Author Archives: Modern Vintage Ink.

About Modern Vintage Ink.

Brand manager and storyteller. CEO/Founder, Modern Vintage Ink. Reinvention through experimentation. Serendipitous NYer. Former @AOL_Inc Dir of Comms. @Marist alumni.

in remembrance

most days are filled with something
but today I am struggling.
you never know what will affect you, how it will affect you until it affects you.

experience a loss of life,
a very long well-lived life;
and then remember that life on the first day of spring.

thoughts are like dandelions
seeding one memory and then another
stirring a pot that has finally settled

people grieve in so many different ways
judgment solitude quiet reflection sadness regret
the living honor the dead through stories

today I wish I had the strength for the stories:
it’s who I am, what I do, it’s my language.
it’s taken me such a long time to get here, to this day

I don’t want to, cannot be derailed
I tend to the grief in my own way,
sending strength and love outward.

(c) March 2017


should i stay or should i go

you cannot stay just because the people will you to.
life fulfillment goals are your own

they are equally important
and when your presence has purpose, that is gold

and when it doesn’t,
that’s when it’s time to go.

(c) March 2013


Dreaming of things

Dreams about loss, not of people but of things. And it seems many of those dreams manifested in the last hour before I woke. I’ve been reading a lot about lucid dreaming,  where you can move in between sequences without pause; it certainly felt like it. I wouldn’t be able to explain the surreality and blended flow of past vignettes otherwise.

It was like watching a scene from a Woody Allen movie and then interacting with all of its characters. I was having lunch at a restaurant, my dining companion nondescript when someone walked by the plate glass window holding up a book that looked familiar. Something I owned, something I knew. That flash of recognition compelled me to dash out of the restaurant in the direction from which the stranger had come, and into the not so distance past from which I had come. A series of life-like experiences and interactions with objects from my past followed: a box of items left under my desk at a former employer’s office; a ‘crooked’ pantry filled with discarded butter and opened bottles of water in from my childhood home; and the persistent presence of a brown corduroy jacket with cream colored pinstripe interior that I’m not sure I ever owned.

The interactions were accompanied by a wave of emotions. First, anger and annoyance for the company having not tried to get in touch with me before donating my ‘goods’ to the strangers and streets of New York City. Then frustration and confusion that the new owners of my childhood home would let food spoil, in a Fantasian asymmetrical room. In each sequence, there was an undefinable and unrecognizable personality: the administrative assistant that was going to help me resolve the box issue; the young woman with curly brown hair sitting on a couch with a mug of tea; an older woman wearing the jacket, the one that used to be mine.

corduroy-932242_1280

For the last few years, as February has shifted into March so have things and people shifted in and out of my life. A career, a house, a persona, and yes even that brown corduroy jacket. And for every exit, there has also been a beginning: a dream set in motion, a home created, and even a new addition or two to the unfinished fashion closet.


right here, next to me

There are some days, even now nearly four years since my Dad died when I find myself thinking he is still alive. It is a fleeting moment, lasting thirty seconds or less. It lingers in the air like smoke from a snuffed out candle.

Sunday morning, not quite 2AM, an evening in with the muses talking about life and friendship, death and spirituality, family and friends. Monica and Suzie fall in and out of sleep, their voices a rolling canon of sighs punctuated by snores from our favorite pug, Jello. It’s a midnight symphony at ebb+flow headquarters.

A few minutes later, the third uberPOOL passenger in a white Elantra, I find myself zigzagging from one side of Brooklyn to the other, the sickening sweet air freshener pungent in the front seat. This road travelled is like a driving race course with every pothole and speedbump a replacment for the orange cones.

Opening the door, I am greeted with a famished hello from Finn.

In the bathroom, I change out of my street clothes into PJs, running the water to brush my teeth. The door is slightly ajar. In the white noise and ambient sounds, I almost hear my Dad shuffling down the hallway.

When we shared the same space we had this instituionalized ritual where he would ‘find me’ on his way to the washroom just as I was returning from a night out on the town. Nonchalantly, he would ask how my night was, and in this moment, I hear him asking about these friends of mine whom he has never met, and how they are doing.

I can hear the shadow of his breath, the early morning scratchiness in his voice, as if he were standing right here, next to me.


underneath my feet

one year later … and what i really want to say is how much a years worth of decisions or indecisions can change your life. seriously, what a difference 365 days can make.

if you think about it every year is filled with endings and beginnings. people walk into your life and they walk out. opportunities present themselves, some better than others. doors appear from nowhere, some are  open, some are locked, some are waiting for you to nudge them in either direction. life is a series of moments both active and still, depending on what road you are traveling on.

 

this road that i am traveling moves forward regardless if my feet comply. even as i stand still, i can feel it rumbling underneath my feet with tremors of encouragement. it is a lifeforce unto itself. sometimes i forget how powerful the universe can be.


leave to live


LEAVE: “a period during which the usual routine of school or work is suspended” or “the approval by someone in authority for the doing of something”

LIVE: “having life”

This idea of ownership, of granting yourself permission to be the authority of your own life–is one of the hardest things to learn. From the Greatest Generation to Gen-X, we’ve been guided on how to live our lives through a series of life stage accomplishments and milestones. Most of the time that has involved a linear path from point A to point B to point C all the way on the journey toward death. (Morbid, right?)

Recently, those straight lines have shifted. They have become circuitous, even squiggly in nature. The rules, if they even existed have changed and the map to living a full life has expanded beyond your imagination. The freedom of choice can be exciting, scary, nerve-wracking and exhilarating…it allows us to do what we’re put on this earth to do, live. 

And that’s what it is all about: learning how to live a more enriched and fulfilling life, and in some cases that may involve learning to leave to live. I promise you that when you leave to live you take charge of your own existence and your destiny, and that’s definitely a goal to work towards.

Definitions for LEAVE and LIVE provided by Merriam-Webster.


everyday bravery

“There’s room for both of us.” This is what I’m telling Rocky as he tries to find space on my lap as I type. He was sitting in the chaise on the deck, nestled into the Mexican blanket I brought back from Cancun the first time I discovered the Mayan oasis. Now he is curled into the inner nook of my left elbow, his cerulean eyes quizzically looking in my direction.

Dusk, the sky is a faded velvet. It is so quiet up here and the breeze is heavenly, dancing around the copper chimes, brushing up against the clematis on the stairs. The rain is settling into a mist and there is a definitive feel of fall in the air. Something is rising, and not just in the atmosphere; it’s a changeling for all the things I feel internally. Change is brewing, I’ve felt the subtlety of what the newness could mean if I could just step forward. My current vocation is the last thread, the last anchor that ties me to the world where Dad was present. So many changes in two years time, it doesn’t seem very long at all, and yet f feels like a lifetime ago. The swirl of emotions from grieving is growing, surreptitiously deciding my future and all of it makes me feel like I have to be braver. Moreso than ever before.

Bravery is the act of being courageous; having courage, valor, intrepidity, nerve. True, there are more important things to fret about given what is happening in the world today but most of it beyond opinion is out of my control (racial inequality, gun control, and Iran’s nuclear powers). My greatest concern a call for bravery is a first world problem, and it’s not necessarily bravery that I am after but that last word on the end: “nerve.” That’s the one that resonates and calls to mind one of my favorite literary (and movie) characters from The Wizard of Oz–the cowardly lion.

Screen Shot 2015-07-26 at 11.31.35 PMOn their journey to Oz he is determined to acquire courage from the great wizard and upon arrival is surprised to find out he has been practicing the act of courage all along. “The true courage is in facing danger when you are afraid.” (Frank L. Baum)

Life’s greatest mysteries they are often resolved in the everyday act of living.

Image Source: Figment Studio/Etsy