i was ten feet away from a deer, and then i realized life was so wonderful after all.

everything shows your hand. everything is a diary.
"Your handwriting. The way you walk. Which china pattern you choose. It's all giving you away. Everything you do shows your hand. Everything is a self-portrait. Everything is a diary." - diary, chuck palanuik
last year, abby-renee and i went to the prayer garden on a friday afternoon. her copy of the fault in our stars was sleeveless (that rebel), bare to the heat and humidity that saturated us. the horses (speckles is my least favourite) were out to graze behind the fence, and she and i sat on the one picnic table and finished the last of tfios together. i felt at peace, reading. trying my hand at artistically communicating what john green wrote with my voice. and when it was her turn to read, i twirled yellow and violet wildflowers in my hands and soaked in the air, which smelled like rain (and it poured later on).

this year, layna and i went to the prayer garden on a cool weekday evening (the exact day escapes me). her copy of the notebook had a sleeve that crackled like vinyl when you opened it. we sat on the stone wall separating us from flat ground and took turns reading, omitting the awkward parts. the sky, blue when we started, began to fade to orange. then pink. then purple heading east. and the sun started to go down. and the trees and grass and horses and pathway was set ablaze by what was left of the sun (though i think it shines brightest when it fades away). and i stopped, and said "wait. look. listen. it's quiet. and it's beautiful." and i thought "God made this." deer lept forth from the bowl of grass that loomed behind our backs, and a fawn decided to leave its mother to come say hello.

it stood at the barrier between rock and grass, and it stared at us both intently. i closed the book and looked right back at it. and it hit me - i am ten feet away from a deer, and i am alive, and i am experiencing this, and this is not make believe, and the sun is setting and my goodness it is beautiful, and i am alive, and my heart is beating through my intern shirt, and i am here, and this is happening, and i will never forget it.

this is a reflection of myself. along with kinga lydia, i am breaking the stereotype that a self-portrait is a iphone photo in the mirror of a bathroom or a dslr photo in the middle of a field. though you see our faces above, the idea of this new series is to show you the aspects of us that you wouldn't see firsthand. we want you to see us without seeing us. and this ^^ is how we do it. (the first installment is inspired by this.)

-kiss kiss kiss, we move lightly-


  1. this so lovely, jocee. i find it ridiculously cute that you and your friends read to each other -- what a sweet sharing thing to do.
    i like the idea of experimenting with self-portraits as somewhere between a high-falutin' art form and a quick selfie in the mirror before going out. there's a few interesting articles about the importance of self-portraits actually -- i'll see if i can hunt up the links & send them to you?

  2. So good :)

    (And in response to your comment on my blog ;) ERMAGHERD I KHANT http://25.media.tumblr.com/612801cfaf706ad8ab96aa0fec018666/tumblr_moddy5zPH51qgd8jso1_400.gif

    1. first thought when i saw that: OH HE'S GORGEOUS
      second thought: DIS IS SO PUNNY

  3. ahh, i just love this so much. so so much. alive... what a thought; a deep, amazing, incredible thought. and it's so true. everything about us is a self portrait. :) love this, Joce. xx

  4. loved this. (and i hate saying JUST those two words, because they feel so empty and meaningless, but how on earth am i suppose to describe such feels? like seriously.)


  6. "and i thought "God made this." Yep, and I think that we should all be grateful.

    I'm still trying to let all this sink in; so so so beautiful.

  7. Omigosh. I can't believe this. This is going to be an amazing series! I can tell! I think I like the idea of "seeing us but not actually seeing us". No, I love the idea. :) I'd love to be apart of this. And the best way, I think is to do what you and Kinga did. I'm going to take a picture of me. But you won't see me. Thanks for such an inspiring post, Jocee!
    Thanks Kinga! :)

    p.s. i think you'll find a box on your doorstep. when you open it, you'll find smiles. aboxo' smiles. :) (and i hid some cupcakes on the bottom)

  8. This is beautiful. I lovelovelove your perspective and this project you and kinga are doing. xo

  9. Great post. Awesome series idea. Those moments when you're suddenly out of the blue aware that
    "I'm alive|this is real|beautiful" are so wonderful. :)

    Oh I love that quote! Reminds me of Sherlock.... :)


  10. this is amazing, and so so inspiring.
    please. keep. up. the. good. work.

  11. i love those moments when you realize everything has been worth it.


sometimes i do not understand why you guys like me so much, but the fact that you do (and that you keep coming around) makes me happier than you can even imagine.

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