A Life of Sundays

a life of sundays

I awoke to the sun creeping through the French doors of our apartment in Cambodia this morning, excited that it was only 7:45 in the morning, which gave me plenty of time to call my parents, who are currently 11-hours behind us. I packed my favorite bag from Thailand with all my goodies – MacBook, earphones, notebook, and pencil – and headed over to the restaurant of our guesthouse to use the Internet. On my way out the door I kissed Jarrell and told him to come over when he woke up, then we’d have breakfast together.

Today is my father’s 61st birthday, and also my parents’ 34th wedding anniversary. Every year I cannot help but think how risky it was for him to get married on his birthday. There was a 50/50 chance that every birthday would be a reminder of a failed love, but instead it has been a celebration of an individual and joint life. I like to think that he bet with optimism and his faith has rewarded him a priceless victory.

An hour after ending my phone call with my parents, Jarrell creeps into the restaurant with a smile. We kiss before I share the overnight happenings of our businesses. A package was delayed at customs, a client has an inquiry about an art project, and unfortunately the sponsorship I have been working on for the past month has fallen through. After reassuring me that I’ll find another solution, we quickly ramble off benefits of not securing the sponsorship and move on from what could easily be described as a failed plan.

a life of sundays

Jarrell shares some ideas he woke up with, after jotting down his thoughts in a new hardbound green notebook I forced him to buy after tiring of his random notes in my journal. There’s an art project he’s been contemplating, about the evolution, or metamorphosis of a butterfly, and how it aligns so much with our journey.

Butterflies have inspired him since we arrived on Koh Oknha Tey Island in Cambodia two weeks ago. This idea has taken on many forms, and I’m grateful to be the muse. Last night my duties as a muse included lying naked, as still as possible, while he sketched my body in charcoal. That drawing has now pushed him to the complete conceptualization of his latest art collection. His eyes are beaming, as he smiles through his explanation, constantly cutting himself off, as his words just do not seem to adequately convey his vision.

After agreeing to pose for more of his concepts later, we head back to our apartment for breakfast. Together we lift the mosquito net and pull the sheets back on our king-size bed. I put all of the scattered bottles of paint, and oil pastels, back into their cases, and begin breakfast. Like most mornings, we’re having cappuccinos, toast, eggs and fruit. Unlike most mornings, we have our favorite jam in the world, Bonne Maman Wild Blueberry Preserve, which we fell in love with in Paris. The French occupancy of Cambodia has left its remnants with local bakeries still churning out flawless baguettes, and French import channels consistently flowing.

a life of sundays

As Jarrell cleans the dishes from breakfast, I sweep our apartment with a straw broom before opening the green and gold curtains that cover the windows of the apartment. I imagine a young woman here made the curtains on Silk Island, as Koh Oknha Tey is famously known, due to their mass production of silk. As the sun begins to fill the apartment more and more with every curtain tie, I remark at how beautiful a day it has become.

Jarrell is still in shock that we found our favorite jam from France. And then he initiated an exchange that inspired this article. It went something like this:

Jarrell: You know, our life is so sweet because we’re able to enjoy simple things like just having breakfast together. And having our favorite jam from France.

Me: Isn’t that crazy? Who would’ve ever thought we would have a favorite jam from France, or even go to France?

Jarrell: It’s just nice to be able to enjoy our lives together.

Me: Right. It’s like a Sunday. Everyone enjoys Sundays because they’re so laid back and free. We live a life of Sundays.

Jarrell: A life of Sundays. That’s nice. You should write about that.

It wasn’t always like this for Jarrell or me. We’ve both had to sacrifice and let go of so many people and habits, individually and together. It’s been a complete metamorphosis for both of us, and at times I wasn’t even able to envision this life. It’s as if I went into a cocoon without even knowing what a butterfly was, let alone that I soon would become one. The seclusion, self-doubt, and transition were at times unbearable.

August has always been our month. It’s the month we were married, and so we always take this time to get back to the basics. This August we will be sharing our first joint collection, Metamorphosis: A Personal Evolution, which is a combination of Jarrell’s artwork and my accompanying written works. Together we’ve found a way to express what this three-year journey around the world has been like, and we’re very excited to share it with you.

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Until Next Time,

Amirah

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17 comments

  1. Nice Read! While reading it sounded so peaceful! Congratulations on the anniversary (and anniversary/birthday for your father)! We get married this Saturday too …

  2. August sounds like your personal “new year.” Best feeling ever!

    P.S. I absolutely love the direction you’ve taken with the photography and artwork accompanying the posts.

    1. Definitely! It’s a new start for sure! And thanks about the photos, only another blogger would understand how much of an improvement that is! Lol!

  3. Wow I am so happy that you have had the pleasure to witness a happy marriage and therefore work to recreate one. As you know, nothing happens magically not even the beautiful world of travel. You work to get there and you work to stay there. May we all enjoy such beautiful works, in our life of Sunday’s.

  4. I really appreciate your honesty when sharing your nomadic life with us. I was on Snapchat then came over here to read the new article. Carving a new way for yourself might not always be easy but I appreciate you sharing with us how worth it can. This post and Jerrell’s artwork reminded me of my favorite passage from my favorite book by my favorite author that I’ve been referring back to this last year. I thought you might like it too – I think the imagery she paints speaks to your final thoughts in the post:

    “In her novel Regeneration, Pat Barker writes of a doctor who ‘knew only too well how often the early stages of change or cure may mimic deterioration. Cut a chrysalis open, and you will find a rotting caterpillar. What you will never find is that mythical creature, half caterpillar, half butterfly, a fit emblem of the human soul, for those whose cast of mind leads them to seek such emblems. No, the process of transformation consists almost entirely of decay.”
    ― Rebecca Solnit, A Field Guide to Getting Lost

    Can’t wait to check out Metamorphosis: A Personal Evolution!

    1. OMG!! I love this, Tiffany! It’s so true! It’s such a process of decay and I think people tend to think of it as a glo-up, but its not always glamorous at all. I’m going to get that book! Thanks, Love!

      1. You’re so welcome! Solnit is such a thoughtful writer and I really appreciate how she observes the world. I’d love to know what you think of it in its entirety.

  5. Love your post on Instagram and on snapchat. We first heard of you guys on xonecole’s instagram and wanted to immediately follow you!! Me and my husband just came back from Europe and looking at all your pics inspires us to keep wanting to travel when we can… Please keep posting :)

    1. Hi Danielle! Thanks so much! Yes, Europe is a fascinating place to visit. We somehow ended up there for 18-months when we visited last year. Good luck on your travels! Feel free to reach out to me, I’m always down to help however I can!

  6. I love Sundays, especially those spent with my boyfriend.
    I haven’t spent a Sunday with him in a long time and that makes me sad, but we have made enough memories for me to look back on and comfort myself with.
    I dream of traveling with him and your blog inspires me.
    Thank you for sharing.

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