Monthly Archives: March 2003

Ode to orange


the color orange, Nikon Coolpix 4500

Orange makes me happy.
Orange is hot, it’s brave, it’s bold, it’s inspired. It’s spring sprung.
Orange is Pedro Almodovar movies and expensive pedicures.
Orange is adventure.
Orange is the smell of my bathroom due to the citrusy mist stuff we buy at Trader Joe’s.
Orange is edible flowers and ripe persimmons.
Orange is tanned skinned women in Miami with low cut blouses.
Orange is fearless.

In celebration of orange:
orange girl
one orange sweater
bluishorange
orange superhero necklace

Pink Daisies


Pink daisies, Nikon Coolpix 4500 

The Small Things

I’ve always been a fan of the small things. I love to photograph the smallness, the tiny details that we don?t usually notice. I am the one who gets irritatingly close to your face with the camera to photograph the tiny blond hairs that come off of your cheek.

Small things, like the tiny fingernails of my friends’ newborn baby hanging over the edge of the sling. Small like that one line of age on my left cheek I am riveted by in photos. A small sign of age.

Small things like the small shift of sadness in my mother?s voice when I ask her, But mom, really, how are you?? and she says, Oh, fine.

These are the small things that add up to a life. They are small things, and yet, strung together like beads on a necklace, they can create something sad or strange or beautiful. A life.

There’s a guy who wrote a book called Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff, and It’s All Small Stuff. But is it really?

I learned how to cross country ski this year. I was nervous, took about 20 excruciating minutes to get my skis on and went painfully slow for the first hour. On the way back, I hit a downhill stretch that was amazing. I was grooving, flowing, literally in the grooves in the snow feeling high, like I was the greatest skier who ever lived.

Until I saw a curve in the distance.

Logic and physics would dictate that I would simply stay in the grooves and follow the curve, but my fear questioned whether I would keep going straight, jump the grooves and go flying to my death off a cliff.

So in a moment of panic, I jumped the grooves myself and dove into the snow, just to be sure that in a pinch, there was a way out. A skier stopped and asked if I was okay, if I needed help. No, I did it on purpose, I explained, just wanted to make sure I could. Puzzled, he skied away

Do I do this in my life? See a curve in the distance, leap out of the groove, and fall on my face just to know that I can? What if I trusted that the grooves would carry me safely along, just like the skiers ahead of me and behind me?

Is this a small thing?

Lists like prayers

andrea_eyebrow.jpg
self-portrait

I have always been a compulsive list maker. If you opened my bag right now you would find lists upon lists of things to do. If you peered into the pages of my journal you would find lists of places I’ve been. If you opened the cigar box on the third shelf of my bookcase, you would find lists (old lists) of the qualities I would want in the perfect partner.

These lists, the ones in the cigar box, are like my orders to the universe. The cigar box is my pnueumatic tube to heaven. Do you remember those tubes you would use to make deposits at the drive thru bank window? Like that.

There was a day last year when I was so sure, so afraid I might be pregnant, that I made a list of all the reasons why it wouldn’t be right to have a child right now, and a list of promises of never having unsafe sex again, and put it in the tube.

Years ago, a week before Matt and I got together, I made a list of why I was ready for my true love to come my way, and then signed the note with Send him to me this week. Thank you, Andrea.

The truth is, lists work, and that’s why I make them. They remind me of my intentions, whether I intend to get cheese, turkey and bread at the store or I intend to find a new work space for my business. I compulsively  make these lists so I can organize all of my desires and duties. If I can see them, I know they are real.

I learned about manifesting for the first time when I was searching for an apartment in San Francisco (during the boom) and was coming up with nothing. I happened to get a reading from a psychic at that time, who (not knowing I was moving) said dramatically, I want to move, and I want to move now!? I was shocked that she knew this, and stared at her with wide eyes, nodding yes.

But they don’t know what you want, she said matter of factly.

You have to tell them how many bedrooms and what color carpet and how’s the water pressure?

And so I made a list:
1 bedroom, 3rd floor, hardwood floors, great water pressure

Within three days, my friend called and said I found it!, and it was everything on our list. (I should have asked for two bedrooms!)

Maybe lists aren’t just lists to ourselves, but like placing our orders up to the universe.

Maybe lists are like prayers.

Mirror Project


andrea in ikea, nikon coolpix 4500

I know, i know. I keep mentioning the mirror project. It’s just SO good.

La Cabana


Inside Chris and Jacques’ house, Nikon Coolpix 4500

I spent the weekend at a dear friends’ house in Santa Barbara. They have a beautiful bungalow on an avocado ranch tucked in the hills above the ocean. It felt good to take a break for a few days, to be far away from the media, from the rage, from the mess we’ve made of the world.

Sometimes I forget that there are stars out every night and jasmine in the air. I forget about stillness. I forget that the world’s not just sirens and bottles breaking and people yelling at each other in the street.

We slept on an outdoor bed piled high with comforters and pillows.

The sound we heard as we slept was strangely comforting – the crunch of raccoons eating the cats food just below the bed.

Michael Bernard Loggins is my superhero

michael_smile_1.jpg
Michael Bernard Loggins, Nikon Coolpix 4500

I’m afraid. Afraid of what we’re doing to the world, afraid of the bombs, afraid to listen to the radio and hear anymore bad news.

I thought it was brilliant that this week, when fear is at its height for so many, that the radio show This American Life featured Michael Bernard Loggins and his book, Fears of Your Life, A Whole Brand New One.

Michael is a student at Creativity Explored in San Francisco, an art center for adults with developmental disabilities, and a place where I have been volunteering for about 4 years. The art that comes out of there is extraordinary, free, unusual, and beautiful.

Several years ago, Michael made a list of all of his fears (138 of them) which was made into a zine. The list is poignant, deep, and full of poetry.

Michael mentions me, in the sweetest of ways, as one of his fears.

Give a listen.

(Note: If you want to skip over a sad story at the beginning of the episode, Michael’s piece begins 34 minutes into the show.)

Another note: When Michael inscribed his book for me he wrote, I love you Andrea. You are my special friend. You are #2.

Make Art

spools1.jpg
spools of thread, Nikon Coolpix 4500

When all else fails, make more art.

Tell more stories, paint more paintings, learn to sew, photograph someone you love, put more beauty back into the world.

Here is a list of projects and sites to inspire you:
20 things
the mirror project
things we do for love
other people’s stories
this american life
1000 journals
get crafty
sublime
stitching

list of mail art projects
not martha
peace poster competition

Bloggin’

yellow_flowers.jpg
Yellow Flowers, Canon EOS

I’m new to this whole blogging thing. I’ve been a closet blogger for years, a shadow blogger if you will, visiting other people’s journals each day, wishing I had my own, dreaming of my new life as blogger girl, and also wondering what the heck I would even say.

I took a writing class led by Laurie Wagner to begin exercising my writing muscle. It helped. I felt my confidence growing, my imagination stretching, and my hand moving more gracefully. I was getting in shape for my big day. The day I would have my very own web log.

Well, the day finally came. And like most big days, they aren’t always what you expect. Sasha built me this exquisite page, sifted through the tool movabletype and finally emailed me and said, Blog away!

And then I sat for the entire weekend (it was gorgeous and sunny outside) staring at my computer screen, with nothing to say, thinking I had already failed in advance because I wasn’t really a writer and what I was doing this for anyway?

During one of these mind numbing stare-a-thons with my computer, my friend Susan called and I admitted that I had created this journal and what was I even going to write about? and would anyone even read it? and how much do I actually want to share? and will my parents be reading this?

I just have no idea what to say, I told her.

She told me to start there, to write about the not knowing. And so I am.

I have nothing to say on my web log.

Yet.

Sasha is the bomb.


New Year’s Eve 2002, Nikon Coolpix 4500

Welcome to the Superhero Blog!

This is an exciting moment for me. I’ve been dreaming about adding a journal to the superhero site for years and the day has finally come. With the help of my dear friend Sasha, it’s finally happened! Besides being my favorite supermodel, she is also a brilliant designer and illustrator. You can see her web site here. Thank you Squash!

What you will find on this part of the site:
– – – photos
– – – resources for artists
– – – links to amazing people and places
– – – personal essays

After three years of having Superhero Designs, I’ve discovered that the greatest pleasure I get from having my business is the community that has been created as a result of it. I’m so thrilled to have a place where this can grow