31 July 2014

On Iteration, Reiteration, and Trying Again

aesthetic fauna | NYC
"The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results."
Most people of my generation have been hearing this quotation all their lives. Most of us have accepted it without resistance, repeated it without much forethought.

After again witnessing this assertion rear up in a conversation recently, I felt uncomfortable at the prospect of trusting in it, an instinctive refusal to repeat it. Why? Because, isn't this what all creative people do every day? Take any creative endeavor, or, really, any endeavor. Writing. Photography. Baking. Tomato cultivation. Race car driving. Competitive cycling. Whether it's a physical muscle or a creative one we're flexing, in most ventures we must practice. Practice. Practice. Practice. Until we're nearly broken, until we all but give up.

21 July 2014

Domestic quickies

Although the sweltering heat feels like an ill-fitting coat on normally mild and wet Amsterdam, it means sunblock, picnics galore, wading pools, running around in underwear, and strikingly blue skies. I'll take it. And we're in the middle of a 24-hour rainy, cool reprieve before returning to summer, squared tomorrow.

Also, cute and hilarious: in the top photo, Julian is doing his new favorite thing, flopping his mask-wearing self on the floor, spread eagle, and exclaiming, I'M A BEAUTIFUL BUTTERFLY!!! Yes, yes you are, child of mine. 


14 July 2014

Quickies in de zon//in the sun

In the last couple weeks, I have planted, harvested, seen and experienced every emotion known to man/woman/dog/child, slept in, stretched my toes in the strangely freshwater Ijmeer, and surrendered myself to a long walk in relentless rain. 

Take what comes at you, peeps, because despite what you believe, you don't really have a choice.


13 July 2014

Hunting For Happy: Groth's Country Gardens

Groth's Country Gardens
We all have our happy places. Some of them are far, far away, too distant to travel to but once in a lifetime, and afterwards only in our minds. For me, that place is Loh Moo Dee Beach in Thailand, a nearly deserted stretch of white sand and pristinely clear water, only accessible by water or foot. 

I digress. An emotionally intelligent person keeps in the pocket a list of places nearer to home that serve as sanctuaries for the senses, the mind, the spirit. As an angst-ridden and often unbearably moody tiener, my local happy place was Groth's Country Gardens, a sprawling herd of greenhouses overflowing with vegetation from every continent and of every color. I'd go to walk, to smell, to touch, and to restore what equilibrium I could in the years many reminisce on as the roughest of their lives. 

11 July 2014

Tri-State Zomer Extravaganza

Wisconsin, Indiana, Illinois, May 2014: blooming flowers, budding trees, a late spring blossoming suddenly into summer, horses, a visit to a dearly departed (NL-->US, not life-->death) friend, a day trip to Chicago with my dear not-so-little-anymore and budding photographer cousin. Shit tons of playgrounds. Happy faces. Two easy peasy snuggled-up sleepers on the almost nine-hour flight home.

Bedankt, Mericuh. Het was goed.


10 July 2014

Thing Lust, Summer Edition

Never have I pined for an expensive handbag. Not once. It's been something I've wanted as much as, uh, front row tickets to an NFL game (barf). But last week in Paris, this beauty appeared, an etherial vision of cowhide and brass, with angels singing and everything. I'm so thankful it was a bag and not a human being, because if it were the latter, I'd have a mammoth crisis. Handcrafted in the UK, this bag is a tactile experience; no photo can accurately reflect its quality. 

I'm still a bit flushed and abashed for this inexplicable attraction, but in the way of all new courtships, I'm too giddy to keep it to myself. Until someone screws up and owes me big, I'll gaze longingly at the photo and remember the sensation of sturdy leather in my hands. Gaaaaah. Note to self: Never judge anyone, ever, for weird accessory fetishes.