12 for 2013

Tuesday, December 31, 2013


2 0 1 3

What a year. It feels like a year that was sliced cleanly down the middle. Separating my life in school from my life outside of school. When I went back to find these images I found myself being shocked by the images I was finding. Shocked that those things actually happened this same year. 

It sounds cliched, but so many things happened in 2013. I graduated college. I completed a thesis. Steele and I moved out of our first apartment together and traveled Europe. I faced unemployment. I transitioned into real life. I formed and kept close friendships. Sometimes the stress of it all overwhelmed me, as it is always wont to do. I am really still a child growing into the shell of adulthood. But maybe I'll always be that way. Maybe it always feels that way. 

I have many plans and goals. But that is for the next week. For now, I will celebrate this past year and marvel at all the beautiful things I saw. 

So here we go, by months. 

January, Colorado

February, our kitchen table

March, in the field of the thesis building

April, at the coast celebrating our thesis defenses 

May, picking Crrr up from the airport for graduation and our thesis exhibition

June, in Canyonlands on our way home
July, in Cassis, France
August, swimming with Max

September, in our new home

October, words and leaves

November, Thanksgiving day light

December, our sixth anniversary

us & the snow

Monday, December 30, 2013

on going home

Today I returned home to Portland. 

What a sentence, today I returned home. 

I've written before about going 'home' to a place that doesn't hold your life anymore, most recently here. (On ghost towns.) Every time I go back, I think I'm well acquainted with the sensation, and every time, it hits me solidly in the chest. (Or doesn't hit me, it feels like… nothing.)

Above is the bedroom I grew up in. It's empty now, as you can see. Both my parents live in houses that are half empty, unused. When I go home, and stand in the places I used to live, I find it hard to match my memories to my present experience. Colorado, for me, has become a minefield of empty places and hollow shells. 

Around Christmas this can be quite depressing, actually, as these used to be places that were filled with warmth and happiness, where I had many Christmases. The sight above diminishes my adolescent memories. It's revealed for what it is: an empty room. 

This is not a home. This is not my home. 

And as melodramatic as this post may be, the feelings are valid. I think next year I will do things differently. I will stay with Steele instead, where his bedroom stays the same, and the house is full. It's a different kind of pain, but I'd like to hold my memories in their place and not let them deteriorate. 

fall adventures no. 2 & no. 3

Sunday, December 29, 2013

I present (very late) fall adventures no. 2 & no. 3. I sort of lost my inspiration for videos in October and November, somewhere admits the daily grind. But I managed to get together enough small clips to make two little vignettes of the last fall months. They may not be the best, but they're still little pieces of my life, which is all these videos were ever intended to be.

Enjoy! And expect the first winter adventure pretty soon, December's almost over!


See all the adventure films:

summer adventure no. 1
summer adventure no. 2
summer adventure no. 3
fall adventure no. 1

some fiction for your lovely christmas eve

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Maybe there are no mistakes, only books to be written.

It’s a comforting thought as she steps gingerly onto the ice of the river. Her breath comes out in hot puffs around her and she imagines how she would look from above, a tiny girl on a huge, half frozen river. She wonders if she put her ear to the ice, if she could hear the rush of the river under it.

She lies down, thinking back to something her mom told her about weight distribution on ice. And she looks at the sky, that black hole. Her breath continues to puff out above her. This will be my most beautiful mistake, she thinks, but then she rolls over, pushes herself off the ice, and steps back onto solid ground.


I hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday. A set of abstract tree scapes (like the one above) went up on Common Rituals today, if you want to see more. 

learnings and shadows

Thursday, December 12, 2013

A few things I'm learning as I grow:

Being passionate about something means making time for it. Squeezing it into the cracks of your day, if you have to. Staying up late and waking up early. 

Learning about (and learning to respect) other humans makes you a more graceful human being yourself. 

Likewise, you're going to run into people you don't like or respect. (And what do you do then? This is a question I have a hard time answering.)

Curiosity, excitement, and enthusiasm are appreciated. 

frozen leaves

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

A small series of these image went up on Common Rituals today, but I wanted to share the rest here. I can't remember the last time I was so excited by a series of images. I know they're technically nothing special, as they are essentially a simple still life. I know that the only thing interesting about them is the subject matter. But I'm happy to have seen and captured something so beautiful. 

oh christmas tree!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Julia's tree cutting story is going up on Common Rituals tomorrow, so I thought I'd share some photos from mine and Steele's Christmas tree outing here :)

This year when we went, it had snowed the night before. It was so beautiful and quiet. I never had a real tree growing up, so it's really strange and magical to walk through rows of trees and pick one to put in your living room. We got a small little guy as we don't have much space, but it's perfect for us.

Since I've been working weekends it's been hard to find daylight hours to spend just me and Steele. He actually had to take time off work for us to go do this (though he had some other boring DMV stuff to do as well) but it was really special to get to do this together. 

real life + december intentions

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

So here is that post. It's coming up. It's the post in which I admit, with just a hint of shame, how hard this is. 

Lets be honest here for a second. I haven't had the experience of working nearly everyday, and coming home. I haven't had the experience of balancing work, and my passions, and keeping the house clean, and feeding myself something other than cereal. All while trying not to become passionless, and uninspired, and haggard. 

It's hard and I have so far to go. I'm still learning so much, about other people and about myself. And I hope to grow into the person I want to be. I hope to motivate myself enough for the growing. 

So, in true Brittany form, I have decided to make a list. Some intentions for December, before 2014 hits. Truth be told the list could be much longer, but for realities sake I must keep it short. 

>Spend time blogging (This sounds big, but I don't need this space to be a perfect, styled life. I just want to commit to posting more regularly. And what this really comes down to is taking time out of my day to reflect and write.)

>Clean every day (Even just working a full week I've noticed how much harder it is to have the dishes done, and the floor swept, and the clothes put away. But a messy space makes for a messy mental state, for me, and so I know it's important to clean a little every day.)

>Enjoy the holidays (The holiday season is one of my favorites and I want to make sure I cherish it. This means making every day a little special, taking the time to do a few big things like picking a tree, going light-seeing, and making gingerbread houses!)

>Focus on Common Rituals (This is a big and daunting task. There is a lot to be done there and I need to break it down to not lose my mind. But it's something that I want to focus energy on, and not let myself get too overwhelmed.) 


Friday, November 29, 2013

I could easily list a hundred things I'm thankful for. I could go off into tangents, like being thankful for lists (which help me organize my feelings and thoughts and needs and plans) or being thankful for words (they're so magical!) or this blank box, for allowing me a little outlet.

So instead I will try to simplify it into a few big ones.

>I'm thankful for the people in my life. This means, Steele, who holds me together day in and day out. My parents and brother, who are my foundation. And my friends who fill in the cracks and provide me with motivation, inspiration, and laughter.

>I'm thankful for the opportunities I've been given and the tools I have available to me. The jobs I hold, and the skills I've gained over the past few years here.

>I'm thankful for this city that I've grown to call my own.

>I'm thankful for my home. For having a place to come back to every night, a place to maintain, and clean, and make my own. A kitchen to cook in and a bed to sleep in. Rooms to relax in and walls to decorate and windowsills to fill with little knickknacks. For my plant in the bedroom which continues to grow, and for the rug in my living room, and for the shelf above my stove. For all of the little details that make this apartment a home.

>And most of all, I'm thankful for light, which wraps around all the things I love and makes them real to me, light which gives them form. I'm thankful for the pure white light that filters in through my bedroom in the mornings, and the golden sunlight that cuts across the western hills at sunset. Where there is light, for me, there is happiness.

happy tuesday + life update

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

It's my day off! Yay Tuesday. Above are some images from the past week. Now, onto the words. Here's a little bit of a life update:

>I've been working two jobs. One at a flower shop, and a retail position at Danner Boots. Both have so far been good. Neither use my degree, of course, but that's okay as I really don't know what I want to do in the long run. For now it's enough to be working and figuring things out.
>Between that, and mine and Julia's blog Common Rituals, things have been busy. Julia and I recently hosted an event for Kinfolk, and there were a few days there where sleep was not to be found and stress levels were a little high.
>The Holiday season is coming up, and I don't know why, but it always makes me feel so productive. I have lots of things bouncing around in my head. Lots of things I'd like to focus on.
>Such as: writing, beginning the journey of fiction writing.
>Photographing, more than just daily stuff. Story telling with imagery.
>Learning Lightroom, Indesign, and Illustrator! (Which I have recently acquired.)
>Cooking and eating healthy. Now that I'm working I spend more time away from my kitchen which means I need to transition into packing lunches again.
>Blogging here!

just up and dissipated

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Life is strange, this blog is strange, this fog is strange, photography is strange. 

The other day I was walking to a meeting with Julia and a piece of paper blew past us on the street and I wondered aloud what was on it. And Jules said that was such a Brittany thing to wonder. Now that, in it's own, is strange. 

Anyways, back to the fog. Ali was over last night and when she left, there was a weird fog all throughout the Fred Meyer parking lot that we live next to. And so I slipped into some shoes, and went to take pictures. It was so erie and beautiful and I thought, maybe I would take some portraits (some far away portraits, mind you.) So I went back inside to grab Steele but when we came out a few minutes later (after I persuaded him to put his shoes on, cause being a boy you cannot simply 'slip' into shoes) the fog was gone. 

Just up and dissipated. 

So fleeting, that fog. Of course it is, it's fog. 

I'm glad I went out for a brief moment and at least captured these things. Fog makes light solid, which is funny because all that's solid is the fog. Which is more funny. But it makes light appear, a real things, rays cutting off of branches and coming down in cones from street lights. 

Now I'm just rambling. 

it's fall winter

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The leaves are dying, the clouds are coming, and the pine trees are here to stay.

oh, the possibilities

Friday, November 8, 2013

How about, I sit here and describe to you the light coming in through my living room windows. The delicious sound of the heater blowing hot air around. That comfort sound. I could describe that to you. Maybe make an analogy, relate it back to my childhood, memory, nostalgia.


Or I could describe to you the way I made my bed this morning, walking around and tucking the sheet in and fluffing the pillows.


I could tell you how I woke up early, and drove Steele to work. Drove Steele to work! That is another detail I could share here--the fact that I have a newly acquired skill for driving a manual car. I could tell you how it feels to be driving on the highway alone, in Steele's car. (A car I have spent the better part of the past five years in, but a car that I have never been inside of alone until the past two days.)


We could go over how it feels to be sitting in my kitchen, no lights on because the overhead lights are abhorrent and somehow turning them on dims the beautiful cloud-light coming in through all the windows around me.


Or, I mean, I suppose we could write a list. I could give you a factual life update. (Maybe this is much needed? I don't know...)


I could write something real, something raw. Something that touches upon the very bones of humanity and speaks about insecurities, and being a real person with fears and doubts and that lingering sensation--regret. 


And then, of course, I could always just fill this space with photographs. Images from the past few days. Or maybe I could dig in my archives, publish a set of pictures that haven't been seen, that have been buried in my picture files. I could do that.


There are so many things. There are so many ways.


Oh so many ways.

light leaks

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Can we just talk about the phrase "light leaks" for a moment? I never really considered it, it's always just been a part of my photography vocabulary. But it's a beautiful phrase, and a beautiful thing to imagine: light, leaking. It makes light seem like something that's liquid. Something that can fill the cracks. (Which, of course, it can.)

It took me forever to finish this roll, almost three months. Which maybe isn't the longest time, for someone. But for me it is. The thing is, I kept forgetting there was film in my camera. So I kept opening it up to put a new roll in, and I would be met with that slippery plastic already stretched across the inside of my camera. 

But I'm actually so glad. In this case light didn't leak, it blasted it's way in, full force. Obliterating whole frames entirely, and coating the rest in a lovely red flare. 

Looking at some of this images, some of which were shot many months ago, I'm so thankful for my life. Outside of school, it's easy for every day to feel the same. Days bleed into each other. But these images have shocked me out of that feeling, for a moment. Reminded me that every day holds it's own small surprises and gifts. They remind me, blessedly, that every day is not the same. 

As long as I can hold onto that sensation, remember to revel in the small moments of surprise, I think I'll be alright.