Photographing the Eastern Sierras – On the Need to Rest

Blue. Oh so blue. The Eastern Sierras are awash in it. With snowmelt-fed lakes that spill down the mountains and leave wildflowers in their wake. With cool granite and old pines that rest on their sides and allow the beetles to slowly return them to soil. Friendly Steller’s Jays that chatter and beg for handfuls…

Amigurumi Teacup – On the Need to Burn

This has been a rough one, this week. This damn week. I have just enough energy for a cup of tea (loose leaf jasmine green) and solitude. Perhaps time spent here, on my apartment balcony, in the plastic chair that was made to look like wicker, will smooth my rough edges. Perhaps the afternoon sun…

Amigurumi Koala – On Human Contact

You can hide in the shade of a blue umbrella on the soft sand. You can lie back on the oversized towel that’s been through too many washings and listen to the laughing and the crashing and the crying of gulls. Or you can take the small hand that has offered itself to you. Race…

Amigurumi Moon

Is life just perspective? On clear nights, when you look to the full moon, do you see the man gazing back at you? Or is it the rabbit you find hiding in the lunar maria? Crouched, still, resplendent. I have to squint to find the man. Tilt my head this way and that. Be reminded…

Amigurumi Ice Cream Cone

I miss the time before guilt. When an ice cream cone was just an ice cream cone; bliss stuffed into a sugar husk and consumed with reckless abandon. The time before we deemed sugar a poison and soft drink orders were changed to water, low ice, maybe a little lemon. I miss it. Perhaps because…

Amigurumi Dragon

I’ve lived my life accepting the labels others apply to me: shy, sullen, sensitive, cowardly. It’s hard to be my best self with my heart caged by such daggers. And the truth is, these labels say more about their speakers (their needs, their expectations, their strategies to protect themselves against their own vulnerability) than they…

Amigurumi Donkey

In the height of summer’s heat we set up shade canopies. We load ice into coolers full of craft beer and Dr. Pepper as overexcited dogs lick the salt from our bare calves. We comment on the growth of the children tumbling together in red shirts and blue shorts spangled with silver stars, and on…

Amigurumi Daisy

Last night, the hills above Camp Pendleton caught fire, and so I was lulled to sleep by the sharp tang of burning brush, the earth around me blanketed for miles in smoke and ash. As sometimes happens while the earth burns, I dream of water. Of the sea and the kind of angry, black storm…

Grandma’s Quilt

On my way to check the mail yesterday evening I found two little girls lying in the still-warm grass. The elder of the two, towheaded with a face nearly swallowed by her round, red-framed glasses. The younger, a chubby Latina with a wide, gap-toothed grin. They were gazing up into the tall palms, giggling, surrounded…

Amigurumi Unicorn

There is magic in this world. Perhaps not in the turning of the appropriate card, the flick of a phoenix-core wand, the transfiguration of frog to prince. But certainly there is magic in a change of heart; the frightened soul made brave by kindness. Not ancient text pulled from a grimoire, not prayer to a…

Amigurumi Sheep

When I was eight years old I nearly slept through the 1994 Northridge earthquake. Nearly, not for the vigorous tumbling of the great earth, but instead for the violent shouting of my father, “Cassie! Cassie!” as his strong hands wrenched me from bed to join him and my small, frightened brother in the cramped “hallway” between…

Amigurumi Taco

Good God, I need a laugh. Lately the world seems less to orbit and more to spiral. Down, down, down we go! I am often surprised by this state of affairs. Perhaps I should take that as a win? Perhaps I’m not as cynical as I once supposed? It just…it seems to me the world…