Walden in Park Slope

I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach: how to make my own cold brew, what it feels like to meditate underneath sunlight filtered through pine needles, or which probiotics are best for vaginal flora. I wanted to melt down the oxidized bars of corporate America’s gilded cage and see what wings fitted best to my soul when it was, you know, free to take its first hesitant, unburdened steps toward conscious flight. And I’m always looking for an excuse to wear these adorable combat boots from Stuart Weitzman.

It’s all too simple to fall into Daedalus’s labyrinth of materialism. We blindly follow capitalism’s siren call and consequently find ourselves dashed upon the rocks of wage labor, obscene wealth, and frumpy big-box stores. I didn’t want to wake up and find that I had not lived, so I packed up and moved to a Spartan, two-bedroom cabin in the Adirondacks for a few months. It hasn’t been redone since the ‘90s, but that was kind of the point, right? And since my parents were wintering in Palm Beach, I knew it would be free till at least March.


Some of my pleasantest hours were during the long rain storms in the fall, which confined me to the house for the afternoon as well as the forenoon—the perfect opportunity for some much needed self-care following a long morning toiling in my garden.

Now, a lot of you have been asking about my self-care routine. I began my day by making breakfast and catching up on the news, surveying the mortal world through the far end of my forest telescope. I love baths. I’d wager there are few things more soothing than listening to the warbling of the songbirds from my outdoor whirlpool tub with a glass of wine and a good book. (I loved being able to read more in the woods. Almost done with Divergent!)

And free from the hurried discord of taxicabs and ambulance sirens, I made time at night to lie in the master bedroom underneath the skylight, looking up at the stars and listening to a good podcast. Oftentimes, I would journal, relishing the vastness of the woods’ negative space to pry under the rocks I leave unturned when I’m in Park Slope. Self-care is like taking a bar of fair-trade soap to the skin of your soul, gently releasing the spiritual toxins that accumulate in city life and bringing back your internal glow.

So, if it feels good, do it!


It is true, I might have resisted forcibly with more or less effect, might have run “amok” against society; but I preferred that society should run “amok” against me, you know? It being the desperate party, and all ;-).

Wherever a woman goes, men will pursue and paw her with their dirty institutions, and, if they can, constrain her to belong to their desperate odd-fellow society. Confession time: I’m an introverted extrovert. Seekers of my company would more likely to chance upon me in the corner of the room petting the dog than on the dance floor, so I can’t say I’ve always been the hostess with the mostest. But after so much time alone, I must admit that even I kind of loved it when friends would crash!

I had three chairs in my house; one for solitude (which my grandfather used to have in his office at J.P. Morgan!), two for friendship, three for society. When visitors came in larger and unexpected numbers there was but the third chair for them all, but they generally economized the room by standing up; and I did have a few of these gorg floor pillows laying around, as well. Also—pro tip? Autumn leaves make great decorations.

It is surprising how many great men and women a small house will contain. It created this really cozy, fun party vibe, which I accentuated with this awesome set of Sonos speakers so that we could rock out to my vinyl collection even when we were in the basement. (It’s true what they say: everything just sounds better on vinyl!)

My beau, Tray, couldn’t always make it out on the weekends because he was so busy with work. (Life tip! Never work at a bank! Eek!) Tray, forever a poet at heart, is not selfish in his love and understands that once another being fully sheds the shackles of civilization and imbibes of the moon’s glow, she can no longer be possessed by anyone.

Actually, Tray proposed, but for the moment, we’re taking space. I mean, I don’t care whether we get married or not. (I consider myself to be in a polyamorous relationship with the sound of the wind in the hemlock trees.) But, like, if you want to, put some thought into the proposal, you know? Like pick out a song or do something creative. Take us to Paris for the weekend! Life grants you so many options. Don’t, just, like, ask me, if it’s something you want to do.


Sometimes, having had a surfeit of human society and gossip, and worn out all my village friends, I rambled still farther westward than I habitually dwell, into yet more unfrequented parts of the town, “to fresh woods and pastures new.”

A lake is the landscape’s most beautiful and expressive feature. It is Earth’s eye; looking into which the beholder measures the depth of his own nature.

In warm evenings I frequently sat in the boat playing the flute, and saw the perch, which I seemed to have charmed, hovering around me, and the moon traveling over the ribbed bottom, which was strewed with the wrecks of the forest.

I learned this, at least, by my experiment: that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, they will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.

Let me know if you have fun ways to relax! And thanks to the League of Gileadites and Swill, the liquor store in your pocket, for sponsoring this post!