Bridget is a new friend of mine. Although she's been in Colorado for about three years with her husband Robbie—parts of her heart stayed back in Seattle, her previous home. After connecting through Instagram, we met for coffee and I enjoyed the time so much that three hours later it was time to part ways and I realized I hadn't even ordered a latte yet. She describes herself as an eternal english major and a hopeless romantic. Her words below prove both to be true.
1. Without saying your actual titles, what do you do? What are your roles? Paid or unpaid.
I try to retain my vulnerability, my softness. (And then I try to turn this into writing and images. That's what I do -- turn things into other things.)
2. Dreamer. Builder. Thinker. Doer. Mover. Observer. Encourager. Giver. Wanderer. Wonderer. Which one(s) are you? Why is your role important?
Most naturally, a Dreamer, Observer, Encourager, Wonderer, Wanderer. For me, everything ties back to this: we all have peaks and troughs. We perpetuate a rather misguided idea that we should always be improving. But it's perfectly natural to have dry spells, to backpedal, to lose yourself. I really believe the first step in any creative venture is openness. Be open to your own thoughts, dreams, feelings, the physical world, and other people. And it goes both ways, because you'll have your less prolific periods...and then sometimes after days (or even months or years), you reawaken, and you have all this pent-up inspiration to finally share. And then you contribute, maybe you inspire someone else. It's wonderfully (and sometimes maddeningly) cyclical.
3. Living vs. Existing. What’s the difference?
I feel like the difference has to do with our relationship to actions & movement in the universe. When you're living, you're acting, you're creating, you're affecting change. When you're existing, you're being acted upon, moved by the universe and people and things. Both are good. Both are vital. Both make us whole.
4. Since you blog online, does displaying your work electronically ever feel impersonal/far away since it is digital? Or does it feel more accessible?
Sometimes blogging can feel more or less impersonal -- sometimes like throwing a dinner party, sometimes like coffee with a best friend, sometimes (mostly) like talking myself into the mirror. It's important to let it play out all the roles. The inestimable Sylvia Plath invoked, "I am, I am, I am." And that's the whole crux of it. I am me. I try, always, to remember that what I put into the universe isn't me, but a small extension of me.
5/6. What is the greatest strength & the greatest tragedy of the digital age?
Permanence. We can document & connect with such comparable ease. But we must be to eschew former selves. Technology makes that tricky because our digital histories follow us. It's incredible to look at the stars and remember -- what you interpret as that vastly brilliant light-orb is actually the burn-out. I think that can be a beautiful metaphor for our need to reimagine, to ultimately rebirth ourselves. The trajectory isn't point A to point B, but all the unpredictable, ever-changing stuff in-between. Technology needs to validate that process instead of minimizing it.
7. What is the biggest compliment someone could give you?
That I helped them to create something. That I moved them emotionally or creatively.
8. Describe your ideal creating environment with all five senses.
Some blue room is being swallowed up the smell of coffee. Even when it isn't blue -- it's inexplicably blue. I should prefer to be sea-adjacent, in some glassed-in porch with one window thrown open, my feet propped on wicker. In this reverie the seawater mixes with the rain and it beats against the window and through it, and I taste it salty on my tongue. The sea breathes into my lungs. Beneath my hands, are rows of soft keys. Their syncopation -- that is, the symphony wrought by fingers whizzing across them -- is the sound that moves me. And all these sounds start in my body: the clicks across the board, a pen's end bounced on the table, my feet peddling across the floor to the window which I tap with my fingernail. A slouchy sweater envelops me. It is cream. And when I'm stuck, the hands pull the neckline up to my nose. I sniff my perfume on my sweater -- something like ambergris and musk -- and that brings me back from someplace far-off.
9. People say I’m ____________________.
Sensitive. Soft. An armchair philosopher. Daydreamer. More than anything, I hope they say kind.
10. Lastly & light-heartedly, sunrise or sunset? Call or text? Bagels or muffins?
Sunrise (mostly), text (always), bagels (unless the muffins are mini).