Just be

In general, I have a very hard time not multi-tasking and an even more difficult time fully relaxing to enjoy a moment. My body and my brain move extremely fast. I unintentionally leave most people in my dust on “leisurely” walks because my legs move swiftly. I like to squeeze a workout in to 10…

Waste not, want not

I was in the shower recently when I had a revelation. It came a moment after I quieted my spinning mind after having spent at least five minutes trying to feel how I was feeling. Was I anxious or did I have COVID or did the secondhand smoke from the previous night’s Elton John concert…

Book Review: The Woman Who Smashed Codes

I’m not entirely sure how I first knew about The Woman Who Smashed Codes, by Jason Fagone, but it’s been on a list of “books to read” on my phone for a few years. I know I received my copy after putting it on a Christmas wish list one year and was pleased to open…

Book Review: The Bluest Eye

I picked up a copy of Toni Morrison’s Nobel Prize-winning novel, The Bluest Eye sometime last year in a Barnes and Noble haul. As is typical of me, I often buy 4-5 books at a time while already immersed in 2-3 books, so the new titles get temporarily shelved. After finishing World of Wonders last…

Book Review: World of Wonders

Have you ever been so enthralled by a book that you were at once inspired to go create and yet totally contented to sit and just be in the present moment? Such was the case for me in reading World of Wonders: In Praise of Fireflies, Whale Sharks, and Other Astonishments by Aimee Nezhukumatathil. One…

Book Review: In the Garden of Beasts

After devouring The Devil in the White City, Erik Larson’s deep dive into the infamous serial killer who plagued Chicago at the time of the 1893 World Fair, I promptly bought another of the author’s titles at my local Barnes & Noble. Due to a series of life events (and overall lack of interest in…

Book Review: Parisians

In case you’re new here, I’m an American who once upon a decade ago, lived in Paris for a year whilst I completed a master’s degree. That year was one of the best and simultaneously most challenging years of my life. I loved the endless charm of the architecture, the smell of the flowers, the…

A journey in purple (part four)

Day twenty-three: We’re in the final push to the end of the class. This is the time to edit out entire paintings and clean the remaining essentials. I don’t particularly enjoy this phase. It feels rather cold-hearted to abandon something that I created from nothing. As I consider this sentiment, I feel like a true…

A journey in purple (part three)

Day seventeen: Today is the first day back after the university’s spring break. I spent the week leading a group of college students on a volunteer trip to the Englewood neighborhood of Chicago. Most of the trip I spent considering whether or not I was an effective and inspirational leader. Most of the trip I…

A journey in purple (part two)

Day seven: We can only use seven pigments of watercolor paint: Cobalt Blue Hue, Prussian Blue, Cadmium Red Hue, Rose Madder, Lemon yellow, Cadmium Yellow Hue and Payne’s Gray. I spend lots of time thinking about (but never researching) if Payne’s refers to a possessive person, place or thing. I spend very little time using…