Saturday, April 14, 2012

every year is a gift

I had this thought a few months ago and tried to explain it to my Dad over the phone but he couldn't hear me very well. He asked me to write it down for him. I'm just now re-typing this scribbled note:

I've been assuming that we have this right to a "long" life - that is, 80 years or so. Everyone deserves that and anything shorter is an injustice; the person has been cheated.

Why do I have this righteous attitude though? Nothing is guaranteed! Every year of life is a gift.

Life is finite - in that lies how meaningful it is. If life were eternal, we'd certainly take it for granted. In the unpredictability of the length of our lives there's a certain ... power I guess. This isn't really what I'm trying to say. I want to flip my perspective from "he was taken from us too soon" to "we had 44 wonderful years - a 44-year-long gift, really." Drastic paradigm shift.

I'd like to rework this into something more uh, cohesive. But all the sentiments are there: I don't feel cheated. I feel lucky, I feel grateful.

At the same time, that doesn't stop me from missing him incredibly.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

To what extent

Scratched onto a bus seat: 
"To what extent will you ignore your own personal conscience in order to do what others tell you to?"

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Abbot's Lagoon

Abbot's Lagoon by Erin Eli
Abbot's Lagoon, a photo by Erin Eli on Flickr.
Life seems particularly beautiful lately, despite recent circumstances. I guess "loss" is dependent on how you interpret and process. I'm living the sort of life I know my brother would appreciate, and that's never far from my mind.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

we were there

We were there in the house when he died.

I was in the next room, frozen, eyes wide after hearing my brother Tim call for my parents. Early morning light was pouring through the shutters onto the couch I'd spent the past few nights on. I was surprised at the sharp feeling in my stomach, my racing heart. The buildup to that inevitable minute hadn't actually prepared me one bit, it seemed.

I blinked a few times and was finally able to move. I walked the ten or so steps into the room where the rest of my family stood in a circle around the simple hospital bed that supported my brother. I understood. Immediately.

After a time, we were able to leave him as he was: impossibly still under stark white sheets in that softly-lit room. We left the door open.

Friday, September 2, 2011

don't be afraid

My family by Erin Eli
My family, a photo by Erin Eli on Flickr.

When the night comes, don't be afraid. You're only dreaming.

Sunday, July 31, 2011


poppies by Erin Eli
poppies, a photo by Erin Eli on Flickr.
I got these Icelandic poppies at the farmers market at the Embarcadero. It's touristy as hell and way too crowded, but I like the produce and flowers there, so it's worth it. As long as I'm in and out in under an hour anyway.

Saturday, May 7, 2011


 Years ago, my mom took a simple lemonade recipe (6 cups water, 1 cup lemon juice and 1 cup sugar) and made it perfect with one step: by taking one of the cups of water and melting the sugar into it, she creates simple syrup. Such an easy thing to do, and it improves the lemonade so much - no more gritty lemonade or endless stirring. It's my favorite!

I usually double the batch, so measurements shown here are twice the amount the recipe calls for.

2 cups water

2 cups sugar

Halve lemons, remove any obvious seeds.


Lemon towers are optional.

Chill and serve over ice.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Slim Angel

This camera (click to enlarge):

makes photos like this:

and this:

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Rainbow carrots

Originally uploaded by Erin Eli
I'm starting to shoot food, and I'm starting to love it. It seems pretty natural that I'd combine two of my favorite things (photo and food), but I avoided it until recently because my shots always looked like crap. Yellow and flat, not as crisp as I'd wanted.

I'm finally getting to the point where I have the right equipment to take shots that I really like. It's so fun to experiment and practice because I know that I'm learning so much each time, moving closer to where I want to be.

I want to produce gorgeous, professional looking shots and I'm confident that I'll be able to someday. In the meantime, here are some carrots in a cup.