Wednesday, July 29

dissapearing kindness

It has been a long while, i never meant it to be. I had hoped to fill these pages with Poet and her wonderfullness, because there is so much of it. I hope to do so shortly but i must just write what my heart is asking me to write but know dear friends if you are still there, i have an incredible life and all these months that have passed have been filled with happiness more than anything else.

I am sitting upstairs above my cafe, shop and market, life has changed i have added these things to my days, it has cost me a lot, not reffering to money but it has given me alot once again i am not reffering to money. It has until very recently been were all my energy and drive has gone. Oh gosh even as i type this i feel this malencholy ache for where i left off the simple life that was Poet and i on the hill. It is fragmented now and we are everywhere and being pulled in so many directions. temporary i say,  balance will come yet there is no complaint here all is as it must be for the future of what i hope it to  be.

I have had some of the kindest moments and experiences this past winter and spring and they helped me move forward and keep focus. I have also heard kind words and the worst all in one opening of mouth. My heart has soared and felt a tare on the same day. I have lost my balance, fallen, picked myself up all within minutes. It easy to blame others, well maybe not so easy- i am good at taking blame, it is safer, more bareable. My shoulders ache,  my neck aches i blamed it on all the false shade ( airconditioning) maybe it is something else, maybe it is the dissapearing kindness from those i love but maybe it is dissapearing because i have emptied....

photograph of  a place i stayed early summer in the south of france (hosting a workshop)

Tuesday, September 2

when words become a song

Hello, I  hope you are well and that you are enjoying these last days of summer.  I am upstairs, the windows let in a soft breeze, crickets, tree frogs and this  are the only sounds i hear. The sky is turning from dusk to dark and i can see a beautiful silhouette of the birch tree. I am profoundly happy.
Just the other day i told a friend that i felt like a balloon being held by a child seconds before  being let go. I am excited about so much but grounded and filled with what i have.

I am preparing for many things at once, yet i do not feel rushed and maybe that part is on it's way but for now- i am good at being here in the moment.  Last week i needed a quietness, a stirring so I took Poet and we drove down a dirt road, i needed to see these beautiful creatures. I was surprised at how much they spoke to my spirit, how much they listened to my inner rants. I stayed for a while and then came back again a few days later. Sometimes, you need to be heard or to hear with your eyes until your soul has received the message and your body becomes fully awake.

I am awake and a continuous flow of words can be heard inside me almost a song….

Wednesday, August 13

home, again slowly...

Dearest friends,  i am sitting by the light of the computer screen. the room dark, the sky dark but my heart so full of light and i inhale and exhale in one single breath.

I have been away, family trials, fears and helplessness now those things are passing and i start to point my toes, open my hands and slowly stretch my limbs again. Tonight was magical, the hill slowed me down just enough, taking me on a waltz through beautiful fog and rain as horses galloped through the fields and deer grazed. I walked to the horses and stayed for a long while even rested my face on splash and asked " do you remember me old pal" through this thicker skin, wrinkled face and grey hair but somehow he showed me who i used to be so i lingered there….

I have always known a baby, child would bring me so much joy and all the love i had that was often misplaced would find a home in this small being what i did not realized how much my love grows for her each day even when i think it would be impossible to love more than this , she is my everything and  there is something so amazing about her beyond just what a mother feels- she is the sun, the sea and the air.

I am preparing to travel again foreign lands like Istanbul and home away from home France and working on filming workshops and lands beyond my imagination. It goes to fast, torn between want to be still on the Hill with my little girl and wanting to create- i believe one day soon both these  things will collide and it too will be magical.

i took this photograph long time ago when i lived in Providence, my bedroom in the city, morning light filtered through ferns, oxalis and a window shade…… the tittle "my heart wanders"

oh and this song took me places….

Wednesday, July 9

Poet, a film.

Nadia&Poet from Ryan Ulysses Marshall on Vimeo.

Dearest friends,

I have wanted to share this with you from the very first moment i received it. I wanted to show it to the world and say " see here this is proof, i am her mum and she is my daughter" but i couldn't,  it became my most prized possession. At a time of uncertainty, in this beautiful film created by Ryan i saw what my heart knew, Poet was my daughter, my future, my purpose. Ryan caught Poet  brilliantly as she was.  I watched this many times throughout this last nine months and other times when i became to scared of loosing her i kept it hidden even from myself fearing i would brake to watch what t i knew without a doubt the unshakable bond between Poet and I- but now i get to share it with you a moment in time that meant/means everything to me.  Although i continue to feel a lump in my throat and tears down my cheeks while watching it, it is no longer intertwined with fear but solely on how fast she is growing and how lucky i am to have this moment on film.

Ryan is one of the most talented people i know, this passed year his kindness, strength, and support became rays of light when i needed them. I met Ryan a few years back when he came to film a book trailer on the hill and stayed for a few days but i read his works, beautiful written pieces on family way before on his coveted blog Pacing the Panic room.  I formed an opinion about him then that he was a father and husband and a pretty darn good one.   In person what i witnessed is a human who when speaking about or to his children his excitement is, as if they were just coming out of the womb and when he speaks about his wife, it is as if he had just yesterday met the love of his life.   He is like that with his work too, a child like excitement, a healthy dose of nervousness and a very strong vision. His films are beams of light -BEAMS OF LIGHT. I am lucky to work with him and even luckier still to call him a friend.

Ryan, even though i try, i know i will fail to express how treasured not only the finished piece is on Poet and i  but that you took the time to do it.   My only hope is that one day Poet herself will express her gratitude for it much better than her mama could.

The Beautiful song in the film is a Finnish Lullaby, i first heard it sitting by an open camp fire on a misty evening on the hill, and i fell in love with it.  sang by filming workshop attendee turned houseguest then friend  Maaike Korman the next day it was recorded upstairs of our house and used in the film. 

Saturday, June 7

the fog returned and i exhaled.

The fog returned to the hill, i had been whispering for it. I am breathing now, no longer holding my breath. She is safe, my heart. I have again been captivated by the hill, as i watch tiny feet and hands walk and feel this beautiful landscape, leaning in she to takes in the smell of the lilacs- later that evening the wind plays with the branches of the lilac tree and i could swear my heart has tasted it's sweet scent.

My hands have been in the garden, hers too. goodness how magical this evening was,  the fog and sunset competing, no wait dancing, they were both quietly moving together. i did not leave the scene but stared at it, walked through it, dreamt in it,  and then finally fifteen months of holding it in, i exhaled…….there i am, still here, still but stirring.

Thursday, May 29

..and it was to be

Tuesday with certainty was the best day of my whole life, everyday of happiness after will be rooted in that very day.  We adopted our baby girl and made her name official surrounded by my parents and a few friends. Please meet the love of my life, Poet Ines Dole. I want to thank you all for you encouragement and believing that this day was possible, i will never forget it.

Here, although blurry is a captured moment after it was official between Poet and the kind Judge. I am so in love with this little being and one day soon i will share more about Adoption day.

with kindness,

Wednesday, April 30

no walls, fully believing.

i was going to write you today about the lines on my face and the weight on my hips, no courage to do so at this time, bleak.

Instead can i write you about how my heart keeps expanding so much so at times i am overtaken by tears, happy ones with grains of fear. Fear that i not only see the finish line but i feel it.   the last few weeks while i stare at Poet and whatever she is doing at the time, my mind wonders taking along with it my heart to the adoption day, the court room. Although i do not know how these things play out, i do not know who will be there and who will not but i imagine some sort of final word from the Judge making it clear we are now the legal parents to our daughter and as she finishes i clench Poet and K and Sob uncontrollably from happiness all the while letting go of the fear. This scenario has been playing in my head often as of late and when it does, i find myself sobbing and shaking.

I am not supposed to go there in my mind, heart  is not supposed to feel or experience this emotionally just yet, but it does.  there is no wall to protect me now, i am wide open ready, waiting, scared but fully believing.

* the state might make me take this photograph down, i understand.

Thursday, April 24


Spring is taking it's time to settle in, i am okay with that watching her ( spring) dance in slow motion
across the hill is beautiful.  I am taking a moment to sit at my desktop, it has been ages and little hands and feet hardly allow me the luxury but i needed to write this morning. Sitting up next to the window as the sun comes in on a cool spring morning.  The wind an overnight companion lingers on and i feel as if she is tapping on the window with two hands telling me something, but what?  I think if i was too be honest with myself she would  be saying, letting go now, right now.  i ignore the now part but slowly i can feel my hands go from a clenched fist to a more relaxed grip, small steps. I have always been a leaper, diving in blindly and full heartily but my heart now belongs to Poet and i must be careful more than care free.

I am in love with so much these days, music, words and beautiful written letters and emails from true friends, glimpses into their worlds and everyday. I am in love with what I see with my eyes, i can watch her my little being do most anything and it is poetry. I have stopped doing so many things i love, but slowly i begin to revisit  them.

I want to say, i love you dear reader,  one should hear those words more than once in a long while.

Saturday, March 22

spring is stirring inside of me

in the last few weeks, just beneath the surface of my skin, like what is happening underneath the layer of dirt, something in me is growing. Even though ice and worry keeps both the greens under my feet and the seed in me from breaking through completely, i begin to form. I have done things to sabotage myself for years, a protection, away of controlling the outcome even if it is failing. I have failed myself often, i give my all to other people- i love to see people sore, shone, fly and even though i have played the film inside the walls of my heart over and over again of actually trying to fly myself. I somehow never seem to put that much energy, encouragement, i just do not give myself what i need to succeed.

I am forming, i need to give myself the chance to fully bloom and all the risks that come with it will be no worse than not actually do it. Today i stared at the horse above and as a mix of wind and sun blew it's beautiful mane, i remember wanting to feel the wind in my hair, from somewhere high or breathing in moment that you know you made it happen.

So tonight i am writing myself a plan, steps, words, films and music anything i need to get my feet running. when the ice melts, i will be ready.

p.s. i am the happiest i have ever been,, having Poet in my life.  all of me has gone into securing her future here on the hill and now recognizing that i depleted some parts of me that need to be refilled.

Sunday, March 16

winter lingers on

Winter has decided  to stay it's full term and intertwined with it are some old feelings. everyday i learn a bit about myself but mostly i learn about her. I hear all my favorite instruments, the violin, the piano and cello when i stare at her. her face is brighter then any sun and lovelier still then any sunset. This weekend i cried randomly caught of guard, it was not fear ( well maybe a little) but mostly at the cheer amazement that she is here, she is here at my kitchen table, in my arms, her head lays on my pillow and her hand reaches out to hold my mine. she is here and with me.

I am listening to beautiful music play as i type this, i am also reading before bed again- oh how i missed it. The book is about Happiness and can we make ourselves even happier than we are, i am up for that challenge although i suspect that in a few months my happiness will be off the charts.

 I am filled with things i want to write, some about Poet, some about me and the changes that have taken place but none of it i can tell is coming out right now, so i will leave you  for now and wish you well.

Thursday, February 27

a miracle.

Dear Friends, yesterday in court we were given the most beautiful gift, Poet's mother relinquished her rights making us Poet's only parents. I believe that all your well wishes along with my families help make this miracle happen.  I am, i believe still in shock, it was a very powerful and kind moment that i was able to share with her birth mother one that has not quiet sunk in yet.  I know that  this is real and beautiful and everything i had hoped for and now i wait to legally adopt my little girl to completely feel
the reality of this incredible news.  I love her so very much and i am heading home to montreal to be with my family and perhaps to be able to truly cry in the protection of their loving arms.

Thank you dear, dear friends i can never express that enough and in a short few months (to long still) i will be able to introduce you fully to this incredible being named Poet.

Sunday, February 23

in her glance

 It is late, everyone's asleep from little Poet to the dogs, horses and roosters. music quietly pouring out of speakers. Again words are trapped in me somehow the flesh is thick and the skin is paper thin.

This week, my mind and heart travelled to one of those places that seem endlessly dark one that has you believe the worst is possible, my feet fumbled, my mind crashed into windowless walls  and breathing was barely possible,  my physical body mimicking all that my soul was feeling. A frantic call for a soothing voice was met with silence or worse " what do you want me to say"….

Violins are playing now, no i mean literally and there is such deep stirring created by them and in the same time light filters in , i am awake, alive i can not lie and it's becoming clearer to me how much i have been holding my breath since April of last year when Poet entered my life with the very second came the most profound happiness and the most fear. Everything else i realize is barely there, attempting not to feel to much, not to say to much, not to be yet at the same time wanting to teach her all that i am.

Do you ever miss yourself, perhaps it is not proper to say it out loud but i do i miss the carefree believer in me, now believing is a risk and even though i write this i know i have completely surrendered every hope, dream, blood cell to this. I am so In love with this little being, that it is taking all i have to not show her how terrified i am of breaking in a millions unrecognizable pieces and even a tenth of second thought that she will not be mine or moreso that i will not be hers.

Do you know how incredible she is, to hear her say "hi"is joy itself, to feel her little hands on your face and watch her pop her head around the corner and smile, to have her reach for you and nestle her head on your chest till she falls asleep……….in her glance, in her hand, in her laughter i recognize what pure love really is.

we go to court on wednesday no miracle will happen in court that morning but just maybe the beginning of  the end to not being a hundred percent sure.

beautiful music here.

Wednesday, February 12


I dive right into winter,  conscious of the cold as is renews me  from the inside out.  This winter held some of the coldest days and not much snow but we have snow now and it is white and deep and underneath the winter glistening moon shines like a million stars in the sky.

Chores need to be done and a tiny being keeps me company as i do them and at times she stares through the large window pane blowing her mama kisses and having conversation with the cat. Yesterday she curled herself in a sunny spot of the wooden floor and fell asleep.

The horses are grateful for soft snow under foot and i keep getting my breath taken away at how beautiful they are against it and the landscape that is the hill.  here i share some images i have taken of our winter on the hill. I have many things to keep us warm, the fire in the wood stove, the tea in our cups and soups in our belly but it is the beautiful comments you left on my last  post that warmed me through my bones- i emptied out all the sorrow and filled it with hope. Thank you.

the first image of Tolstoy running through the snow, makes me love the freedom of the life we lead.

Thursday, February 6

letting go…...

Oh dear friends, i have neglected this blog when it has brought me such simple happiness and friendships. There is a part of me that is crying out to give up on other ways of sharing and come back to this one. I was disciplined, i would come here to share, write and show you all while piecing together the book that one day would be my life.

I have been treading on logs for so long now. Poet is still not ours and we are heading into trial and all that pressure has made me distracted from everything and everyone, except Poet. I am tired of treading and desperately wanting to touch firm soil with her in my arms. It will come soon but all this is causing me to fail so many other aspects of my life.  It is lonely place at times, when all you want to do is share what brings you the most happiness but how you do it when your favorite medium is photographs and stories and those are restricted for now.

This has also caused me to not communicate with my true friends, a side of effect of being abandoned by "friends" i was truly kind to, the minute i started standing on my two feet ( although for the record i was always on my own two feet, worked hard my whole life to get here) and the minute Poet came into my life- the friends  who "wished i would have a baby"  never even once mentioned her in fact they seem to   'like" on instagram everything but when i share what i can of her. Well being abandoned and not knowing why has also caused me to be too cautious with other friends who i know are truer than the ones i speak about and for that i am truly sorry. There is good wonderful people in my life and i need to trust that they will not abandon me.

I have wanted to write this for so long and  lacked the guts and even now as i write and tears fall i am not sure if i will be able to publish but i hope i can cause i need to let this go.

I need to let go and believe that everything will be okay, That Poet came into my life because of the good me.

With kindness and a promise to start sharing what i can here and even though this is not a phone call or a face to face chat or email it is a place you can find me open and honest, always.


Tuesday, February 4

"Finding the Light" in the Beautiful Country side of Scotland.

Last year,  i began to admire the beautiful work of Marte Marie Forsberg, her love of light was as strong as mine so last early last fall, we decided to plan a workshop together "Finding the Light"in a place that made both our hearts sing.

Join Marte Marie Forsberg and I for a small and intimate workshop in the Beautiful  country side of Scotland as you learn to tell a story through breathtaking landscape, throughfully prepared dishes and stunning light.

Your home for four nights will be a beautiful Castle in Scotland built  in 1590 in the beautiful village of Glenluce. We will explore the region together, learn  to tell a visual story through light using food and lifestyle as subjects.  We will take walks by the sea, visit a quaint village, share evening meals by candlelight, enjoy meaningful conversations, watch sunsets and maybe evening star gaze.

JUNE 21-25, 2014 

Single Occupancy $2375. Double Occupancy $2175.

This is an intimate workshop for five.

Workshop Includes: 
Four nights in a beautiful historic castle in Scotland
Three days of full instruction
Visit to local makers and markets
four breakfast
three lunches
four dinners
refreshments throughout.
a final evening dinner filled with music.
transportation during workshop ( excluding flight and transport ion to the workshop)

50% Percent due open registration -double occupancy $1087.5 Single occupancy $1187.50 final payment due April 15th. 2014

There is no refunds for this workshop, please know that you can make before you purchase. 
We recommend travelers insurance.

registration is now open here

Wednesday, January 29

Announcing a Story Telling Through Moving Pictures workshop on the lovely seaside of Greece and a new site.

Dear Friends i am so excited to announce a new filming workshop. Last year was such a success working along side filmmaker Ryan Marshall that we could not wait to do it again!  We have created a new site, where you can see the workshops, instructors and films created in our last workshop by the wonderful attendees.

so please visit the site here

Here is the Greece workshop- it is going to be magical!

The village of Sparto is perched high above the Ambracian Gulf, to reach the Villa Amalia you descend a winding country road through olive groves. At the end of the road is a high stone wall with a large iron gate flanked by two immense stone urns containing pomegranate trees. Pass through the gates and you enter a landscape that has not changed in centuries.

The road down to the house is lined with oleanders and lavender which form a border around the olive groves. From the gravel parking area next to the house you get your first glimpse of the sea. The walkway to the house is covered with an arbour of lemon trees which opens to a courtyard planted in lavender with a fountain in the centre which emerges from an old terra cotta amphora.

You already know how to take beautiful photographs. Filmmakers Ryan Marshall, Micheal Martinez and Joshua Mcwilliams will help you  learn how to tell a story with video in this intensive workshop. 
Geared toward professional photographers who have a solid understanding of their DSLR cameras when it comes to still photography but have yet to make the leap into video, this workshop will provide balanced knowledge of the basics of videography using DSLR camera. 
The course will cover everything from pre to post production, with particular focus on understanding how to customize your camera to best achieve your personal shooting style. Instructors will be on hand to give each attendee one-on-one guidance.
Create 3 collaborative films from top to bottom - location planning, production and editing. We will start each day by making a film and end each day with a comprehensive live edit session. Attendees will walk away with a firm grasp on post production organization and execution, from preparing your files for edit, to the final export for online viewing.

In this workshop we will take you to a place with rolling hills filled with Olive groves, the sea far as the eye can see, small fishing villages and local craftsmen. Enjoy farm-to-table meals prepared by a talented chef using local sources ingredients, included fish caught for us that day and beautiful breads made in the house's outdoor wood fired oven while sitting under beautiful terraces. Of course there is swimming either from infinity pool or right in the ocean or perhaps a soak in the stone spa and a massage.

May 18th - 24th, 2014
Limited to 10 attendees

Fee $3475.00 Double Occupancy and $3675.00 Single occupancy.
The  Six nights and five days workshop includes:
.Six nights at the beautiful and exclusive  Amalia estate
.Four days of intensive instruction with three filmmakers
.One day of leisure time such as wine tasting, dolphin watching or lounging.
.Six Breakfast
.Five lunches
.Six Dinners
.Cocktails & appetizers on arrival night
.Snack & Beverages throughout
.Visit to local makers 
.A Wrap Dinner and Party Including music and viewing the films you created on the properties very own outdoor stone cinema.

DEPOSIT: Double occupancy $1737.50  or  Single Occupancy $1837.50  for registration to be confirmed.

FINAL PAYMENT: Final Payment will be due on March 15th, 2014. Billed through Paypal

There will be no refunds for this workshop – please know you can make it before your registration.
We recommend travelers insurance.

Registration opens this Thursday, January 30 2014 at  9 am. Eastern Standard time.

Thursday, December 5

Poet turns one...

My baby girl turned one today, it has gone so fast. I have been emotional about it and it has caught me by surprise. She is the most incredible little being, her smile lights up  the sky that sometimes i wonder if she is the sun. That i can not share with you her smile yet, hurts my heart. Yet i remain hopeful.

Poet, as i mentioned has such an incredible smile and shows it off all the time. She's also i believe to be  a little comedian always doing silly things and looking around to see if i am noticing. You can hear her and i have belly laughs several times a day. She loves Sophie so very much and all the others too but the conversations she has with sophie are epic. Poet is a foodie and loves everything i love, today for her birthday i made potato and fennel soup and she could not have enough. Poet, loves books i mean loves them and she sits quietly and "reads to herself" or to me.  She loves music classical especially the violin and piano, she also likes the tibethian throat singers and she doesn't mind her mama's tone deaf singing, which is good because i sing to her all the time. Poet is wonderful when it comes to chores, either she is out there with me or she stands at the window like you see above waving and smiling and sometimes, okay every time i walk back towards the house my breath is taken away as i stare at the scene before me.

Poet clearly says many things but what she says most of all these days is hi daddy, in fact she asks to call daddy several times a day. I am here writing you all this and there is a lump in my throat that is forming- one day , oh please one day make it so that i can share everything about her with you- for to know Poet is one of the luckiest privileges i promise…..

* i also want to apologize, i have not been able to write to my dear friends, or pick up the phone, it is not only because i am spending all my time with Poet but it is because it is such an emotional time and i just do not know how to express what we are going through, even my poor mum get yes and no answers to emails. This kind of block has never happen before, but know you are often on my mind dear friend. (s)

Monday, November 25

when i asked the fog to come…...

Dear friends,

 Are you warm, have you made time for yourself. Soon  things will get busy, i do not have tv but i hear how things are being rushed, christmas before halloween- thanksgiving spent at a mall- I have always felt like big corporations hardly care about their customers but now to steal those holidays from underneath you in the name of the very holiday they are trying to get you to buy for is such an ugly thing happening here in North America.

The cost of such will be felt for generations, when traditions go from sitting at the thanksgiving table to waiting in line in front of some big department stores. There is also the fact that the small independent shop that you find so special, can not compete of course but now just like the larger commercial ones will  have to choose what employee will forgo dinner or brunch with family or friends for a  fear of loosing their jobs. I am truly sad about this all.

Gosh when i sat at my computer i had not intended to write the above at all, i apologize.

I have a confession about Autumn, although i love the the bright reds and yellows from the earlier Fall months it is the colors of late fall early winter that i swoon for. The browns, greys, rust, the fallen leaves and bare branches and the birds that stick around. As you know the fog is a friend to me but it had been gone for far too long, when i started hoping it would make it's return intact i even said out loud " can you please come, i need you" and the very next morning it was here. I bundled up Poet an made my way down dirt roads and felt renewed every time i capture it with my phone. We all have something that gets us back on track for me it is the fog, what about you?

Wednesday, November 6

warming up to the cold

Dear friends,

I wanted to say thank you for your kind words, i have read them many times and have felt the warmth from them.

I am sitting in the upstairs loft, Poet and all les animaux are sound asleep and all i can hear is the wind playing with the leaves of the birch trees.  I am not comfortable up here yet, my new computer arrived and it took me a week to finally open the box and set it up, and now i type this to you. I have big plans for this space where the heat rises from the wood stove. it is where Poet and i will retreat to on very cold days so i must make it perfect, well our kind of perfect anyways.

The cold has made it's way to the hill. My love for winter does not fade, especially when it snows but i must admit that the transition from Autumn to Winter scares me at first for i still have a barn to fill with hay, wood too arrive and a driveway that looks like a dried up river bed to contend with. Once those things are in place then i am ready, ready for big wool sweaters, a fire that never goes out, big cast iron pots of lentils, soups and stews. showing Poet the snow, putting on tiny wool hats and mitts, teaching her how to catch snowflakes with the tip of her tongue and reading books by the warmth of the sun on the window panes....  i love her so very much, so very- very much.

Tuesday, October 15

Poet & I

 My dearest readers,

It is my birthday today, i do not usually announce such things but i wanted to share  this photograph taken by the lovely Julie of Tiger in a Jar. This is Poet ( not her birth name). Although i thought along with this image i would share a bit of our story, i am not ready- it is not time. There is a lot of hope, that soon i will be able too.

So much has been given to me, a year ago on this day i received bad news after bad. A year later i see why, and i am so very happy.

Poet is the love of my life and that i get to share this day with her and every minute of every other day, well i am the luckiest,  i can hardly see the keys as i type. She is everything and i see everything in her.