" outdoor naps & other revelations "

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on the first of every first of whatever, it is always a good time to clean your room, mind, body, soul, apartment, garden, house, relationships, dress shoes, browser history.

an overcast day can at times lead to great balcony hangs.

binge-watching star trek episodes is a great peripheral activity to editing photos.

drinking full glasses of clear clean water is really refreshing in a humid environment.

if someone needs help, attempt to put their needs before yours; you can always not do so many things later.

if you see items that already exist in the world, there is always no immediate rush to need to purchase them at 3am online. sleep, dream up, save that money until you can adequately discern between new owner's glee and potential buyer's remorse.

hammocks are perfect products for the transition from standing to dreamland.

what we may fear the most can drive us inward, or help us to overcome, and in some instances heal.

ice cream is a decent choice for dinner, but you may have to brace yourself for potential nightmares.

realizing that you must pay your rent is disheartening, but the fact that you can afford it makes up for the massive dip in your accounts.

putting your friend & family's needs before your own are insanely rewarding, and also making time for your own desires is a good thing to schedule in as well.

even though clipping one's toenails increases in difficulty with age, nevertheless it is still a practice that is hygienic and necessary.

love and the promise of love is still pretty rad.

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" early to rise "

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clear open skies with the sort of clouds which seem to be water-colored on and simply linger overhead. a slight breeze from the west caresses, and everyone is up early today.

i slip off my shoes, then my socks, and my feet connect with the lush thick grasses, still wet from the cool overnight. i can feel the damp earth giving way to my flat wide feet, as my toes grip with each step.

taking this beauty of a morning in creates such a light, and such a lightness in my entire body. i'm not worried or anxious, not aching or rushed, not hesitant or somber.

a group of early risers embrace the air stretching their long lean limbs up-and-outwards, breathe out their stresses, and take in the universe.

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" cyclical breathing "

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everything as it always was, everything as it is now, everything as it will be.

learning from mistakes, making new ones, promising to never make them again.

finding you out there in the darkness, holding you close in the shadows, letting you go into the sun.

making a promise and keeping it, breaking a promise and regretting it, finding the words to say i'm sorry and mean it.

tonight's homework:

we are all imperfect, but that is no excuse to be sloppy or disrespectful. take care of each other, even the strangers amongst us.

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" embracing the unknown future "

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to know that fear and how very palpable it feels all the time, like a wet cloak about your face. you reach the edge of the dark and leap jump wind in your legs, scatter!

freedom in the scurry away from a fearful past. you bolt and dart and zip past inhibitions! the grass feels amazing on the soles of your feet in near-flight. your libs pump and your chest fills with such a light.

for a moment, your eyes close briefly, and you exist for an eternity in that golden pause. everything is attainable, everything is possible, everything rests on your shoulders, and you can brace the burden.

your newfound confidence bears the mark for all to see, and they follow your lead. we're all in this together, and leave all despair behind us.

you are soaring!

tonight's homework:

treat yo'self!

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" prompt impromptu "

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having a BBQ for the just because, and the people your can gather together.

knowing summer is coming to an end, and pushing the thought out of your mind in lieu of laughter and getting silly with friends.

the maintenance of optimism, good vibes, cheer, and joviality.

defying all the woes in the world surrounding us, and claiming for a moment everything that is good, existing in that mood, extending it for as long as the day is long.

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" fun for fun's sake "

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electric blips, screaming out loud in close quarters, swirling lights.

tambourine jingle-jangle raucous, impromptu dancing, twisting, contortions, falling to the floor giggling.

alcoholic elation, shoveling snackies into your face, high-fives for everyone.

sing-a-song times, brilliant struggle times, queuing up and throwing down times.

music, friendship, group activities, common pasts, and unknown futures.

tonight's homework:

you've done so great this week so far. let loose a little and make sure to include some fun into the atmosphere to make up for the world's ills.

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" did you have a summah? "

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walking barefoot through the grasses, dirt beneath your feet and your body sinks ever so slightly into the earth.

laying down on a beach letting the sunbeams bathe your entire body in radiant light from a dying star. the waves brush and wash the sand in their endless cycle.

the smell of barbecue and savory sauces in the air, cast iron butter-browning caramelizing onions and farm fresh zucchini. laughter in the air and the clinking of brown beer bottles like wind chimes.

outdoor activities, sweltering film festivals on inflatable screens, boat rides on the rivers and bays, fireworks for no other reason than fun, long bike rides on narrow roads in the mountains, ice cold treats in the shade and shadows, spending time spanning time.

as summer comes to a luxuriously languid close, did you do your very best?

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" when the world is bigger than you "

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give praise where praise is due. we spend lots of time cooped up in our headspace, at home on the computer, in the studio crafting and creating, that at times we forget to really check in with our peeps.

those friends and collaborators we hold so dear, reflect the hard work we've put into our own projects. i like to set time aside to visit with friends just to see how they're doing, how their life is unfurling, and if they need any help with anything.

it's one thing to have an open door policy with people you invite into your life, but we must augment that openness with actual interaction. get a meal, watch a film, work on a project together, or even do something that has nothing at all related to your field of interest.

visit the zoo! draw a picture on napkins! swim in the ocean! rock climb a boulder or mountain! listen to albums together! slip underneath shadows and over sunbeams!

we forget we need a welcome break from our at times intensely myopic existence to touch bases with our collective anchors and touchstones. but it's almost always a great and beneficial thing, which can refuel your creativity for the next stretch of solitary confinement.

tonight's homework:

go to your nearest park, and administer a full one-hour dose of laying in the grass. stat!

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" every chance you have "

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this is it, the only time you have in which to make the best decision based on the information you've gleaned from however many years old you are.

now, tonight, today, this minute, is the singular one time in which to tell yourself "i am alive, and i will do my absolute best." to do anything less is fine; there will not be any test. but you'll know how much effort you put in, and you can never be disappointed with how it turns out.

even a moment of calm relaxation is a chance for you to really attempt to be present and without distraction. somewhere between a silent rest and a focused meditation, there can exist a feeling so great and so healing, that without even to consider it a go would be slightly foolish.

whether you believe it or not, there are so many opportunities out there. ones where you follow your dreams, achieve goals, make people happy, find and share love, go on long walks contemplating the nature of existence, movie marathons, laughter without a volume control, making yourself known to a stranger, collaborations with like-minded creatives, getting a foot in the door, pure adventuring which pushes you to your limits and beyond, and many more.

time is fleeting, and it's all happening as you read these words. don't let yourself down. you are so powerful, and all you have to do is try.

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" selector flip magic "

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usually i people watch for strangers who stand out in some way. whether they are those who broadcast outwardly and brash, or those who have a calmer, quieter poise, i usually gravitate towards people who entice my curiosity.

the other weekend, i attended the jazz age lawn party on governor's island, and a woman came up to me as i was standing with my cameras out just talking to friends. she asked if i charge for the photos, or i just do it for fun.

the answer being a mix of both at certain times, in this instance, it was definitely just for fun. i rarely have anyone both interested in the camera i happen to have on me, and ask me to take their photo. but she and her husband were so nice and calm and genuinely interested in a truly gleeful way, of course i offered!

the best best best part of this whole exchange is that they both had secreted their sleeping baby twin girls into the shot! it was the most redonkulous 4-for-1 polaroid i ever have taken!

i focused and composed the shot while they beamed and uncovered the girl's lovely little slumberfaces, and the exposure was made. after about a half-minute, i peeled the image away from the backing, and it was so good! so family and their pose was so good, ha!

this is what i love; the impromptu collaborations between strangers to make something so interesting, photo or just life moment. we spend a vast amount of our days avoiding strangers, and when your guard is down, you may miss some of the true gems. make heartfelt connections, however brief, and the elation is evergreen.

tonight's homework:

it's your turn to get out there into the world, and make a connection with someone you do not previously know. could be a conversation, could be a mere comment. but be open, honest, true to the moment, and respectful. there are diamonds out there.

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" sing a song "

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let it out, let go, belt it out.

feel the welling up of power in your diaphragm and push that melody out of your soul and into the world.

hum a ditty, harmonize, sing a tune, and find that joy in the vibrations.

nothing quite like it at all, and nothing matches the human voice in the same way.

sing sing sing out loud for all to hear! you'll feel great!

tonight's homework:

it's karaoke night. i'm going to sing hella songs, and you should too!

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" honey in the tea "

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be nice! at least attempt to give a damn!

you, yes you, can actually be a force for good! all it takes is a bit of gumption, confidence, and practice.

make an action and follow through with it. be kind, unabashedly kind. have empathy for everyone, even the ones who try to disrupt your world.

to know of a peace and not be able to invoke it's potential, that's a waste of time. so make the time. schedule a time, rid yourself of all distractions in order to get to task, make changes, check the little boxes off of your to-do lists.

it could start with a glance, a hand-hold, a hug, a conversation. i could be the beginning of something beautiful, and the ripples from the initial attempt never stop expanding.

tonight's homework:

really make a concerted and focused effort to do a little something to ease the aches and soothe the pain. just one moment necessary to turn a knot into smooth fibers, to steam out a wrinkle, and to undo a stubborn kink.

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" perfect days at all times "

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no matter the tone of the day, the fact that it may not be smith sailing, or the every is in low supply, you may benefit from really making an active attempt to make yourself feel better.

releasing some of that tension and stress through a walk around the block could do it. planking for a minute or so could activate some endorphins. drinking some tea is calming.

when it's a rough go, sometimes i just wander into a very very crowded space where i feel like most of the crowd is having a good time, and try to immerse myself in laughter and camaraderie.

perhaps some of that cheer and delight will rub off on my and turn a smudge of a day into a sunbeam.

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" solo time "

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you don't have to feel lonely when you're alone. sometimes i feel that long walks alone make for less distractions. you can determine your own path without consultation, there's no sense of having to wait for someone to catch up or to have to catch up to someone waiting for you. 

like so many solo activities, you are welcome to the experience of meditative thought; the freedom to think and ponder, and discuss things with yourself is sort of a pleasure. 

the most bittersweet aspect of a lone activity day is when you see something amazing or find yourself overwhelmed with the spectacular, you more often than not feel a flush of wanting someone to be there to share it with.

the world around us is pretty dynamic, and although we are beings who have a great capacity to adapt and change within those shifts in the surrounding environment, there is nothing like a friend or partner.

but only sometimes. most of the chances to walk around and exist by my lonesome i take and relish the opportunity. and one of my more present fears is that i may be growing more used to it.

tonight's homework:

take doe time aside for yourself, for the benefit and pleasure of your own, and see if spending some time with yourself makes you a more engaging person to be around others.

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" have a dream, live a dream "

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tried to peep out hanna hart's debut book signing event at the housing works bookstore last week, and the line was so so so long, that my friend and i could only get so close.

i was surprised firstly that there was so many people in line; at least four hundred based on how the staff had to meter the line entry. it snaked all over and throughout the store to such a serpentine level, that i'm not sure anyone was prepared at all.

secondly, a fair amount of the people in line were teenage girls. i suppose the culture of cool and the silly idea of a young woman (of drinking age) cooking meals while drunk is hilarious enough to garner this unexpected (to me) demographic to the signing.

maybe i'm wrong and there is a place for underage girls to support and get giddy about a web-show/book pertaining to the culinary arts alongside the consumption of alcohol(s). bt yeah, i was wide-eyed and confused. maybe they're just more NY than i.

the line weaved and curled, and my friend and i decided that we were too old for this ish, but in truth we had pre-gamed too hard and couldn't maintain the same level of excitement. new york always has some crazy good fun weird interesting activities, so until the next time, i'll sleep it off, and save my strength for the next oddity.

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" claiming your amazing "

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one of the hardest parts of being a creative person, is that line you constantly have to cross between "i am an artist, a creative person!" and "am i even creative at all?"

it's that wobbly wavering precipice where you attempt to find solid ground in solid work with roots over supposed projects of merit filled to the brim with notions, ideas, works-in-progress, et al.

the things i always come back to include a swirl of  immense doubt and immense satisfaction, crippling deconstruction and the ability to step back and  away confident, and craving feedback or praise and wanting the work to speak for itself and to let it go to exist in the world.

i know when i enjoy my work, but once you put it out there, it is beyond your hands. you have to learn to let go; to allow the work to be free of your artist's statement or blurb or explanation means to allow the work to be free of one distinct interpretation. i revel and intensely fear those moments.

the excitement of having new work to share and present mingling with the feelings of dread and "will they like it?" sort of do a tango in your chest until it crescendos and then you again realize it doesn't matter.

opinions will be opinions, critics will be critics, and in the end, do you like it. did you have fun making the work? did you learn something about someone or yourself? are you a better person for making the work?

i say follow your gut and heart and soul and any other pert of your existence which leads you to a life of ceaseless inquiry and exploration, creatively or otherwise. find a love for yourself at the same time as all others.

if it were easy, everyone would do this.

tonight's homework:

list your fears, then actively attempt to overcome them and your shortcomings. now is the right time to do and have it all.

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" in a curious way "

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i'm casting off. the weight of this ship bobs and scuttles against the lapping waters. the roar of the engine churns and swirls the river, and we're navigating towards a change of scenery.

with the sun brushing its fingers against my full face, the lilting hems of the wind's wide unseen contours whipping about my shoulders, and smiling friends by my side, we head to the island.

laughter bursts forth like the blooming of a field of flowers and the mood is adventure.

tonight's homework:

find a boat or ferry service, and take a ride somewhere. feel a new feeling, share a new experience, become a new person of your own volition.

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" toward distant shores "

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everything is evident that you are going to do amazing things. you're knowledgable, prepared for most everything, and the opportunity is now unfolding in front of you like postal of infinite possibility.

remain optimistic and put in your best efforts. no one will just hand anything to you on a gilded platter; you must earn your praise. and when received, remain humble, proud, talented, and push forward to better improve yourself, your relationships, your environment, the culture at large, the country, the planet.

it's no small task to be sure, and many have the chance and falter despite their best attempts.

but you've many people who believe in you, and are wishing you the very best of luck in every endeavor.

so walk forward into this new landscape of ever-evolving prospects. you are going to amaze and astound.

tonight's homework:

wish someone well, and make sure that you've done your best to help them along their path.

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" in a blink "

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moments of serendipity, and how we find each other out in the world.

she called out to me in the street, and i was at unawares. just the recognition wasn't enough. i could see a familiar shape, but dusk was descending, and maybe it could've been someone telling me my backpack was open.

but it wasn't at all.

separated briefly by a red light and how one cannot help but smile because you know hellos are in order. we greeted warmly, talked and strolled. then walked our way down south through the city, through the park. into and between the soft lights amidst the darkness.

everything looked brand new with another set of eyes peering around corners. exploration doesn't have to be rushed. you don't need to whip past so many things in order to feel like you did it, that you were there, that it meant something.

sometimes the slow pace is where you find out the most about yourself, your environment, and each other.

tonight's homework:

take a long walk with a friend to a destination unknown. keep your eyes open for everything and anything.

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" traveling a path "

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no way to know where it'll end or turn. this path is knurled, contorted, splinters and fractures at its own whimsy and without a care. there's no way to anticipate, just prepare.

i understand the hesitation, i do. and fear most definitely. how can there be a sense of blindly walking into the fray without knowing the layout, knowing the topography?

with a clear mind and a true heart, we must all attempt to do our best to muster up courage and bravery. and to know that you are never in this alone, gives me immense amounts of confidence that it will all turn out alright.

i look forward to each waking moment, and each beautiful dream, with the aims of merging the two. and in that, we can find the strength to gather ourselves up with all of our experience and knowledge, and navigate ourselves towards wonders unknown.

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