*I am currently living in a small apartment in the Mission District of San Francisco. It's not a main street, but it's not a quiet street either. There's a lesbian bar on the corner, and on occasion, I'll hear Mexican karaoke when I'm about to go to bed. The elderly Asian woman across the street rummages through our recycling bins on Monday nights after we put them out, taking all of our bottles and cans to sell back for the California Cash Refund credit.
*My room is small but cozy. The bed takes up approximately 85% of the room; I use half of it for book storage. Even though my room is about half the size of the other bedroom in the apartment, I chose it because I like the light that pours in through the windows in the mornings and through the afternoons. I don't mind the smallness because I don't need that much space. I'm still attached to some of my material things, but my intention is to live a more compact life.
*Material things, case in point. Necessary candles, post-its, eye mask, ear plugs, glasses, lollipops, pens, water bottle...
*This is most of my room. I can't get much more my room into a single photograph.
*My two houseplants and some empty vases. I try to take good care of these houseplants but find myself googling houseplant ailments every other day. This does not bode well for future pets or children.
*The hallway from my bedroom. The main door is at the bottom of those stairs. The bathroom (which houses a tub that has talons as feet!) is at the top of the stairs. To the right, the kitchen, the dining room, and the laundry room. The closed door is my roommate's bedroom.
*This is the living room. We have an electric fireplace, empty book shelves, and a television I do not know how to operate.
*I wash dishes about four times a day so I spend a lot of time in this little nook.
*The dining room. My mom gave me the cactus. My roommate received those orchids in the mail. There is a copy of The Economist on our table but it belongs to neither my roommate nor me. We receive all of Adam Flynn's mail, and that is his subscription. Who is Adam Flynn? I do not know, but we have a stack of Adam Flynn's magazines and other paraphernalia in case he is ever interested in reading them.
*On most weekday nights, I choose the quiet life that my apartments, a respite from the production and attention of work. But the world outside, in all its grit and color, is the perfect counterpoint, and I'm reminded every time I step outside that there is so much to see and so many places to explore. Everyday I navigate the dichotomy between the indoors and the outdoors; I struggle with sitting in a cubicle for so long, and sometimes I am scared to walk anywhere at night. Some days I want to sit at my dining table all day long and on others I find myself bolting down 18th street, sucking in all the fresh air I can get as I weave through the Mission and into the Castro. I'm still trying to figure out all sorts of balance in my life right now, but I love being out of an institution and just living in the world, which can be messy in a really beautiful way. Just living in the world right now, and trying to make the most of where I am, who I am, and all the things I have here with me...
*Overlooking Lake Leman, on windy road in the hills of Evian, France, there is a little estate called La Buissonniere.
*It is lived in occasionally -- a refuge for sojourners and travelers. A place of respite, it has taken on the motley characteristics of everyone who has ever passed through.
*It is imprinted but still untamed and wild. It is kept and unkept.
*A simple structure of unpolished wood leaves little to be desired. The place is strange and unimaginable because of all the incongruous things it contains, the things left behind by each of its inhabitants -- half-drunken bottles of wine, dusty porcelain dolls, cross-stitched pillows with outdated aphorisms. Surrounded by forests, sandwiched between a sky and lake of blue, La Buissonniere is plain and unaffected -- purposefully, it seems, so that the wild beauty on all sides is an overwhelming embrace.