Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Wood Song

"the thin horizon of a plan is almost clear
my friends and i have had a tough time
bruising our brains hard up against change
all the old dogs and the magician
now i see we're in the boat in two by twos
only the heart that we have for a tool we could use
and the very close quarters are hard to get used to
love weighs the hull down with its weight
but the wood is tired and the wood is old
and we'll make it fine if the weather holds
but if the weather holds we'll have missed the point
that's where i need to go

no way construction of this tricky plan

was built by other than a greater hand
with a love that passes all OUR understanding
watching closely over the journey
yeah but what it takes to cross the great divide
seems more than all the courage i can muster up inside
although we get to have some answers when we reach the other side
the prize is always worth the rocky ride
but the wood is tired and the wood is old
and we'll make it fine if the weather holds
but if the weather holds we'll have missed the point
that's where i need to go . . . "

One of my favorite songs of all time for sure. And when you really listen to it, an entire spectrum of emotions are bound to be felt. Every time I hear it, it makes me think of dear old friends. Auld Lang Syne. Friends who know you, "get" you, grew Up with you; friends who have been through some of life's best times and hardest times with you, held your hand, made you laugh till you cried, cried with you till you could laugh again, stayed up all the wee hours of the night (who knows what time it was) living life in NYC with you. . . and yet still love you. And this is true of my friend Christiana (pictured above with her sweet baby Carmen).

Despite my crazy antics (and let me just say there are many "antics") as a former college roommate, she likes me! ;D  I can still hear the laughter coming from our little shoebox apartment in the East Village, just off St. Marks Place - surrounded by tattoo artist shops, vintage record stores, street musicians, punk rockers, and pierogies, we proudly called ourselves the "Fab Five" - Alyssa (Lys), Christiana (Kikiana), Sonia (So), Rebekah (Beka-Bird), and myself (Sums). We were young! We were dreamers! We were gorgeous! We were are awesome!

Lys and I were getting ready to graduate from NYU, and Beka-Bird, and the Twinsies (oh did I mention So and Kikiana are identical twins?) were working as professional ballerinas with different dance companies in New York. (I still pretend that I know how to dance just from my time spent living with them. They might tell you otherwise ;) )

Memories - we have so many of them. Good ones - like our girls nights out on the town, getting all dolled up to go salsa dancing, or to try some new restaurant. Or just spending time chillin' on the couch at the end of our long days - catching up as Beka Bird flew through the front door, spilling into the apartment Kramer-style (btw, that's a Seinfeld reference for any of you young folks who don't get the joke). She would then proceed to whip up something amazing and exotic to eat, as the Twinsies unwrapped their aching taped toes from dancing on pointe all day long, and as Lys flossed her teeth (this was an hour-long nightly ritual), and I tried to decompress from attempting to save the world that day (my internship job - I'll just leave it at that. ha! ;D)

Hilarious memories - like all of us trying to kill squash terminate evict the mice who had taken up residence in our (already very tiny) apartment at 2 am. Or chatting about boys and dating dilemmas and drama (ok, that was definitely mostly me with the drama . . . and the dilemmas . . . ),  cracking up together watching SNL, (back when the cast was A-mazing), and doing silly imitations of each other that to this day can make me start giggling out of nowhere. . .

And sad memories too. Waking up to sirens and screams on September 11th. Helplessly looking on together, grasping for each others' hands as we watched Lower Manhattan collapse and seemingly vanish into smoke from our rooftop. Helping our shell-shocked, ash and debris-covered friends who walked up to our place from downtown. Being so afraid of what might happen next.

And of course, there were more personal hardships, for all of us, as well - heartbreaks and losses, life altering circumstances that you can never see coming - along the way.

All these happy/sad/funny/wonderful memories bring me to the reason for this song dedication for my dear friend "Kikiana", who came into town this last week from Cali on a business trip with her sweet hubby Kyle, and adorable baby Carmen. We got to spend a whole day playing outside with our daughters (so surreal that we both have our own!), and catching up on lost time. I love that we still talk exactly the same way we always have, and that we can pick back up right where we left off - regardless of how long its been.

 And so - to the Fab Five: No matter how old we get many years go by,  or how many miles lay between us; as we truly grow up, start families, pursue careers,  and live and learn,  I want you to know that I  love "just holding on for the ride" with you lovely gals by my side in life - always.

 . . .  sometimes i ask to sneak a closer look
skip to the final chapter of the book
and then maybe steer us clear from some of the pain it took
to get us where we are this far yeah
but the question drowns in its futility
and even i have got to laugh at me
no one gets to miss the storm of what will be
just holding on for the ride
the wood is tired and the wood is old
we'll make it fine if the weather holds
but if the weather holds we'll have missed the point
that's where i need to go"

- Indigo Girls


Monday, March 21, 2011

Suddenly I See {Portraits for a Purpose}

"Her face is a map of the world
Is a map of the world
You can see she's a beautiful girl
She's a beautiful girl
And everything around her is a silver pool of light
The people who surround her feel the benefit of it
It makes you calm
She holds you captivated in her palm

Suddenly I see (Suddenly I see)

This is what I wanna be . . ."

- KT Tunstall

I had so much fun hanging out with Naima and her mom Nicole! I love meeting fellow New Yorkers at heart; we always seem to "get" each other. And we are just that much cooler than everyone else, so . . . (I'm kidding . . . sort of :D)  I got the privilege of photographing this pretty girl a few weeks ago, and it was such a treat for all of us as we strolled through Piedmont park and enjoyed some early spring sunshine - gosh, I just wanted to soak all of it up (and I did actually . . . I came back to the same spots later that same afternoon with the hubby and kiddos just to take advantage of the gorgeous day!)

So Naima (don't you just love her awesome name? and it has a great meaning as well) is a girl who is goin' places. She's got big plans and dreams, one of which is modeling. And um, yeah, I think you'll agree that she has got what it takes! More than anything, Naima, you take after your mom in that you are such a beautiful person on the inside, and I loved getting to chat with you and know you better. Nicole purchased this session at her law firm's charity auction benefiting the United Way , to support education and health, and to combat homelessness here in metro Atlanta.  Thank you Nicole and Naima for your part in helping such a great cause!

Naima - you go girl. Chase those dreams - you've got what it takes! xo, Summer