something about the events at my house makes me worse and worse about remembering to take photos! this picture above is a gorgeous candle my friend gave me tonight at my annual solstice get-together. these parties began in seattle 13 years ago, and each year i cohosted with a different friend to bring different mixes together at my little apartment overlooking the needle and the lake and the bay. it was a small but beautiful corner unit on the top floor with hardwoods and built ins and natural light that i took advantage of for my portrait photography, keeping an entire wall blank to use as a simple backdrop. i mixed cocktails, made hors d’oeauvres, and laughed – a lot. in southern california these continued as new friends were made and when i came back to portland, the parties grew in force, both summer and winter.
winter solstice however has remained closest to my heart, and after the parties grew to numbers bigger than my little ol’ house, last year i decided to change the pace and have it be just for my closest friends in a more intimate dinner party. i love to cook but love to share as well, so i make the entree and dessert, provide the cocktails, and my girlfriends bring side dishes. last year it was stuffed shells for the entree and my homemade truffles with a scoop of vanilla and fresh blueberries. this year it was chicken breasts pounded flat, rolled with prosciutto and a blend of mashed plantains & yams, topped with a hint of lemon in the sauce from the pan drippings. for dessert i made homemade lemon sorbet – amazing i gotta say. and for a special treat, i used the bottle of homemade peppermint schnapps a work friend gave me, mixed it with baileys & a local organic vodka, with a splash of vanilla soy creamer and some grated nutmeg on top – dang!! not as sweet or as creamy as it sounds, surprisingly, but delectable – absolutely. best thing however? just being with my best girls, laughing and chatting and escaping the daily bullshit for a few hours of perfection. i love them so dearly. they are my family. they are my truth.
and as the winter arrives, the day is at it’s shortest, and the season allows for things to die so that new life may grow, i am grateful. no matter what, on this day i am so grateful. no matter what kind of shit paves the road, i have people that i love and adore, near and far, who make my world turn in the most beautiful ways. every day i see the complexity of people and the simplicity in life, and i am constantly intrigued. and now i prepare for the new year, i am remembering that my home is wherever i am safe and warm, wherever i feel loved, wherever i trust.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Pigeons are blessed with an extraordinary ability to find home, even if they’re hundreds of miles away. They have an internal compass that allows them to read the Earth’s magnetic field, and they also create a “map of smells” that gives them crucial clues as they navigate. A team of scientists performed some odd experiments that revealed a quirky aspect to the birds’ talent: If their right nostril is blocked, their innate skill doesn’t work nearly as well. (It’s OK if their left nostril is blocked, though.) What does this have to do with you? Well, Aquarius, you’ve been like a homing pigeon with its right nostril blocked, and it’s high time you unblocked it. In the coming months, you can’t afford to be confused about where home is, what your community consists of, or where you belong.