Japan, Travels

Welcome Home!

Dear Drew,

If I remember correctly… you’ll be arriving back in the states soon…


Gif title: “Ron Swanson is excited”

So I wanted to say お帰りなさい!  (WELCOME BACK/HOME)!!!  I want to hear about everything!!  Trips, people, food, CANADA, down time activities, dreams, reflections, the hoary marmots– everything!

How has time been passing?  Have days gone by slowly, weeks quickly?  That’s how it has been here.  Mondays are always tiring because I always have a test or presentation (or both >.<) and when I think I can slack off for a few hours afterwards I remember that there’s a meeting with a teacher, origami club (the first four weeks I was in the calligraphy club woot woot), and volleyball…and then homework maybe.  It’s good to be busy, and I think I’ll be able to sneak in a nap before origami club today.

Anywhos– apologies, my sleepiness has got me in a daze– I can’t waiiiiiiiiit to hear your voice and see you soon!!  TWO WEEKS!!!giphy

Much love always,




Art, Food, In Photos, Travels

Summer– Lovin’ (Procrastinating Packing)

Dear Drew,

I have no excuses for taking so long to start/finish a post on Seattle.  Then again, Picmonkey (fav photo editing [need those filters] & collaging site is basically all about the $$ now so I had to like…google things).


After my spring semester ended, I headed to Seattle to visit Carter for about 2 weeks.  It was awesommmmme!  I’d never been to Seattle before, Drew, and so I was really looking forward to seeing my sister and getting a feel for the city.  I’d also stayed at college long enough after exams finished that I was ready (sort of- totally didn’t pack last minute slash almost miss the plane…lolcatz) to return to a coast.  And I’ve heard that the West Coast is…the Best Coast, no?

Pike Place (C), Us on the Bainbridge ferry (C), Carter & Buddy #1

Pike Place (C), Us on the Bainbridge ferry (C), Carter & Buddy #1

Note: (C) = Photo credit goes to Carter 

I had a day and a half with Carter before she had to go on a work trip.  I got to see her suuuuuper, lovely, and clean apartment (apparently it’s…always like that…?) and have dinner with two of her co-workers (a.k.a. my check-in buddies while she was away #sisterlylove #sisterlysupport #imthebabyofthefamily).  Near the restaurant where I ate a Seattle Brat (I didn’t pronounce it with a schwa either when I ordered it…in case you too read that as like a Seattle Army Brat) for dinner, Carter and I owned her co-workers at foosball.  It was kind of spectacular.  Hmm, yes…I think those 5 out of 7 straight games we won really crystallized our sisterhood for her co-worker friends.  I’ll have to find a way to keep up my skills so I don’t disappoint on my next trip.

Alone but unafraid, thanks to my check-in buddies and Carter’s large bag of peanut M&Ms, I began my week of vegging sprinkled with outings with friends living in the area (and surprisingly- not many sprinkles of the H2O sort–ha, that was simply too tempting).

I perused Carter’s bookshelves (a fine collection indeed) and picked out Chocolat.  Joanne Harris’s writing is beautiful!  It was one of few instances where I saw the movie first (and many times over <3) and then read the book…When I talked to Carter on the phone while making my way through the story I was just like…”WHEN ARE DEPP AND BINOCHE GOING TO GET TOGETHER?”  Yikes.

Anywhos.  I got to see Ben!  Friend and MOTOAAA (Master of the Office Assistants at Admissions), Ben was a superb guide as we walked along the boardwalk and explored Pike Place (of note: an amazing shop selling historic magazine covers and maps where Ben found a MN map we were almost sure Admissions would reimburse us for).  For lunch, we went to his favorite salami restaurant, Armandino Batali’s Salumi, and his daughter Gina who knows Ben was there and gave us free soup with our absolutely deeeelicious sandwiches!  Huzzah!

Seattle with Ben!

Maps, maps, maps, MN!

Ben’s off to study abroad this fall (SOB) so THANK GOODNESS it worked out so we could hang out before he leaves for his adventure!!  I think I forgot Carter’s bus pass that day so I appropriately adjusted my brimming enthusiasm for Seattle as I crawled on all fours home to Carter’s apartment. Jk, jk, it was fine– I inadvertently  took a break/breath when taking in the bedazzling Seattle Public Library and made it back just in time for a whole lot more of  watching DVDs from Carter’s extensive movie collection.

I also got to see my friend David who took the train up from Tacoma!  We explored Uwajimaya, an Asian market in Seattle’s International District which my roommate Emma had highly recommended (thank you!), and had a delicious lunch there.  I just sort of roamed around the aisles, mouth agape, trying to absorb all the food, pottery, clothing, books, etc.  When I felt overwhelmed enough, David and I headed to the Seattle Asian Art Museum to check out their exhibit “Deco Japan: Shaping Art and Culture, 1920-1945.”  Located in the serene Volunteer Park, the SAM is a museum I can’t wait to return to.



 I was again lucky enough to meet up with a third friend from school: Miss Claire!  Claire just completed her first-year and participated in Lives of Commitment, the reflection and ethical action group in which I was a sophomore leader.  Basically, I was lucky enough to meet Claire and about 35 other fantastic first-years.

Nom nom nom

Nom nom nom

Anywhos, Claire introduced me to a lot of Molly Moon‘s icecream (she hinted that you can get a ‘single scoop’ but still get two flavors…I went for the double scoop and well, it was delicious…and extremely filling), and we debated whether I should get Jane Austen playing cards at a bookstore I immediately fell in love with upon entry.  I ended up not making the purchase (something irks me about buying things that aren’t books in bookstores…which always also have the best non-book things, no?).  Luckily, I now know they exist and are still out there.

Thanks Claire :)))

Supasta Claire

Supasta Claire

Oh yah– when Claire and I were walking around I got to see some RAD street art:

#wow #thismayormaynotbefiltered

#wow #thismayormaynotbefiltered

Thennnnn….Carter returned and all was right in the world!!!  We went to the Experience Music Project Museum (EMP) to check out their exhibit “Fantasy: Worlds of Myth and Magic” and this exhibit on…horror (I’m still too scared to remember).  There was a scream booth in a… sort of sound-proof room which we partook in.  How often do you get to do that?  Or feel as if you’re allowed to just scream?  Yah.  I thought that was cool.

All (C) except...well for the photo of C taking a photo.

All (C) except…well for the photo of C taking a photo.

The Northwest Folklife festival was going on in Seattle Center and so we walked through, Carter pulled me away from tie-dye clothing stalls (thanks I guess) and we had lunch amused by folks of all ages testing the International Fountain (the original version of the fountain was built for 1962’s World Fair).

International Fountain (C)

International Fountain (C)

Also for the record the food highlights:

Top left (and then clockwise): Lola’s granola, grilled salmon sandwich from Pike Place, Lola’s donuts, Salumi sandwich and soup!



Wow.  Speaking of/seeing food…am I seeing you and Liz in 15 for dinner?!

More to come.  But at least I’ve finally included all the (slash that– Carter’s) photos, so- feeling a bit better.

Love always,


Musing, poetry, Thoughts, Travels

The curious incident of the deer in the nighttime


Tomorrow–or rather, today–I am leaving for Greece. I’m excited, if only because it’s a new place that I can’t fathom in the slightest. I haven’t even googled Syros, the island we’re staying at, because I like that I have no image of it in my mind… Sometimes, I think travel might have been more thrilling before planes and the onset of so much technology. Sure, it took forever to get to a place. I think two days is a long time to travel to Greece, but it’s nothing compared to months on a boat, eh? Still, all that anticipation, all that mystery… must have been true adventure.

For the most part, I spent today gathering my things together. Nothing too exciting; the Fourth of July passed somewhat unnoticed in my world this year. I felt a little sad about that, but it was nice talking to you on the phone, and knowing you too were enjoying a quiet evening in your room… Sometimes, perhaps, we need that uneventfulness. I felt I did, at least.

-4Yeah, that’s right, I’m bringing my uke

Not that my day was entirely uneventful, though. You know, as I mentioned, the coffee stain and the deer (the latter being the more unnerving experience, of course).

I’d driven downtown around 8 pm for a run, because its around that time that the air cools and the humidity eases. It was very calm; not many people were about, but there were folks eating dinner outside of restaurants, and here and there I’d see another person strolling on the sidewalk. As it got darker, the fireflies came out, and driving back up Maher, it seemed the whole street was a-glow with these flashes of yellow, and everything was still and empty except for those sporadic flashes. That feeling of stillness clung to me as I drove home, slowly, a Shins album playing–so when that doe sprang from the woods, its head smashing against the front, right side of my car, I almost thought I imagined it. The only thing that felt real was the sound, this eerie thump. I think I saw its tan head snap, an antler crack and fling…but it happened so quickly, I likely did imagine that part. And then my car kept going. My headlights moved on, illuminating the gray asphalt and the evergreen trees in front of me, and that was that. I was alone; there was no one else on the road; no one had seen it happen. When I pulled into my driveway, I inspected the front of my car. Some plastic pieces around the front right tire and light were missing, but that was it–that was the only evidence that it had happened, besides the deer of course, which, in all likelihood, I’d killed. I thought about stopping after I hit it to see if it was indeed dead, but I thought I better not, because it was dark and no one was around and if my car failed to start again for some reason, I’d be completely stranded. So I kept going. But that doe probably didn’t die easily, with a blow to the head like that. It probably stumbled, fell to the side of the road, head smashed, suffered.

It’s the most rattling and peculiar feeling, the feeling of taking another creature’s life. This feeling was worse because I had taken its–the doe’s–life for nothing. I killed chickens last summer, but their deaths had a clear purpose, worth, dignity–and this was so utterly the opposite. That said, to be fair to myself, I couldn’t have avoided her with any driving finesse. She didn’t actually jump in front of me. If she had, I could have braked; instead, she met directly with the side of my car as she leaped from the trees, making it impossible for me to change my course… And yet, it was still my fault entirely, because I was doing the unnatural thing. Driving my car. She was bounding forth, doing what she was supposed to do, what deers do, you know? I was the one not playing my the rules.

And all of it made me think of this poem called “Traveling Through the Dark,” by William Stafford.

Traveling through the dark I found a deer
dead on the edge of the Wilson River road.
It is usually best to roll them into the canyon:
that road is narrow; to swerve might make more dead.
By glow of the tail-light I stumbled back of the car
and stood by the heap, a doe, a recent killing;
she had stiffened already, almost cold.
I dragged her off; she was large in the belly.
My fingers touching her side brought me the reason—
her side was warm; her fawn lay there waiting,
alive, still, never to be born.
Beside that mountain road I hesitated.
The car aimed ahead its lowered parking lights;
under the hood purred the steady engine.
I stood in the glare of the warm exhaust turning red;
around our group I could hear the wilderness listen.
I thought hard for us all—my only swerving—,
then pushed her over the edge into the river.
Pretty, huh? Pretty and sad. Every time I read it I wonder about those last two lines. The thinking hard for us all, the swerving. It’s still a mystery to me. But in any case, I like the poem, if only because I can see it so clearly, the engine purring and the red exhaust and that hesitation.
And with that, sleep! If I can figure out the correct number of stamps, I’ll  send you a postcard from Greece.
Much love,
P.S. Thoughts? I think I’m in love with decoupage. And postcards. And journals. And this nifty app on my phone which lets me add captions. And your video (so beautiful). And YOU!
P.S.S. I’m excited for you to read Norwegian Wood. Tell me how you like it; I hope you find it as stunning as I did. I’m reading Donna Tartt’s The Secret History now–also brilliant, also a college-age narrator. It’s different, I figure, reading a book in which the narrator is in roughly the same position/station in life as you currently are…its unique to you (like being a freshman in high school and reading A Catcher in the Rye, you know?)
Art, college, In Photos, Travels

In Photos: May and June (with some words)

page 0Huzzah!  Some photos from graduation back at home!  Whew- I lost count of how many days I went back to school. I needed to spend a lot of time there for some major re-charging of that energy- I think that’s why it actually took me a few days to head over to school.  I had to get a handle on the nostalgia because I can freeze up a bit (ok a lot)- all moved and excited and so (unusually?) absolutely aware of, as you so wonderfully put it in your post, “the hodge podge of ephemeral moments.”  Drew- it’s like I feel it on a cellular level!  So, yes, that can be a bit overwhelming.  A little different each time, re-entering is, however, in a similarly overwhelming way- always good.  (I become so happy- that, as you know and as your mom once said something along the lines of, “it doesn’t even look like [my] eyes are open!”)

page 1

Flew back to MN- back at Mac in Kirk #422!

page 2First Sunday back was Grand Old Day- a beautiful day to walk along Grand Avenue with Lizzie and the rest of the neighborhood. I mean, check out that Connect-4 game?!  (Clearly even with a climbing wall, bouncy-jump-swing-thingie, among other games/stands and the like…the Connect-4 game stood out the most to me…) Umm- but just found out that Grand Old Day is actually THE “largest one-day festival in the Midwest” … Huh.  (So by ‘neighborhood,’ I meant over 250,000 people who come each year from the Twin Cities area, MN state, and [even] neighboring states- cray!)

page 3

Some pics from Reunion above.  Weekend attractions included quality bagpipe performances (obvi), cute families returning for a parent’s reunion (or BOTH parents’ reunion…cray), good food, and a fun night outside under a huge tent set up on the main lawn.  I also watched the procession of the ‘Golden Scots’- i.e. graduates celebrating their 50th Reunion(!!)- into the chapel for a special ceremony.  Before the weekend was in full swing, I gave a tour on Friday and a Golden Scot tapped my shoulder as my group was leaving the Campus Center and said, “Even after 50 years- I’m still proud I went here.”  *Happiness*

page 5

Even MORE happiness with a visit from you!! Goodness– it had been a while, no?  Yes.  Too crazy long.  It was so good to be with you- as always.  Thanks for coming out to visit.  (And giving me an interesting psych test that now allows me to describe my love life as ‘big, unknown, and fishy.’  Perf.)

page 6

Mississippi River & my favorite slab of pavement.

page 7

Other pics from around Mac.  Lower left hand photo is a sculpture by the Japanese-American artist Noguchi– information I actually learned during tour guide training!  In fact, it’s the most valuable piece of art at Mac and there are plans to transform the outdoor space (with the sad waterless fountain the sculpture is placed in now) into a more traditional Japanese garden.  (Umm- HuZzAH!!)

page 8

Some things have stayed the same-  the day by day work on the Studio Arts building opening this January, the blue (more like iridescent night sky/deep lapis lazuli/yah I’m obsessed) mugs are still rare and still the best in the cafeteria, and mail still makes me super ridiculously happy.  It’s definitely felt different with some close friends not on campus (luckily Christian came to visit before going off on his summer adventure).  But that provides new opportunities like using Google+ for the first time to have my own reunion with my roommates next year- WOOT WOOT!  Having  more time and figuring out how to fill it without classwork to do…has been weird.  Tour guide training kept me busy last week though and it culminated in an awesome scavenger hunt involving photos of squirrels, our swing set, etc.  Otherwise this time thing has me playing video games with friends in the student lounge and- even winning my first game of pool the other night!  Basically a HUGE deal.  We’ll see how long beginner’s luck lasts.  I’m consistently thinking about the balancing act of how I fill my time- the trying to do more and the letting go of the sometimes-guilt-like-feeling I’m not doing enough.  Am I too content to chill in my room and have lots of ‘me’ time, Drew??  Well- it’s certainly no longer ‘chill’- I think I’m heading to Target this weekend to pick up a window fan of sorts.  Anywhos- I think that’s why I love that slab of pavement so much.

Much, much love,


Art, college, Minnesota, music, Musing, nature, Thoughts, Travels, Writing

Some Things


Book Across the Bay was magical. I was thinking about you, and the way you would’ve loved the yellow candles in the snowy darkness, and the beaming moon and stars. There were thousands of people there, and I felt like I was crossing the Bering Straits in the Great Migration. Terrific.

Anyways, I’ve got loads of work (blah blah. The worst), but I wanted to share with you. I feel as if we remember periods in our lives less by dates and months, but by seasons, smells, and the art–the music, literature, whatever–that we are within.

So here are a couple things I’m in now:

*This beautiful video and song, called “John Wayne” by the Green Little Cars

*On The Road, Jack Kerouac. We’re doing the Beats in my Modern American Lit class. .

“because the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a common place thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes ‘Awww!’ ” (6)

Now I’m feeling all moody and sad, because these things are so pretty and my work is so boring. Oh well! I hope you had a terrific weekend too. Love love love,


P.S. I’m still working on your birthday present. At this rate, you’ll have it by your 20th… ah, eventually!

Minnesota, Musing, Travels

Labor Day in MSP: old mills and orchards

Readers, I suppose we haven’t made it known (Morgan and I, that is) that the initial intention for this blog was for us to keep in touch (Morgan and I, that is…) and post about our adventures in Minnesota, where we are both starting college this fall. And guess WHAT? We are both now officially here (…Morgan and I, that is).

I arrived in Minneapolis yesterday with my parents, but since I don’t start orientation until tomorrow, we had all today to explore/do whatever. This morning I ran long the Mississippi, on both the Minneapolis and St. Paul sides, through the old warehouse district.

It was a longer run than I anticipated (I got really tired around 3 and 1/2 miles…and maybe a little lost?) but it was otherwise lovely. Public bike paths and trails like this one are just awesome. I’m so tired of thing beings private and exclusive!; I could go on a whole little tirade about the hoops you have to jump through just to use the beach in our town, but I’ll refrain. Anyways, you can check out my route here.

The latter half of the day my Mom and I went to an orchard in Minnestra, about thirty minutes west of the twin cities, called Minnetonka Orchards.

(Note the mother-daughter selfie)

We picked our own apples (Sweet 16 variety. Really tasty, and sweet, per the name), and then sat around in the orchard for a while. My mother also picked me a bouquet of goldenrod and daisies–

–and I managed to cajole her into buying some apple donuts from the shop there, which we (I) ate on the way home.

My first, full and official day in Minnesota and I LOVE IT HERE ALREADY. ALSO, I just added “Minnesota” to the Categories list (!).  Hope you had a great labor day too, Mo.


Maine, Thoughts, Travels

On Leaving

I hate this business of saying goodbye. I won’t cushion it with flowery words: I hate it. I am leaving the farm tomorrow morning and I do not want to. Just as I begin to feel at home in this place again, it runs away from me. So it goes.

I suspect that this is one of the nastier parts of “growing up”–the coming and going, the loving and leaving. The finding of home in places different from where you “are from.” Which is ultimately a wonderful, wonderful thing, to feel ownership over a place, to feel that you have a place in a community of individuals.

But at times, the pain of departing makes me wonder why we ever arrive in the first place.

There are moments when it seems fine, when I convince myself that I am separated, aloof, compact and able to control my own emotions. I try to remember that in a few weeks I will be going to college and entering a whole new community. But to be honest, I don’t want to go through it all again–the discomfort, the awkwardness; the feeling as if no one truly knows…who you are. Because though I have only been here for seven weeks this summer, at this moment, Chewonki is where I most feel me. I’m young, but not young enough not to know that that is a rare thing in this scheme of randomness.

I guess I’ve got to suck it up though. Whether we like this business of leaving or not, it happens. Especially “these days” I think. We’re more…nomadic creatures, and particularly young folks, with the way the educational system works. Always moving. The placeless-ness is almost expected–we’re expected to travel and meet new people and share ourselves with many places, which all sounds terribly romantic, and perhaps is…I can’t be sure yet. But what about settling down? What about, well, staying put? Duration, longevity, and commitment to a people and a place. These things I believe we undervalue.

Then again, I know why we arrive. Because it’s better to have love and lost than never loved. It’s better to have come and gone than never come. The pain of leaving is nominal in comparison to the joy we receive while we are in a place–and you know it, because leaving would not hurt nearly so much if it were not so.

Just some thoughts I was thinking on this rainy Sunday afternoon, while I packed my things away.

Yours, Drew

P.S. The infamous Morgan is visiting. We have been adventuring…post to come.