and on it goes…in Lieu finds a new home.

i’ll just warn you now that this one is gonna be about the words, but there’s a big announcement (!!) near the end, so persist if you can. what will follow comes from spaces in me that have been practiced, cried over, dreamed about, some days diseased, broken, but pieced back together with Mortar that most days, lordhelpme, i’ll just  be honest, i have not believed in any longer…

my desire is to believe again…in a great many things. i am not discouraged or feeling heavy these days, though i have had my share of that for the past four years. these words, the way i deliver this message, which strangely feels like it is sewn with light gray thread to every star-point of a constellation in my soul, have been rolling around like an unwritten letter. perhaps it’s silly to admit, but when i take a bath, or walk home from work or scrub the baseboards in that ole victorian house, i think about this letter. i think about you, Reader, whoever you are, and how this will affect you depending upon what part of my life you’re from. for some of you, none of this will makes sense, and that’s okay. we’ll find some other way to connect, i’m sure…even if that might mean making the choice to disconnect for a season or more.

*[big sigh…]

since i last posted, i have officially finished my master’s degree and up and moved my ass all the way back to the great, long state of tennessee from philadelphia. i’ve often struggled with how vulnerable to be about these years on the east coast, but i wonder if that’s just part of the effect that this region/culture have had on my spirit- that one must be defensive with emotionally bare cupboards if you’re gonna make it for any stint of time. don’t get me wrong, i learned the city-swag, the impatience, the insatiable desire for thick coffee. i found ways to hold my own, to order a drink in the loudest & clumsiest of bars…

but there was always some part of me missing. actually, not just some part, but the part around which i’ve based some pretty huge life choices.

i am a therapist. the label’s just a label. it’s the meaning that defines so much of my moving & being in the world. i want to be really committed to walking with people in whatever form their healing needs to take…this happens therapeutically, in a safe, professional relationship, but i’ve found that the parts of life i’m most fond of involve doing this mutually in my intimate relationships as well.

philadelphia is a beautiful place, but i found that the parts of myself that i need to access to be most fully present in my work & play simply require a different kind of environment- a place in which i can feel cosmically held as i seek to be a “container” or a holding place for others’ pain.

tearfully, i report that the mountains of tennessee have been hugging me softly since our arrival six weeks ago. even the humid nights & steamy rain have given me a warm embrace i cannot quite shake. a breezy sense of calm slips in from time to time, a softness behind my eyes like someone’s stroking the inside of my mind-space with a paintbrush…it all makes so much more sense in hindsight…it always does, right? but in the midst of untangling myself from the city of philadelphia & various manifestations of community there, it wasn’t always so clear…

but it’s becoming so clear, friends.

clear like the healing pools as She troubles the waters….let the stirring continue and

“…flare up like flame and make big shadows i can move in…”

i think these mountains will make for some good shadowing, so that i might find all that is good & light & true again.

with these geographical & spiritual changes, in Lieu of Lavender will also cease to exist as we’ve known her. i started this blog upon starting my marital & philadelphian journey and since both of those things (and I!) have shifted & grown, it feels appropriate to to let this space rest as i move into a new phase of living.

the good news is that i will be offering my eyes & shutter for hire under the guise of my new business, Eugene & Delour. i love digging into stories in my day job, so it only makes sense for me to tell stories in the best way i know how to in my creative life as well.

Eugene & Delour will house my new blog, so you may follow me there! and if you’re in the Southeast and looking for a photographer to help tell your story

:::::let’s do the damn thang::::::

thank you for reading and “being” with me in this way. i know some of you have been around since in Lieu’s birth and i’ve treasured all of your words, encouragement and the many conversations in real life that this blog has spawned.

…May the Longtime Sun shine on you…

pie in the sky

a couple weekends ago, we were able to get away to a friend’s cabin on armenia mountain. quiet was our game & quiet we found. there was a lot of bird-watching, picnics on the floor, pleasure reading, cuddling, some winter walking, some getting stuck in the snow & successfully pushing ourselves off the mountain for pizza & genuine rest before the last big push to finishing this academic-thing i’ve been working on for three years.
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pie5rthey’re are lots of lover-photos in this post, mostly because this last big push is his too…he’s been sharing this burden/joy/path with me all along and has given so generously…income, backrubs, late night talks, isthiswhatimsupposedtodowithmalife doubting sessions, cooked meals & laundry, so much laundry…he’s been an amazing partner through all this and his blue eyes? woah. i’m in love:)

 

 

 

 

moody.

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by late spring, i have hopes for putting together a portfolio-of-sorts. i’m not sure what the future holds for me, but i do know that doing something outside of myself is going to be important for balance & rest in the midst of pursuing a career in community counseling.

i have so many images in the archives. above are some deep&moody shots from recent pillaging. i’m ashamed to admit that some photos never even get a glance. that’s the digital realm for ya. hopelessly endless, but recently seeming more endlessly hopeful as i ponder what it means to persist in a craft, even when the learning curve seems so steep. i want to enjoy life & my loved ones, knowing that all of this is impermanent. capturing images is one way to make the moments, the narrative, the fleeting-ness last just a few bits longer…

 

normal life.

 

i’m currently working through my final semester of a counseling psychology program and let me tell you folks, this woman is tired. i had hoped this day wouldn’t come until the last month of my final internship & classes, but i must be honest, it’s been one grey winter. living a mindful-present sort of life right now has been really difficult when one knows there is a conclusion to all of this. life is always brighter “on the other side,” i suppose. i’ve fooled myself through fantasy more than once, but to deeply acknowledge the perils of unemployment and all that lies beyond the blue for me this spring doesn’t actually seem all that helpful. after four hard years of fine-tuning my whininess about adult-living, i’m not enthused about thinking about the reality of the hard-harder-hardest that may be to come…and is it really? one can hope. one can fool oneself…that life really will be greener…over there. pleasedearlordletitbe.

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creative things are not happening as much for me these days (see above:), so i’ve taken to the beauty to be found in normalcy, like clean laundry and a mid-morning, sun-dappled bedchamber.

like a candlelit dinner with that one, special loved-person in my life. like washing dishes with palmolive coconut butter soap, like taking three baths a week and discovering that i can do ‘legs up the wall’ in the tub and it is the. best. therapy. ever.

just normal happenings, normal cleanings, more than surviving-accepting what is & giving life credit for being enough.

 

“”sarah lauren””

one winter morning sarah & i had brunch in her home & made some photos in her space. she wanted to capture some moments in her beautiful room, which will actually be her last solitary space before she is united with her love in the coming season!

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sarah3i have a lot of warm feelings about this woman. she’s been a dear friend to both myself and nick , which feels like something special and hard to come-by these days. and this fusion that she engenders extends beyond relationship. she finds peace in the spaces where mind-body, thoughts-emotions, suffering-joy meet. it’s a really inspiring & beautiful way of relating to the world…

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::fireflies/ferns/rosemarymint/daffodils::shiny/warmasyellow/french/full::

with deep affection, sarah lauren.

fallish proportions

 

did you see these special Mexican hat gourds? mario brothers:) that’s all i’m sayin’. i’m sort of sad that fall is certainly on her way out. how can the best season be the shortest? after hurricane sandy, i collected debris from her fervor for some projects i’ve been working on. balancing school/work with projects has really been keeping me afloat these days & just a good reminder that one can choose to be free despite circumstances….here’s mylittle mexi-hat & some collected things from fall’s good grace…

 

TheWoolenWing

One of my dearest friends, Anne, has recently opened her Etsy shop TheWoolenWing! of which I’m a HUGE supporter:) Just in time for the holidays, too, so check out her woolen scarves & goodies. I’m thinking about a mother-in-law & some friends specifically…

All of the felted wool is crafted by Anne’s two hands, so every piece is different & so special. The piece featured below is one of the larger scarves that can be worn multiple ways, is super warm, practical and yet chic, am I right? I’m usually not down with modeling or displaying photos of me-exclusive on this blog, but I really wanted to get the word out there to support such a wooly-warm business!

Check back often, rumor has it Anne will be posting new pieces throughout the course of the holiday season. I hope you enjoy TheWoolenWing! 

 

 

jaclyn>>

the end of summer, the beginning of fall…almost as much energy in those transitional days as those of the advent of summer. we are past these days here, but my documentation simply cannot catch up in what is always the busiest season of my life. so strange how late autumn winds-up just as my spirit is winding-down…it’s a tradition i hope to break when grad school is laid to rest:)

this is jaclyn: woman of light, no pretense & full of weighty reality. she bears the eternal things with grace and openness. one of the most hospitable humans i know. a deep connection to all things chevre (!) &  a baker of specialties that were made to be devoured in delight, not fawned over. again, so genuine, and so beautiful in this skin…

:::stephanie:::

 

a dear lover of truth, a collector of things, a little girl locked in a little woman body, finder of Beauty, poetry-maker, obsessive cleaner, pedagogical seeker & so much more…

words are futile for spirits so shiny…this is stephanie anne once-upon-an-autumn brunch in her home…

i do like the idea of photographing women in their homes, especially freshly rolled out of bed with nothing but a mug of coffee & a couple slices of bacon:)