all hallows eve.

I think I am going as my namesake Ms Bennett, 
despite the deficit of Darcys about. 
Truly is still deciding.


la petite fĂȘte.

Seen Woody Allen's latest? Our Midnight in Provo party was a little homage to the idea of returning to your golden era. Allison with flowers in her hair. Myself in Fitzgerald glitter. Aubrey, inexplicably (awesomely), as Amy Winehouse. Also a lot of boys in clever caps and tweed. We picnicked under stars and fairylights. There were baguettes and any number of sugared possibilities. It was, all in all, the loveliest. 

Especially when two dapper chaps elbowed me out of the kitchen, insisting they captain the clean-up crew. NB: Gentleman is a good look for any decade.

at the end of the day

don't you just want someone to sit with.
to collapse against the couch
have a shoulder to sigh on.
that's all.
don't you don't you.



In the ends of October the world paints fairytales like Arthur Rackham, grey and grave. Evening skies move in a muted tint of creamy ash, transparent washes of color across the clouds; the earth below them a pencil-box of  burnished coppers and fawns and only the darkest greens, everything outlined in india ink, bare branches against the burning mountains. Just up the rise, in the lull of the lot between cabins, we meet our deer neighbors in the fading fall and we blink at each other awhile, my doe-eyed sister a reflection of their quiet perspicacity, watching, waiting. For what? I watch their ears, the subtle pivot of a circling satellite dish attuned to possibility--a twig snapped, a tree felled, a beetle on the wing. I watch their lean long legs and their stork-strut through the dying grasses, I watch the flip of their winter-white tails as they disappear into the darkening firs. I watch them go. In the quiet you can hear the world turn.

mt. timpanogos | successful creek crossing | football on the front lawn | the boys | ally + naomi
faerie crown | christian + kimberly | my sister the dancer | requisite asian moment


into the wild blue.

a Kimball House Goal for Fall Semester 2011 : horseback riding.

Even listened to country music. Just this once.


on writing.

I should be writing an essay right now. Oh well. | via 
BRIAN DOYLE is in his own words a hirsute shambling shuffling mumbling grumbling muttering muddled maundering meandering male being who edits Portland Magazine at the University of Portland, in Oregon – the best university magazine in America, according to Newsweek, and “the best spiritual magazine in the country,” according to author Annie Dillard, clearly a woman of surpassing taste and discernment. His greatest accomplishments are that a riveting woman said yup when he mumbled a marriage proposal, that the Coherent Mercy then sent them three lanky snotty sneery testy sweet brilliant nutty muttering children in skin boats from the sea of the stars, and that he once made the all-star team in a Boston men’s basketball league that was a really tough league, guys drove the lane in that league they lost fingers, man, one time a guy drove to the basket and got hit so hard his right arm fell off but he was lefty and hit both free throws, so there you go. 

He is also my very favorite. For writing essay after essay that sing to the deepest parts of me. So last week when he came to campus and then to the cathedral, I followed him like the fangirl I am and took maniacal notes at all four possible readings of his smashing soaring wondrous words. Here are just a few pages of those notes, just because.

 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Thank you for your witness, gift of witness.

Great joy of writing is surprising yourself.

Type fast. It's the eleventh commandment.

The greatest thing I've learned to do as a writer is what not to write, what to leave out.

Take disparate things and stitch them together. Easiest way to connect is by telling a story and leave it shivering.

Explaining too much is a sin. Beware of commenting, sermonizing, expounding.

Look for repetition. Cutting is your best friend. Slay your darlings.

Look for boring verbs. One or two verb-changes can totally jazz up a piece.

Be totally naked between reader and writer, slip into each other.

Clarity. Ease of delivery. Read aloud to catch the muck and the guttering.

Stories have big shoulders. One story contains a million stories. Let the story be itself. Trust it. Essay is a voice unspooling a story.

Listen listen listen listen. Take maniacal notes.

Don't think. Turn your brain off. Just sit down and begin.
When you laugh you are much more yourself. Sometimes a funny story allows you to slip in the dagger.

People will tell you stories if you allow them to, and they will be extraordinary.

A great personal essay is in the end about everyone.

On dark days I think I am a thief. I am a story thief. I mill them for my own purposes and make money for it.

The more attention I pay to everyone else, the better writer I become.

Essays are arrows you send out in the world and sometimes they hit a heart.

There is a shard of holiness in everyone, like a great roaring splinter.

Slam language into ninth gear. Listen to the music of your sentences. Find rhythm in structure.

Write in one great crazy burst of insane creativity, and then go back over it as an engineer.

Libraries are holy, extraordinary things, they are not nouns but verbs, a beating heart at the center of community.

Witness is the story, to see day after day a person's grace under duress.

(on Gilead) It's a book that when the book ends the story is still shimmering somehow. It's about attentiveness, reverence, love in its biggest sense. A holy act.

No one talks about the people that nothing happens to but then something happens to them and there's no one to talk about it.

Insist on wonder and witness despite every evidence against it. 

Whether they're fiction or not, I like stories that are true, you know? That have bones.

The greatest tool for a writer is not your fingers but your ears. Your ears go straight to your heart.

(on his wife) She's such an extraordinary supernova of a human being.

When you're young the story is who am I? Who will I love? Or more importantly, more incessantly, who will love me? But as you grow older the story becomes witness, watching. Seeing each other for who you really are, can be, and will be.


things that just happen.

I am stealing words from my sister today, words she posted elsewhere and words that I want to post here. For the record. 

Some make their worlds without knowing it. Their universes are just sesame seeds and three-day weekends and dial tones and skinned knees and physics and driftwood and emerald earrings and books dropped in bathtubs and holes in guitars and plastic and empathy and hardwood and heavy water and high black stockings and the history of the Vikings and brass and obsolescence and burnt hair and collapsed souffles and the impossibility of not falling in love in an art museum with the person standing next to you looking at the same painting and all the other things that just happen and are.

jonathan safran foer | a convergence of birds

I like this for just about a million different reasons but mostly because it feels extremely loud and incredibly close to something somewhat murky that I've been recently feeling and so that was helpful, having words. And lately my universe is just a tablespoon of ground cloves and sudden snowstorms and flat tires and tea and essays and vague but persistent migraines and campus and home and listening and hair twisted up into a high bun and post-it notes and micron pens and night skies and the development of the Avant Garde and possible karma and editorials and sandwiches and the green light blinking across the lake, which I think about ironically as I sit on the dock with one bare foot over the side and into the water like one small boat against the current. My sister said we are living our lives and sometimes we forget that.

I want to be better at remembering.