Friday, October 3, 2014


The scene:  Bannisters entangled in black vines.  Hallways stalked by black cats.  A ghost bride veiled in black tulle.

You guessed it -- we're gearing up for Halloween.  Our home has turned into a gothic haunted house.   But wait!  Snap out of Tim Burton mode.  It's not that hallowed eve yet.  Better hold off on the fog machines and get back to modern edge.

AIKO black/grey sweater
worn with cigarette pants and suede booties
(also my husband's black fedora
flung off frame)
Trivia: This is in my bathroom.

Luckily this weekend, I happened upon a consignment shop along 14th Street with lots of edge.  And inside, I discovered a clothing line that revels in, well, lines.  Have any of you come across AIKO?

I'm always curious when a design line speaks to me, so I quickly looked up AIKO on the web (what did we ever do before Google?).  Curiosity gave way to surprise when I found the photo below of AIKO designer, Cynthia Mittweg.  Note, this was  after I had taken the photo above.  I swear my shoji screen was there before I saw her grid below (which looks to me like paper laid out on the floor, pretty cool).  Ah so, we must speak the same language.


Now, looking up from that floor, my mind crosses into another old photo of mine, this time of a ceiling at the California Academy of Sciences.  The Academy's architecture revolves around sustainable design, energy efficiency and innovative technology -- I sense white lab coats and silicon chips just by looking at it.  It seems so dizzyingly smart.

Grid roof at the California Academy of Sciences

But scientists, architects and designers are not the only ones with affinities for grids.  The grid I find relaxing and look forward to at the end of most days is the Crossword.  Others might unwind with yogic twists before bed. I prefer mental pretzels.

Unraveling my Gordian knot of thoughts smooths the muddle of the day away.  The stark grid blurs as I fill the puzzle in.  Eventually, hazy, black pixels seep through the white ones.  And often, the last letters grow dim in the inky darkness of sleep.

Crossword puzzle grid from PBS

How do you unwind?

Sunday, August 24, 2014


Tragedy or Comedy?  

This narrative called Life keeps tossing us in both, at times simultaneously.  During intense periods, that unseen Writer might even arc completely through several short stories.  Forget slow chapter development.  Pages fill with the magnificent and the mundane. The preposterous and the poignant.  The heart warming and the heart breaking.  And that fragile, bewildered character in the middle of it all?  I think we all recognize him/her.

Given the number of surprise twists in my story, my author must have reveled in sharpening the quill and draining the inkwell.  That is ... until I took hold of the quill.  Enter deus ex machina -- the setting is changed!  For after a decade in the West Coast, we decided to hitch our wagon for Washington DC.   And we are loving it.

So here I am, having walked off my own pages to write my new story.   And that blank page, with my quill poised upon it, is pregnant with Hope.


We are settling into our little stretch of forest right off the Beltway.  While not as spartan as Henry David Thoreau's experiment when he "went to the woods", we also hope to "live deep and suck out all the marrow of life".

And so I am savoring 

butterflies in the bushes,

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail in the garden

dancing fireflies and hooting owls,

my treetop nook (where I curl with my book),

all the while, engulfed by the Capital

iPhone snapshot of
Degas' Little Dancer
National Gallery of Art

Exploring literary life in the MidCity Revival district

Dodging plot twists has kept me from being a consistent presence on friends' blogs in recent months.  But I sincerely hope to reconnect and wish for our paths to cross here in Washington, DC, virtually or physically.  Perhaps together we can enjoy music, literature, art, dance and all those wonderful things that make Life worth living and inking into our personal Anthology.  

What shall we write now?

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