madeline, reconnection, -

On a midweek morning in December, Maddie called me. I hadn't seen her for three years, but she happened to be in Hollywood, and I was in my Orange County beach town for the holidays. She asked if I was free that day to create together. I told her to come; she said she would brush her teeth, get in the car, and be at my house in an hour and a half. My dog, who never hesitates to assume that visitors are not welcome, met Maddie with a wagging tail and excitement. We ate cheese and crackers and caught up from the last three years. And we made some of my favorite photographs I've ever captured.

These images are the result of our day of rejoicing and reconnecting.

I have a dear friend
who writes about orgasm as blooming.
I don’t know why, but I’ve been mulling over
anatomy and crimson this morning,
considering flaps and folds and the full flora
of the Feminine.
The other day while we
sat at the kitchen table,
scooping brie and pesto onto cracked wheat,
walls that have heard all of my
childhood secrets
nodded as she cocked her head and said,
“If you ask the Universe to reveal,
It will.”
So I’ve been asking.
And to my surprise,
faces of women, 
hens, vixens, lionesses,
female otters who frolic in seaweed patches,
appear behind my eyelids.
I don’t know what it means,
these embodiments of tenderness and ferocity
unveiling themselves from the thicket
but as they reach towards me,
I take their hands, and together, we
step out onto the tundra.
and, as though awakening,
the ice begins to thaw.
I massaged my dog’s paws last night
and she lay her muzzle on my knee
I realized that nobody is exempt
from the deep knowing of touch, body.
and I wrapped my arms around her neck
and buried my face into her winter coat.