything in quiet and this would be no exception. You’d hear thunderous and vibrant passion. You’d hear melody that would make you respond to whatever was in your own heartbeat. It would connect us and it would tell my story next to yours. It would overwhelm you with friendship and hope. It would give you permission to live and love and dive and search. It would comfort you among your insecurities whispering truths of affirmation. It would cook you a meal and listen intently as we both unashamedly devoured our entire plates without apologies and ask for seconds. It would make you feel heard like you’ve never before experienced. It would challenge you to reach and offer you encouragement to dream. You’d hear bold and strong when you needed courage and you’d hear pauses and lightness when you needed compassion. You’d hear the love and genuine heart for you long after you walked away. You’d sing the words even when you didn’t mean to. You’d find yourself humming that tune in the car or the shower reminding yourself that you’re seen and loved and needed in a world of noises not meant for you.

 

 

The silence of awe and wonderment come to me in times of observation. It comes when I allow myself to just feel rather than to try and analyze or attach meaning. It comes to me when I’m struck by beauty and can finally find the desire to just sit still and savor the moment. I try to freeze time and capture it in my mind so that I can refer back to it later when I need some solace.  It can come at the view from the top of a mountain or on a beach where the water looks expansive and never-ending. It’s where I’m left speechless and struck by the earth without human interference. I’m left with the feeling of being small, which I think is good for me sometimes. To feel like there are things bigger than me, more important than me, and things that exist without my input or permission. I’m silenced by a Godly authority in my life and I’m comforted like the daughter I am.

 

 

Book Review and a Painting: Tuesday Nights in 1980 by Molly Prentiss

My gem of a husband bought me this book for Mother’s Day. He walked into our local bookstore and while browsing was offered this book as a suggestion by one of their helpful staff members. It was a staff top pick so he decided to go for it because it had an interesting cover and he’s become invested in helping me with my book review and book cover painting project. I think this is one of my favorite things about our relationship, art. The pursuit of art, the analysis of art, the creation of art, the criticism of art, and of course the shared passion for art.

It helps that Tuesday Nights in 1980 is all about art. Well… kind of.

Art is the premise, but this book is about more than that. The story follows James Bennett, a synesthetic art critic for The New York Times whose unlikely condition enables him to describe art in profound, magical ways, Raul Engales, an exiled Argentinian painter running from his past and the Dirty War that has enveloped his country and Lucy Olliason—a small town beauty who leaves her home of Idaho behind to find her way in the big city.

It’s 1980 in pre-gentrification SOHO where artists are occupying abandoned factory buildings and are struggling to pay for heat, but are still offended by the consumerism of art buyers whom they’re dependent on. Bohemians run the dirty streets and glitzy lights. There’s a buzzing art scene and New York is the manifestation of big promises meeting harsh realities. The city is a character in and of itself, evolving and affecting those around it all within the confines of just a year. “It’s a city of pure poetry, I’m telling you kids.”

I think that’s rare to find an author who can write about a particular group of people such as artists in a way that feels inclusive rather than ostracizing and pretentious. Prentiss offers a view into the art world from several different angles; the writer and collector, those who are drawn to the artists hoping for an escape and self-importance, those who must sacrifice their own dreams so that art can live, as well as the artists themselves. She manages to give us real experiences without insulting the reader. She assumes you belong here, rather than an outsider looking in.

“He loved the flaws; they were invariably the most interesting parts of people’s faces and bodies, the parts that held the straightest lines, the most beautiful shadows. Wounds and deformities and cracks and boils and stomachs: this was the stuff that moved Engales. Usually while he detailed the broken nose or sketched a lumpy body he felt as if he was zeroing in on what it meant to be alive.”

The clashing of these unlikely characters gives the reader several spaces to observe and interact with the human experience. Perhaps best said in this review by Casey Varecka on The Master’s Review:

“Prentiss draws deeply flawed, imperfect, real characters. James’s highest moments of inspiration and expressions of art and love are made all the more real by his avoidance of responsibility. Similarly, Lucy inspires the people around her and loves Engales deeply, but she also hurts him in her quest for continual excitement. Engales, at times, seems the most flawed. He’s manipulative, stubborn, and unforgiving, yet he understands the truth of people in the world, living by the saying of his deceased father, “The scratches are what makes a life.” This line could be Molly Prentiss talking directly to the reader. The scratches on her characters are exactly what give them humanity. The flaws in Prentiss’s characters and in their lives make Tuesday Nights in 1980 a book that grips your heart and doesn’t let go.”

Some of my favorite and the most gripping passages are told from the perspective of James Bennett, whose synesthesia allows him to see, hear, smell, feel, and taste the world in ways no one else can. One sense activates another, bringing about a specific taste, smell, or look that is just as real to him as the thing itself. This ability is what allows him to successful write and critique art. “Brice Marden preoccupies me like a shoe that has stepped in gum…” or “The painting tucked under James’ arm, smelled of all the chickens his mother never roasted.” He describes Lucy as “a lime after a shot of strong tequila. She was no sunglasses and no sunscreen when you needed both. She was wet tar where your feet got stuck.”

Prentiss subtly tackles so many issues and controversy that artists wrestle with such as the idea of selling out your work to buyers. She’s also no stranger to irony, titling a large art sale, Selling Out. She offers the perfect commentary on creation versus consumption and allows the reader to make his or her own conclusions. She perfectly captures passion and talent, obsession and mindfulness. She gives us truth in nuanced characters and criticism of the world itself. Everything from large-scale talent to quotes of intimacy scribbled on the inside of matchbooks presented as a project.

“If curiosity would kill him, he would take it.”

 

Prentiss uses style in a way that I loved. She jumped from perspective to perspective and, in several cases, she gives the reader a look at the same scene through the eyes of several people reveling more truth and insight. She’s sometimes choppy and uses ethereal writing devices and descriptions as if she’s painting a portrait through her writing; mouth, eyes, limbs, stomach, body, nose, hair. I was captured by this style and I think it’s appropriate that a story about art is a bit artistic in and of itself. Her less than linear writing paints a picture and reminds us to see through the eyes of an artist. Known artists such as Chuck Close, Frank Stella, and Andy Warhol make small appearances as well as other oddities that remind us we’re in a world pre-social media and cell phones. Her skill for metaphor and observation had me inspired and intrigued. “November is the color of the outside of an eggplant. It smells like the inside of an old woman’s jewelry box. Get outta bed, you’d want to tell November if you saw it. Do something.”

I tore through this book faster than I have any piece of work in a long time. I was impressed and interested, invested and curious. I haven’t liked a book this much in a long and time and I can’t wait to read more from Molly Prentiss.

If you’re on Goodreads, you can find me here.

SaraSig

Passing Along Your Passions

I can with all honesty say that photography is one of my favorite hobbies. I really feel the need to try new things and stretch myself in my photos, but I also feel the freedom in it being a hobby. While I take a few freelance projects on from time to time, for the most part, I use photography to document my own life and creative journey. I finally feel like I can explore and make mistakes without the stress of letting someone down if my images didn’t meet their expectations. It’s just fun and I love it.

Last Christmas we got Harvey a play camera from Willow and Bass and while he’s played with it a few times, it hasn’t really been his favorite toy. The other day I was playing around with some new lenses and taking some test shots. He was immediately interested in what I was doing. He quickly ran into his room, dug out his own camera from the toy box and proceeded to take my picture while saying “cheese” while pushing the top button over and over. I was able to capture a few shots of him playing with me. I love how these came out and I’m so happy to share them.

 

I’m absolutely on board for him discovering his own interests and passions, but there is a deep part of me that loves the thought of us going on photography trips together, pushing the other towards better images through friendly competition, and all around enjoying something in common. As he gets older, I’ll continue to foster his interest in photography until he just doesn’t want to do it any more. I hope that day never comes because seeing this baby with a camera around his neck gives me all the feels.

SaraSig

A Midsummer Night’s Dream

It’s no secret that I love Shakespeare. I’m a big fan of the Bard and spent a considerable amount of time working for a classic theatre company who primarily focused on the works of Shakespeare with a few other classic playwrights mixed in. I haven’t really had a chance to be involved with theatre in quite some time, so when Flagstaff Shakespeare Festival asked me to do the press photos for their upcoming production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, I was beyond thrilled. I met up with the cast at their rehearsal space and along with the Director of the show, we managed to capture some of the pure joy of this show. Here are my favorites from our time together.

If you’re in Northern Arizona or just want to take a drive,  this show, as well as their production of Romeo and Juliet, is going to be amazing. If you’re not in the area, you can always support them through their IndieGoGo Page.

SaraSig

Book Review and a Painting: Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

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My sweet husband knows that gift buying for me is pretty easy when he enters our local bookstore. Somehow, he just so happened to walk in on the day when Elizabeth Gilbert was signing copies of Big Magic and since it was on my ‘to read’ list, he graciously waited in line and picked me up a signed copy for Christmas last year. I’m a little embarrassed that I’m just now getting to this review when this book has been in my hands for so long, but I had a few others to finish off first and I just can’t read more than two books at a time.

I’m excited to share my painting inspired by the book cover. This painting was challenging and I had to keep reminding myself that it doesn’t have to look exactly the same and it’s meant to be a loose interpretation inspired by the cover. The letters are always the most challenging part. We have a projector and they’re still hard to get right. Hand painted letters just aren’t as pristine and it looks a little more red where I wish it were pink, but I’m fairly happy with how this one turned out. So on to the review…

 

Author of the acclaimed Eat Pray Love, Elizabeth Gilbert brings her unique perspective and wisdom on the subject of creativity and living a creative life. I LOVED the premise of this book and couldn’t wait to dive in. This book is such an easy and fast read, but the thing I appreciated most is that Gilbert is a best-selling author writing about creativity from an author’s perspective. It seems like there is a ton of content out there on creativity from painters and other creative professionals, but I can’t say I’ve ever heard of an author offering her two cents on the subject. Being a writer myself, I loved feeling like I relate to everything she said as it was written.

 

Gilbert has a way of taking really profound and ethereal concepts and making them accessible. She describes creative ideas as their own entities that are floating around looking for a human host to carry them out. I liked thinking of creativity like this and it stirred up my imagination in a way that made me feel excited to reach up and grab ideas as they came to me.

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I appreciated hearing Gilbert’s stories of failure and learning as she shares her own creative journey. I found myself highlighting and underlining key concepts that I found to ring truth to me. This book is exactly what I needed to hear at this time in my own personal creative voyage. Her words of encouragement were just the stepping-stones I needed to make big decisions and giant leaps of faith. I felt like she was giving me permission to move forward when I didn’t even know I was standing still. She seems to have hit all the reasons that people don’t create and completely crushes them. I’m not original enough. I’m not an artist. My art isn’t that important. I don’t have a degree. I’ve already hit my pique of success. Gilbert doesn’t buy any of these excuses. She gives short bursts of wisdom like “done is better than good” and “no one is thinking about you.” She dispels the idea of the suffering artist and encourages us all to take great joy in our art. She even dispels the idea that the only time making art is worth it is if you can make money or do your art full time. I’ve spent an unreasonable amount of time meditating, reading and thinking about that very issue, that I found her words to pierce right through me and give me what I needed to finally believe and accept what I already knew to be true. She offers perspective on failure, fear, and persistence in a way that feels like your cool aunt who is giving you advice on boys while she paints your nails. Conversational and littered with intentional examples to prove that she struggles or has struggled with the same things you’re fighting.

 

Gilbert explores some concepts that do have to be taken with a grain of salt, but for the most part I wasn’t put off as some other readers were. For me, she successfully takes her own opposing viewpoints into account and seems to thrive in the contradictions. She is an advocate for creativity and believes that everyone has the capacity and right to be creative. I would recommend that every artist, writer, and person who is otherwise interested in exploring his or her creativity pick up this book.

I’d love to know if you read it and what you thought. If you’re on Goodreads, you can find me here.

SaraSig

Full of Hot Air

The winds have welcomed you with softness,
The sun has greeted you with it’s warm hands,
You have flown so high and so well,
That God has joined you in laughter,
And set you back gently into
The loving arms of Mother Earth.

— Anon, known as ‘The Baloonists Prayer,’ believed to have been adapted from an old Irish sailors’ prayer

The Mister and I opted for a hot air balloon ride this year instead of a staycation, which is how we typically celebrate our anniversary. I enjoy capturing moments in time through monuments and celebration. They help to solidify time periods and separate the years. For me it keeps the days and years from blending into one another. I can identify them easier and I love knowing I’ll be able to look back and remember this very specific day without any trouble. That’s comforting to me for some reason.

We set our alarm clocks for 3:30am and arrived at met up with Rainbow Ryders who then took us by bus to our launch site. The whole process was mystifying and magical, peaceful and calm. It was something special and I’m so happy we enacted our sense of adventure and celebrated this way.

SaraSig

Nine and Counting

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This past Wednesday was my 9th wedding anniversary! I’m kinda a sentimental person and I really appreciate making memories and finding grand ways to celebrate. We don’t have enough of that, celebration that is. I think it’s easy to get caught up and forget how special it really is to have fought for your marriage and how special it is to really celebrate your time together and allow yourself to marvel at that gift. Pictures are my favorite way to celebrate anything. For obvious reasons of course. I love commemorating a certain moment in time with a few snaps to look back on for the rest of our lives. I imagine I’ll be a little old lady surrounded by photos of a life well lived. I love that idea.

So… we opted to get in front of the camera for a few short minutes and we walked away with some photos that I couldn’t love any more.

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A special thank you to our friends at Denson Creative for capturing these special snaps for us. I’ve always wanted friends to trade photo shoots with and I’m so happy to have found that!

SaraSig