All posts by m'kenzie tillotson




We were puddle jumping in New York for Thanksgiving
Coat held tight against me
The view and lights
Romancing themselves into me.
At one moment during the trip the boys were wrestling with Derek on the grey living room rug. Wren lay close by waving her little hands frantically in the air in the late afternoon light. Right in that moment I felt exploding joy radiate through all of me.

Joyful experiences mean more when we are fully conscious of the alternatives or contrasts around us. We are with out context or a frame of reference for what it means to feel true joy without having also experienced sadness in our lives. Because of this simple concept I find there is a beauty in opposition.

The holidays are here. JOY is printed on mugs of coco and sung in vibrato. In our 12-month trip around the sun, it is when our planet is at its farthest, when the nights are at their longest, that we have decided to invoke joy with such intention.

Regardless of your creed or belief, these holidays are a time for us to reach for the ultimate source of joy in our lives. For us it’s the love of God. We see this love manifest in the birth of a baby. A gift to all, to guide and save. I believe if you can live outside yourself by loving others you will have joy, and a joyful soul is of a divine nature.

As our boys watched the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade pass by them I realized that we sit at the edge of this special time.
Joy to their world.

May you get as much joy out of the season as our boys on Central Park West watching the Pillsbury Doughboy flying overhead.

Macy's day Parade balloons


Family watching Macy's Day Parade
girl with dreads


Macy's Day Parade

babies' first Thanks giving

Central Park view

Family getting on G150

found love on top of the world

I watched my mom get married this last week and I was proud of the exposed choice she made. Marriage can be a source of strength. It helps us deal with disappointment and heartbreak. It teaches vulnerability. It creates familiarity, of the most intimate kind.

Choosing to get married is a very personal act done in a very public setting.

It is choosing to believe in love.

Choosing to make it last.

Choosing to commit ourselves to another.

I recently read an article online that a man wrote about being married to the same person for life. His point was that with in monogamy you aren’t with just one person but with several people, as that person grows and changes in life.

I asked Derek about the different person he has been with within our marriage and his response,“First you were an adventurer, then I was with an artist, next a mother, and currently an absolute crazy person.”

He said the last part with a laugh…but a truthful laugh. I love the warmth of him and our marriage. It’s a flame that flickers around me.

Everything I want the world to be is now coming true especially for me.

And the reason is clear it’s because you are near.

Your love puts me at the top of the world.


dreadlocks girl cowgirl horse roundup cattle

girl dreadlocks airstream

Rhodesian Ridgeback Ridgeback

girl dreadlocks mother



a thousand looks

I’ve always changed my hair. From long to short and color to color.

It seems to always match the better part of my personality. Like a chameleon my hair parallels my moods. I’ve had dreadlocks before (over 10 years ago) and Derek pushed me into doing it again. We were rolling down the street together with romance trailing in front of us. Five fingers dangling for his hand to hold. He ruffled my hair from the back and pulled me closer to his side to say,  “We are in this together, and I really think you should dreadlock your hair again.”

That struck a chord of familiarity for the girl I was connected to then. Whose wings where on the edge of  the horizon, cutting cloud edges on those bright summer nights.  She had a thousand looks  of possibility. And I realized that I can still be what I’ve been hoping for my whole life. So, I went ahead and did it.


world of magical thinking

Two worlds exist atop one another… the ordinary and the world of magical thinking. People often describe me as artistic, I married a very creative man, and we are blessed with very imaginative parents. Thanks to our upbringing we grew up in our own wonderlands. A world of magical thinking.

This world of magical thinking comes naturally to children. They dream, create. When Beckett lost his ‘cozy’ he envisioned a world of sneaky robbers. “Can robbers punch through glass?” He asked, worried they would return.

As grown ups our instinct is to snuff the candle of imagination. “No there are no robbers, your cozy was under a pile of laundry.” But Derek and I grew up with pirates, paint, and rigs to riches.

We stand on the door to the holidays, with the most magical of all, Halloween. Each year a branch of our family tree turns their beautiful property in Mapleton into the best private spook-alley you can imagine. See our video above that doesn’t come close to doing it justice. Hands held on dirt paths. We meander through darkness and fog… their collection of 101 carved jack O’ lanterns lighting our way. Resplendent with authentic antique prison cells, hearse wagons (complete with horse skeleton), bewitched carnival rides, and freak show memorabilia. Needless to say every year we are amazed and the kids are scared.

The Sheranian family believes in the world of magical thinking and is one of its most gifted architects. Thank you for bringing the holidays to life by celebrating the dead.

Sheranian spook alley


October Flight

Blackbirds, come out and finish your play in the October air.

Fly above our heads, like ever changing clouds in the sky.

Moving shade from corner to corner of our life.

The breeze is just right and the sun is in constant supply.

My summer colored skin is getting ready to migrate too. Thankfully.

It’s been a hard year.

It’s still a hard year.

But today riding along with him I realized everything, eventually, turns to healing.

Where the rubber meets the road.

It is a stretch your arms and legs kind of ride.

Where beauty looks the same from one mile to the next

And when the birds return in spring along with the fresh leaves,

I hope the new landmarks we are slowly creating won’t confuse them.

I hope they’ll tell me of their new travels to lands of reds, browns, and greens from this past winter.

And I’ll be able to say, eventually, everything is healed.