film, by Keila

These past five months have put a selflessness behind my actions, but a selfishness in my writing. I write constantly, but I hoard my words knowing that they'll never come close to doing these these months justice, these people justice. Nonetheless, a few short and true stories:

I logged sixty-eight more hours on a bus. In other words, I went to New York. I slept on the cracked hardwood floors of a beautiful old sanctuary in Red Hook, Brooklyn. I learned what it means to serve and I wrote more than I have ever written in my life. I lost all of my photos and Hannah responded with the coolest thought. I have many stories and maybe I'll share them sometime, but here's the best one: I set out to bless and came home the blessed. It's funny how things work out like that.
I didn't see you that night. I only heard you. My eyes were shut and I didn't have to open them to know that it was your arm around my shoulders, your voice saying "I'm so glad you're here,".
I fell in love with worship, took comfort in mutual brokenness. Walls were taken apart brick by brick, confession by clumsy confession. It was a slow and terrifying process in which I learned to let people in again. I am only thankful.
Graduation night. I shove some things in my orange backpack and leave my dress lying in a lacy heap on the basement floor. I throw on some denim. Yank the baby's breath out of my hair. Run. You two wait at the end of my driveway, singing. I sprawl myself out across the backseat of Larry and we drive in the opposite direction of the party. Everything is beautiful, everything is beautiful. He nods his head. She drums on the steering wheel with her thumbs. I play an invisible piano. At some wee hour, the dizziness of fireworks and star-spinning and handstand contests fades and there is only us... [half of a story]
You told me not to ever lose my quiet nature. It's funny, because I was so ashamed of it until you said that.


  1. I know a girl who likes to go barefoot. I know a girl who jumps from haybales in the summer, jumps from snow piles in the winter, jumps jumps jumps from and into: lakes, fields, deeper things. I know a girl with poetry where her laugh lines will someday sit. I know a girl who lets stories settle in her backpack, in her journal, in the spaces between apertures where memories linger, I know a girl. I know a girl who blows bubbles because she can and has books in every pack and who knows all the words that matter. I know a girl who can kayak like nobodies business, who always finds the light, in sight, but, in life. I know a girl who collects maps and who loves pomegranates so much she probably smells like them and who dreams of being a mama, of sleepy eyed littles in the morning and kissing sweaty fevered heads and laughing over pancakes, lake days, prairie life. I know a girl who writes and each word feeds your soul and I know a girl who films and each scene stirs your soul and I know a girl who shoots and each photo touches your soul. I know a girl of grace and laughter and light.

    I know a girl.

    Can't tell you how happy I was to see a new post sitting, waiting in my feed reader. I've been waiting, albeit, not at all patiently, because I've missed your blog, missed your unique and quiet perspective on the particular beauties of this life -- good and bad and in between. :) I am so grateful for you and have a nice fat letter that I'll send before we're old and gray and still complete goofs. LOVE YOU. CHICKENS AND WINDEX AND TRAVELING TRIPS. You are a complete and total and beautiful soul and sister and friend. And this -- beautiful and still and like lake mornings (you know the type).

  2. well this is beautiful. almost in tears in happiness for you. :)
    and if you ever need a friend, if you ever need someone to talk to, i volunteer as tribute. even though we aren't the greatest of friends, know that i am someone you can confide in, because we are sisters in the Lord. so blessed to know you exist. <3

  3. ah. like i have so many pitiful comments about everything you wrote and how it resonates with me and none of the words will suffice, but i can try it, best as i can.

    the whole first paragraph is me. i spent two months in el salvador and i still can't write a blog post or tell someone about my trip because nothing will ever do it, them justice. no one will even begin to understand everything you felt and feel and learned and are learning.

    i must say, i feel very sorry for you about your roll of film. i wrote daily while i was in el salvador, but somewhere between there and here i lost it all, except the first two weeks and the last week of writing and journal entries, and receipts, and ticket stubs, and poetry and sketches. i'm still not 'over it', but i love what Hannah shared about it. i also lost my thirteen year old journal. everything i wrote for a year. it's the worst feeling.

    about the last paragraph-- just ugh. i wish i could feel like that about my quiet nature. i guess maybe i'll have to wait until the right person tells me at the right time. idk.

    wowzers. this got super long super quickly. i missed your blog posts. your words are my favorite. i'm sure of it. xx | Natalia

    your third paragraph made me smile and think of someone, but we all know he wouldn't ever do that. only i miss him. idk if you were referring to a guy friend or a girl friend, but it invoked all sorts of feels.

    took comfort in mutual brokenness i just got back from a camp. i've been to three camps. and i never felt like i felt there. i never really opened myself up to anyone excepting my mom and a few long-time friends. there's something so freeing and liberating to really share, open up and let the walls down. it's priceless.

    your words are so beautiful and i can picture everything perfectly. do me-- all of us-- a favor and write a book.

    1. not sure how that got in a whacky format.. but yeah..

  4. Screamed at the sight of a new post. Then proceeded to hyperventilate to the point of worrying the people around me.

    Thank you, Abbey. WE are the blessed ones to read your words.

  5. all of the above comments, done and done. that's what i want to say.
    i love your words. they are amazing. i love them, and your blog, and your photos, and i just.... your writing transports me to a different place.

  6. I'm sitting at my computer in tears. You are beautiful.

  7. I love the way you told these stories, Abbey. They're truly beautiful. So good to hear from you again :)

  8. been waiting so ever-not-patiently for something like this to pop up in my feed reader from beautiful YOU. can't wait for more like this, because abbey writing is the best kind. :) like hannah said, your quiet perspective on the beauty of life is remarkable. :)

  9. The way you collect moments and pictures is inspiring. I've been waiting for this post. :)

  10. this is so beautiful and i'm crying and goodness knows i can't say things the way you can, but i'm feeling them. i'm really feeling them when i read what you've written.

  11. Oh, Abbey, I've missed you! I don't even know you, but I've missed your words and frames and general inspiring, heart-warming "inglenook". This blog of yours actually feels like an inglenook... it reminds me of autumn and flannel shirts, spiced cider and stories hiding in the cracks of barn walls & fireplaces, adventure, swimming in lakes and long books read in chunky sweaters, curled in a corner.

    You have inspired me a great deal over the years and I bet you didn't even know it... thanks so much!


  12. beautiful + magical-- your words and photos.

    happy to see your post again!

  13. Shivers. Your writing makes me so in love with words.