Wednesday, June 30, 2010

guess who got a new macro lens?

and i love it, love it, love it! i can't wait to start doing some food photography with this baby. all of these photos were taken within a block of my house. it helps me to remember that even though i have construction on my street right now (doesn't it seem like they are doing construction in all of dc at once right now?) that there is a lot of prettiness as well.

i'm just back from mexico, where i was the photography for a big, spirited ethiopian wedding at an all-inclusive in the yucatan. the whole experience so wonderful that i am still absorbing it and don't really have words for it yet except that it made my heart feel wide-open big and taught me again and again about just trusting in the process because it can be so good.

my heart feels bigger somehow.
and more peaceful.
i brought the vacation home, which involves reggae and ethiopian food.
i'm not sure i'll ever let it leave.
except that i leave for peru tomorrow
and that will be a totally different thing.
things come and go and if i can be wide open it all feels good.
life feels like it's moving fast but i'm getting better at going with it.
so i'll say thank you for the movement, the flow, my life.
and take a nap now before the next thing comes.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

pictures of the past weeks.

lovely jenn looking like a forest sprite.

my mom was in town from florida last week. she was a dedicated student in my classes and made sure i made good on my mother's day promise of a thai massage.

oh louie louie, you live in the best house (seriously this house was out of architectural digest).

i've been getting a few horse photography jobs lately and they've been really fun. beautiful animals and a good chance to escape the city for a few hours.

ah, i am leaving for mexico tomorrow night and then peru after that. i have more photo work then i could even imagine (three pet sessions last weekend and i assisted a wedding) and have agreed to sub extra classes in this last week.

i feel like i keep saying the above sentence to everyone that i talk to. how are you? i am busy busy busy. is it any wonder that i am busy when it's all i talk about?

is there a way to find peace within the activeness? can i figure out how to not worry about the work i haven't done yet so i can be more firmly in the moment? or is it just inevitable that there will be times when i feel a little out of control of my schedule?

i was talking in my yoga classes today about being present. it's like everybody knows that you are supposed to be present. so much so that living in the moment feels like just another thing to put on the to-do list. mail photographs. write her back. be present.

so here is what i think about that. i think that awareness follows joy. i think it's really hard to find awareness when we do the same things all the time so that our brains get put on auto-pilot. we need to shock our brains into paying attention with fun, beauty, humor.

here are a few things that have been keeping me fully in the moment...not because i have to be but because i want to be: making my first batch of red zinger sun tea, giving the sweetest thai massage to my friend lisa, taking a photo walk to try out my new 100mm macro lens (i love this pretty. photographs to follow. i can't wait to use this for food photography), teaching pigeon/mermaid tonight in class, a few key goodwill purchases, seeing my yoga kids at their graduation ceremony last night and getting to talk to the room about why yoga helps kids, two pints of haagen dazs (mango and caramel cone) and the first season of arrested development.

hopefully i'll have time to post again before i leave for peru. if not, then i'll be shouting out from the amazon in a few weeks. love!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Monday, June 14, 2010

imaginary lives.

i loved this couple reading together on the metro.

oatmeal with strawberries and yogurt from timor (the store).

a few of my favorite juice glasses.

peace. lily.

early morning view from my room.

i was challenged by a new yoga friend to answer the following questions from this blog post that are inspired by the book/creativity workshop called the artists way (i have written about the amazing practice from this book of writing morning pages before--i still totally swear by it) and i thought i would share the answers.

write ten things you love:
1. airports
2. thai massage
3. kombucha
4. hanging out with my brother
5. my bed
6. this blog
7. watching 30 rock
8. clothing swaps
9. gelato from dolcezza
10. my neighborhood

write five things you would do if you knew you wouldn’t fail.

1. pursue liz gilbert being my mentor
2. go to art school--have an art show
3. write a book
4. learn to sing
5. apply for a fulbright grant

write five alternative lives you would like to live other than your own.

1. a doctor without a border
2. an artist like this lady
3. a flamenco dancer
4. an anthropologist studying the amazon
5. a hardcore photojournalist like eugene richards

write four tiny things you can do in the life you have to bring you closer to those imagined lives.

1. investigate if anyone wants to trade voice lessons for yoga
2. ask at big bear or yoga district if i can have a photo show when i get back from peru this summer
3. sign up for art classes at nova this fall
4. go see the doctors w/o border documentary at e street

now, imagine an older, wiser version of yourself who has some advice to share.

what do you need to know?

that really, everything is going to be okay. to start exactly where i am now and start believing that the life of my dreams is a very real possibility. to say "no" more often and care less about people liking me and more about the things that really bring me joy. that my presence is extremely valuable and to be patient and to play more and let things work themselves out. also, not to waste time being angry at people--love is more important than being right.

what do you need to embrace?

rest, play, everyday decadence, mindfulness, trying something new every day, transforming negatives, people just as they are, finding the beauty in the mundane, telling the truth, sharing what i am really going through and appreciating what i do have going on for me. my life, my presence, the love i offer the world.

what do you need to do?

just jump right in. start writing a book and believe that the process will take you there. keep playing music even if you can only play two songs. find the beauty in every moment and find ways to document it--draw it, photograph it, write a song about it. dance a lot and trust my body to do amazing things. relax and keep on going even if things aren't flowing because they will start to flow as soon as you let go. believe fully in who i am.

what do you need to grieve?

that i can't make everyone happy and still be happy myself. that i have a strong perfectionistic streak in me that is how i try to control situations that make me uncomfortable. that people can't always give me what i need. that i am not 22 anymore and my world view is more complicated in a lot of ways. that i can't trust everyone. that sometimes i have to parent my parents. that i've spent a lot of time in my life not listening to myself or taking the time to believe in my vision and therefore have missed out on some awesome opportunities because i haven't been ready for them.

what do you need to celebrate?

that i am here now, breathing and beautiful. that i have work that i love that feels natural and healing. that i know how to always come back to appreciation and find the positive in every moment when i focus. that i have had such amazing travel/living abroad opportunities and met so many amazing teachers over these past years. that i have grown as a human being. that i have taken so many risks. that my dreams are alive and vibrant and i feel better poised then ever to go in their direction. that i feel connected to the experience of being alive more then i ever have before. the beauty of human imperfection and truth.


i've done a lot of thinking about dreams in this past year, mostly from taking this online course. i believe there is a special energy that comes when we talk about what we want. as human beings we are changing all of the time and i believe our minds should be used to set the course of where we want to go. i think if we can envision something different for ourselves then chances are we can figure out how to make it happen.

i think a lot about the idea that everything, all the raw materials, that we need to make our most advanced technology have always existed on our planet since we've known about it. so what has changed? our vision of what is possible.

but i understand that dreams can be a little scary, especially when they seem really out there. i always feel that way when i write about wanting to play music--like i am way too old and not naturally talented, etc. but the truth is that is something my heart wants and i can take my little steps. i mean, a year ago i couldn't play an instrument and now i technically do play the piano (two songs worth of the piano). so writing about the teeny tiny changes we can make reminds me again and again that the only way to achieve my dreams is to start living them now, in this very moment, in any small way that i can and then i can just leave the rest up to life.

so if you are inspired, take a few minutes and do the list yourself. if you want, you can post your list in the comments to this post and give your dreams a little public attention which they totally deserve.

Friday, June 11, 2010

jimbob productions.

Log Warriors - Making the Soundtrack trailer from Jimmy Nguyen on Vimeo.

jimmy and i used to edit the peace corps newsletter together and then him and his wife, lenah lived in our basement when we all moved back to dc. although he has only been making movies for a little while, i think he is getting really good. he started by doing a documentary on street musicians (during which time he brought two of these musicians to my house during a peace corps party. they were so appreciative of all the peruvian food we had prepared) and has moved into longer films, such as one called the "island dog robber" that was filmed in st. kitts. i love the trailer for his new short mockumentary called "log warriors." i don't want to call it too soon, but i think he is about to blow up on the dc film scene. if you want to see for yourself, "log warriors" is premiering on june 19th in arlington. you can find details of the event here.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

plant life city.

this salad held me captive for half an hour.

it took a little bit of scavenging, but i found these two dandelions in my neighborhood jenn!

baby basil plant. a present from sweet diana before her departure.

i ate cherries at my desk while listening to michael franti and the breeze was coming through the window and it was a good moment.

i've been so inspired by this blog lately and it makes me want to celebrate more of the little things around me and how they bring me joy.

i just finished my thai massage certification (want me to practice on you? email me!) and i keep thinking about the advice another thai masseuse mike relayed at the acroyoga retreat from one of his teachers. he said that when working with someone's muscles, you can never go too deep but you can always go too fast. i keep repeating that to myself and i think this is a powerful lesson. i can never listen to a song too deeply. i can never look at something for too long. i can never listen to someone too much. i can always go too fast and wonder where my day went.

taking these pictures of what is beautiful and makes me happy helps me to slow down enough to see the good stuff that is going on the cracks in between the issues and events of my everyday life. and in that slowing down i can go really really deep, right down to the core of the present moment and all its wonders. at lunch today, i was so into my salad (spinach, local snow peas, tomatoes, sauteed baby bella mushrooms, blueberries, gorgonzola, and toasted sesame seeds eaten with half a tamale). i ate it completely hungry, totally engrossed, sitting on my back porch on my favorite pink plate that has stayed with me since college. when it was gone and i looked up, everything seemed oddly alive. i watched the sunlight on the dirty plastic chair covered in pollen and the plants i forget to take care of but grow anyways and two bees circling each other up into the sky and i knew there are worlds within our worlds that are happy to show us so much when we decide to drop-in for a visit. yes, the world waits for us until we are ready to really show up.


also, i saw the broken bells last night and the music was so great and it only confirmed every positive feeling i've ever had about danger mouse. he's incredible to watch on stage--tall and shy and slightly autistic seeming in how he is processing the music--but as a yogi i worry about his slumpy shoulders and all that drumming. i've decided a new life dream is to give him a thai massage session. if i can ever get that close to him, you can be sure that this massage will be given with the pure metta, friendship love that thai is intended as and also the creepy mel from flight of the conchords, too much of a fan kind of love. while i am waiting for that to happen, enjoy this cover that they also played at the show last night.

and best wishes to my friend steven who is recovering from some heart troubles but still knows perfectly well how to care for his ticker.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

heaven & earth

"Do not seek the because - in love there is no because, no reason, no explanation, no solutions." Anais Nin