I never thought of watching the moon rise at night as anything special before I moved to the mountains. Life in the city moved at a tick-tock pace: morning, work, gym, walk home, eat, sleep. It never occurred to me to actually watch it rise. Sure, I've gazed at the moon many a-nights, whether on a bench at Washington Square Park or while sipping a cocktail on the rooftop of SoHo House or strolling home from somewhere–but I've never watched it rise. Most of the hoopla is made around the beauty of sunrises, and rightfully so, but it has to be said that a moonrise feels quite majestic in its own right. Even more so in a big open sky. We've created a ceremony out of this by sitting out on the terrace, under the covers with a glass of wine, blasting Sigur Rós on the speakers. "Here it comes! Here it comes!" we'll say to each other, excitedly. And we'll watch, wide-eyed with our jaws dropped, as the glowing-white moon floats into the sky. The atmospheric music only intensifies the drama of this glorious event. In fact, it elevates it to a religious experience. Sometimes the moon as bright as the sun. It's impossible to photograph because it'll just show up as a white dot in a black square. You won't be able to catch its elegant movement or the thousands of glittery stars that surround it. No, no... It's something that can only be experienced.
Guys usually have their first serious relationship between the ages of 19 and 21. Despite experiencing their first taste of love, they break up with their girlfriends around the age of 23 out of fear of being trapped.
They are out to "sow their wild oats", so to speak, between the ages of 24 and 29. This is just something that they have to do. Therefore, if you're looking for a serious relationship, I wouldn't touch any guys in this age range with a ten-foot pole unless you've found a diamond in the rough or your soul mate. This is when they are ripe for relationship training because, after all, good boyfriends are not born, they're made... By great girlfriends.
By the time they're in their 30's, they're hormones are a little bit more under control and they're ready to explore having a real relationship. They probably have the basics of a relationship down by now. This is their era of confidence. If they find the right girl, they'll date her for about three years and then propose. (Single men between 32 and 38 are especially hard to find because this is when they're in relationships that could potentially evolve into an engagement and then marriage.) Alternatively, if they haven't found a relationship they will continue to "sow their wild oats." As my friend Lulu says, "Mid-thirties are the new late twenties." This is why women in their late 20's-early 30's are either hit on by guys who are 26 or 42.
For the men who have been unhappily married, their passion usually wanes after 6 to 12 years, around their late thirties/early forties. This could result in a love affair or divorce. In their mid-40's, they mostly want to know that they've "still got it", especially with women in their early twenties. It's all very meaningless and experimental and they're fine with it. They will pretty much date anyone. That is, until they hit their late 40's, when their mortality is flashing before their eyes. And then they realize that they want someone to connect to, someone who gets them, someone who will love them. (If you're not sure how old a man is, check for wrinkles around his ears.)
By the time they're 50, if they're lucky, they will finally know what they want. They evaluate all of their past mistakes and learn from them. They want to wipe the slate clean and find true love, except now they're letting their heart guide them rather than their eyes.
Well, more or less.
"Have you ever imagined that Tuesday could be like this?" asked my boyfriend, on my first day at the ranch.
Yes, after thirteen years in Manhattan, this city girl has moved to the mountains of California. And, no, I never could have imagined it. Remember when I wrote that I was going to consult a psychic? I wasn't kidding–I really did.
If a psychic told you that you were going to meet your soul connection and move to a place surrounded by mountains and trees that was going to be "a place of golden happiness for you", would you believe her?
After hiking for hours, we finally reached Devil's Drop, a 30-foot cliff that was a jumping point into the deepest point of the river. He peeled off his cowboy hat, took a deep breath, and let out a scream that sounded more like a brave tribal call as he leapt off. I looked down and saw his head bob up from the inky waters. "Come!" he called out from below.
"No way! I am not doing that!"
Instead, I carefully slinked down the rocky side and made my way down to the edge of the water, a few feet away from where he landed, which, if I may emphasize, is the deepest point. I tested the temperature with my toes. It was cold. He swam over.
"We have to get to the other side."
"Wait, what do you mean?" I asked, nervously.
"We have to swim across this deep part to get to that side," he replied, pointing over to the pebbled shore as he waded around.
"Come! Put your hands on my shoulders and I'll swim you over there."
"What! Really? Is there really no other way to do this?"
"We could climb all the way up and hike over there but this is the fastest way. Trust me."
"Oh gosh, oh gosh," I panicked, "You have to promise not to let go. I'm a terrible swimmer!"
I placed my hands on his shoulders and let my body sink into the water, immediately kicking my legs to keep afloat. The water looked like a pitch-black, bottomless pit enclosed with rocky walls. I felt like I was in a scary movie where a river monster could come out of nowhere with an open mouth and swallow us both in one gulp.
"Oh!" he exclaimed suddenly along the way. The swimming came to a halt.
"What! What! What's going on?"
"There's a huge rock here."
"What?! You're kidding right?" I didn't see a rock in front of us.
"Put your hand out. It's right in front of us. Here, feel it."
I gingerly stretched my arm out and there it was under the surface, a gigantic round smooth rock. I couldn't believe how big it was, just hidden there. I almost expected it to rise up as a slumbering dinosaur.
"Sit on it," he said, "It'll look like you're sitting on top of the water."
So I did. I curled up on it and wrapped my arms around my legs.
"That would make a great ad campaign for something," he said, "Now put your head underwater and take a look."
"No, no," I protested, "I know what it'll look like. Dark water and lots of rocks on the side." I reached my arms out for his shoulders again.
"Oh, c'mon," he laughed, rolling his eyes, "It's so beautiful. Just look."
"Fine," I sighed. I took a deep breath, dipped my head under water, and opened my eyes. Dark water and lots of rocks on the side.
Now that my head had already gotten wet, he made me swim the rest of the way by myself. I made it to shore in one piece: two legs; two arms–just like he knew I would.
Here's a sneak peek from SGD's video collaboration with Chayka Sofia, a multimedia studio that merges the culinary and cinematic worlds. In this pic, we're just about to capture the beauty of melting butter on camera. I used Beurre d'Isigny, a rich French butter that's naturally golden in color. It was mesmerizing to observe the stunning alchemy unfolding inside of that pan.
Can't wait to see the results from yesterday's shoot. Stay tuned.