A Girl Named Leney


The Dirt of Our Hurt

the dirt of our hurt.

it’s a phrase that’s been running across the mainframe of my brain on repeat ever since it came to me a week or so ago.
i’ve been sitting with it, knowing i have something i need to process and write involving the ideas around it, but i've been running away from doing so.
distracting myself. thinking of other things. or not thinking at all.


but yesterday i woke up and realized i couldn’t continue on that path. 
as familiar and often comforting that path of distraction is.
because i’ve been hurting. 
and yesterday i made myself sit in it. 
which is hard for me. 
by which i mean stillness. 
even more so when discomfort is surrounding it. 
although i’m not one to shy away from growth, changes, newness or hard things. 
in fact i often run all-to-willingly towards them. 
sometimes put myself in and on their path unnecessarily because i have a hard time without
which then causes unnecessary hurt more often then not.
i am trying to be better at just being
just sitting
just processing one-at-a-time
whether that’s as small as a new moment or as big as a new day. 
each as it comes. each in its appointed time. 
for someone who’s as addicted to newness and change as i am, it’s been a hard thing to wrestle with.
but i know it’s a wrestling worth putting my arms on the table and fists in the air for.

so today, this week, this month, however-long-i-need-to, i am embracing the dirt of my hurt.
rock filled.
worm eaten.
it’s a place of mess that we often run away from.
left unattended, weeds grow, things become ferrel and wild in the not-good ways.
so much possibility is held in this dirt.
this very place of pain and overgrown vines and past entanglement. 
because once freshly dug into, tilled and stirred up, it is the perfect place for planting.


i had posted this on instagram last week, but i wanted to share it here too.
because it's an idea that i think is really important and i honestly needed re-reminding of this week myself, because i've been feeling slumpy
(i am mostly blaming this insane weather we've been having. it's 77 one day, 25 the next, my body literally cannot handle it and i feel so off and unwell. i just want some consistency)

i’ve somewhat been feeling so off and on for a while now, but have been pushing through it and fighting to feel not so.
i've received much needed words from loved ones in the language of: 

do not be so hard on yourself.
pain is not necessarily an indicator of something bad, rather an indicator of growth.
it is okay to be here.
feeling so much all the time is not a bad thing because feelings do have value. but we have to be careful because there is often a discrepancy between our feelings and reality.
out of the hard and dirty and painful and messy parts of our lives come the most beautiful pieces of us.

which i know to be true. because i’ve been there. multiple times. i’ve seen that story played out, been a character in it’s telling, written some of the words to it’s story and read the proceeding chapters.
i’ve been in and out and danced with that theme of redemption many a time.

in the dirt of our hurt, we are given a chance to re-plant, re-sow seeds, and start anew.
and there is so much promise and hope in that.
for without the dirt, there would be no flowers.


evolving is a balancing act.

to both hold contentment (without being stagnant and stale) in one hand and a desire to grow and experience new-ness (without being restless and unappreciative of where you are) in the other is hard for me.
what's also somewhat related are the countering ideas of: if it's meant to be, it will be and if you want it, go get it.
i fight with the balance of these thoughts constantly, but i suppose that's what life is about to some extent.

we are always becoming.

Farm Days | An Oregon Urban Flower Farm In Film

i recently got some film developed from last Fall's trip to the Pacific Northwest. 
today i wanted to share this set of photos from a little urban flower farm in Salem Oregon because the colorful faces of these blooms has me excited for Spring (despite the fact that i biked in 30 degree weather this morning... Spring is so close, i know it, i know it). 

this inspiring venture is that of the lovely Melody Idol (be sure to follow Melody's beautiful floral adventures on instagram at @wild_and_wayward and visit her website). 
despite the cold and rain (we were in the PNW after all...) she gave us such a wonderful tour and talk of her flowery passions and even let us take a few blossoms back with us (much to my flower lovin' friend and i's delight). her last minute and spontaneous hospitality made the trip all the more memorable and extra special.

it's truly the opportunity to meet such beautiful and passionate people in so many varied walks of life that makes traveling such a joy for me.
although truthfully, it didn't help satiate my secret dream to be a florist (then again, isn't that everyone's dream...?

thanks again Melody, your plant mama ways are still inspiring me over here on the East Coast even months later.
i hope our paths cross again one day.

shot with Kodak 200 35mm film

I Wrote Today
shot with ektar 100 35mm film on almost-exactly-this day last year

shot with ektar 100 35mm film on almost-exactly-this day last year

i wrote today.
properly sat down and wrote.
sheepskin in lap, strong black coffee in reach.
long rushing, flowing paragraphs of tangled, jumbled vine-y thoughts, which became a little less entwined once translated into little orderly black characters of text.
and how good it felt.
i write on my phone a lot.
in my notes. in instagram captions. in far-reaching-grasping texts to loved ones.
however there is a lack of freedom sometimes in those outlets.
sometimes i just need to sit and let thoughts flow from my fingers in the way that writers always talk about is so cathartic for them. 
and too, the smallness of the phone’s keyboard and screen almost limits my language in comparison to the computers 10x larger one.

the tangibility of more space for translating thoughts lends to the extension of them.
(i know it isn’t really that way, but it feels so)

i do love writing by hand, and do that frequently too for i love the feel of paper, but for extended periods (no pun intended) of time i find it limiting. 
for my handwritten scrawl becomes less legible and hard to keep up with in regards to the speed of my fast cycling thoughts.
and while i have long strengthened muscles in my hands from knitting, using a different instrument, in the way of a pen, seems to produce cramps and aches where knitting needles do not. 
so i suppose i am not as good and frequenting that practice as i should be. 

i’ve been working on a story. 
one more so of documentation than fiction. 
though, knowing my tendency of over romanticization, there is, i am sure, a touch of fantasy and dreamed-up-ness intertwined.
it is a telling of a journey. 
of situations of mystery and unknown. 
terribly thrilling yet terrifying, though not singly so. 
there’s also feelings of wonder and joy and anticipation here in this too.
but it feels good.
good in that centering this-is-right way.

the above are words i wrote at the beginning of the month that i never shared, but coming across them again today i found them very much mirroring the state i am in today (something i seem to be doing a lot of lately, looking back on old writing... perhaps because i'm in such a state of figuring-out this season and revisiting old thoughts is helping me do that).
so i finally decided to publish them.

i'm trying to be better at publishing things as i write them, not letting them sit for so long before i share them.
though there are things that do need a little more time to pass before doing so, most of the time i feel my hesitency is out of fear of vulnerabilty.
so here's to fighting that in the future.
and here's to writing today.

30 Days of Slow Living Recap

this is a recap, of sorts, of my 30 Days of Slow Living challenge i started last month!

towards the end of my 30 Days of Slow Living project, i didn't lose steam, however i did slack off in posting specifically as much about it. mostly because, for me, i found that a huge part of slow living is getting off of my phone.
so a lot of the things i was doing ended up un documented and just-for-me. which, to a certain extent, is something i'm always trying to find the balance of. 
the encouragement and inspiration that can be found in sharing beautiful things you find in life with others, but not to the extent that you are always living through a screen.  

but i did want to do a bit of a summery in regards to a few of things i did during these past 30 days and some ways i integrated slow living into my life, in some new ways and also some old and familiar ones. i don't have 30 in all, because, remember, some of those things ended up being just-for-me, but here's a few for you to chew over if you need some promptings and ideas of what it could look like to start living more slowly.

  • knitting for myself and not for work
  • keeping a little jar of lavender by my bed to smell off and on throughout the day for feelings of calm and clarity
  • walking more often to the tiny free libraries around richmond (which i've started to document here)
  • leaving screens behind and heading outside to read in the grass was the order of the day on more than one occasion
  • visiting The VMFA to take in a new exhibit 
  • spending a morning painting
  • taking a morning walk by the river with The Sailor, despite an impending busy day.
  • and then just ignoring responsibilities altogether one day and going sailing
  • spending a weekend, unplugged, with some very dear friends (in a yurt no less! lucky us, i know...)
  • opening a too-long-neglected book
  • learning how to develop and print my own film in a darkroom (finally) i've started to chronicle this adventure under #thedarkroomdiaries (of course...)
  • adopted some new plant babies to take care of
  • writing some letters and postcards to some special people
  • paused to admire the changing light and shadows that the coming of Spring brings
  • buying myself a bottle of wine to enjoy with dinner just because
  • taking time to practice extra yoga in the morning
  • breakfast and a book in a detox bath (i think this may have been the first time i took a bath in the morning. usually that's an end-of-the-day thing you know? it was such an excellent way to start the day though)
  • setting the intention to start my mornings s l o w. enjoy the coming in of the morning light. making healthy breakfasts. reading a book before starting work. putting on some calm and inspirational music. it's made such an immense difference in the consistency of my days
  • spun some yarn
  • calling friends more instead of texting them. just all around being more intentional in my communication
  • cleared out a cluttered corner and made it pretty
  • just stepping away from everything and taking a walk (this happened on several days. really need to maintain this. i feel so much more present after a walk outside)

as i said on instagram on my last post, i want the #30daysofslowliving hashtag to be a constant thing, not just for this past one-time 30 day time period. 
i want you guys to jump in on it whenever you are feeling the need to re-set, and be able to get a little bit of accountability in regards to living more mindfully and intentionally if you need it.
i know that i myself can foresee doing another 30 days later this year after the rush of summer gets going and sweeps me up, as it is known to do.

so if you want to have a conversation about these sorts of ideas and concepts, i will definitely be checking the hashtag from time to time to check in with all you wonderful people!
you can also always email me, which a lot of you guys have been doing lately and makes me so incredibly happy. i have loved the conversations we've been having and talking to all of you passionate and purposed filled people.
let's keep it up.



there are things that we find comfort in.
something that i think we most often find comfort in is familiarity. 
things that we know. 
things we find reassurance in because of their known-ness. 
often these things come in the forum of places. 
and i think that that’s my favorite sort of comfort.
comfort in a place. 
a place i know. 
a place i can close my eyes and run my hand over and still see. 


a piece i wrote on November 9th 2014 and still rings true for me today, over two years later.

Know Yourself

revisiting words from autumn 2015 today. 
it's startling how relevant pieces i wrote years ago, in a different place, in a different time, can still apply to knew places and new times. 
what a beautiful journey this life of mine is.

i just want to remind you to know yourself.
and if you don’t feel like you know yourself, get to. 
spend time with you in varying situations and places and circumstances.
comfortable and uncomfortable.
alone. with people. with strangers. with friends. 
be honest about your loves and likes and dislikes.
stay true to them when you find them.
but also be okay with them evolving and changing with you as you evolve and change. 
don’t be ashamed of the quirks and inconsistencies and wrinkles and bumps and imperfections.
whether they be physical or emotional.
be unwavering in embracing who you are.
the world will notice that. it’s what’s most attractive about people.
the embracing of their whole entire selves, flaws and all.
the openness, rawness and realness of being intrinsically human. 
if you currently feel like that, open, raw, and in a state of mess and struggle, embrace it.
be there.
be all there.
because it’s beautiful.
and you’d be so much duller, flatter, and unattractive without those pieces of you.
because those pieces help refine and shape you into being a person worth knowing.  

Folkling Update

some new pieces are coming to Folking over the weekend so be sure to check out the instagram for them! in the mean time, here are some iphone snaps of some favorites from this past month.

also be sure to get on the actual instagram app, not just the web version, and follow the folkling instagram stories! i post a lot of videos on there of pieces i haven't even posted on the grid, as well as extra details of posted pieces. most of the sales have been moving through that truth be told, so be sure to keep up with it!

and to those of you who have already purchased something in Folkling's first official month of being: thank you
from the bottom of my heart.
it means so much to see this new venture's idea of giving forgotten things new homes and making at least a small dent in the need to buy less by buying what's already out there, one-of-a-kind, quality and timeless, resonating with people.

also, there's a Folkling Facebook page now too!


my sweet friend Erica Dreybus is truly one of my favorite people to photograph and i have to give her a special shout out for modeling for these.
you may recognize her from past posts here and here and here.


I Dwell In Possibility

i read this poem recently, and it's theme is quite prevalent for me right now.
by which i mean, there is so much possibility swirling around these days and i am filled with anticipation in the witnessing and acknowledging of it

I dwell in Possibility — (#466)

by Emily Dickinson


I dwell in Possibility —

A fairer House than Prose —

More numerous of Windows —

Superior — for Doors —


Of Chambers as the Cedars —

Impregnable of eye —

And for an everlasting Roof

The Gambrels of the Sky —


Of Visitors — the fairest —

For Occupation — This —

The spreading wide my narrow Hands

To gather Paradise —


ArtLeney Art, quote, PoemComment