polaroid

2016 (in film and flowers)

big sur


If 2015 was my loneliest and bravest year, 2016 was the year I hustled into the void. 

aura by radiant human
amy & gus'


But first it was just a void. I went from feeling my deepest, to nothing at all. So I chipped away at the days moving from bed to bath, bed to bath. 

I only started to feel real again when I began volunteering at In Other Words, a local feminist bookshop, community center, and safe space.

In February I went to Manila to visit my father's grave. I don't know that I'll ever write anything greater than my last and only love letter to him. I went believing I had no family left there, but leaving knowing that wasn't true. 

polaroid lands
wild roses


Spring felt like a season lost to small moments but in the kindest way. I went on walks, foraged greens, happened upon fields of wildflowers.

wild roses
malibou lake
santa barbara
big sur


And before I knew it, I dove into my busiest summer. I drove up and down the coast, then up again, and further up, still. The ocean will always be my home.

the bluffs
jakarta flower market
bali
bali
bali
portland
berlin
annika
joanna
berlin


"You're burning the candle at both ends," my doctor said when I came back from flying around the world. From San Francisco to Jakarta, Bangkok, Berlin, Hamburg, Copenhagen, and back to San Francisco. There wasn't a moment I didn't feel tired and wild.

copenhagen
copenhagen
copenhagen
copenhagen
oregon park
big sur
big sur
late summer and fall


And summer ended, but the rush never left. I was still swamped, frantic, and trying to balance seeing and being everyone, making and doing everything. And I don't think I've stopped just yet, either.

home
jenni's wedding
the car on my street
big sur


And I'm stilled tired, but 2016 helped me find my voice. I'll never not be angry about the state of our world and what we've let it become. I won't accept this as our status quo. And I won't apologize for the discomfort. 

But I also felt the most whole and the most heard when I started speaking without apology.

I never felt lost, but I was never quite sure where I'd gone. Creating with purpose, surrounding myself with women, and taking up space with people of color brought me back.

I'm here and I'm ready.

xo,
Celeste

my girls

in my room

room collage

1. A product list of the Santa Maria Novella pharmacy in Florence; postcards from Bath, Bologna and San Marino.
2. My grandmother's jewelry box and little purple paper boxes from Anna.
3. My closet, where I took the doors out and installed a curtain rod and a sheer curtain instead.
4. A close up of the camera collection, with some help from Mario and Martha.
5. Polaroids from our adventures around the world.
6. The Kurt Halsey poster (which I love) from David (who I love even more).

english polaroids

oxford
london

even though i brought a polaroid camera with me during my travels, i hardly took any photos. to me, polaroids are like gold, so it sort of distresses me if i take a lot of them. hence, i only really have two of oxford and two of london. when i decide that i take a polaroid of something, it takes me a good 5 minutes to compose the picture in my head and when and only when i think the picture will come out perfectly, i snap the photo. one thing i really need to accept is that the beauty of polaroids is the fact that you can't change them. without editing and multiple takes, you really only have once chance. they come out the way they do, and with all the "imperfections" they have, they're actually quite perfect.

clockwise from top left: oxford punts, the oxford university corpus christi college library, david with the thames and the london eye, and big ben.