This party was for the launch of Jonathan's new book How Many Roads?, but it was also, for us, a symbolic moment to celebrate our first ten years in Montreal and the sense that we have truly settled: we've never had an open studio party before, inviting our friends to see where we work and spend so much of our time, and for this party we really cleaned and reorganized the place, so it feels newly special to us too. Above, some of the guests are listening to Jonathan speaking about the project, and how grateful he was to everyone for being there with us to celebrate.
When I said a few words about myself and Phoenicia, I mentioned how I had never been the same as J. or some of the other guests who had always known from an early age exactly what they wanted to do with their lives -- mine has always been a question of trying to balance a bunch of different interests and struggling with the problems that created. It's only been since moving here, in the past decade, I said, that I've finally felt all the threads of my life coming together, with a sense of integration -- and it was quite wonderful to look out and see these friends who represent the different parts of my life -- artists, writers, musicians, gardeners, neighbors, family, friends who share a spiritual path, all of whom have come from many different parts of the world -- and to be bringing out this book from a publishing venture that also brings together many of the things I do that formerly felt separate. In the end, I said, it wasn't "success" that mattered, but giving yourself fully to things that you are passionate about, and sharing that with people you love.
J. gets smooches from our friend who blogs as Duchesse at Passage des perles.
Our niece came up from New Hampshire the day before to help us, and we couldn't have done it without her. We also had a lot of help from friends: here's some of the gorgeous food arranged (and photographed) by Priya Sebastien.
The author/photographer inscribes a book.
More food beautifully arranged by Priya, with a Middle Eastern flavour.
The guests devoured a carrot cake, iconic of the 1960s (that was in the absence of the even more iconic brownies of that era.)
And here we are with screenwriter Martine Pagé (Ni Vu Ni Connu) who helped hugely by handling the sales during the party. She and her partner Ed Hawco (Blork Blog), who took these and many other photos as a gift for us that evening, were our first friends in Montreal and we've stayed fast friends ever since -- not surprisingly, we met through blogging!