Monday, February 4, 2013


creating haven

I'd like to see the South of France.

And Asheville.

And Sedona.

And Reykjavic.

And Tuscany.

And South Africa again, too.

What is the proper method for going about life when a severe case of wanderlust sinks in? The method doesn't even have to be proper. It just has to be.....a method. A coping mechanism. A bandaid for the time being, until the world travel can really happen.

Perhaps there needs to be the expansion, first. The watching of movies and the reading of National Geographics and the stumbling upon of photos that take your breath away and spark a sincere desire for more. For possibility, for excitement, for culture. One minute you're putting in Under The Tuscan Sun for a cheap weekend chick flick and the next minute you're pressing pause abruptly, looking up sharply, and speaking aloud to no one in particular: "I must go to Tuscany." (This has happened to me once before -- I was drifting off to sleep when I sat bolt upright and declared I must go to some such place. And I did, four weeks later -- although that was just to NYC, not across oceans.) The presence of possibility must be there first.

And then there's this idea of home, that home is found within you, deep in the recesses of your heart. And that home doesn't depend on where one is physically in the world.

I've always struggled with that one.

It can be especially difficult, when you're trying to navigate the deep recesses of your heart and your outer surroundings are so decidedly not home. At least, not in that moment. Unpacking your belongings and setting up shop within your own body can seem like the farthest thing from truth.

bathroom sink 

And then there are moments when you're cleaning the bathroom, immersing yourself in the most mundane of tasks simply because a series of repetitive actions without much thinking sounds good to you, and you're suddenly caught by the Saturday morning sunlight catching the water droplets in your just-scrubbed sink and you think to yourself: "That has got to be the most beautiful thing in the world." And so getting out the camera and taking pictures of the bathroom sink becomes perfectly natural, in that moment. It is the closest thing to truth, safety, resonance, and warmth that you've felt in awhile.

The mundane suddenly becomes the magical. The act of making the bed, refilling your water glass, hanging up your coat, setting the alarm, pushing in your chair.....punctuated by the most astounding moments of clarity and contentment. One day after another, in and out, mundane and magic.

And then -- you've created a haven. The word "haven" has been following me lately, tugging at my heels wanting to be heard. It feels nurturing and expansive and personal. It feels like an enormous blank wall, all your own. Settling down into this haven, unpacking the items marked "fragile" and spreading the softest comforter over the bed -- this is where the room for possibility is created. The room for moments of sharp wanderlust that hit you gently in your gut and make you think, "Oh yeah. I'll go there some day, for sure." The room for hyper-awareness of the clarity and contentment that will undoubtedly rush in.

Someday I'll see the South of France. And Asheville, and Sedona, and Reykjavic, and Tuscany, and I'll go back to South Africa, too.

But for now, I'm setting up a haven. Deeply and soulfully. And stopping to take pictures, yes.


  1. I thrive in the magic of the mundane:)

  2. Beautifully written x Have you read Hand Wash Cold by care instructions for an ordinary life by Karen Maezen Miller?

    1. I haven't, but you're not the first person to suggest this to me...hmm....

  3. this post made me giggle a little, because Saturday Night I was DYING to watch Under The Tuscan Sun, but i must have lent it to my sister, because it is missing from my collection!
    I hear this so much! I have been dying to travel for almost 2 years. You should come with me and my friend Jenn! Next summer ( 2014) We are planning a month of backpacking through Europe. France, Italy, Ireland, Scotland, Maybe a stop over in London. It would be wonderfuL!

    1. That sounds like an awesome trip, Mary. And yeah, Under The Tuscan Sun will do that to you! xo

  4. i recently told my friend-ordinary living is the hardest thing to do. we are often living peak to peak experience but to settle down in this ordinary life takes courage and attention.


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