Monthly Archives: July 2005


clouds, Canon Digital Rebel

The world is not to be put in order, the world is order incarnate. It is for us to put ourselves in unison with this order.
– Henry Miller

little daisy

baby daisy, Canon Digital Rebel

If you’re in San Francisco, I will be presenting my photos at the Apple Store along with the Flickr peeps. Come see me!

A great photo essay called Why do you do what you do? made me sad to miss Burning Man again this year.

An incredible collection of photos by Edward Burtynsky is currently showing here in San Francisco. Be sure to click on breaking ground tailings.

P.S. Do you get the impression this daisy is smiling for the camera?

2 months old

my nephew Caleb, Canon Digital Rebel

I could take photos of this guy all day long. There is a familiarity about him that stirs me Looking at his face is like looking at baby pictures of my sister or of myself. I can see how this whole familial recognition thing helps perpetuate the species.

I just adore him.


A big thank you to everyone who has been commenting lately. I am forever amazed by your generosity, your big hearts, and your kind wisdom.

what do you know?

tiny leaves, Canon Digital Rebel

Not your fear, but what do you know?

My friend Jason asked me this years ago when I first started my jewelry business. I was telling him how I loved making the jewels, how I wanted my business to be successful, and how it just didn’t seem like it would ever be profitable. I was in tears by the end of the conversation, telling him all the reasons why it wouldn’t work.

And then he asked me that question: Not your fear Andrea, but what do you know? and it stopped me in my tracks.

I found myself saying, I know I’m creating something special. I know it will work eventually. I know it will take some time and staying steady. I know I can stay with it through the hard parts. I know I don’t want to quit.

And I did stick with it. And there were hard parts. And there were more tears and there were more days of wanting to quit, but when I checked in, when I asked myself that one question, it was like a key for me to my higher self. And my higher self wanted me to keep going. And it did eventually work.

When I think of getting pregnant these days, when I get really, really afraid, and I’m moving through the darkest places, I’ve been stopping myself and asking myself what I know. Because what I know is that I’m creating something special, that it’s going to work eventually, that it will take some time and staying steady, and that I can stay with it through the hard parts.

And somehow I know this is much closer to the truth than all of that fear.

as good as chocolate

chocolate graffiti, Canon Digital Rebel

Things as good as chocolate:
– Green tea tropical by Mighty Tea and Zhena’s gypsy teas.
Plantimals art by Alexis Mackenzie. They are currently showing at my favorite new cafe in San Francisco, called Ritual. They put leaves and hearts in your cappuccino; how can you resist them?
– My Crocs
– Poems by my talented friend Maya: 

one egg

do not think me twisted
when, despite the world’s galactic
ricochet of violence, i prefer, these days,
the retreat of breakfast.
over strong, creamed coffee i have time to contemplate
the blessedly innocuous catastrophes:
burnt toast. a shortage of butter.
how to make the meal for two using only one egg.
believe me,
i know how lucky i am.

And when chocolate is the only thing better than chocolate, there is Valrhona, Dagoba {dark chocolate lavender}, and Recchiuti.

Angel boy

colorful spools, Canon Digital Rebel

Reading Donovan’s story (see comments in last entry) made me think of an amazing story I hadn’t thought of in a while.

My friends and I were driving to Nevada for the infamous Burning Man festival in the Black Rock desert. The car was filled to the gills with 40 gallons of water, costumes, camping gear and 3 bicycles precariously dangling from a bike rack on the back.

I was afraid we weren’t going to make it. Our stuff was so heavy that the entire car was lowered and tires appeared flat. Hmm Fuck it. Let’s go! we said, anxious to get on the road.

About 45 minutes outside the city, my stomach wrapped in knots. Since I am prone to over-worry, I tried to tell myself everything was going to be okay, but I couldn’t get it out of my head that we were going to kill someone with our bikes or blow out a tire and kill ourselves. I made the unpopular suggestion that we throw the bikes away along with half of our water.

Instead, we stopped at a strip mall parking lot and tried to rebuild the rack that had lowered and loosened considerably since we started our journey. I felt sick to my stomach. No one else was as worried as I was, and nobody liked the idea of tossing our bikes.

I stepped into the car, sat down and closed my eyes. I had just read somewhere that if you need help from angels, all you have to do is invite them in. So I invited angels to help us and to keep us safe.

About 10 minutes later, a guy walked up out of nowhere and said enthusiastically, I know where you’re going. Burning Man! He was going the following day and I immediately asked, Do you have any extra room? Without skipping a beat, he said, Yeah sure. I have an empty truck. Not only did he have a huge empty truck, but he had it in the parking lot at that moment.

We loaded up his truck with 3 bicycles and 24 gallons of water and gave him his official Burning Man name, Angel boy.

He arrived the next day at our camp and said, Anyone waiting for some bikes around here?

the missing spool

The Missing Spool, Canon Digital Rebel

Last week, I found my bike in the basement and it wasn’t working. The brakes were disconnected, but not in the usual way, and I became instantly frustrated and confused. Damn! Why can’t I ever learn to operate my bike?

I considered the bike shop up the street. I thought about how many times I have had similar questions and wheeled my bike over, sheepishly asking for help with my silly questions. Could you show me how to pump up the tire? How do you know if it’s full? Um, is the chain broken or is it just off its rocker?

The guy at the bike shop is endlessly patient. He’s kind and always steps away from his actual bike repairs to help me out. I am always grateful. And he always hands me a flier and says, We have free community classes on bike repair. And I take a flier and never go.

So here I am once again, in my basement, with my brakes all disconnected and I try to connect them myself, but the shit really looks broken, you know? And I consider the internet, then just taking the bus, then of course the bike shop. And I hope that the same guy isn’t there and someone I haven’t bothered yet might be there instead.

I walked the bike over, and it’s him, the really nice one. And he hooks the brakes up in about 30 seconds flat with a smile.

As I left, I thought of a story I heard recently. Richard Leider, a career coach who wrote a book on people finding their calling, asked a cab driver if he enjoyed his work. The cab driver turned around and said, Mister, I do this to make a living. And nope, I don’t enjoy it. Then Richard asked, On the days you are most fulfilled, what are you doing? A smile crept over his face and his 60 something year old eyes twinkled and he said, I love helping the old ladies. They call me each week and I take them to the grocery store and then help them bring their bags up to their house. I’m their guy.

Do you get paid more for this? Richard asked.

No but these are the days I enjoy my job.

And I thought about the guy at the bike shop and how, like the old ladies with the taxi driver, how he’s my guy and imagined for a moment that some of the days he likes his job most are when he’s helping people like me

brave girl

Cindy in pink, Canon Digital Rebel

This is Cindy.

and she is brave and beautiful.

She emailed me this spring asking about my rates for portrait sessions. I responded, we booked a time, and I asked her some questions about whether it would just be her, what the occasion was, what kind of look she was going for, etc. I was honored that she planned to drive up from Los Angeles to be photographed by me.

I got her permission to share what she said:

So here’s the dealit will be just me. I have always hated having my picture taken, and can find beauty in any photograph unless it includes me! I am just emerging from a bit of a funk (read: horribly depressed) and I am now determined to experience life and do the things that scare me and embrace the results, no matter what they may be. I am really trying to get to know myself again and have planned this solo weekend getaway to San Francisco to just nurture myself and explore that girl who got buried by the world’s expectations.

We had such a great time together that we spent almost the entire day taking photos and driving to beautiful scenic spots in San Francisco. This photo was taken at Fort Point.

I share Cindy’s story because I am moved by her courage, her brave instinct to celebrate herself coming out of the dark, and her willingness to see herself in such a vulnerable way. Maybe it was the timing (I was slowly emerging from my own dark place) but her healing gift to herself healed me a little bit too. That’s what we can do for each other. Being brave isn’t just about you. It’s about all of us.

Thank you Cindy.

god’s creation

the beach at Tennessee Valley, Canon Digital Rebel

I went on a wonderful walk in Tennessee Valley yesterday. It’s a few miles to the beach and the evening was thick with fog. It was mysterious and quiet, and I felt completely alone there and completely safe. For one of the first times in my life, I felt connected in a deep way to the landscape. The only way I have to describe it (and I feel a little shy saying it) is that I felt like God’s creation, equal to and of everything around me. The dirt and sand beneath me, the shriek of birds on the cliffs, the spiky nettles, the purple and orange wildflowers peeking through the grey mist, the smell of eucalyptus in the air. I felt connected to all of it. Different, but the same. Just god’s creation, moving through the world

There is a way that nature speaks, that land speaks. Most of the time we are simply not patient enough, quiet enough, to pay attention to the story.
– Linda Hogan


Wading, Canon Digital Rebel

One of my favorite painters in the world is Eric Zener. We met years ago, here in San Francisco, and at the time I was painting quite a bit. I loved that he, like me, graduated from UCSB with a degree in Business/Economics and then promptly picked up a paintbrush. He has always inspired me. I think he’ll inspire you too. Some favorites are here and here and here.