01 October 2014

winsome washington


Both photos taken today at Western Washington University. 



Well, the crickets doth chirp loudly upon this site!

I apologize for my unplanned week of absence.

(Sort of. I'm a bit toward the spontaneous end of the spectrum, so, you know! Life! It happens! And it's great! And apologizing for not blogging is rather a silly thing if you ask me, but...manners.)

So, I had been planning to come up to Washington the second week of October to photograph a wedding in my hometown. The flights were booked, the plans set.

Buuuuuut, then my college roommate happened to be driving through Denver...so I hopped in the car with her a week early, and together we zipped through Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho -- and into our beloved home state. And so what we have here -- this specimen before us -- is one Bridget Anne Park with two full weeks of Washington goodness ahead of her. And she is a very happy specimen indeed.

Being in Washington always, unfailingly inundates my soul with a bit too many creative impulses. It borders on synesthesia. The trees, and the fog, the crisp air, the seaside...they do a number on me and I feel I can't possibly take it all in, and by extension, can't possibly put it all back out. Onto paper. Into words. Through photographs. I just can't. It feels overwhelming, almost. Limitless. One walk through the forested lanes of my college town yields a hundred story starts in my head, and it is the most consuming feeling -- and one that's both gratifying and paralyzing in the same breath.

For me, Washington is that winsome boy in high school you have quite the crush on...and you want to run into him...but when you do, you become terribly nervous and have nothing witty to say.

And so, there are, already, a thousand things I could say about my one and a half days back in Washington so far. An embarrassingly large number of things. But I am so very lacking in the ways to actually say them at the moment -- am peeking in the vacant cabinets of my head to track down the words. Where are you?

(And I am always, always having to learn to make it small.

Write about acorns, not trees.

Or something like that. )

I suspect I'll be back rather soon with an essay or twenty or one hundred.

Until then I'll be inhaling this most irresistible Northwestern air -- that makes me positively dizzy, takes my words away from me.

26 September 2014

black and white and baby blue

skirt // white dress (old image) // others found in the vast infinity of pinterest...pinfinity?

Sweet, soft baby blue is a color I find vastly under-appreciated.

I've always felt it was so sweet and feminine a hue. And looks stunning with black and white -- without the overt saccharine-ness that comes with black and white and pink ensembles. (Though baby blue and rosy pink make a good couple themselves, too. It also looks good with mustard. And oxblood. And gray. Ok, hey baby blue, who do you not look good with!?)

Fittingly, my favorite fun fact to share at baby showers is that earlier in the 20th century, baby blue -- in all its unassuming softness -- used to be the designated color for girls, and pink -- a bolder color -- for boys.  If you find that sort of thing as captivating as I do, here's a Smithsonian article to peruse. 

Anyway. Black and white and baby blue has such a soothing quality. Dreamy, even -- almost soporific. Maybe that's the real reason Alice fell asleep in the flowers! At the top of my (shopping) list this year is to track down some sort of peter pan-collared dress in this hue -- and pair it with white tights and patent black flats. Though if I find something resembling that tutu or that coat, I'd be fine with that, too. As if that needs to be said.

25 September 2014

song of self



It is like this: sometimes I sit up in bed in the middle of the night, suddenly awake. And I twist my body to face the nightstand, flip on the lamp. Yielding the pen, I jot down the words that have popped into my head while sleeping:

rawboned -- reedy -- slipshod -- putted -- cavernous -- coppery -- featherweight -- fitfully -- fife -- 

are a few.

They are usually rather ordinary words, rather very ordinary words. But they will prove themselves useful to me in some small blocked-up, word-searching moment. I know this. Words have yet to dissatisfy me.

And, there are displaced lines. These are scrawled sloppily on note cards, then strewn as if lifted by some small, insular hurricane in the heart of my home. One would find them under the bed, in every drawer, beneath the cushions...

Palms drop their heavy arms -- this is how animals grieve -- light white linens in a heap -- the sound of things receding -- out upon the little towns, the dancing light clusters -- I say to him, tell me about the farm where your father grew up-- He says they grew apples in the orchard out back --

I look at people and I wonder about them. I especially used to do this sitting in mass as a child, would glance over the neat row of other second-graders in green plaid skirts and khaki pants, would try to put myself inside their brains, to see the pulpit from their exact angle. I wonder about people's brains and how they work, and what it sounds like in there. (I imagine knocking on their heads like a door, wonder about the texture of the echo, the weight of reverberations...is it thin and coppery in there, or more like a church bell's low bellow?) I especially wonder about the people who can think a single thought at once, straight-lined, onward -- beginning, middle, conclusion, next. 

I ask Robbie about this. He says,
I think about whatever I'm doing, and then I'm done. 

But you have the symphony of an anxious mind. Every sound and thought and feeling compete in this, your very own chaotic orchestra. And it can be very dissonant indeed...

oh, but when they all align come together in that sweet, mellifluous upward swelling -- it is transcendent. It is heavenly. It is harmony, and empathy, and understanding, and it is song of self.  It is the swelling sound that pulls you up like strong hands in the middle of the night, propels you to the table, puts the pen in your hands -- and says, 

now, write.