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.)