10/21/13

Summer Fades Come September and then there's October

well here we are, my favorite month of the year. crisp, cool autumn draped in all it's brilliant colors and bright sunshine. while i'm celebrating autumn's return i am also slightly still pining for summer which is a bit unusual for me but alas true, for it was a good summer.




there was a moment more than a few weeks back when everything was so still and fragrant all at once. a sea of white hydrangea marshmallow puffs and queen anne's swaying in the breezeway. crushed shells beneath my feet. it was golden hour. a stone's throw from the ocean. 

how does it happen that summer fades so fast ? hazy days that seemed so endless and then, the long slow goodbye. it's tricky like that. i seemed more invested this year in summer than in the past few or maybe it's just enough time has passed between my former life and the one i'm currently living. or maybe i took it for granted ? anyway, something seemed to shift for me and i took note of the subtle nuances that marked the hours and the days. they were little treasures that revealed themselves at the most unexpected moments. big things happened too. a baby, a birthday and an awakening. "pay attention. be astonished. tell about it."




i've found it hard to write. all summer i kept apologizing for not blogging. i'd like to say it was a conscious decision. it wasn't. i just didn't feel much like talking. i remember a time when i used to sit for hours, thinking, reading, writing, lounging. i could pass the time like this, not a care in the world and be content. i can't sit still for very long anymore. it makes me anxious. "do stuff. be clenched, curious."  





August was the month of the Full Sturgeon Moon according to the Native American Indians. i followed the moon chart all summer. i was lucky enough to escape the city limits here and there and see the sky above the clouds and stare out into the starry blue nights and witness that magical moon. away from the clutter everything feels different. i didn't miss the urban sprawl much at all. nature nurtures. "People need wild places. Whether or not we think we do. We need to taste grace and know again that we desire it."

The work i've been doing has highlighted many things. one of which is my desire to be free and untethered. the need for more space and more light. an appreciation for the negative space and solitude.  the flip side is a more intense longing for connection, companionship and community. “All those summer drives, no matter where I was going, to a person, a project, an adventure, or home, alone in the car with my social life all before and behind me, I was suspended in the beautiful solitude of the open road, in a kind of introspection that only outdoor space generates, for inside and outside are more intertwined than the usual distinctions allow. The emotion stirred by the landscape is piercing, a joy close to pain when the blue is deepest on the horizon or the clouds are doing those spectacular fleeting things so much easier to recall than to describe." 






as i looked forward to my favorite time of year i wished upon a star for many things but mostly for continued growth and the courage to keep digging allowing for grace in my stride.

“There are, it seems, two muses: the Muse of Inspiration, who gives us inarticulate visions and desires, and the Muse of Realization, who returns again and again to say "It is yet more difficult than you thought." This is the muse of form. It may be then that form serves us best when it works as an obstruction, to baffle us and deflect our intended course. It may be that when we no longer know what to do, we have come to our real work and when we no longer know which way to go, we have begun our real journey. The mind that is not baffled is not employed. The impeded stream is the one that sings.”  Wendell Berry



happy autumn friends. // xx


1_mary oliver 2_barbara kingsolver 3_rebecca solnit

6/18/13

The Subject is Roses




i reunited with some childhood friends last week. every year at the same time we get together and celebrate our friendship. these are girls i've known more than half my life and they are some lovely ladies. it's bittersweet to see them. we take that trip down memory lane, tinkering with the past, it's joys, it's disappointments as well as it's triumphs. eventually we come around to where we stand currently in our lives. asking where did the time go ? and knowing full well that it goes in that blink of an eye. we tell ourselves how lucky we are to have survived and to still be a part of the story.

friendship is a funny thing. so much gained and so much lost in this department over the years. many blessings and tough lessons all round. i'm grateful for it all. it's taught me a lot about who i am and more importantly who i choose to be. surround yourself with good ones. the ones that you lift you higher than the sky. it took me a long time to make these choices and i still fall into the occasional traps now and again. only now i'm much better at recognizing the gems and leaving the nonsense behind.


nothing really prepares you for life when you're young. it's not until you've done some living that you are able to be more discerning and more thoughtful and more forgiving. it is not always easy to look at the trail you've left behind and what you could have done differently, one way or another. it is, however, easy to get caught in the undertow and the challenge is finding your way clear and then eventually a way through.





i'll be cutting roses for my july wedding in two weeks from a friend's garden. lucky to have her and her bed of roses.

summer here we go...

// xx

"self-absorption in all its forms kills empathy, let alone compassion. when we focus on ourselves, our world contracts and our problems and preoccupations loom large. but when we focus on others, our world expands. our own problems drift to the periphery of the mind and so seem smaller, and we increase our capacity for connection - or compassionate action." ~d. golman, Social Intelligence: The New Science of Human Relationships

TED TALK {Compassion and the true meaning of empathy}



various rose images via pinterest 






6/6/13

Start Where You Are






























i remember when i first started working with flowers how every stem i touched seemed to hold such spiritual significance. it really was an awakening of sorts. i had been far too busy. too busy working for other people and trying to make my way and succeed in a corporate culture. the only place i ever really had known. when i spent my first spring then summer a few years back learning about flowers, their personalities, their quirks and their healing power i remember thinking how had i lasted so long in a world so void of feeling. nature held the key to my salvation. only why had it taken so long for me to take notice?

working with flowers has taught me more about myself than the world of advertising ever did. however fruitful those years. filled with hard work, fun and excess and the occasional debauchery, there was always something missing. i remember the first few months of composing flower arrangements with pure enthusiasm. it came so naturally. like they had been waiting for me all along. 

the flowers eventually became a business. one i'm quite proud of. this new venture of course presented it's own set of challenges not much different from the world of business i once knew. but now this was my own and there was a lot more riding on it than before. a few years in the mix and i am a seasoned floral designer with lovely work to show for it. i have learned some tough lessons along the way. just like the ad world, it is unrelenting at times. the business of flowers is very different than the flowers themselves. 



today, i think back to that first season working with flowers. before the onslaught of consultations and proposals, load-ins and breakdowns, spread sheets and profit margins. before i knew too much and then realized i know so little. before the hustle and the bullshit. especially the bullshit. it was magic minus the numbers. it was freedom without the worry. it was personal achievement before measured success. for a brief moment it was pure bliss. 


but without the before there would be no after. flowers gave me the business. and the insight and the perspective. and combined with some smarts i've given it a go. what will it look like, where will it lead and how far will it go? in my heart of hearts it doesn't really matter as long as i'm there. this much i know, for the flowers tell me so.


/ / xx


I am sure it is everyone’s experience, as it has been mine, that any discovery we make about ourselves or the meaning of life is never, like a scientific discovery, a coming upon something entirely new and unsuspected; it is rather, the coming to conscious recognition of something, which we really knew all the time but, because we were unwilling to formulate it correctly, we did not...know we knew. ~w.h. auden



5/11/13

Big Love








I'm not telling you to make the world better, because I don't think that progress is necessarily part of the package. I'm just telling you to live in it. Not just to endure it, not just to suffer it, not just to pass through it, but to live in it. To look at it. To try and get the picture. To live recklessly. To take chances. To make your own work and take pride in it. To seize the moment. And if you ask me why you should bother to do that, I could tell you that the grave's a fine and private place, but none I think do there embrace. Nor do they sing there, or write, or argue, or see the tidal bore on the Amazon, or touch their children. And that's what there is to do and get it while you can and good luck at it. ~ joan didion







sidebar : // yesterday was one of those magical days as a floral designer. i witnessed the spirit and beauty of true love and a warm intimate embrace of family. thank you cristina and ollie and mila and uma for allowing me to be such a small part of such big love and celebration of life.

it was a pleasure. xx

_joanna concejo

5/1/13

Spring and Things


Happy May day friends. the season is in full swing by the looks of the cherry blossoms around town and we've had some spectacular days this past week. things are definitely starting to pick up and this month will be keeping me busy. 





My trip to Austin to work with the talented crew at the nouveau romantics proved to be the perfect run up to the flowering season and it also reminded me that my body still needs some serious maintenance as the wedding train kicks up. I was impressed with Texas and it's vast sprawling landscape. the temps climbed into the nineties and my body despite the initial shock, regulated rather quickly. There were flowers for days and lots of fruit smoothies and caffeinated beverages on hand. I had my share of breakfast tacos, bbq and donuts with all the toppings. From the flowers to the food the 'go big or leave texas' mantra was no joke. Needless to say, when i arrived home, i promptly hit the juice bar and the yoga mat. i'm still working out that donut belly.

One of the highlights of the intense work weekend was a finale trip to the brick and mortar Spartan shop, one of my favorite online haunts. let's just say i bought a birthday gift for a friend and it's entirely possible i might have left with something for myself as well. it seems browsing without shopping is not part of my constitution. it's all or nothing.





















































I have a few exciting projects on hand. one of which includes landscaping my parent's backyard. they just had some new brick laid and so it looks like i'll be toiling in dirt and planting while i'm not cutting and making bouquets. sounds like a pretty good deal. I am also working on a potential design idea that is in it's early stages but will hopefully become a creative spin off of the CocoRosie brand or perhaps just stand on it's own. not entirely sure yet but the wheels are turning.

some sneak peek pics of the Texas shindig can be found on the Flickr

/ / xx


It's hard convincing yourself that where you are at the moment is your home, and it's not
always where your heart is. Sometimes I win and sometimes not. ~ Jonathan Carroll



1.2.4._pinterest










4/2/13

LIGHT OF DAYS





















so i've been away from this blogging bit for a while. two months have passed since i last posted. i'd like to say the time flew by but the days moved steadily, slothing forward. winter's last blast was especially tough this year. i was going to casually skip over the winter doll drums and move right into spring and all its glory but then i would be denying a whole well of emotions that rose and fell during this time. every year, the post holiday sludge through april seems to create a gulf greater than the last. i can attempt to ascribe this particularly hollow period to aging or a joint sensitivity to cold or perhaps it has something to do with the off season of a working florist.

the truth is for as long as i can remember i was always prone to melancholy particularly around this time of year.

i can't say that i haven't been busy though. i've done a great amount of reading and writing, journal entries mostly and taking notes. i am taking a course in buddhist philosophy and contemplative psychology much to the amusement of a childhood friend who knows me well and is always protesting 'doth thinks you think too much'. interestingly enough the experience has been a game changer for me.

more on that later.




i've done a great deal of meditation, yoga and walking, spending time with my beloved four legged companion. he kept me going on some dark days. i made time for some close friends and tended to family as always but for the most part i enjoyed the solitude of my own home. i finally took up knitting again and maybe i'll finish that scarf by this time next year. cooked delicious meals and enjoyed a mega marathon of homeland and yes, GIRLS on cable. i'm a fan of both. TV can be cathartic. all in all i had some creative success' and was surpisingly productive despite the low season. and herein lies the paradox.






















a few positive takeaways. i learned to live with less. a lot less. to be more resourceful. to seek out the company of those that lift my spirits. to be more present and mindful. to persevere when faced with a mountain of worry. to give generously of myself and lastly, i'm fairly certain another winter without a vacation will prove fatal.

all of this makes spring worth its weight in gold. it makes the promise of the sunny and warm days ahead feel like magic. it's the opportunity to shed the litany of layers and make peace with the past. suddenly the days get longer and lighter and life looks a bit kinder.

so thanks for indulging me and all the inner reflection this time out. more on Cocorosie and what's on the horizon. there will be flowers food, film and fashion and my usual waxing poetic. i want to address my increasing ambivalence on the social media front and of course brain mapping.

til then.


AND FOR MORE : TALK and LISTEN


peace  xx



// all images via pinterest


1/29/13

In the Yellow Haze of the Sun

























Palm Springs. Please. is what i tweeted just the other day. wondering if just the sheer typing of the words would land me in the middle of the desert. wishful thinking i suppose.



these are the days where most of us, at least flowering folk, especially those of us in the northeast, patiently await the ground to thaw and look for any sign of spring that may suddenly reveal itself.

























looks like we've still got a while.

in the meantime let's gather around the fire and sing some songs. here's a little something to rock out to live from the desert floor.



love and light // xx


another peek -- the mighty MM and friends

all images -- william claxton


1/9/13

two zero one three







































































PLANS_
so odds are pretty good that something amazing will happen this year. over the last week i've been closely following my astrological readings more specifically the chinese zodiac* so far early predictions look good and in general the signs seem pretty spot on. i've never been one for new year's resolutions. setting some definitive personal goals seems like a much better plan.









ROOTS_
so what seems to interest me more these days is intention more than profession. what i commit myself to, will hopefully be reflected in my work. my desire to look at things askew, to uncover the little mysteries that lie beneath the surface, bewildered suspension, the element of surprise, flipping the lid. i have less room for leading or following. or lagging behind. to remain true to myself and my art and the people i love is where i choose to set my sights. look to my roots and continue to cultivate the talents i've been given. share them generously and be grateful in return. this will be my greatest triumph if i should be so lucky.




CHALLENGES_
there is a funny {sad} line in the movie Beginners, "you make me laugh but it's not funny." i can totally relate to this bit of personal melancholy. a kind of nostalgia for an easier time. this nostalgia sticks to me like glue. two challenges that forever plague me are looking back and holding on. so i ask you two zero one three please release me to that place where i can run wild and be free. the place where i meant to be.

which leads me to...


TRUTHS_
Don't settle down and sit in one place. Move around, be nomadic, make each day a new horizon. You are still going to live a long time...and it would be a shame if you did not take the opportunity to revolutionize your life and move into an entirely new realm of experience.

You are wrong if you think Joy emanates only or principally from human relationships. God has placed it all around us. It is in everything and anything we might experience. We just have to have the courage to turn against our habitual lifestyle and engage in unconventional living.

My point is that you do not need me or anyone else around to bring this new kind of light in your life. It is simply waiting out there for you to grasp it, and all you have to do is reach for it. The only person you are fighting is yourself and your stubbornness to engage in new circumstances. ~J. Krakauer




FRUITS_
i''ll do my best to keep you posted. my heartfelt thanks to all you lovers out there.
light, love and laughter.  / / xx




on an unrelated fairly insignificant side note. every year i treat my self to a new moleskinso this year i've chosen the color GREEN to chart my path. it just seemed natural.

*2013 is the year of the black Snake and begins on February 10th shortly after the New moon in Aquarius, the humanitarian of the zodiac.


 // all magical botanical images azumamakoto






1/1/13

LET'S DANCE




well hello, two zero one three.


and happy birthday to me

and J. D....

Keep me up till five because all your stars are out, and for no other reason…Trust your heart. It would never betray you. Good night. I’m feeling very much over-excited now, and a little dramatic, but I think I’d give almost anything on earth to see you writing a something, an anything, a poem, a tree, that was really and truly after your own heart.


// xx




12/16/12

NOTHING GOLD CAN STAY







































wink away your tears // yoshitomo nara


I offer you peace. I offer you love. I offer you friendship. 
I see your beauty. I hear your need. 
I feel your feelings. ~ Mahatma Gandhi

~xx



Sunday is the golden clasp that binds together the volume of the week. -- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow




12/3/12

WE'LL INHERIT THE EARTH

say • o • na • ra november.

what a volatile month. the tragic aftermath of sandy. its innocent victims. ravaged landscape. a city in darkness. no gas.

the election !!!

the crazy work schedule. the puppy puncture wounds. the animal hospital. and the bill. my left foot.* the mysterious disappearance of my contact list {again}. email and server issues. challenges big and small and some pretty insignificant.

























explanation : apparently mercury was in retrograde for those of you who did not know. 

although i'm not buying it. maybe it was a wake up call to sit up and slow down. to be more aware. to re-examine. to take action! who knows what the universe is up to at any given time and what it has in store but we are truly vulnerable to the unpredictable force of nature. respect yourself, respect your neighbor, respect the fallen tree in your front yard. respect LIFE.





november did end on a positive note. there was thanksgiving, with my family, who i was blessed to have with me. they are the only constant presence in my life and for that i'm eternally grateful. i was particularly moved by the fragility of this precious perch we find ourselves, as we raised a glass to all those who are less fortunate. all those suffering. all those gone. i was blessed with another year surrounded by those i love. what more can one ask for.

there was also good news on the flower front. CocoRosie was featured on Style Me Pretty and Unusually Fine last month. a nice way to top off the year. thank you to all who continue to support me in my wild and at times crazy pursuits.

here's to a dazzling december !

/ / xx


Treat the earth well: it was not given to you by your parents, it was loaned to you by your children. We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children. ~ ancient indian proverb



all pre and post sandy photos of Prospect Park // Brooklyn Waterfront // I heart New York were taken with the iphone 645 pro app.

as for my left foot, it's been giving me trouble. with all the physical work this business demands
i'm not surprised the body is feeling a bit worse for wear by this time of year. so looking forward to putting my feet up for just a spell.