Category Archives: love letters

just briefly: creation.

There are people who create things in this world, and then people who just take, or just criticize, or just simply exist. I’m not just talking about the artists, the writers, the inventors, the people who think creatively; although they are certainly an obvious example. The ones that I really don’t understand are the ones that just exist.

I’m talking about even people who create little moments, who go out of their way to strike up a random conversation that might brighten someone’s day, throw in a compliment where one isn’t strictly needed, who will say something silly and sweet just on the chance that it will make you laugh. They want to talk to you not as a means to an end, but to genuinely go back and forth, get at the truth, really see you, and maybe say the thing that nobody says but you need to hear.

These seem like really obvious things, things that all of us would do now and again, when the right situation arises. But from my experience, to most people, doing these things simply don’t ever occur to them. They wait to be on the receiving end of these moments, or they’re just cynical about them all, or maybe they’ve just never experienced them themselves.

The person I want to be creates these things, truly connects, is sincere in the right moments, and people can trust that sincerity. I want a compliment from my lips to really mean something, not just be a way to pass another second. Even if I never create anything material (which I hope I do as well), I want to create this.



I think I found what I was looking for; or at least I hope I did — inspiration. I was getting to one of those points that I reach periodically, where I don’t know what interests me any more, I don’t know what I care about let alone what I am passionate about. It had nothing to do with where I was physically or recent changes in my life, it had to do with where I was inside my head. It’s hard to explain. I felt like I was at a crossroads mentally, completely separate from the concrete things in life.

But then I found it. A trip back to a place that used to be home opened my eyes in all kinds of ways. I had an idea of the kind of experience I thought would help me find my way, and then somehow the universe presented it to me in one of those rare moments that make me kind of think there must be some kind of order to this madness.

I guess what it boils down to is that I met someone. Someone capable of love, sincere, honest, open. Gorgeous to look at, but one of those people who’s so interesting and funny and nice to talk to that you forget what they look like anyway. Someone who actually listened and payed attention to the little details. Someone who really just needed a friend, which is exactly what I’m trying to learn to be better at. Someone who made me laugh and smile more than I have in a long time.

Before I went back to Spain, I wrote a note to myself that I needed to aim higher. I was disillusioned by the last person I was seeing, and the things I had maybe settled for in the name of “experience.” So I wanted to give myself time and aim higher on my own terms; someone who would really be there even if we were never really serious. I wanted the kind of person who would walk down to the beach with me at midnight for no reason at all, and there he was. I saw the movie “Valentine’s Day” last week and found myself strangely only interested in the storylines that stayed platonic, that were about what it meant to be a good friend or even just a kind acquaintance; that too told me something about what I need right now. I was feeling disillusioned with intelligence or culture snobs and I found someone who was intellectual in the right sort of way — interested in ideas and the possibility of becoming better. Someone who was excited to tell me about the book he was re-reading to help learn Spanish, and it turned out it was the Little Prince.

So now even though I’m back now, many cities away, I’m walking around as if I were a woman in love because meeting him even briefly restored my faith in something I had started to doubt, that there are truly good people, ones like him, out there. There are other puzzle pieces that match the things I’m looking for and needing. There are ways forward. Even though I’m sitting here alone again, my heart feels full and my head is swimming with ideas.

And this feeling is like a butterfly wing in my hand; I don’t want to try to hold it too tightly or it will turn to dust, dissolve right before my eyes. I have to float around it lightly, this inspiration, and maybe keep a certain distance from some of the things I used to live, my “everyday,” for just a little while, so I can try to cement some of these ideas swimming around my head without crushing them. Wow too many mixed metaphors. I have to try not to over-think those either.

love letter to the mediterranean

I looked out at the clear green water and the rough, sun-bleached rocks, and the more beautiful it was, the sadder it made me. The beauty only reminded me of what I had lost, and as always, I couldn’t believe that I would ever be so lucky again.

Why is it — that curse and blessing of the human condition — that we see whatever we are experiencing as a pinnacle, and we’ll never have it so good again, and we can’t imagine ever getting up from where we’ve fallen.

I shouldn’t have been waiting for him, and I wasn’t, not consciously; I tried not to think about him or make hypothetical plans for the future. But I was waiting — there was anticipation in my blood and I let days pass without thought, I was counting even the seconds without noticing it.

I needed to figure out all over again what type of life I wanted to have. Living alone, shopping and cooking for one, having a comfortable place to curl up and read. The wave of liberty that would come after comfort: to be able to walk without destination, buy whatever I liked, wear whatever I wanted; the immense freedom in knowing that in any one moment I might meet someone who would change my life, start something new. It only takes a second and the movie reel changes.

I had to accept that I had no idea anymore what I wanted to do, I only had some ideas about where I wanted to be. Maybe that was enough, to start.

love letter to milan

“Milan gets a bad rap as Italy’s industrial city, but I think that’s dead wrong. If you get out of the city center into some of the neighborhoods, it’s just as beautiful as Rome, Venice, or Florence. It still retains its old-world charm — waiters still wear beautiful white dinner jackets in a lot of the most traditional restaurants and bars — but Milan is not trapped by its history like Rome or Venice. It is a thriving modern city and Italy’s center of fashion and design. Still, it has some of the most beautiful and serene museums, trattorias, and courtyards in the country. Milan has tremendous cultural influence on the rest of Italy, Europe, and the world.”

Scott Schuman