the twelfth dream & the canyon.

~ Letter 2 | 12.5.2010 ~

"the canyon"

I want to say to him that I’m tired tonight in this far away land that he’s come to know so little of;

ask if he remembers the day in the canyon where I didn’t need to talk when I was tired; because I know he’d remember the canyon - all the muddy splendor that ruined his boots, or the way it sounded when he screamed until he woke the ancient grotto, stirring the oldest beasts; how he scaled a mountain without looking back and took less water than he needed; that he was bold in the face of nature and that nobody could ever really tame the eyes of caged lions. He might remember (might) that he married me that day and that I wore a wreath of webs and a simple dress of clay; and that I filled up an entire interval without labels.

I want him to ask if I remember the day in the canyon, so that I could reminisce in the deep end of my heart; those foreign shapes that we wrote on balmy rivers when it was all we could find to write on, and that nobody but the fireflies knew; Full fledged in the echo of 100 foot drips that reached down down down like honey; and that we drank from them all with the invincibility of youthful hearts; two orphaned seeds, we. I’d remember it because the earth never posed visiting hours & because I loved a giant; in that murky place where he grew me an oak that would stay an endless summer through all the winter months – just for me; and that I could keep it in my pocket for days that I needed to sleep beneath my hundred acre woods.

I want to say to him that that was all there really ever was, in any day, and that I walked that trail too; holding his hand as he conquered a land that couldn’t be conquered; that I heard a murmuring symphony played by ghosts & sirens; that we sipped on a tap root that grew us together, as we lingered deep into the dark hours, that committed us there far beyond our bodies; beyond those hours that would lead his feet on and lead me home.

back home.

back home.



happy holidays everyone. be warm. be safe.
thank you, each, for the endless support in helping me continue to cultivate, create, and realize my dreams...

ash | x


summer's last rain & the blizzard.


please find below three simple things i wanted to pair & share with you...

- recorded from my porch on the 12 acre farmstead upon which i reside, during the last days of summer. i've listened to this cut about 1000 times from then until now to meditate or fall asleep at night, especially while i'm on the road.

- some of you who've been kind enough to follow my work over the years may have seen here or there: 'photographer and writer' behind my name in certain features or bios. and while this isn't typically what I compose (i'm a poetry girl - think 'keats' or 'neruda' ;) i really wanted this piece to be a part of this post -- a selection nabbed from a recent journal. i plan to make this a very regular part of the rendering well, if you guys dig it. 'the well' is all about opening up behind the lens, so to speak, and i really hope you enjoy getting to know me a bit better through my life beyond the camera, and through these writings and rambles. while my imagery is something that might be considered works of fiction, drawing upon a memory, ideal, or fantasies, my writing definitely isn't -- at least not the journals, of which this is a part. x

- from late summer - of a spiderweb i photographed in the boundary waters, near the canadian border (1 of so many giant webs I sat within to grab this panorama) in the very early morning hours when the light was just exquisite and dripped all over us.

thank you, each, for stopping in and i hope you enjoy. if you love it, link it. that's what i've tried to do with this storm by sharing it with you, and that's what i will continue to do in future posts. the rendering well is meant to be a place for simple inspiration through words, sounds and imagery. :)

please stay as long as you'd like.

12.3.2010 -- "The Blizzard -- Letter 1

Sometimes early in the morning, just upon waking, I catch my thoughts saying things to me like: “I’m thankful for the wind today. Be sure to be thankful for the wind, Ash… “

In the moments that follow, the possibility of so much more arises. As my eyes adjust to the wakefulness, I find great comfort in knowing the first things I get to look at are sites of my dogs anticipatory faces, hinting in their expressions that I’m the creator of their next great adventure; or at the great snowscapes that will inevitably blanket this little farmstead without anyone’s permission for the next 3-5 months - no matter which window I glance beyond; The forgotten little farm that only the trees remember. Here I am inside of today.

The yard beyond my bedroom window holds a sleeping apple tree & I remember softer months - like April with its momentous greens in waves of nostalgia that stick like pits in my stomach, churning memories of when she bore bright red blooms that have long since blown away. Many other things have blown away, but this symbolizes all of them. I’ve got all of their pits in my stomach; big apples and little apples; And that’s just the red bloom tree. I haven’t even seen the white bloom tree. I’m not at that window.

I find slow breaths from deep inside that linger within these moments as I wake, warm beneath a netted canopy, under temples of antique quilts in this giant room painted in palettes of ivory white and eggplant- colors I painted years ago when the fashion in my heart was to be very sad. I am quieter now, but that eggplant is hard to wash off.

I stand from my bed in the ambient winter light and notice the radiating warmth my skin carries with it in the morning hours. Everything on me is spun of heated silk. Nothing bears marks of the season. I’ve always called this ‘the side of effect of dreaming’.

I’m three days home from 30 days on the road, again. All my clothes reside on chairs as reminders that this is temporary; this whole thing. They seep from suitcases whose origin will never be remembered. “Where did you get that old suitcase, ash?” “The closet gave it to me, and before that, the barn” “and before that, I wasn’t born”.

I grab from the top pile, the first thing that looks beautiful: solid antique white; a combed cotton shirt that billows so freely when I walk and falls so sheer and tattered across my frame that I feel inspired and intent and alive when I wear it. I only wear things that could mean nothing anymore; things that don’t wear me. Simple linens & sun bleached colors that could mean here or there. My eyes can tell the rest and they usually do.

I know a storm is coming. The leaves are clapping their warnings – from as far out as the aspen grove; this plot of land invisibly stitched to greater fields and a stretch of country that leads on to forever. Fields that blew 100 acres of sun-spun golden wheat; I remember the site of it at sunset from my oak tree– my god; Or the faithful plots of green soybeans that blew beyond the red cedars that somebody planted before this time; And over there, fields of endless corn cathedrals led me in with soils so soft I didn’t wear shoes that whole season.

I wait for the snow to come, heavy like December, from the big bay window as I trace my toes with one of the stray eagle feathers that hide about this house. I prop the window open to hear the sound of nothing with its intermittent crackle. It gasps across me eating my skin of warm silks until I quake, and then nothing. I live for this moment; the storms that sound like nothing. I might just do this always.


"summer spun"



I wanted to post 2 of the 5 images from my lake michigan shoot w/ the beautiful hayley. i will post the other half of this storyboard in the coming days in another post, as well as much higher res. on my website and flickr.

please enjoy.
ash x


words & imagery.

painting w/ my camera and a wet filter...

"the task of absence"

"...on a quiet street where old ghosts meet I see him walking now
away from me so hurriedly my reason must allow,
that I had wooed not as I should a creature made of clay -
when the angel woos the clay she'll lose her wings at the dawn of day..."


-excerpt from my favorite poem: "on raglan road" - by one of my favorite poets, Patrick Kavanagh

(much higher res. on my website.)

ash | x


"Summer Hymnal"


'summer hymnal' (below) is a storyboard i shot over a 4 day period, and a concept that took several months to compose.

this is my bittersweet tribute to summer and to what it represents, metaphorically - as another season comes to a close.

please enjoy.
details below the imagery.

the pieces, above, are intended to be accompanied by a poem i wrote of the same name, which further narrates the storyboard. i plan to release both the words & imagery, together, in a book slated for 2011.

please feel free to click larger, but please be mindful of copyrights. x


behind the scenes of this piece:

to create this storyboard, i found a summer kitchen built in 1912.
The woman whos property it sits upon (she was so amazing) allowed me to completely clear out the space and re-stage it with authentic props from the time period i was trying to convey. it took 5 & 1/2 hours of prep to get this tiny kitchen set for the bottom segment.

these pieces are very special to me, not only because of the concept & poem, but also because i was able to work with my sister in creating them. the woman within the storyboard is suppose to be one character, throughout. however, i thought it might be fun to try and see if i could make my sister and myself (two people who couldn't look more different in real life) look like the same person for the shoot. the top piece is a self portrait, while the bottom (summer kitchen) shot is of my sister.

a very heartfelt thank you to:
Sandra for the use of her beautiful space
& to
Hailey for allowing me to require her at sunrise, cover her in mud & flour and sit her on a hard, cold floor, while we froze to our bones.

high res & larger will soon be on my website & flickr.

best always.
ash x

Welcome to The Rendering Well...


welcome to the pause.

welcome to the rendering well.

the idea to create this blog has been in the works for about two years, and i've finally decided to give it a go & move in.

this little space will be representative, only, of the non business side of my beloved bottle bell.

the soul purpose here, is to provide an escape...
from everything.

simplicity. words. imagery. music.

this is my journal.
this is off the beaten path.

please be inspired.
please be respectful.
please stay as long as you'd like.

this blog, these images, these words - are from the heart.