Wednesday, December 10, 2008


one of my 'favorite' sites to visit online is i have a tab opened their right now as a matter of fact. often times i search mouth-watering vegetarian recipes, other times i read up on poses i've learned in the yoga classes i take regularly throughout the week. this evening, however, my soul was in need of a good ol' potluck of enlightenment and illumination. i clicked on the wisdom tab and read the headlining article titled 'selfless gratitude.' it was the very thing my soul had a hankering for. below is a segment that left a sweet taste on the palate of my heart (note: this is just a segment. the entire article is 6 pages long. consider this your appeteaser)...

"Practicing mindfulness of gratitude consistently leads to a direct experience of being connected to life and the realization that there is a larger context in which your personal story is unfolding. Being relieved of the endless wants and worries of your life's drama, even temporarily, is liberating. Cultivating thankfulness for being part of life blossoms into a feeling of being blessed, not in the sense of winning the lottery, but in a more refined appreciation for the interdependent nature of life. It also elicits feelings of generosity, which create further joy. Gratitude can soften a heart that has become too guarded, and it builds the capacity for forgiveness, which creates the clarity of mind that is ideal for spiritual development.

Let me be clear: The practice of gratitude is not in any way a denial of life's difficulties. We live in troubling times, and no doubt you've experienced many challenges, uncertainties, and disappointments in your own life. Nor does the practice of gratitude deny the Buddha's teaching on death: Death is certain; your death is certain; the time of death is unknown; the time of your death is unknown. Rather, gratitude practice is useful because it turns the mind in such a way that it enables you to live into life or, more accurately, to die into life. Having access to the joy and wonderment of life is the antidote to feelings of scarcity and loss. It allows you to meet life's difficulties with an open heart. The understanding you gain from practicing gratitude frees you from being lost or identified with either the negative or the positive aspects of life, letting you simply meet life in each moment as it rises.

In the Bible the disciple Paul instructs, "In everything give thanks." What he means is that from your limited perspective it is not possible to know the outcome of any event. What can seem unfortunate at first may turn out to be an unforeseen blessing."

looking at life a little differently...and a lot more gratefully.

sleep well.


Dear Friend,

I've been sleepy this week. I woke up this morning at 933. When I looked at my clock I blinked twice and looked again in disbelief. Sure enough, those bold, black numbers weren't deceiving me. I'm not even sure what time I crashed last night...definitely before midnight. I can't remember the last time I needed that many hours of sleep. And you know me, I'm typically the 'in bed by 11, up by 6' kinda gal. By 930 I've usually done 2 loads of laundry, swept the floors, taken a shower, and milked 3 cows. This 930 business has GOT to stop. When I was working at Proud Mary's just over a year ago, I was up at 4, at work setting up patio tables, hoisting up umbrellas, and brewing coffee for fisherman by 430. I loved those early foggy mornings. Sleep is so weird anyway. It's amazing that we even need it. Every day we escape reality for so many hours...only to wake up and do it all over again the next day. Night after night, we invest so many hours into a block of time we never remember. It's terribly strange to me.

I made a cup of green tea (with honey) and got to work on some emails. I love the whole Gmail 'star' system. Every time an email comes in that I can't reply to right away, I 'star' it and then go back to my 'starred' file later to catch up on my correspondence. I'm realizing more and more as I write this what a freak I am about organization. Oh me, oh my.

Today was a 'to-do list' type of day. And I'm happy to say that my to-do list is now accompanied by many horizontal lines. I got a lot done. All of the Christmas and December birthday cards are on their way, courtesy of La Palma's correos. My airline ticket confirmations to go 'home' to Sweden next Monday have been printed, thanks to my Swede. The trash has been taken out and the plastic and wine bottles have been so greenly placed in the recycle bin. Mother Nature is smiling upon me right now, I feel it.

The rest of the afternoon's been so-so. It's a cloudy 64 degrees here on the little island and Frankie Laine is serenading me from the ipod speakers as I imagine what life was like in the late 1940's. Not an extraordinary day, but definitely one to be thankful for nonetheless.

And that I am.

Until mañana,

Saturday, December 6, 2008

something i wrote about a year ago, but updated today.

I’d much rather send all of you postcards and in another life I would pursue the fascination I have with becoming an expert journalist or Pilates instructor. I’d still be traveling the world, taking pictures of all things beautiful (polaroids too), but develop most in black and white and sepia tones. For now I simply live a life inspired by all that is chaotic and peaceful…beautiful and unique. I just said goodbye to 24 and hello to 25, July 13th to be exact. I’ve been on ‘tour’ for almost 24 months, with a few breaks in between. My fabulous and wonderfully talented fiancé is what we refer to as a ‘pro baller’…and I am his entourage. I’ve been to more countries and cities and places that this past year than I’ve been in all of my life combined…I am sure…or maybe it just feels that way. Either way, it’s only just the beginning. I have no idea where the next day will take us…and I love it (most of the time). I grew up in a small beach town called San Clemente, just about halfway between San Diego and Los Angeles. Personally, I think it’s one of Orange County’s best kept secrets. I moved out of the apartment I used to rent in SC and am making a home (for now) in the Canary Islands of Spain (another corner of heaven this side of the Atlantic). We come to points in life where decisions have to be made…big ones and small ones. That was a big, yet easy, one for me. I have never taken for granted where I grew up and have always known it to be one of the best places in the world. The ocean always looks like glass and the air in the middle of December in the early mornings is cool and crisp. I woke early in the morning and would often take a walk on the beach with my camera. I loved when the only footprints in the sand were mine. The temperature is what my body was made for. It is home. My love for travel began when I was about 5. Camping trips with my family to Lake Tahoe won me in. When I was 12, I took my first summer vacation alone to visit my aunt in Florida. Once I knew I could go anywhere by myself, there was no stopping me. I could only stay in a bubble for so long before I got pissed off because I know there’s so much more of this world to see. So I went. I went lots of places and saw lots of things. Met lots of people, and packed and unpacked lots of bags. Fast forward to days of ‘getting to know Fred’, which was actually, what I believe to be, a conspiracy between he and our mutual friend Lindsey. Serendipitous or not, I can say without hesitation that I met my very best friend in Fred. My parents and grandparents, once leery of me dating anyone outside of the area code, found themselves sort of believing in this fairy tale love. With their blessing, off I went to Spain. I bought a polka dot apron to help me blend in. Now on my living room floor here in La Palma, listening to John Vanderslice’s Golden Gate (on repeat). For a brief moment, I’m gonna have to replenish my fluids with a cup of Trader Joe’s Mint Melange Tea. Yep, I said mélange. I spent the last year learning Swedish in Uppsala, but while I’m at it, it doesn’t hurt to enhance what I have yet to know in English. Vocabulary lesson for the day: Melange: n. 1. A collection of various things. John Vanderslice is my new old musical love. I was first introduced to his music via my older, and so musically in tune, brother a few years back. Apparently I was too naïve to listen, or remember for that matter. I think he will forgive me for not remembering, especially when he knows how much I appreciate him now. As it is with most circumstances in life, timing is everything…and places are moments we just happen to be experiencing…memories are moments we once experienced. It’s a lot like love. Sometimes it’s love at first site and other times, it hits you when you least expect it (oddly enough, both of those happened when I met Fred). And now I am here, on ‘our’ living room floor…in Spain. I was last home in May. Fred was with me for a few weeks before I flew to join him in Sweden. Though it’s never good to be smitten at the airport, leaving the apple of your eye, because it’s one of the suckiest feelings in the world, it’s one of the most inspiring at the same time. Life is all about a time and place...we aren’t here to figure it out, just here to be open to it. These days I am all about learning, writing, asking myself who I am. Though I understand the chance of me running into the defining answers of it all is futile, I do like to ask myself the questions: What is the purpose for all this around me? How does it shape me? Am I being bent or broken? What story does it tell about me? So anyways, this is me…Jessie Jansen. Loving all things Canon, Williams & Sonoma, and Anthropologie. Equally anticipating my new straw purse and hopelessly devoted to my Rainbow flip flops. Loving my leaf-like pearl and glass bead necklace and cozy Gap t-Shirts. Loving over-sized beach towels. Addicted to the camping and sand that gets stuck on and between my toes. Love my Swede. Loving my veggies. Strawberries by the handful. Red and yellow bell peppers with hummus. Big-white-sweet-Hawaiian onions on the grill. Avocados, as Grandpa’s guacamole or by the half with spinach salad. Shrimp, cold with cocktail sauce. Salmon with lemon sauce and green beans. Artichokes hearts. Any glass of good (or bad) wine. It doesn’t matter, as long as it’s shared with good company. BJ’s Brewhouse Blonde beer. I love to sleep with the windows open or a fan blowing. I like to drive around and let my mind wander. I like to wake up really early and take a cup of chai tea to the beach…or do something ‘just for fun’ like bake cookies at 630am. The best is when it’s the middle of winter in California, when the air is cold and you can roll down the windows of your little white beetle and put the heater on your feet. The best feeling in the world is when you come out from a good swim in the ocean and lay under the warm sun. My favorite smells are fresh laundry, clean air, and that ‘after the rain’ smell. And that scent your beloved one leaves on your pillow. I like taking part in random acts of kindness and conducting positive energy to those around me. I want to be a better citizen and person. I take pride in striving towards being one of the best daughters, granddaughters, sisters, aunts, friends (and lover) any of my family or friends will ever have. Taking care of the people I love comes first, then myself, then photography, culinary adventures and the like. I’ve learned that a strong foundation is necessary in the attempt to live out your dreams. Everything in moderation…except love. Honesty is always the best policy…and patience is key. I love the life I live and have huge amounts of appreciation for all that I’ve been given. I am simply happy to be here. That is me.

Friday, December 5, 2008

my last 'old journal' post.

so the last 8 posts, plus this one, are all from a journal i kept on my ibook starting 4 years ago. i wrote in it for about a year or so. when i came across it this morning, i was so enamored by all that i was thinking and feeling and experiencing 4 years all felt so close. and i was reminded so much of the me i was, the me i am, where i've come from, and where i am today...

Wednesday, September 7, 2005

Dear Friend,

I love getting up early. I guess you could say that I’m a morning person. But I dunno if that's a fair statement because I’m just as much an afternoon and evening and night person...I guess I’m an all day person. But early mornings in the sunny summer or foggy fall (my use of alliteration for the week) are glorious. I took a few pictures of the light coming through my blinds when I woke up. It's been a perfectly good Wednesday morning. My ipod, chai tea, and I just took a stroll down to t-street. Got some pretty good shots...the water was so blue. I stood and stared at the ocean for what must have been about 10 or 15 minutes...just mesmerized. I was born the same city...22 years ago and still can't grasp it all. It’s a beautiful place, that's about all I can say.

So...about the whole job thing. Looks like I’m gonna take a different job after all. To bring you up to speed, I had recently taken a position as a photographer at a children's portrait studio. 2 days later I got an offer to work at a friend's restaurant. The photo gig had me so excited, but only because photography is what I wanna IS what I do. But after much thought and consideration, I realized that PORTRAIT photography isn't really my deal. My passion is more for journalistic, travel, or freelance photography. The studio's in Tustin too...which isn't exactly a hop, skip, and a jump away...and with gas prices climbing the way they are, I got a hold of my sensible side and decided that maybe this just wasn't my golden ticket. Charlie knows what's up.

SO...I go to the restaurant today to see about a schedule...most likely full-time...may pick up some photo assisting on the side. I couldn't be more excited. In fact, I’m so excited, I’m egg-sided. How’s that for 9am humor? As mentioned earlier, I enjoy mornings (and afternoons and evenings, etc.)...especially outdoors. I’ll be working at the harbor in Dana Point...waitressing and doing whatever else...mostly outside on the patio. The water is less than 10 feet from me and the boats cruise by all day. I’m still not sure it's legal to call something this glorious a job...but I guess that's what we'll call it for now. Love love love the sound of it already.

Your Friend,

If you never stop when you wave goodbye
You just might find if you give it time
You will wave hello again
You just might wave hello again...

this sums it up. and yet another 4 years...

Monday, September 5, 2005

Dear Friend,

So I think tonight is a good journaling night. But the next few moments will reveal all...I might just slip away into a dream...that sounds much easier. If there were a way to magically pour all that is on my heart and in my head onto this screen…I would. But I realize that probably won’t happen, so I’ve cushioned my finger tips and planted myself in a cozy chair so my hands and ass won’t be numb when I finish all that I hope to accomplish. I'm sitting here in an American Eagle "wife beater" and baby blue cotton underwear (I buy way too many tanks and's a horrible habit) sipping none other than Organic Rooibos Orange Spice tea...Trader Joe's finest. The window's cracked a little and the combination of the sound of my ceiling fan and the trucks passing on the freeway is somewhat soothing. I feel just right.

I was thinking about the way we meet people...and how interesting it is. I really do think that every moment we experience in life and every person we meet happens for a reason...whether big or small. It's as if our lives were a painting...and each experience and every person contributes a color or stoke of a brush. Some add more color...some create bigger strokes...but each plays a part in the masterpiece we are on our way to becoming. I’m trying not to contribute this idealistic way of thinking to the fact that I’ve watched Serendipity more times than there are needles in Martha Stewart’s pincushion. This kind of stuff constantly runs through my mind. And consequently, I'm aware that the future has many more sleepless nights in store for me...starting again with tonight...

I wrote the following quote in a journal I kept my senior year in high school...funny how words that seem so applicable at one point of your life can be just as meaningful 4 years later...

"Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer."
-Rainer Maria Rilke

Love Love Love,

still posting journals from 4 years ago because it's fun and they remind me of home.

Monday, October 4, 2004

Dear Friend,

Today was the first day I’ve been sick in over two years. Where the hell do you find an immune system like that? It’s been said that much is 20/20 in hindsight. I’m finding that to be true. Maybe being raised in the ghetto years ago gave me the immune system of an army today. Today’s journal is dedicated to my unsanitary youth. I owe my healthy present and future to you.

I think I was awake for approximately 3 hours today. And in those 3 hours I mustered up the energy to file my bill receipts for the past five months, make eight cards, frame and hang four pictures, and wipe out a load of laundry...all while sipping a cup of hot chamomile and orange blossom tea. I amaze myself.

Lying in bed for the rest of the day was a treat. Though the restless part of me wanted to escape out my bedside window and enjoy the lovely weather on the other side of the glass and blinds. I resisted and slipped back into a dream, which I ought to do once again.

Good Night,

it's definitely been a while since i've been that hulk hogan of an immune system!


Sunday, October 3, 2004

Dear Friend,

October is definitely not a summer month. It’s not quite winter either. It’s perfectly fall. Right now I can barely see the keys on my 14” ibook. I’m sitting here in my living room watching 50 first Dates by candlelight...with my roommate Megan. Just minutes ago she made a comment, “This is so romantic bebs.” I followed that up with, “Yeah, if only we were lovers...” It really would be nice. Not if she and I were lovers, but if the times that we spent ‘romantic’ nights like this alone were spent with someone who deserved them. Not that my roommate doesn’t deserve them...maybe deserve was the wrong word. I can’t concentrate and watch the movie at the same time. This is going nowhere. We’ll talk tomorrow.

Sleep Well,

things like glass desks.

a fine photo of 'nurse recruiter me' 4 years ago (headset and glass desk close by) and my brother from another mother/former boss, rob.
Friday, May 14, 2004

Dear Friend,

So it's finally Friday. I'm sitting here at 8:26am in my office at National Medical Registry in San Clemente, CA. I come to work every day and face my 17-inch Dell computer that rests heavily on this glass desk that will soon be replaced by a wooden one from Office Furniture Unlimited. Apparently, it doesn't meet the health standards of the corporate administrative center we’ve recently become. Who knew? All I know is that I will miss the support of this glass surface I have come to love and appreciate, more than I thought possible. And I realized a few seconds ago as I wrote those last words that one can come to appreciate many things in this life…more than people, relationships, money. We can appreciate glass desks.

Be Real,


Tuesday, May 3, 2004

Dear Friend,

If there were a song for this moment (other than the Jamaican one playing in the background of this Starbucks in San Juan Capistrano), the song would be Mr. Chatterbox by Bob Marley...except it would be Ms. Chatterbox. Sitting across from me about 30 feet is a girl about my age and her father. They are dressed nicely, as if they had this date night planned since last Tuesday. I couldn’t help but over hear them placing their orders a few minutes ago. The daughter was treating her father. I knew this warmed the heart of the lady behind the counter, and more than that it probably reassured her that there are indeed still wholesome young women in this world. And having heard her comment about reminding her two young boys that this upcoming Sunday is Mother’s Day, I figured she was somewhat concerned of the prospects for daughter in-laws. So, the two have been sitting in the corner across from me for about 15 minutes now. I think the father has said a total of 7 or 8 words, at separate times. He managed to squeeze in an “Oh?” “Wow, really?” “Yeah, you should go for that...” Maybe the fact that she bought his coffee entitled her to carry the entire conversation. I don’t know. The idea was sweet about 15 minutes ago. Father and daughter walk into Starbucks at around 8:30 on a warm Tuesday evening in May, daughter treats dad to trendy beverage he has no idea how to order (“Uh...I’ll have a medium coffee with one cream and two sugars...?”), daughter initiates and maintains entire conversation, and father sits quietly waiting for brief pauses in her speech where he can sneak in a word or two...a way to feel a part of this conversation she’s having with herself. Hey, at least he can now tell his buddies at the office that he’s experienced a Starbucks Grande Caramel Macchiato, while they sip their medium coffee with one cream and two sugars and listen in awe. At what price they ask? Absolute silence.

I went for the more traditional Hot Chocolate this evening. Not a big coffee drinker myself, not a coffee drinker at all actually. I go for coffee alternatives…teas, vanilla steamers and hot chocolates. The latter two are real delicacies. The tea is the jeans and t-shirt of the three.

Stay Cool,

at this moment: i am missing my local starbucks at home :(


if i'm boring anyone by posting journal entires from 4 years ago, speak up! if not, i'll keep 'em coming. it's a self-induced therapy session...and it feels good, especially while listening to frank sinatra's christmas album...

Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Dear Friend,

I finished The Perks tonight. It was a glorious ending. As I closed the book and set it on my passenger seat, I placed the receipt from Borders back inside the front cover. I had been using it as a bookmark and decided to keep it so I could remember the day I bought the book. These are the strange things I do sometimes. This book meant that much to me. As I turned my key in the ignition I realized that I just read one of the best books I have ever read in my entire life. I put the car in reverse, backed out of my parking space (I was legally parked by the way), and drove away from the harbor. I slowly turned up the volume on my CD player and the Howie Day song, She Says, flowed perfectly with the rhythm of the turn I was making. It’s funny how that happens. Or the last words of the song are being sung right as I’m coming to a stop. It’s times like those that make me wonder if someone is filming my life like Jim Carrey in The Truman Show. Maybe everything happens in the time it was designed to. Maybe it’s all in the script, every word that’s spoken, glance that’s given, song that plays in the background. And what if we think we have control over the decisions we make, but really they’ve already been made for us? And then I realize that I think about things like this more than what is considered healthy.

As I drove away from the harbor tonight, I decided that I am much like Charlie. I understood him and I felt that if he were here with me, he’d understand me too. I wonder if there’s anyone else in this world that would read this book and feel the same way. If there was, I’m sure we’d be great friends…but maybe not because we’d be too alike. Maybe that’s why we haven’t met. Because we’re better off not knowing each other...we barely know ourselves.

I’ll tell you more tomorrow. I have to find another book to read. I’ll be awfully bored tomorrow if I don’t, but I don’t know what’s worse, that or knowing that the book I do read will never be nearly as good as the one I just finished. Probably the latter. I’ll find a book to read anyway.

Much Love,

Thursday, December 4, 2008


i'm still reading through my old journal and it's brought back so many memories of home. it's also reassuring to know that, though i have grown and changed in ways to be expected, i am indeed the woman i was at heart years ago...

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Dear Friend,

One quarter of the book to go. I’m excited for what the remaining pages contain, but sad because soon my communion with Charlie will be over. Well, I guess not. This is a book that’s influence on my life will not stop when I turn the last page. When I think of it like that I am much happier. It’s been difficult for me to take a lunch break at an appropriate time these past few weeks. I have a fax to send, an e-mail to respond to, the phone rings, it’s an important call (they’re all “important” by the way), and before I know it people are shutting down their computers for the night.

Today was different. I made a point to taking my lunch right at 1 o’clock. I had some reading to do. I sat at the harbor again for about a half an hour. I parked in a space that really wasn’t a parking spot. It was the space between the handicapped spot and the regular spots. It was shady. I knew I would only be there for a short period of time. I parked to the left of an elderly couple in a forest green Saturn station wagon. They were each reading the paper. My passenger window was cracked and I heard the old woman say to her husband, “That’s not a parking spot.” I sort of smiled at her but I don’t think she saw. And it wasn’t a smart ass ‘I’m parking here because I get a thrill out of breaking the law’ sort of smile. It was an attempt to reassure her that I was not the offspring of a careless mother and father who neglected to raise a lady. She was too busy giving my car a dirty look. I felt a few things. First, I thought, “If she only knew that I was far from the being the defiant teenager she assumed me to be...and I was in fact, quite a lady.” And second, I thought, “What a bummer that something as insignificant as me parking in this spot has given this poor lady something to complain about.” I feel bad for people like this.

Still Smiling,
Jessie (I like my name)

i still like my name :)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

a closer look.

so i've been having a blast looking through and organizing the gazillion photos i have on my external hard drive. in the midst of all the photos, i found a journal i used to keep in a Word document on my computer. it was fun to rediscover 'me' by taking a closer look into my mind 4 years ago...

Monday, April 26, 2004

Dear Friend,

This is my first letter to you. I am reading a book titled The Perks of Being a Wallflower and was inspired to begin a record of letters. I wish everyone could read this book so they could experience what I’ve experienced thus far, but I guess I can’t guarantee that it will mean as much to everyone else as it has to me. In that case, maybe it’s best that the only people who stumble across this incredible book are those who react to it in a way that I have. I couldn’t wait to get home and begin my first letter to you. This book did that much to me.

I see a lot of myself in Charlie. Charlie is the author of the letters in the book. He’s the wallflower, poetically described as one who sees everything, says very little, and understands it all, in so many words. I would quote the book, but it’s sitting in the passenger seat of my car. I plan on spending my lunch break tomorrow reading more. I read almost half of the book tonight. It made me think and feel several things. I sat in my car, parked at the harbor, reminiscing much of my childhood and dreaming much of my future. Before I explain more about that, let me first describe this evening.

I spent the past few hours reading at the Dana Point Harbor. I guess it’s the perfect place to be while reading a book like this, a place of pure nostalgia. Our family, mostly credit my mother’s persuasion, visited here often for picnics, birthdays, ice cream, long walks, and everything you don’t quite treasure until you reach a moment in life when those picnics, birthdays, ice creams and long walks mean far more than you can imagine anything else in life ever will. This place has provided much of what I savor about my youth and has served as a place of escape throughout the years; even in those I wasn’t aware I needed an escape.

It is here you will find couples, young and old, walking, swiftly or slowly, wrapped up in conversation or silently delighting in one another’s company. It is here you will find two 47 year old women, best friends, sitting at the wooden tables painted in a dark brown that almost looks gray, discussing topics as light as the latest spinach quiche recipe in Family Circle or as heavy as the infidelity in either of their marriages. It is here that you will find a family of five sprawled out on a giant sheet of grass, unloading the contents of their Craftsman cooler, preparing to partake in a meal that reminds me much of what my family did roughly 13 years ago on our red and blue checkered blanket, at this very same place. It is here that I sat in my white Volkswagen Beetle tonight and read the first half of a book that may have just awakened a part of my soul that I never knew was sleeping.

I was completely focused on the words I was reading, while thoroughly captivated by all that surrounded me. Things like the smell of the salty, fishy water, the sound of the crashing waves, the stickiness of the moist ocean air, and the fading in and fading out of conversation through my half-opened car windows were all very familiar. But things like the passing of a bickering young husband and his pregnant wife, the middle-aged woman with droopy boobs, and the Howie Day CD in my disc changer introduced feelings I had never experienced before.

I caught myself wondering what sort of home the son or daughter of that bickering husband and wife would grow up in. I wondered if the husband was jealous of his wife because she had the privilege of carrying their unborn child. They parked in the space next to mine, got out of their car and headed towards the sidewalk to begin their evening stroll. Seconds later, the petite brown haired wife requested that her beloved grab her sweater from the back seat of their steel blue sedan. He snapped back, “You’re always cold!” I wondered when the moment was that the love that couple shared in the bedroom the moment they created the child living within her womb escaped their relationship only to be exchanged with moments like this.

I saw a beauty in the lady with droopy boobs that only a silver wedding anniversary could bring. She radiated years of motherhood and carried the stride of a woman completely confident in her skin, which she undoubtedly saturated with Pond’s Cold Cream every night. She was the type of woman who bought place mats for the dining room table because those are the things that make a house a home. Her Better Homes & Gardens Cookbook was propped open against the kitchen counter more than it was closed and on the shelf collecting dust. She spent her Monday evenings clipping coupons from Sunday’s paper. When asked what he loved most about his wife of 27 years, her husband would endearingly reply, “Her droopy boobs.” It made me sad to think that the young pregnant couple didn’t share this sort of love.

As I soaked in every word I was reading, I couldn’t help but realize that the music playing in the background of my tiny little car was, in a strange way, the soundtrack of my life at that moment. As I read about the songs that were shaping Charlie’s life at 16 years old, I was realizing that I too am being shaped by the musical poetry I introduce my ears to. I had the urge to create a mixed CD like the one Charlie created for Patrick to remind me of these moments in my life. I wanted to somehow bottle up those hours at the harbor tonight the way I wished I could have bottled up the picnics, birthdays, ice cream, and long walks years ago.

I didn’t even come close to sharing with you nearly as much as I wanted to tonight, but if I don’t go to sleep now, I’ll be disappointed in myself in the morning for sleeping in later than I hope to. I’m weird that way.

I don’t know what to say,

oh life...