Heat

It’s smokin’ hot outside. End of August, usually cooling down by now, a bit. The Amazon is burning. On August 18th Iceland held a funeral for Okjökull glacier, its first to disappear due to climate change. It’s hot outside but not as hot as next summer or the one after that.

And yet, life continues. The stock market makes the news. Presidential hopefuls discuss health care, taxes, tariffs, and sometimes the climate. Babies are born. Kids start school. We drive and eat and cook and camp and make things and go to work because, what else can we do?

The iceberg had been hit but we are all still on the boat and so the band plays on.

I planted a garden in the spring and, besides watering daily, proceeded to mostly ignore it. And yet, it grew. Chard, kale, tomatoes, basil, beets, and carrots. So forgiving.

How to stay engaged when it is all so big, so staggeringly big and important? What to do when it seems there’s nothing to be done? Small choices. Unplug your plugs. No more beef. Grow veggies. Hang laundry to dry. Use a ceiling fan. Ban plastic.

Lately I spend more time with young children and their parents than ever in the past. They have an optimism, out of necessity, that I latch on and cling to. No time for cynicism.

Keep going. Nature has a way of balancing and renewing. In this case I don’t know what that will look like but, don’t give up!

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Summmmmer.

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For the first time in fifteen years, I am having a summer vacation. Like the analog kind I remember from the 1980’s and early 90’s, pre- summer jobs. Hence the infrequent posts. The heat has turned off my ability to think clearly and I find myself wanting to read other’s words (books!!) rather than write my own.

Pools, oceans, tents, hikes, streams, hammocks, books, gardens…

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Zucchini in the spiralizer, steamed lightly with tomatoes, basil, pine nuts and roasted chicken.  Smoothies blended with chard from the garden, peaches, and ice.

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Two weeks on Cape Cod, living out the summer of my daydreams. Ponds, rope swings, bike paths, and ice cream.  Surfer’s crowd each other as rare summer waves make an appearance on a Friday evening in Rhode Island. Thai food eaten in a VW bus in the parking lot at sunset.

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Small wooden sailboats in a harbor, near Woods Hole, MA. I love them.

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I’m home now. Late summer is upon us. Two weeks until school begins, though that feels exceedingly early. It’s hot and muggy in the desert. The monsoons are here. No plans to travel this fall, at least not far. Routine and rhythm kick back in. Jobs call. Vintage clothing to be photographed and sold. The occasional film set beckons.

It’s been a sweet summer dream. And now a new one begins.

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Happy. 4th of July.

One year ago I was living in LA, it was 104 degrees, down from a crazy heatwave high of 114, and I watched fireworks from the roof of my apartment in Silver Lake.

Life changes fast, people. When it does.

One year later, I watch bunnies feast in a Cape Cod backyard, beneath a bird feeder filled with cardinals. Burgers and dogs on the grill. A day at the beach, sand in the eyes, sandcastles, bike rides, a fight or two, boys.

Couldn’t be more different. One year.

I haven’t written much lately. In it, swirling, no time to analyze, just act, go, respond.

It’s a good thing.

Present tense.

Then I begin to worry… without angst, what to write about?

Learning curves vs. angst. One moves forward. One in circles, spirals, backwards, or worse, stagnation. I was scared of the former for so long. But, why? The second will slowly eat you up.

Now, what to write?

Seven years to the day since I sat on a train in Moab, waiting for the clouds to clear so we could resume shooting a scene for the movie we were working on; a friend begins to call me Smagik on that ride, after making fun of me for something I said. The word is born. The blog, seven months later. An outlet for both confusion and clarity.

Seven years. One year. Time. Nothing changes, until one day you realize everything is different.

Boom!

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Summer

Strangely delicious Italian food in Gila Bend, Arizona, after a quick post drive dip in the pool.

A bunny stops, silhouetted in the light of San Elijo State Beach’s bathroom, and stares a me, frozen, and I begin to brush my teeth.

It’s been years since I’ve been camping. Lattes, croissants, and groceries a short walk away, just over the PCH and the train tracks. Not the camping I’m used to. Each night I sleep better than the night before, traffic and trains blurring into white noise. I envy the kids’ ability to shut it out completely.

Red eyes from days of sun and salt.

S’mores.

A quick detour to Williams, Arizona, on the drive home. The Grand Canyon in its late morning, early summer glory. The perfect knife found in a general store.

Open roads, canyons, beaches, and picnics.

The first summer I can remember spending off of a film set in a very long time.

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You were never not…

Every once in a while I look around at my life, I should really do it more often, and marvel at how I was never not going to be where I am. It was never not going to happen.

One year ago, more or less exactly, I was in my apartment in LA, overcome with the feeling that somehow along the way I’d managed to take a wrong turn and was, in fact, not living the life I was meant to live. A horrible mistake had been made.

And even though, deep down, I knew that it was impossible to have made such a mistake, it was not a good feeling. So, I made a drastic left turn and moved back to New Mexico.

One year later, this morning, I came across a journal/scrap book I kept sometime in college. The dates of torn out magazine pages and scribbled entries seem to fall between the years 2000 and 2004. I love this book. A one inch spiral bound journal overwhelmed and stuffed with images, cards, and patterns, bursting to 5 or 6 inches wide. And guess what? I haven’t changed! Images of beaches, vintage clothing, surfers, and women designing lives they love pour out of the pages. The same things I still pin on Pinterest and dog-ear in magazines.

But, the really crazy part?

I’ve manifested the whole thing! My life is the images I tore out and glued in almost twenty years ago. I have created everything I used to want and that I didn’t know how I was going to make happen.

At the time I was making aprons out of vintage tablecloths and selling them to stores. After years of saving McCall’s pattern books and drawing fashion catalogs on the kitchen table after school, I wanted to work with clothing but really didn’t know in what capacity. I wanted a beautiful home and a creative way to make money and to fall in love with a surfer so we could travel to different beaches around the world. Ding ding ding.

Did I make it happen? Did it happen because it was always meant to and all I had to do was show up? Did years of thinking the same thoughts lead me to an inevitable conclusion? And where will it lead from here?

I have no idea!!

But, it is a trip to remember how powerful we and our thoughts are and to remember that we were always heading to where we are now. Even my confusing time in LA, or time spent with the wrong guy, or saying yes to a job I regretted; it was all part of the plan. No matter how curvy the road may have been or how many left turns we take upon realizing we don’t like our trajectory. This was never not going to happen.

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On your mark..

On your mark, get set…

As I drive to another day of work on a movie set, all I want to do is stay home, wash, size, measure and photo the vintage clothing I’ve spent the last month purchasing, with the intention of reselling. This makes me laugh as I’ve spent the last sixteen years washing, sizing, and photoing clothing and thought I just wanted out, never to do any of it again. But this new gig feels different. Completely.

“You’ll never do it,” he said to me. “You’ll just talk about it and keep doing what’s easy.” He says this to get under my skin. It works. My competitive Aries ‘I’ll show you’ nature rears its head. He knew this would happen.

Within a month I have a rack of vintage clothing in my studio, lines of shoes, belts, and bags on the floor and jewelry trays full of accessories. The steamer, rack, tagging gun, clothing tags and pins that I keep in my shed, with bins and bins of costuming supplies, take on a new life, one that excites me.

I go to my first ever Estate Sale. I arrive at 9:45 and am accidentally the first one in line for a 10 o’clock open. At 9:58 there is a line of people behind me, chomping at the bit. I make my way upstairs to the bedroom and fill two bags with French Rag woven tops, hand loomed in California, circa 1986.

Knockabout Vintage begins.

knockabout

adjective

knock·about |  \ ˈnäk-ə-ˌbau̇t

Definition of knockabout

1: suitable for rough use: knockabout clothing

Vintage clothing with a Western slant. Men’s Wranglers and Levi’s worn by women, Western shirts, mini skirts with cowboy boots, hats, snakeskin bags, denim, leather, workwear, jackets, blazers, shoulder-pads, and fringe.

Years of working on Westerns, with used clothing, and here I am again. Happily.

“You’ll never do it.” The best motivation. And off we go. Yee Haw.

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