I’m delighting in the discovery of Floret Flowers. This is by no means a unique find – she’s been featured in the likes of Martha Stewart Living – but if you’re late to the game like me, go now and get lost in Erin Benzakein’s journal of running an organic flower farm an hour outside of Seattle. Her husband and children are precious, her arrangements are lush, and the whole thing is just dreamy and inspiring.
We’re walking along a paved road flanked by a green cocoon of trees. It’s dusk, and the air is a pleasant balance of heavy humidity and late-spring chill. “Look,” she gestures, pointing to our left, where the foliage reveals a grassy hillside. There is an old homestead, its huge windows surrounded by thick wooden planks.
It almost looks abandoned, until, upon closer inspection, I realize it’s meticulously maintained, precise in its subtleness. Wildflowers pepper the hill leading up to the home, but there are no weeds in sight. Waning daylight transforms the windows into movie screens. Inside, dark polished concrete floors lie beneath a couch draped with kilims in vivid, saturated jewel tones—plums and emeralds. A massive photo occupies most of the wood-paneled wall.
We walk on, winding along the road until we can see more of the home. Now, there are stained-glass windows; they must have come from an old church. I can only imagine their effect from inside, where surely there’s a living room with polished leather armchairs and minimal—although not minimalist—decor.
It is warm; it is eclectic; it is understated; it is curated. It exudes creativity and culture, restraint and hospitality.
I dreamt of this place a few weeks ago and have been craving it ever since. Someone once told me dreams about houses are dreams about ourselves—different rooms represent different aspects of our personalities. I don’t know about all that, but I do know I can’t get this place out of my head. Which is ironic, since my head is where it all began.
I’m on a girl power memoir kick over here. In the past year I’ve read both Mindy Kaling and Tina Fey‘s books (hilarious — Mindy for the win); as you know, I recently finished Wild; and I’m on a never-ending waitlist for Amy Poehler‘s Yes Please. I figured it was time to see what all the Lena Dunham fuss is about.
You should know, I’m a fan of Girls. Like Lena herself, people love to hate the HBO show; but I think it’s real and relatable, for better or worse. It’s not exactly a portrayal of the world I live in, but it’s certainly a portrayal of the world many of my peers do. It is true that Lena is naked a lot. A lot of the actors are naked a lot. Which is sort of awkward, but also sort of how our generation is. Even if we’re not actually physically naked, we have vastly different definitions of privacy than, say, our grandparents. I mean, “Facebook stalking.” SNAPCHAT. We’re overexposed, y’all.
Anyway, I find Lena Dunham utterly fascinating, in no small part because she writes, produces, and stars in Girls. Her memoir (“memoir-ish”) has, perhaps expectedly, gotten a full spectrum of mixed reviews. For every fan who calls her the voice of a generation, there’s a critique of her as whiny and self-focused.
Here’s what I think: aren’t we all self-focused in our twenties? Lena’s just admitting it and attempting to create some meaning out of that. While some of her essays definitely seem to be trying a little too hard, I 100% believe that’s just how it is to be 28 and figuring shit out. We try a little too hard because we haven’t lived enough to chill out yet.
Many of her essays are funny and observant. I don’t know if she’s the voice of a generation, but she’s certainly the talented author of a collection of relevant, engaging essays. It was a quick, absorbing read that sort of felt like hanging out with a friend every time I cracked it open. And, I’ll be honest: I totally ate some of her trying-too-hard-to-create-meaning moments right up.
So, add this to the list of books I’d recommend to my 25-30-year-old girlfriends. Have you read it? What did you think?
And, the real question here: Do you follow Lena Dunham on Instagram? It’s a pretty worthy follow. Just sayin’.
What do you do when it rains? I duck my head, pitch my body forward, and run. Anything to stay dry.
The thing is, raindrops roll off of you regardless of your posture. Hunched shoulders hide your heart, but they don’t keep you dry.
Just a little shameless self-promotion here, as I try to figure out the balance between work and life, personal writing and how the blog factors into that.
Ever heard of Forecastle? Nope, me neither. Noistrade has a mixtape in preparation for the Kentucky music festival, and I randomly downloaded it. It’s got its hits and misses, but I’ve been listening to it on repeat nonetheless. Highlights: Cathedrals, Shovels & Rope, ZZ Ward.
What’s missing? The Tallest Man on Earth, a 31-year-old bearded Swedish man who sounds exactly like Bob Dylan and will be at this year’s festival. I’m mildly obsessed with him (er, his music) … and we share a birthday, a fun fact fueling my fire.
So. Bourbon & live music, anyone?