There's no better celebration of any season than the decorated tree adorned with the rich symbolism of nature—my ritual to inform and inspire you in the journey called life.

Friday, May 10, 2013

under the stars

IF FOR NO OTHER REASON than to wish for a true soul partner—gazing upward at a starry sky from an unencumbered beach unspoiled by the lights of civilization—can bring one’s destiny into focus. An entirely romantic notion? Possibly. But it is worthwhile to succumb to the humbling presence of limitless sky. In a fleeting moment, you can feel as though you’ve tapped into the divine plan for the universe. 

SEASHELLS AND CANDLELIGHT | An assemblage of shells and other objects, a few of which were found on the beach at Tulum; encroach the container of this driftwood tree. The candle (its cucumber lime scent being named Tulum) was one of a few thoughtful birthday gifts this year from Devin Borden, my fellow traveler (and partner of two years) to that magical place in Mexico last November. The small "tree" attached to a piece of coral was found during a walk down the beach at sunrise on the last morning of our trip. Aside from the many unforgettable memories, this is the most cherished souvenir I returned home with—a piece of nature serving as a sort of divining rod to uncover the inspiration and resonance for this post's writing months after this life-changing trip.
HAVING THIS EXPERIENCE with someone you wish to be a living and growing part of your life will ignite a fire at your core that can never be extinguished by absence. If anything, if you truly love someone, “absence does make the heart grow fonder.” Plato theorized that each person is half of an androgynous being split by the gods, creating male and female. Within us, at a deeply subconscious level, we know something is amiss; and we seek wholeness again.

THE DIVIDE might not always be a distinct separation between male and female. There are components of both in all of us. Like puzzle pieces without an image imprinted on them, it is difficult to recognize how the fit comes together. But with enough turns, and enough inward and outward examination, the shapes can finally be matched and locked together.

DRIFTWOOD AND STARS | The garland loosely wrapped around this driftwood tree is made from plastic-coated electrical wire in yellow and green, strung with metal stars implying the "electric circuitry" of the night sky. These stars have been oxidized to create a rich verdigris patina—representing the alchemy and magic seen in the night sky layered with millions of stars.
THE LIGHT REFLECTED from the stars speaks to us. When laid bare before our eyes we are reminded that we are tiny pieces of an unimaginably infinite universe. We can be manipulated by change as easily as the slightest breeze wafts yesterday’s dust into a corner. But we can will ourselves to make our lives happen right before us. We always have a choice to seek, to learn, and to find our own paths.

SUPERNATURAL TOPPER | I've cherished this unusual winged mermaid for many years. Holding the treetop star, she finds a symbolic home atop this tree. With her fish tail and wings, she embodies the link between the earth and the sky, creating a perfect visual metaphor for the larger-than-the-both-of-us connection we felt that night under the stars.
THIS IS THE STUFF of life. Our journey, our meanderings under an infinite immovable sky, are revealed to us in an awesome glory, guiding us in ways beyond our will, beyond our reality, and beyond our imagination. Finding this resonance with a soul partner is the ultimate intent of my dreams. I want us to grow together into a creation unimagined by our limited view of events and ideas for which we absurdly place a label of truth.

STAR PATINA | Some of the metal stars developed interesting color patterns during the oxidation process, forming a varied, but cohesive palette for the neutral background of driftwood assembled into a tree.
THE REAL TRUTH is found in our humblest moments. Moments that resonate at our core in an honest movement through time and space that is entirely precious and profoundly creative. This creative force is love—pure and simple. What our past was, as seen from our future deserves more than a blink when looking back across our shoulders. It is possible that an eternally binding love still grows between us.

MAY THE BLINDING ambient and “civilized“ artificial light of our daily lives not obscure the stars. May we always remember the way we felt and what we saw in that multi-layered night together. And may we learn to cherish those who make us whole again. May we learn to assemble those fleeting moments into a union as sure as the footprints we leave in the damp sand. And maybe we’ll finally see those limitless moments as clearly as the unobscured starry skies we look deeply into to navigate our futures—together—even if we’re apart.


TULUM MEMORIES | A vacation collage assembled from only a few of the photos from our trip to Tulum, Mexico in November 2012. In the photo of me at bottom left, I'm holding a diminuative "tree" embedded in a piece of coral, after finding it on the last morning of our stay there. Instantly becoming one of my most cherished trip souvenirs, it makes a reappearance among the seashells in the photos above—a definite talisman of good memories and future dreams.


collecting, photography and styling by Darryl Moland


  1. Wonderful post... I believe you shared the text with me... but your tree interpretation really brought it to life... as you always do so spectacularly. Another well edit post and tree. Best, Matthew

  2. What an amazing post. Thank you for this video as well. It made me cry.

  3. Gorgeous writing. Gorgeous photographs. Thanks for sharing something so dear to your heart.