I need to know if the candle is going to run, if the paperwhites will topple, if the pot will take its chance to overflow. It's a form of risk-taking—thrill seeking—on a very minor level.

I'm curious.


My friends,

While it is fresh in our minds (in the Northern hemisphere), would you take the time to send me 1–3 sentences about Spring? I'm specifically referring to the season, but your responses can be as literal or vague as you wish. I'd really love to hear—and, perhaps, to compile.

Both emails and comments will do.

My love,


Sam and I spent a long February weekend in Joshua Tree. There was a full moon our first night and we woke up early to watch it set—my first moonset.


I'm drinking coffee and listening to country music at 10 p.m. Ally took this photo when it was warm and I didn't need caffeine to work into the night. I pine, I pine, for those times.

But the coffee's good, and I never tire of songs about drinking and heartache.


Some perspective:
And as soon as the mountains were built, they began, just as ineluctably, to wear away. For all their seeming permanence, mountains are exceedingly transitory features. . . . Right now the Appalachians are shrinking on average by 0.03 millimeters per year. They have gone through this cycle at least twice, possibly more—rising to awesome heights, eroding away to nothingness, rising again . . .   
–Bill Bryson, A Walk in the Woods


Instead of trying to get over it, maybe we should just embrace it. Feel what needs to be felt. Buy lunch out without feeling guilty. Pour a drink when you walk in the door. Take pity on yourself, sad little human.

Tomorrow may or may not be better, but at least it will be different.


I've taken a cue from Deborah Madison and started making sage tea a few times a week. Rub six (or so) sage leaves between your fingers to release the oils. Then, steep the herb in a cup of near-boiling water for 15 minutes.

READING: The Goldfinch and The Lover
WATCHING: Kubrick's entire filmography (slowly) with Sam
LISTENING: The War on Drugs's new single
COOKING: The Canal House's Japanese-inspired breakfasts from Bon Appetit

I'm going to turn the music up, light a candle, pour a glass of port—celebrate this January darkness. Happy Sunday.


I walked the length of the High Line, north to south, on a day last November. It's interesting to be elevated in a natural setting, over an urban setting—rather than the opposite, which I experience almost every day.


My nephew visited just before the holidays. He loved helping, which was very adorable and unhelpful.


I'm here and you're here and it's 2014. I can feel my feet grounded on the floor and the blood in my hands. It's dark and cold, but we're alive! We made it.

Overall, this year is about the ritual for me, about cherishing this strange existence.

I love you all. Happy new year.

2014 GOALS

• develop a daily yoga practice
• the same for a meditation practice
• read 50 books
• post more thoughts and photos
• attend a cultural event at least once a week
• take better advantage of seasonal produce
• start backpacking
• more water; more salads
• make my office a peaceful place to work
• put a little more effort into my appearance

• wine
• mythology
• composting
• aromatherapy + herbalism
• classical music

• be more thoughtful with my friends and family
• keep ahead of my workload
• be rational about my stresses—let go, love
• put more emphasis on—and create more beneficial—daily rituals


Molly in New York in the summer. Coming soon: Molly in New York in the fall.


The last few shots of the roll always go to the plants.

Joshua Tree was wonderful and bizarre. We stayed at the 29 Palms Inn, where we ate our meals and went on a guided nature walk. We scheduled a Sound Bath at Integratron, which I highly recommend. Our trip actually ended in San Diego, but this is where my photos stop.

Please ask if you have any questions about our itinerary. These photos have been sitting for a while, so I was more interested in getting them up than being thorough. Now, back to the present.

Seattle to San Diego  |  August 2013

We had another long day of driving from Big Sur to L.A. We stopped at Point Lobos State Reserve to admire the seals and woke up early the next morning for a hike to the Griffith Observatory. (And we saw the amazing Turrell retrospective at LACMA.)

Drive, hike, eat, drink, sleep, repeat.

Seattle to San Diego  |  August 2013

Big Sur views from an evening walk at Deetjen's—another place to return.

Seattle to San Diego  |  August 2013

We left San Francisco after two days and drove south to Big Sur. We stayed up late at Deetjen's Big Sur Inn, sitting on the floor with a bottle of wine, pouring over journals left in the room. (It's a thing, apparently.) We read about others' children, divorces, travels, sex lives, dreams. We laughed, and each cried a few times. Ashlee worried about a ghost a visitor claimed to have seen in the room (in the journal from 1992). I laughed.

Midnight came and we went south along Highway 1—our weeklong guide—to the Esalen Institute for a night bath. We met at the side of the road and a man with a flashlight led a group of us down to the bathhouse. We changed out of our clothes, only in our skin, and we bathed in hot springs on a cliff. The hot water and the cold Pacific air, everything dark except for the stars above, everything silent except for the waves below. It was 3 a.m.

Seattle to San Diego  |  August 2013

We spent two days in San Francisco, mostly walking and eating a lot of pastry and ice cream—of which I won't bore you with the photos—a beer instead! While the other cities seemed more obvious, I couldn't quite put my finger on this one.

Seattle to San Diego  |  August 2013

Oyster shucking (and eating) near Tomales Bay and my first look at San Francisco.

Seattle to San Diego  |  August 2013

One of our favorite stops of the trip was spent in Boonville, CA. It was a long, windy drive through redwoods and then into Mendocino County—such a surprisingly beautiful landscape. We ate and drank and sat by the fire at the Boonville Hotel, which we had read about in the New York Times. We had homemade date scones the next morning and spent a good hour roaming around a nearby apple orchard before the next leg.

This part of California is called Anderson Valley—a place to return.

Seattle to San Diego  |  August 2013