on gratitude - to share or not to share

November 28, 2010 Candace Morris 8 Comments

Despite Thanksgiving being pretty close to my number one favorite holiday, I have felt recently that even the way one expresses gratitude can be a tad...I don't know, competitive.  There are many ways to eloqute the
 (--enter noun(s)--) one is "thankful" for, but this year, it feels contrived, forced...obligatory even.

I had a list.  It was elaborately planned (seriously unlike 90% of my blog posts) and I was going to really spend some time delving into all my overwhelming blessings.  But as time passed and I felt less and less able to remember what those things really WERE, I began to panic.  I left the list of things somewhere and couldn't quite remember what they were.  Don't get me wrong, I am SWIMMING in seriously amazing (--noun(s)--), but I wanted to be really specific, to the point, profound.

Readers, I lost it.
I lost my profundity.

Furthermore, I realized that even though I had planned this big blog post that would surely bring tears and chills to even the most unaffected critic, I really just wanted to keep these things to myself.  I wanted to write pages and pages about them in my journal; I wanted to curl up inside myself and find a private, unshared, unviewed space wherein to express my thanks for really the most simple thing. 

And that is this:
That after what has been a hands-down shitty, tragic, and unlucky year, that I was able to feel any gratitude at all.  Feeling the authenticity of gratitude is a gift all its own.

And though I am open and willing to share almost anything with anyone, I realized that holding onto a few beautiful gems of gratitude all for myself and the universe...well that, my dears, is nothing short of pure, self-indulgent luxury.

Entire album of Thanksgiving here:
Thanksgiving 2010


one saturday, late november

November 28, 2010 Candace Morris 9 Comments

it is only the images that remain
pictures of one day
one saturday
that burn the brain of one dame
who continually forgets to remember:

that moods
(like antique stores and hotel lounges)
are as fleeting and transitory
as beauty,
and rejection.
and life.

and saturdays
in late november.

but who also forgets to remember
that the knowledge that things always change
(that it will be better tomorrow
and worse again next week)
doesn't at all change that right now,
in the deepest earliest of nighttime hours,
it is real:
the unkindness,
the gagging rejection,
the sad self-consolation,
the putting of one drunken soul to bed...

on one saturday
in late november.


working on...

November 24, 2010 Candace Morris 6 Comments

...a few lists.

Excited to share them with you soon!



on why we need people and i love australians

November 23, 2010 Candace Morris 7 Comments

This last weekend, Joel and I had the pleasure of hosting Emily and Alex.  I met Emily entirely through the blog world, and as I was driving to the airport to "meet" my friend/pen pal/kindred artist of two years, I thought to myself that the internet is magic.  Pure abrakadabrah.

The first day Emily lost her voice over two pots of tea and hours spent in the cafe as we talked, and talked, and talked.  I came to realize Emily's unique place in my heart, one that a specter of herself had already owned, but which was yet moved fully nestled into.  She is every bit as lovely as I suspected she would be (a true snow white and shockingly beautiful)...but I suppose I didn't expect to be so inspired, to learn so much...from someone so much younger than I (I still cannot believe she is only 21).  She is so warm, so open, so affectionate, so impossibly easy to love.

The lingering reason I am fond of her at this moment is our shared niche love and study of classical English literature.  Though I have many friends in my life who love and read literature, I left my nerdy circle of English Lit majors behind in college.  Of the few that remain, we share very different taste in authors.  However, Emily is inextricably connected to the same periods of English literature that I find compelling and necessary to my soul's comfort.  I found that as she spoke so articulately of poets and their connections to time and God, I was hungrily clinging to each word as if in a lecture.  She has just graduated, so this information is so fresh and vibrant upon her lips.  I began to speak of a poet that I loved, and completely forgot so many things about him...not even being able to give background information where once I could have bored everyone to tears speaking of.  How sad that this happens, but I feel more inspired that disappointed.  I went right home to find the poet (Matthew Arnold, btw) and rekindle something in me that had been flickering.  It's nice to have such a passionate shared interest.

We spent the weekend absorbing each other's presence.  We clicked as couples and individuals...and it is just such a wonderful feeling to know the internet friendship is not only virtual, but so very real.    We cried over the loss of Heathcliff; we laughed easily over differences in America/Australia; we tasted catholicbeer; we shared a blanket on the couch together.  

A few other people were around with them this weekend, loving them because they love me...loving who I love as an extension.  I needed them around to give my new friends a holistic snapshot into who I am. For indeed, I am not only Candace, but I am those who love me as well.  I am for Jessica a watch-guard; I am for Clara a lot of kisses; I am  for Mom and Dad their pride; I am for Niki a trust in women; I am for Teresa a sister and friend; I am for Jackie a sounding board; I am for Kelly a wise voice. I am for Joel a lifetime passion.  And now, I am for Emily and Alex a home away from home.  She has been loved and known by those who love and know me.

This small truth reminds me of how we need people.  We need them to give us a more well-rounded picture of the entirety of our soul.  We need them to see us as lovely so we can ourselves see the beauty inside.   We need them to help us unload the dishwasher, to write us a funny text, to massage our headaches.

I could do all of these things myself, but I already know the lesson of independence.
For me, the lesson I continually need reiterated is that of needing others.
That letting myself rely on them is imperative to a soulful, healthy existence and what I believe to be the very purpose of human life.

Now I need one more amazing person.
Her support, her affection, her words, her being...
all are now essential for this melancholy madame.

My safety net gets stronger and more tightly knit each time I look down.
It's quite a stunning collection.


snow day

November 22, 2010 Candace Morris 6 Comments


Though I enjoy a magic snowfall...


Let it be known that I'm just as happy to observe its magic from the inside out.


happy birthday pickle!

November 22, 2010 Candace Morris 4 Comments

Happy 1st  Birthday, Clara or Pickle or Bean or just Baby.
Whatever we call you, we flippin adore you.



a meal in november

November 18, 2010 Candace Morris 6 Comments

One of the ways I love to initiate my house as a home is to cook.  I didn't know this about myself even two years ago, but once I moved onto Capitol Hill (w/in 115 feet of Kelly), she and I used to cook together no less than twice a month, often more.  Though I deciding to teach myself, she was a great motivation.   She often touted it as a way to add a great deal of warmth and soul to your home.  Once we moved here, I admit that something in me was waiting to make this house a bit more complete...until she and I had  shuffled about the kitchen together.  I love cooking, especially when it's not a chore and when it's for several of the people I love.  This past weekend, we decided to make butternut and goat cheese raviolis and amazing gingerbread/pumpkin cupcakes with citrus frosting.

After we filled close to 50 wanton wrappers with butternut squash and a lovely sharp cheese, we topped the raviolis with toasted hazelnuts and fresh sage.  Then we threw together a fabulous winter salad.  I'd say everyone was pleased.

What have you cooked lately that just buttered your biscuits?

I would have snapped a photo of the cupcakes, but I was way WAY too deep in gastronomic bliss to pull myself away.


thoughts on dropping the ball

November 16, 2010 Candace Morris 7 Comments

"It seems to me that almost all our sadnesses are moments of tension, which we feel as paralysis because we no longer hear our astonished emotions living. Because we are alone with the unfamiliar presence that has entered us; because everything we trust and are used to is for a moment taken away from us; because we stand in the midst of a transition where we cannot remain standing. That is why the sadness passes: the new presence inside us, the presence that has been added, has entered our heart, has gone into its innermost chamber and is no longer even there, - is already in our bloodstream. And we don't know what it was. We could easily be made to believe that nothing happened, and yet we have changed, as a house that a guest has entered changes. We can't say who has come, perhaps we will never know, but many signs indicate that the future enters us in this way in order to be transformed in us, long before it happens. And that is why it is so important to be solitary and attentive when one is sad: because the seemingly uneventful and motionless moment when our future steps into us is so much closer to life than that other loud and accidental point of time when it happens to us as if from outside. The quieter we are, the more patient and open we are in our sadnesses, the more deeply and serenely the new presence can enter us, and the more we can make it our own, the more it becomes our fate."  Rilke


January 19, 2010

Today is a day where I seem to have tripped on the toys I forgot to pick up last night before going to bed.  The trays and platters of good things teeter in the air (all that I am holding and hoping to hold) unsupported as I realize that I need to drop them, use the tripping as an excuse to take a friggen nap.  Though I am a capable and confident woman, I cannot be always and only this.

I keep catching myself staring at the coffee maker, stuck in blank thought pattern.  I have lost my energy and efficiency.  I am on the brink of creative malnutrition.  my worker has taken a day off and in its stead, put on a sleeping bonnet.  What else can a soul do when it simply does not have enough limbs to keep everything afloat?  Yesterday I skillfully juggled them; tomorrow I will hand them off, be good once more at delegating. Alas, today, all that works is dropping them.

as we both drop that which we cannot manage,
we turn to each other and find that only with empty arms
can we fully embrace the other.

and tomorrow,
all those things we put down
will indeed be there to pick up again
when we have again regained our strength.

nothing is broken.
our future remains.

(photo credit)


a small space of reflection

November 15, 2010 Candace Morris 11 Comments

let's begin, shall we.
This morning, I woke very early to take my Umber and her BC to the airport.  I therefore have the privilege of a few minutes before beginning work to sit in my office, blare Chopin, and arise with the sun.  I find myself in simple and peaceful reflection, as if my soul were perched on the shore of a very still water.

That still water is Kelly.
Her very presence calms my being.

And I find even after 8 months living apart, I am still feeling stubbornly unwilling to adjust to her now living in California.  However, our weekend did spread some cooling balm upon those wounds.  Cooking in my kitchen together, walking in my neighborhood together, laughing at really stupid shit together...it all combines this lovely morning into a gentle feeling of kindness that sits heavy on my eyelids.

For whatever fortuitous reason, our paths remain interconnected.  Though delivered to us as differently as we might wear the same orange cardigan, the universe perpetually and undeniably teaches us similar lessons:

Be Kind.
Be Patient.
(To self. To others.)
Work soulfully.
Rest often.
Love intensely.
Play goofily.
Live your passion.
Make stuff.
And most definitely not least,
Look good while doing it.

I suppose all of this is just to speak aloud of my thanks for my dear friend Kelly, the sexiest bald eagle I know... and for all of you out there whose souls parallel mine.  You know who you are.

Universal Teacher, Divine Being, Holy Other,
Thank You.

kelly, candace, and christopher walken

when a'walking brother,
don't you forget,
it ain't often 
that you'll ever find a friend.
-fleet foxes

I am in such a peaceful place with so many of my friendships.  What was once a source of angst and immense self-hate has now become a safe cavern of ease.  Not only do I have plenty of people to call for that light-hearted beer after work, but each of them are capable of substantial conversation, interesting insight, and of understanding/loving me where I need it most from each of them.  I am in awe of the richness in my relationships.  

Not a bad note upon which to conduct Monday, I don't think.

*** I kid you not, this is the only picture we managed to snap together.  And yes, that is Christopher Walken looking down upon us.

p.s.  BC, I love you too.