a few words about miss chelsea elizabeth...

she likes: making kites, dancing in the rain, adventures, little-while friends, letters, whole-leaf tea, crayons, bare feet, jumping in rivers/streams/creeks/waterfalls, language, catching the clock as it changes numbers, sleepovers, trains (big or small), cuddling & waking up before the sun rises, among other random things.

oregon-born, seattle-raised, bellingham-bred and franco-refined, she had moved back to the states from her affairs across the atlantic & now resides in columbia city with french husband & love of her life rémy. they spend most of their time taming the garden, taking care of their three chickens & two cats, and preparing the urban homestead for a new little chick of their own.

Saturday, February 20, 2010


i find sculptures fascinating. not so much because of the end product, but because of the process. how someone can look at a hunk of rock and see venus de milo somewhere under all those layers, i find it absolutely incredible. how they slowly, patiently chip away at the unnecessary pieces. and what a violent image it is, too, no? hammering away, chunks of rock and sand and dust strewn about at the feet of the sculptor. and the artist's tools, are they not also found in the hands of vandals? used to demolish houses? used to crack through ice or smash in walls? slice, prick, perforate, penetrate, puncture, stab. these are not pretty verbs, but all of them apply to hammers and chisels and saws and drills. mallets, axes, and water erosion machinery.

it's a violent, violent process it seems.

and yet the end product is stunning, simply spectacular. how do they do it?

and how many of us look at something as magnificent as the west wind (above, by thomas r. gould) and see the hunk of plain marble that it used to be? or admiring a totem pole see the log it was carved from? or better yet, that single tree chosen somewhere deep within a whole forest?

i fear not many of us do.

for a long long time i felt my own life was being chipped away at. pieces of me broken off, parts i can never get back. and just thinking about it hurt. lately i've been seeing it from a different angle. i can't help looking at the rough, course, distorted image of who i am now and imagining the beautiful sculpture that is being revealed. i only hope i'll be finished before my time on this lovely earth is up.

i'll leave you with part of the opening monologue from shadowlands by william nicholson:

"we're like blocks of stone, out of which the sculptor carves the forms of men. the blows of his chisel, which hurt us so much, are what make us perfect. the suffering in the world is not the failure of god's love for us; it is that love in action. for believe me, this world that seems to us so substantial is no more than the shadowlands. real life has not begun yet."

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

quarter century club

well, life sure has creeped up on me. i had forgotten how fast time flies when you actually have things on your schedule. and being employed has made me see how horrible i've gotten at time management.

and now all of a sudden my birthday has come and gone and i've realized how OLD i feel. or maybe old isn't the right word. i am well aware that twenty-five is not fifty or even thirty, but it's right around the corner! i am officially approaching thirty freaking years old and i have no idea what i am doing with my life!!! it's a scary concept.

but despite my backward/hippie/gypsy (as my grandpa would say) ways (as in the fact that i have little money, even less career, and no signs of either one coming to me anytime soon), looking back on the past few years i can see how much i have accomplished.

let's make a list, shall we?
- ran a marathon at 19
- graduated cum laude in four years with two bachelor degrees at 22
- lived/worked in taiwan
- moved to france (to work) at 22
- rode my bike to spain from central france at 23
- traveled around the entire US at 23/24 (visiting 32 states)
- married a frenchman at 24
- suceeded in the horrifying process that is immigration
- learned to grow my own food/maintain a garden
- learned to cook amazing stuff (homemade breads, homemade soy milk/tofu, homemade wines)
- sucessfully found a job in a foreign country
- started saving for future bike travel around the world

of course there are plenty of things i'd love to accomplish before i hit the three decade mark, but then again five years is quite a chunk of time when you really think about it. until then i guess i'll just keep following my heart and keep my mind open to life's little surprises and we'll see where in this beautiful world i end up!