A few nights ago, as I sauteed a melange of vegetables in a bath of coconut milk (as I believe Stephanie has done in her own home), I thought about the two hours of reading I'd snuck in earlier that day. Reading that involved Nie Nie's new book, Heaven Is Here. Instead of playing email catch-up, writing, editing images, photographing, cooking, baking or a myriad of other things, I dropped everything because quite honestly, I couldn't put down her book. I found it addictive, in the most positive sense. It's been a long time since I allowed reading to trump productivity (although reading has always been a love of mine), but I felt like the words written on those pages were changing my life in a subtle and sincere way. And I couldn't stop thinking about how personal she was and how grateful I was for that openness.
I bet that most of think about the subject of happiness a lot. How to have it...what it feels like...when it will come...and where it comes from. What Stephanie teaches us, page by page, chapter by chapter, is that happiness is a personal choice. Like many of you, I've been reading Stephanie's blog for years; and the words she's written there have changed me for the better. But let me tell you, this book delved far deeper into her story and I cannot help but feel that a memoir this personal is an absolute treasure that we can divide amongst ourselves; and moreover, it's a beautiful, beautiful love story.
p.s. I chuckle every time I think about Stephanie's shirt-on-backwards-in-the-desert moment. Read it and you'll know what I mean :)
image 1 - book cover / image 2 - Meikel Reece via Alice Lane / image 3 - favorite from Nie's archives