I lost a friend last month. I lost a lot of things. Few of them tangible, all of them unimaginable just days or weeks before they disappeared into thin air, or dissolved into fast, wet streams of fresh rain and filthy melting snow in tiny furious rivers in the gutters here. It was like the space around me changed so fast that it forced me to move differently; I reached for myself and kept missing by a little and it was frightening, more so than the usual seasonal rattling since I switched coasts.
This year winter ended in a chorus of loss with the sharp metallic slide of a key being pulled from death's locked door.
There is so much that is still brittle and grey. The first head of crocus in the garden, the blooming magnolia, not even our weeping white cherry blossom tree or perky hyacinth bunches have won me over, or warmed me this year. At least not yet. And you should see it downtown! Elaborate potted arrangements as tall as me that cost god knows what, packed full of desperate, vibrant mendacity.
"Spring is a lie we tell the children," says my friend, very matter-of-fact. She grew up here, she would know.
Palihouse, Guest Room Interior
At the start of April, I found myself celebrating my birthday in New York City with M. I forgot my camera. I saw dear friends, ate well, we toasted my 35th at a Veuve Clicquot pop-up, and a dozen or so degrees made all the difference in the world. So did a good old-fashioned rock show at The Knitting Factory, brunch in the Bronx, taking in a Broadway show that completely devastated me. It was light and easy to mosey around, our arms bare in the sun or on a sticky night, giggling as I tried on 84,000 pairs of fancy shoes. She liked Giuseppe Zanotti's sea creatures or serpentine sandals; I turned my nose up at Louboutin but sighed over Chanel and Charlotte Olympia, and still haven't gotten over Lanvin's pearl backs or Alaïa's wild fringe detail.
We returned to a steady stream of work and lingering cold, until last week, when I found myself in the Caribbean with the kiddo for an impromptu spring break. I forgot my camera. I finally got her on a horse. We jumped into the Rio Mameyes at the El Yunque rainforest foothills, sunned ourselves like the iguanas chilling nearby, ate well, and floated around in the sea until we were almost too tired to swim back to shore.
Doubling the temps of New England felt like having all my blood sucked out, scrubbed clean with saltwater, infused with diamond powder and gold dust, and then flooded back into my veins like some sort of life-giving, mystical waterfall. It made my eyes hurt it was so pretty. It was a big, shiny, cerulean reset button. We came home (but not before texting the tomboy, "Forget everything just pack up and let's move here," which she of course more or less ignored).
Palihouse, Guest Room Interior
I'm still waiting for things to be very, very thoroughly green here. Real green, not "drug in under cover of night for effect" green. For real heat that doesn't disappear with a morning frost or flurries, for my friend's real memorial service, for the real world to make more sense (or to at least be kinder, a little softer). I know those things will all come - that when I reach again I'll be reassured, not lost.
It was the actual worst winter ever, and I made it.
Barely, and cursing everything, including the direction New England light shines, when it does shine, but still. I made it.
Will Rogers State Beach, Winter 2015
Santa Monica Beach | Uniqlo jeans and flannel, Everlane silk tank, Erin Wasson x Low Luv spur pendant
These photos are from before all that - last days in Santa Monica in early March! It feels so, so long ago. These are details from Palihouse that I promised - if you ever have the opportunity to stay there, do! Jamie Beck from Ann Street Studio just visited and took some great photos via Instagram as well, they're worth a look.
With things finally warming up, we'll get into spring's bright shades, Breton stripes, bold blooms, and pull out some fun vintage, too. I've got some catching up to do - as well as more surprises and big news to announce early May, so thanks for loving me even when I disappear on y'all, and don't wander off too far. What's next is going to be better than ever!