jenleedotnet jenleedotnet

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Jen Lee  Director of films. Gatherer of makers. Friend.

You know that hypothetical game where you imagine you are stranded on a desert island with only a limited number of books or records and you have to name which you would choose? It feels like we are living this out in real time over here. It would make the most fascinating profile to document what we are carrying with us this summer. I keep thinking about doing it, for real, but it feels almost too revealing. For today maybe it's enough to tell you there are the words of @mayastein telling me how to start over. (She would be happy to know: also a typewriter.) Playlists from friends organized by mood: Fun, Mellow, and "not all melancholy but I tried". One hardcover memoir by @swirlygirl18. Some letters and notes in familiar hands. Cameras and lenses we set in our view but seldom lift. Two DVDs sitting unplayed on a side table, both by Miyazaki. (Another with a BBC series that has yet to be found in any of the bags.) I guess the point is, I'm reading Maya's How We Are Not Alone and noticing how we know the medicine we'll need on far-off days and in far-off lands, even before the last suitcase is zipped closed. Things like: permission and reassurance, understanding and even patience for #thefarawayseason. Reminders of the way we are accompanied, and of who we might be again, on the other side.

I've spent so much of the year in this position. The jury's still out on whether I'll remember this as the Year I Did Impossible Things, or the Year It Was Hard to Hold Up My Head. (Perhaps they are not unrelated.) I've laid flat-out in park lawns and on mattresses. Carpets and rugs. On yoga mats, trampolines and a golf course under the stars. All I know is, this is where I feel the most solid, supported and okay. And maybe it's the most appropriate posture for a Year When Everything Changes: held against Mama Earth as she makes her way through space.

I've never been so grateful for gravity.

I took them to the forest because it's important to sometimes walk a path even when you don't know where it leads. Because this landscape holds some answers, and I am still full of questions.

Latest indulgence: homemade dark chocolate slathered with almond butter. We almost have it completely dialed in.

Sometimes you are lucky as hell and you're given good companions for the journey. That's exactly what happened when my dear friend @swirlygirl18 and I were relocating in tandem this summer. Our movers came on the same day (in CA and NY), and I flew to Stockholm the day she arrived in her new home, Milwaukee. She has been making a podcast of her journey called Transplant, and I think it would be a deep comfort for anyone in this kind of transition. I'm honored to be a guest on this week's episode, with a conversation we had in the final days before the movers arrived. It wasn't that long ago on the calendar, but so much has happened since that it feels like another lifetime. I'm very grateful we had the chance to capture this moment. Link in profile. (Photo by @jddavanzophoto)

We were so lucky to stumble across a skateboarding showcase this afternoon, complete with an announcer, DJ and prizes. It was like meditation to watch their practice and play--and a gift to see this community in motion. Skaters with disabilities and others nursing newborn babies and so many embraces and cheers. Their joy was infectious and my little one was on a board, trying it out, before the day was done. #takingstockholm #ig_stockholm

I don't even know what to say. All my words (and a good deal of laughter) just went here. How it's going, in pretty delicious detail:

On the way to the market I told her: So much right now feels like learning how to fall. Reprogramming your mind to think that falling is okay, that it's not a problem. To break the habit of trying to catch yourself and instead learning to roll with the motion of it, eventually to lean into it. It feels useful when things aren't going according to plan but also in a season that feels chronically untethered. When falling is the program itself. The achiever in me turns that corner fast: I will become the greatest faller ever! And maybe in this moment she is at last a help to me. I lean into the sensation, like someone I am beginning to love. I let it do any catching, like someone I am learning to trust.

After a sweet afternoon adventure yesterday with @annapir and her girls, today we are having a quiet day at home, where I cannot stop eating this experimental pie.

Quiet, but still here.

@timmanleytimmanley is on the other side of Season Two of The Feels and I'm on the other side of the ocean. I'm trying to find the part of myself that can say things out loud, I'm trying to find things that are true or helpful to say. I don't know if I'm doing it yet, but the only way I know to get there is to try.

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