Paris, France
July 7, 2024

I'm back. :)

It's me, Steven - the guy who sent over an email every Sunday for years? Weeellll, I'm finally back online, and ready to start making and sharing things again.

To be honest, it's been a bit of a journey - hiking over overexposed pass, down through the burnout wastelands, and finally scaling the endless, blank-page cliffs of will-I-ever-have-something-to-write-or-share-again.

But eventually, back walking the streets of Paris, camera and pen in hand, I finally broke back through into creative valley and am here, myself again. Here with full notebooks, with energy and excitement about what's next, and with enough grounding to weather the winds of putting myself online and putting my work out there.

It's an overwrought metaphor, sure, but it feels honest. The plainer truths are hard ones that everyone knows about life: divorce is really hard. Starting new chapters takes time. Burnout is brutal and sneaky and we are so much more than how we make money. That time and therapy might all heal wounds - but you'll still ache on rainy days. And if you travel long for enough, you can never go home.

But living through those truths has been harder than I would have guessed - and in the past few years of messily working through them, I didn't have the capacity to keep showing up here or share my work, with all the vulnerability that entails.

But today - today, cotton-puff clouds are rolling high over Parisian rooftops, as pigeons jockey for position onto cathedral buttresses. The summer air is clean, and fresh. The banks of the Seine will overflow tonight with friends and lovers, pooled around baguettes, good cheese, bottles of rosΓ©. It's summer in Paris, and I am both here, and finally present.

And friends, that feels good.

So - the letters are back. I'll share more in the coming weeks about some changes I plan to make to this series to bring in photography and other projects, as well as some new things (Eek!) I'm starting up. But I wanted to get this letter out there, before the "make it perfect" gremlins got to it.

Happy Sunday. Damn it feels good to get to share a bit of it together again.

With lots of love, -Steven

p.s. The best thing I saw all week was this guy who became best friends with a squirrel. (It helps that before coming to Paris, I'd made friends with a squirrel who came by every day to eat a walnut with me. Squirrels are the best. ❀️ 🐿️)

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