11 March 2018


porto | los angeles, ca | jan 27, 2017 | portra 400 | nikonos v
mike o'hara
porto | los angeles, ca | jan 27, 2017 | portra 400 | nikonos v

When it rains, my heart pangs for the sea. My feet long to walk unsteadily on damp sand, leaving footprints filled with droplets to the shore. Hair, sprinkled with a california rain, searches for a soak. My nose tickles for seawater that sneaks its way to slightly chapped lips. There's a woman at work who has inspired me in more ways than she knows how. Mary Margaret tells me that ever since our shoot at Dockweiler, she's driven by the sea each day to work. I tell her I've been doing the same. I wake up extra early, go on a run by playa del rey, have a cup of tea at Tanner's, and take vista del mar as far as I can, glancing too often at waves crashes as sailboats glide into the marina. We've bonded over the serenity that comes with being underwater, completely surrounded by the weight and pressure that only oceanic depth can provide. It's a dark cold hug that brings to life a soul so often scattered on land.

what draws us to the people we stick around? I'm asking the wrong question. How curious is it that, of the 80,000ish people I will meet in my lifetime, I know within two encounters that we will someday be best friends. Mary left the office on friday. She is something else. Mary Margaret gives self esteem a boost with one, "WOWZAH". She dances, she directs, she is determined, she is a bundle of adventure. This sixty year old woman has lived five lifetimes, and I'm only just discovering a tithe of the surface she has walked on: freediving in the caribbean; meeting shamans in the amazon; yoga certification in hawaii; meditation in the morning; moving to spain to film and study flamenco.

My roommate, Juliet Sikora (an amazing painter, look at her stuff here), told me a month into me moving in that she has a best friend in every decade of age.  I hope Mary Margaret will act as that for me, a 60 year old with a 22 year old's energy. I'm actually writing this on the couch as Juliet dances around the living room, paint brush in hand, ideas swelling from her fingerprints onto the canvas below as Alt-J resonates throughout the room. This is what I imagined when I moved into this house in hollywood - artists staying up past midnight, brains firing off ideas in whatever way we know how. I love the sound of a brush pattering on canvas. I love the smell of coming into a house with candles burning on every surface. I love this oversized lamp casting beams of pyramidical light on a miniature wooden figurine next to a picture of uncle bill while cars drive from one side of the french windows to the other, a peak of the world outside, however fleeting.

I've been in a funk for the last month and a half -- that's how long it's been since my body has been in the ocean. Work is eating away at any energy I have saved for the things I love, like road trips and photoshoots and running and writing and sleeping and music discovering. Life is a balance and I've been losing it. Tomorrow, I'm going to the ocean. Tomorrow, I'm walking around a museum. Tomorrow, I'm hot tubbing it up with Mary and I can't tell you how excited I am for such a wonderful Sunday. The future and the present holds so much life that staying stagnant is not an option for me anymore. Here's to days full of opportunity, discovery, creativity, curiosity, and love.