In God's Country...

July 31, 2009 Candace Morris 4 Comments

Baby Deer

Many of you know how I most affectionately adore this state. I am not a native Washingtonian, having been born in the glamorous state of California. Though there are pockets of true beauty in California, Lancaster is not one of them. I spent my life in the high desert with hot winds shattering my frail bones. When I met Joel and we moved to Seattle (his hometown), I was transported to what my sister refers to as "God's Country."

But lately, Seattle has thrown us all for a loop. She has been hitting the hundreds and since no residences have A/C, we've all been melting to death. Joel and I have it lucky because we are in a subterranean unit, but even that is too uncomfortable to live without a fan. But then all of Seattle ran out of fans. I felt a panic come over capitalist country should run out of goods. What is this? The Great Depression?!

But then, this glorious morning...after three days of 98+ temperatures, Seattle's benevolence blew in a breezy 64...and promises to get only into the early 80s. Sigh. I feel restored...and slightly cold sitting here outdoors at Top Pot Doughnuts. I'm gonna move inside...

Hurricane Ridge

And to prove this is indeed God's own country, I have a set of photographs from my drive with Adam and Erin around the Olympic Peninsula this last week. We had such a leisurely, lazy drive...and found some of the most beautiful skapes any person has ever seen.

boys doing boy things

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the view while putting on hiking shoes

the meadow

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Queen of the Mountain


field of ferns

Boys on an adventure

Lake Crescent

Trying to catch a fish...

Lake Crescent

Moss Garden

Joel and Adam on the jetty at La Push, WA


and, per usual, you can find even more photos here:
Drive around Olympic Peninsula

I've found my soul in these mountains, in these oceans, in these forests, in this city.
Happy Friday.


1920s Lawn Party: Attagirl!

July 29, 2009 Candace Morris 10 Comments

a lady needs a hat

To ease this thirty-one year old soul into the year,
the saint and I (with so many others' help) hosted a 1920s Lawn Party.

the game yard

boys playing croquet

We set up my grandfather's 50 year old croquet set, a badminton net, metal horseshoes, and boules. We threw linens on outdoor furniture, we set up a strand of lights, we bought the best flowers, we set out our vintage china, we mixed a mean mint julep, we played old records...

a lone player

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champagne and pearls, one of my favorite girls

We ate the food of the time (monte cristos, pigs in a blanket, pineapple upside-down cake, deviled eggs, champagne grapes, egg salad sandwiches sans crust, homemade gelato, you name it!). We tapped a keg of homemade brew. We donned our best costumes and headed out of the city. My oh my how we laughed and danced and hugged and played quite remarkably hard.

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summer's kiss

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It was a perfect night which included a delightful summer sprinkle and wonderful little conversations all over the yard.

I have already heard that it was the party of the summer!

the brothers k

mason jar brew

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all strands lead to the keg

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A lot more photographs and the originals can be found here:
20s Lawn Party

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I have to give a huge thank you to my favorite Erin Morris (pictured above) for taking me away from the party and getting some shots of me. She is a professional photographer, and I am floored by her work. Thanks, E!

with my birthday chalice

We stepped back into time.
We forgot ourselves.
We lived and we lived loudly.

And zounds, how we slept.

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If 31* is anything like this party,
I am in for quite a memorable, magical, indulgent year.


*For the year of 31-32, I am embarking on a monthly project. Stay tuned...


Just a teaser...

July 29, 2009 Candace Morris 2 Comments

31 in the 1920s...with a digital camera in her seashell purse.

the boys, the brothers, the booze

And there's plenty more where those came from. Stay tuned...

In other news that I simply cannot contain even one second longer but have been otherwise engaged so that I couldn't get to telling you all; the SAINTLY SAINTLING has worked his magical organizational wiles and rallied a goodly amount of loved ones towards raising a goodly amount of money so as to purchase me THIS!!!!If you had ANYTHING whatsoever to do with the purchase of this part of my soul, you will certainly be hearing from me soon personally, but I want to send out a public GUSH for each of you had faith in my artistry and decided to blow onto the pinwheels of my artistic inertia. I am so friggggeeeennnn excited! My new toy should be here this week.

I feel so much more complete.
Like someone restored my crippled hands to work.

Do I look different?! :)


It's in the water...

July 25, 2009 Candace Morris 2 Comments

My OTHER sister, Jenn and her hubby Brian. WHOOT.



Check it out...

July 23, 2009 Candace Morris 2 Comments

See me here...woot!

Also, things are super crazy around here...but oh so fun. We have our lovely cousins Adam and Erin staying with us and have been seeing the family as well as planning for my 1920s birthday party on Saturday...PLUS seeing other wonderful people coming to town.

But I'll give you this report of my birthday - I was seriously so moved by how people doted on me. I gorged myself on the words of love that came at me from every direction. I felt like I was at my own funeral of sorts, not in a morbid way, but when people are praising the deceased. Truly, when I go through times of weeping on the bathroom floor from fear of abandonment and paralyzing loneliness (yes, it happens even to the most happily married), I will have this deposit of affection to ward off the demons. I love you. Thank you.

I treated myself to an massage at a local school (so cheap!) and then Joel took me to sushi before we met up with Gomes' to attend Othello. Lordy, was it amazing...a perfect birthday treat as it is my favorite of the much more mature than Romeo and Juliet and so much more simple than Hamlet and King Lear. Anyway...

More birthday reports to come...I hope the rest of your week carries you deeper into the understanding of who you are, how you are loved, and what you have to offer.



July Twenty-One: 31rst Edition

July 21, 2009 Candace Morris 9 Comments

Another year ends today, with an other beginning. This cycle is all around the forest floor, in the compost bins...birth must precede death, death begets birth. In July of 2008, I was struggling to accept this concept with any amount of peace. In July of 2009, I've enjoyed the beauty of that acceptance and am now engaged in contemplation and analysis and (hopefully!) acceptance about all that happens in the space between.

I read an idea recently of a wife writing her husband a letter once a year on their anniversary. She would muse about what they had been through, their dates, their fights, their conversations, all that messy mix that is relationship. I am intrigued by this chronicling and am venturing to write myself a yearly letter on my

Though terribly tempting to write it publicly, I know it will be best for me to be private. In fact, it sounds like the perfect date with me...taking myself out in a fancy hat for an afternoon glass of champagne. Though it does not yet exist, I know it will go something like this:

When first I thought about what I would write to myself, I took as second to check in with my soul and well, the temperature is really quite nice. Nothing is acutely painful, nothing terribly angsty. I quickly thought, "Wow, I am totally getting better." And while this is true, what I realize is that many MANY issues lurk under the callouses, but that I no longer fear them as I once did. In addition, I realize that these last few months have been all about blissful rest.

This last fall, I fell into a dark depression. I was in so much prickly pain that I could hardly breathe, much less make any logical sense of relationships, career, or art. But as seasons always do, things shifted and I found some tranquility. I have been in almost shameful happiness for the last 6 months, and it's got me fooled into thinking I am, well...all done.

And then I have nothing left to do but step back, take my hands off the burners and stand in awe of he who crafts time. He has given me so much freedom these last years to completely and utterly deconstruct my notions of religion and growth that I brim with a thankfulness that chokes. He has seen fit to give me a season of blessed oblivion, time off from my obsessive desire to dig deeper and deeper and analyze all that I am at every given second, and let me live on the surface, coming up for big greedy breaths of air, lying on my back and watching the night-sky.

I can feel that time coming to an end as pain starts calling me back to the rich soil of my soul's flower bed. I feel scared to let go of this bliss...and I realize how changed I am. Once I ran to the familiarity of pain and suffering as my shelter and identity, now I have known true rest and fear that I've lost my stamina, gotten soft.

And then I remember...
With enough air, I can dive down to the most beautiful depths.

Because though I am rested
I am always and ever will be
my best warrior.

Happy Birthday, Self.
I think you're beautiful.

And that goes for you too.
Thank you for bearing witness to my journey.



Saying Summer

July 20, 2009 Candace Morris 1 Comments


the deep inhale of sun-kissed skin,
wiping of berries and dirt on worn jeans

skipping rocks,

gentle tickles of baby hairs swaying like grass in the well-mannered breeze
long stares into the intricate physiology of bugs
windows all the way down, neko way, way up
nausea from ice cream, smores, watermelon binges
roaring creeks lulling happily-exhausted campers to slumber

pick up that rock, drink from that lake (<span class=

as i keep all the questions at bay

the sharp clink of bottles swishing in the ice-chest
layers of clothes peeling off and on
the surprise of freezing water as the day washes off of your face
cheap fermentation in blue tin cups
blockbuster sunsets

it's hard to say

as the fog burns

long pauses fondling sea-smoothed stones
the gracious welcome mat of crunching detritus underfoot
the panicked scamper of the ant across the pages of your book

and upon returning home,
aged cursive adorning birthday card envelopes
the familiar ecstasy of your own bed.

a late waking,
a white dress,
an important eucharist,
a bloody mary and eggs benedict,
a bouquet of crocosmia,
a trip to mom's.

flash lights

a brilliant light shattering the stain-glassed windows of lethargy

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Camping Trip 2009