At Hula's House

Hula's garden

I dare not confess the far reaches of my newly-born skepticism or tell you about the Disillusionment Series of t-shirts I designed but never made because few people want to wear their cynicism so openly. I will tell you I now have these things I say to myself, like the sentences a teacher makes you write 800 times until you know the principle by heart. People are not magic, people are just people. People are not magic, people are just people.

But that's one former conviction that is hard to shake when I think about Andrea Jenkins, aka Hula. Try as I may, when I think of her I can't deny that there are still people who fill me with wonder, who make me consider a little longer that perhaps beauty and love are deep, deep seas worth dropping our anchors down into. Since coming home to Brooklyn there have been moments--a song playing in the market or a memory of her daisies landing on my shoulder while I cook dinner--when the remembrance of our time in her dear home brought tears to my eyes. Some gifts are so great, they are hard to speak of.

Hula's presence is just like this light--it has the power to make you feel beautiful, to make you feel seen. Polaroid by Andrea Jenkins, hulaseventy.blogspot.com

In all my days, I'll never forget the welcome of your table

or how the morning light spills across it before anyone else is awake.

 

In all my days, I'll never again wake under forty white paper stars
and the love that dreamed them up and put them there.

 

Posing for a picture

We'll never stop wanting the children to have their fun
or worrying that they will throw themselves off balance and fall.
I won't fear it's just my imagination when things are off
because we had that It's not just me moment and now

I trust myself all the more.

 

Ward and Justin in the Grilled Cheese Grill double-decker bus

In all my days, I'll remember how I dreamed our families
would fit together like two puzzles pieces finding their way home
and how it was so very true,
like a taste of heaven to throw an already-sweet summer
deliciously over the top.
In all my days, I'll watch you spin
your beautiful life into your greatest work of all.
I'll never forget how I needed refuge

or how I found it inside your doorway,

how I found it in the circle of your arms.

 

Discover Hula's magic for yourself at Instant Magic, her upcoming workshop at Teahouse Art Studio September 17th.

Four Years

Four years ago today I arrived in Brooklyn with my family. It was snowy and cold, and they were working on the power on our street so the building was dark when we entered. Neighbors heard us come in and greeted us in the hallway, putting flashlights in our hands. The girls were 3 years old and 4 months old, and all three of us had stomach viruses and colds simultaneously. I had been sick with one thing after another for the four months since Lucy's birth, and I struggled up the stairs to our third-floor walk-up feeling so weak.

We didn't know if it would work out, or if our Urban Living Experiment would crash and burn, sending us back to the suburbs with our tails between our legs. I didn't know what I would write, or how I would find the time around caring for the girls, just that I had to write. Something. Sometime. I didn't know if I would make friends or if this big city would eat my hopeful and innocent self alive.

Today I feel very quiet, the way you get when you're observing a sacred day. I am full of remembrances and I feel this, I don't know, significance I guess, around every small moment from then until now. If anyone had told me four years ago all that would happen and unfold in these few short years, I would have had to lie down--the weight of my disbelief would have been too heavy to bear.

My gratitude now is equally large, for this city, for the friends who brighten my days and the community that lights up my nights, and for who I get to be here. For all the ways that trusting ourselves led us truly, like following an inner north star. For finding a right place with which to share my life, which for me was every bit as important as finding a right person with whom to do the same.

I love you, New York.