I’ve had a subscription to Vogue (USA) for as long as I can remember, and the funny thing is, most people that know me in real life would probably be surprised by that. But there is so much artistry, passion and collective effort in each issue, not to mention in each and every spread, that I sometimes wonder why it’s not a given that I would bow my head and speed off into the glossy pages every month. I seek inspiration in many hued fabric colors, find calm in the way the light falls on a models face as she turns to the camera to be captured in a perfect shot, and I fall into the story telling power that keeps me turning page after page until only the back cover is left.
There’s plenty to say for and against the fashion world, and i’ve heard most all arguments worth making. Defending one side or the other isn’t my jam though, I’ll leave that to the more informed and passionate of defenders. I just like to sit in the early morning light, drink my coffee, and fall into the high gloss fantasy that sweeps everything away and sparks inspiration down my spine and through my fingertips.
I’ve been severely lacking when it comes to my snail mailing endeavors. At this point I thinK I would need to personally visit every single one of my penpals to make up for the heavy silence on my end that kept up these past 2 months, and while the thought is tempting, i’m not made out of gold so… for now at least, i’m picking up pencils-pens-stickers-tea packets-postcards and stuffing them into parcel envelopes along with my scribbled down thoughts. Thing is, creativity gets hard to muster when you feel like the words your putting down for people aren’t even worth the postage cost, but pushing past these thoughts (and making chill-out mixes ) helps a ton. Also, tea. Tea helps a bunch, and that’s lovely.
We left New Hampshire with a deep longing to be back, soon. We almost thought about staying an extra day, and then another one after that but considering we had already extended our stay there, we braced our hearts and moved on in the direction of Montpelier, VT. We jumped on a highway and then an hour later were subtly dumped off it, onto a byway that wound through lovely green hills, gentle curves and bumps leading us deeper into the state.
Little towns here and there, me and Kat wondering if our GPS had yet again led us astray, a forever deep longing for more coffee. And then, just as we were starting to loose hope, we started seeing signs for Montpelier, the road dipped down into a valley and all of a sudden, a turn here a turn there, we were parking and getting out onto streets that wouldn’t have been out of place on a movie set. Our first stop was a book store because, well. It was called Rivendell books, and even though our luggage was already to bursting with stuff and souvenirs, it’s not like either one of us has a will of iron. A most excellent cheeseburger at Coffee Corner was the cherry on top of this Vermont milkshake (and wow that’s a really odd and slightly gross sentence isn’t it?). And you know what, even the gas station we stopped at before entering the utterly confusing realm of Connecticut was lovely.
So, I can tell you, Vermont was just as beautiful as i’ve heard and then some. And then a bucket more on top of that some. I would have loved to spend a whole month there, bump along the seemingly always under construction roads, green mountains and valleys along every turn of the highway, and coffee fueling me past the time when I should have caught some shut eye. The state made me want to buy books, dress in my sunday best and smile at strangers on the street. It was the embodiment of loveliness, as close to “quaint” as you can get while still being utterly majestic in its own way.
The story could start with how New Hampshire was just supposed to be an afternoon/early morning exploration, a stop over in our 5 day roadtrip before heading into Vermont and then down to Connecticut. I’d just looked on map and said, “Huh, White Mountains Natl. Forrest… sounds cool yeah? Lets spend a night there.” Which would bleed into the story about the hastily booked night at an Econo-Lodge (that turned into two) and the comfortable god-I-feel-like-I-could-live-here feeling I got hanging out in the cold parking lot staring up into star studded sky, my feet bare and touching the cold pavement like it was a wondrous carpet lit up underneath my feet. I say it all the time, and I think it even more, “I could live here” but… it’s different when you’re standing outside of your warm and cozy room, in thin pj’s, not-at-all-reliable service on your phone, staring up at the mountains with a true longing in your heart.
There’s the story about the rainy afternoon we spent exploring up in the mountains after getting a really late start and then getting lost for 2 hours on the roads and highways that run run run all over the mountains there, just trying to get back to somewhere that didn’t proclaim “Caution, Bears” while getting slowly soaked and feeling like the only people in the mountains. The story about how at almost 7 in the evening, the sun still just a suggestion behind storm clouds, me and Kat tried to cross a river running high, her in her much beat up Converse and me in my utterly useless Nike’s. There was a plan that involved, “so like, you just jump a bit and try and grab ahold of that sapling there on the edge and then…” before Kat decided to be smart and convinced us to turn back. I remember calming agreeing with her decision ( or perhaps I was the one that yelled into the trees “You won’t defeat me forever Mt. Potash! I will be back, with a horse! Because thats the only way you can cross this damn thing!”) before we turned back onto the trail that lead back to the car and warmth. And then we found an overlook that spread out the mountains in front of us like a painting of beauty and we got even more soaked and I felt my heart squeeze with happiness while our feet squelched and left a trail of dirty river water everywhere we went.
Theres the story about drinking hard cider on the bed back in our room, while nursing a bruised bottom and achy joints, staring up at the ceiling and wondering when did you become such an adventure and also when did you get so out of shape, while your friend watched How I Met Your Mother on her iPad. There’s a tale about the most epic breakfast we had throughout the whole trip at a place called Flapjacks Pancake house and the little toy train that sped around the restaurant making everything feel like out of a fuzzy dream. The tiny aside in the story about how i’m pretty sure my excessive photo-taking started grating on Kats nerves but how she put up with me like a champ anyways, and the all too perfect ending to the tale when we woke up on the morning we were leaving, to clear skies and perfectly sunny weather, before we started our overly caffeinated drive into Vermont.
There are some days that I overdose on sad songs. Not because i’m feeling particularly down, or anything… there’s just a need to embrace the loveliness that can come when you listen to strains of sorrow in the syllables of a singers words, the overtures of grief in the crescendo of a much beloved refrain, the inky sweetness of penning down specific lyrics that tangle themselves into your heartstrings for just a moment. I tumble myself down a playlist of bittersweet love songs (Red Dust- James Vincent Mcmorrow) , or even just songs that tear inexplicable moments of pain in you from the sheer beauty of them (Miserere- Gregorio Allegri ) and then come back to myself with little gems of inspiration, spill out shapes of cheer on paper, and feel the precious balance of emotions in flux that art and music can create.