Anyone who wants to know the human psyche will learn next to nothing from experimental psychology. He would be better advised to abandon exact science, put away his scholar’s gown, bid farewell to his study, and wander with human heart throught the world. There in the horrors of prisons, lunatic asylums and hospitals, in drab suburban pubs, in brothels and gambling-hells, in the salons of the elegant, the Stock Exchanges, socialist meetings, churches, revivalist gatherings and ecstatic sects, through love and hate, through the experience of passion in every form in his own body, he would reap richer stores of knowledge than text-books a foot thick could give him, and he will know how to doctor the sick with a real knowledge of the human soul.

—Carl Jung


I'm alive!

Just buried under books and papers.
Finals are creeping up on me, which of course means blog posts inspired by frequent bouts procrastination, so heads up, dear reader!


Giving New York some context.

Jess and I took a mental-health-road-trip out to Cheshire, Connecticut today for some apple-picking and deep breathing. We left the skyline behind us so gladly--it's amazing how cluttered your insides feel when you live in such a cluttered city. We drove through small towns and villages with names that sound British. The East Coast structure is so foreign to me! I'm sure I looked as wide-eyed as if I am from another country entirely. But oh, to hear nothing but the cacophony of hundreds of blackbirds in the trees is something so special. To smell nothing but crisp air and (yes, even) rotting apples was something like heaven. (Never, ever, ever breathe through your mouth in New York City, lest you are taken by an awfully unpleasant surprise.) Anyway, it was absolutely wonderful. And the apples are delicious. And I am going to make a pie with a braided crust.



Look, hasn't my body already felt
like the body of a flower?

Look, I want to love this world
as though it's the last chance I'll ever get
to be alive
and know it.

--Mary Oliver


Dead Horse Bay, the first expedition.

This weekend, two friends and I explored a part of the Rockaway Inlet called "Dead Horse Bay". The name comes from its early 19th century use as a site for a glue-making factory (you can still find old horse bones on the beach.) Around the 1920's, it stopped its function as a depository and became more of a landfill. The beach is covered with old glass bottles labeled with unfamiliar alcohol and beauty product companies. When the waves lap at the shore, you hear the tinkling sound that comes from glass shifting against glass on the shore. It is so eerie it give you the goosebumps, especially because you're guaranteed to be one of the only three people on the beach, but it is a treasure hunter's paradise.

One of my favorite finds was an old, olivine Scotch bottle from Scotland; the beach was absolutely covered with blue, green, brown, clear, and milk-glass bottles. I've laid my treasures along my windowsill--when dinnertime comes, I sit in my room and watch the light reflecting through the bottles onto the wall opposite. (Sarah would add here, "It's the little things.")


Water from the heavens! Electricity from the source!

This is an over-confident Seattleite who has finally arrived home after getting caught in a downpour somewhere around 114th & Broadway. (She spent her new student orientation day chuckling to herself as she watched her peers shuffling about under umbrellas in the "rain".) Seattlite is met with sheets of rain and loud, loud thunder. Seattleite embraces her folly, peels her wet clothes off so as not to catch pneumonia. Seattleite reluctantly decides to bite the bullet and buy an umbrella. Seattleite is a little ashamed, but also very impressed.

My goodness, this rain makes me feel at home.


For me. For Mom. For Dad. For anyone else who worries about me.

Psalm 93.

"The Lord reigns, He is clothed
with majesty;
The Lord is clothed,
He has girded Himself with
Surely the world is established,
so that it cannot be moved.
Your throne is established from
of old;
You are from everlasting.

The floods have lifted up, O Lord,
The floods have lifted up their
The floods lift up their waves.
The Lord on high is mightier
Than the noise of many waters,
Than the mighty waves of the

Your testimonies are very sure;
Holiness adorns Your house,
O Lord, forever.



Here are some bits and pieces of my time here so far. All photographs are from the world wide web (lame, I know). As I establish more courage, I will take my camera out on adventures, but right now I am elbowing my way through the concrete jungle.

This is why I'm here. I feel a sense of pride strolling around the campus. I also frequently trip, because the paths are covered with uneven brick in a herringbone design. Ah, well. If anyone understands the importance of aesthetics, Columbia, it's this girl right here.

This is my new Trader Joe's. It's in an old bank. If you know anything about how much I love re-claiming abandoned spaces, you'll know how exciting this first shopping experience was for me.

This is a cookie I had for lunch today. Yes, it deserves a shout out. It's from Levain Bakery on the Upper West Side. Holy crap. $4 and completely, completely worth it. And my sweet tooth isn't very pronounced. I consumed it while gawking up at the multi million dollar penthouses overlooking Central Park. The wealth of that neighborhood is almost unsettling.

This is Central Park. It is very, very big and full of diverse landscape. I took a walk through part of it today to get a feel for a more cinematic New York City, because I have done little more than running school-related errands during my time here. Hannah says that every day will get brighter and more hopeful; after that walk, I started to see what she means. This will be good.

Jess & I stumbled upon this view today while scouring for thrift shops in Brooklyn Heights the other day. Fantastic, no? The Brooklyn Bridge is a little to the right of the frame, and the Statue of Liberty a ways to the left. We were grumbling for blocks about how much we missed our respective cities on the West Coast, when we followed our feet to the waterfront and ate our words. This city is immense. Engulfing. Insane. Empowering.

Tomorrow marks day five of my new life and day one of new student orientation. Here we go!


I have seen the future.

My friend Danny and I went to a screening of The Future to-night and were fortunate enough to be a part of a Q & A session with actress and director, Miranda July. While the movie itself was mentally stimulating and creatively built, I walked away with a bigger curiosity about the woman herself. This poised and petite and peculiar woman with a mop of curls on her head and a lot on her plate all the time--she is a creative think-tank, and I cannot wait to get my hands on her short stories and see what she comes out with in, dare I say it, "the future".


"It was a real whale, a photograph of a real whale. I looked into its tiny wise eye and wondered where that eye was now. Was it alive and swimming, or had it died long ago, or was it dying now, right this second? When a whale dies, it falls down through the ocean slowly, over the course of a day. All the other fish see it fall, like a giant statue, like a building, but slowly, slowly." And her stories are currently helping me with my phobias.


i've been tracking my time here by the stages of the moon,

and here are some good things about the right-now:

- people; family, tia, anca.

- picking shirt-fulls of figs with my little brother. i love the luxury of grabbing two or three figs on my way up the stairs, every day. four times a day. i eye them like persephone must have eyed the pomegranate handed her by hades, but that metaphor is probably completely incorrect because this place is not hell and the figs are not good enough to keep me here forever.

- buna is so cute.

- the weather has been very kind. foggy mornings and hot-but-not-too-hot afternoons. eternal sunshine. swaying palms. bright blue sky. i'm going to vouch for a hammock at our next family dinner, such that my reading outdoors is enhanced exponentially.

- with the influx of phone calls, letters, photographs and text messages i've been receiving every day, seattle world doesn't seem so far away. this is good for my achy heart.

- this lady's music has been keeping my heart light and my creativity on the up and up. and she's from seattle, of course.

- classic movies on the lawn of the hollywood forever cemetery. ucla walks and running my hands along the richard serra sculpture. old, old california architecture. (letting la get on my good side. with tia's help.)

- the ocean. early in the morning. late at night. (though not really in between. oh, you should see the way the moonlight pours a tunnel of light onto the wide expanse of the pacific ocean!)

- netflix. seriously. expanding my range of foreign films and silent films and talkies. falling asleep to movies i've seen a hundred times is also (somehow) quite lovely.

here's to some more of the same, and letting even more in.


Wise little book.

"They are the flowers I love best," she was saying. "I call them moon-flowers, and their perfume is so strange and uncanny that many a weary soul, when smelling them, has found sweet sleep."

"May I smell them, dear Mother Moon?" asked Pansy in a voice all trembling with emotion.

"You are not a weary soul, little Pansy," answered the planet. "You are a fresh breath from the earth's blessed spring-time, so do not bury your little nose in those dream-flowers, Pansy, sweet Pansy, but move on to plants more gay, and more in keeping with your youth."

Suddenly, everything has changed.

And these are some recent frames of places and people and happenings that I am already missing.

Every day I am away it will become more real that I am not going back for a very long time. But even as my heart continues to ache, I feel I am on the brink of a power surge. What an adventure I will soon embark upon! In the meantime, I will look around this holding place and love the things I come across. Yes, I will try.


These days,

Zeek and Rachel are married! We all made our way down to Keizer, Oregon last weekend to witness one of the most beautiful weddings I'm sure has ever happened. The Earl family (and their flock of sheep) graciously opened up their big red barn and backyard for all 175 of us; there was dancing with paper plates and eating too-delicious Greek food and gawking at the most beautifully displayed collection of Coptic crosses. Oh my. What an honor to celebrate their wedding day with them, and what a bigger honor to call them both my friends. Mmm.

These two are next (2 weeks!). I kissed them a teary-eyed goodbye about three hours ago, as they packed up their car and left Seattle. They have a wedding day to plan and family to savor before packing up and leaving for some grand escapades. Oh, this "moving on with our lives" is proving to be as hard as I'd anticipated it to be. Nonetheless, the way we've grown and created a sense of family together is something I carry with me every day.


You Who Never Arrived

You who never arrived
in my arms, Beloved, who were lost
from the start,
I don't even know what songs
would please you. I have given up trying
to recognize you in the surging wave of
the next moment. All the immense
images in me--the far-off, deeply-felt
landscape, cities, towers, and bridges, and
unsuspected turns in the path,
and those powerful lands that were once
pulsing with the life of the gods--
all rise within me to mean
you, who forever elude me.

You, Beloved, who are all
the gardens I ever gazed at,
longing. An open window
in a country house--, and you almost
stepped out, pensive, to meet me.
Streets that I chanced upon,--
you had just walked down them and vanished.
And sometimes, in a shop, the mirrors
were still dizzy with your presence and,
startled, gave back my too-sudden image
Who knows? Perhaps the same
bird echoed through both of us
yesterday, separate, in the evening...

a poem by Rainer Maria Rilke, 1913-1914


Olympic Peninsula

Also, here are some semi-recent frames:

It's alright. It all comes right.

New York City apartment hunting.

I'm coming across listings highlighting amenities such as "high speed elevators" and a "24-hour doorman" and "tons of closet space" and "in-building laundry facilities". How foreign this city is to me! Why wouldn't a sofa, bed, desk, chair, and all my worldly possessions fit into a living space? Why wouldn't this studio come with a kitchen?
Some apartment listings are very up-front and honest: "BOX. ALL UTIL INCLUDED. NO ROOMMATE NEEDED", or, "BASEMENT LIVING. HRDWD FLRS. DARK. NO LANDLORD." Some gloat about the location, history, and newly renovated amenities only to reveal that they are actually in New Jersey or Montreal or in the deep crevices of East Harlem. Some insist that $900 per month is "cheap living" and assure you there isn't any catch to their "best deal in the city".
Oh, give me a tiny studio big enough for myself and two suitcases full of worldly things. Give me floor space enough to twirl to music in the morning as I get ready for the day. Give me exposed brick to warm my back against when I'm writing papers in bed. Give me a quiet rooftop with a wide view. Give me a safe walk home every night.
These hours spent scouring the internet for a new home leave me overwhelmed; I am navigating this next step so naively! And, oh, Lord God, You know.


Love, or the prospect of finding it, can be simultaneously elating and heart-wrenching. But still!


Just a taste.

As Danielle and I were walking around New York City on our visit there, we experienced simultaneous waves of that panic that comes when you realize there is so much to see in so little time. "It's just a taste," we would say out loud to reassure the other.
The Met! MoMa! The Museum of Natural History! And only one day we allotted for museum wandering.
Central Park is bigger than you think it is. 843 acres, to be exact.
So many streets to turn down offering sanctuary from the nonstop clamor of the main boulevards. So many idyllic snowy arbors to walk under.
Five boroughs and over 8 million inhabitants. A beehive of activity.
So many angles from which to gawk at the Chrysler Building. So many picturesque waterfronts! It's just all too much!

The good news is that the next chapter of my life will make me a New Yorker. There are at least three museum memberships awaiting, 842 nooks of Central Park to be discovered, a handful of tranquil side roads to familiarize myself with, and over 8 million opportunities to make a friend. I'm excited to find home in a city with so much promise.