Portraits of Each Other


In line with all the sentiment I put into our anniversary picnic, mementos from our life together, I chose this Pablo Neruda poem, a souvenir from our time in Santiago, Chile, to read to Kevin over our picnic spread… a verbal anniversary card if you will…which now unfolds into our visual history with these intimate and simple snapshots of each other capturing this time alone – he & I on the beach with nothing but the sea.:

“I don’t love you as if you were a rose of salt, topaz,   

or arrow of carnations that propagate fire:   

I love you as one loves certain obscure things,   

secretly, between the shadow and the soul.


I love you as the plant that doesn’t bloom but carries   

the light of those flowers, hidden, within itself,   

and thanks to your love the tight aroma that arose   

from the earth lives dimly in my body.


I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where,   

I love you directly without problems or pride:

I love you like this because I don’t know any other way to love,

except in this form in which I am not nor are you,   

so close that your hand upon my chest is mine,   

so close that your eyes close with my dreams.”

JamieBeck_KevinBurg_003 JamieBeck_KevinBurg_004

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Love Letters


I understand from my sister that your present intention is to travel; to return to England. I have decided, after long consideration, to write to you. We have travelled together, and I hope we have become friends sufficiently to – my dear Lady Anna, let me dispense with attempts to be clever or discreet. I am in love with you. There. It is said. For many, many years I have believed it was my fate never to say these words. A long time ago I had hoped, as all young men hope – no, I had mor ethan hoped, I had confidently expected to be overtaken by those feelings I had read so much about. It never happened. And now it has. 

Ahdaf Soueif, “The Map of Love

We have been talking about these old-fashioned artifacts at the studio recently when our assistant brought in a four page, monogrammed love letter she had received (which inevitably ended up on a shoot!). Do people still write love letters? I got to thinking about it and when you open your mind to the written word of love you begin to see it everywhere. In Santiago I found Pablo Neruda’s Love Poems; in the book “Map of Love” Sharif al-Baroudi’s love letter to Lady Anna brought tears to my eyes, and in the film HER, our main character makes a living writing beautiful handwritten letters. What is so special about ink on paper that when we receive one – even if the feeling is not reciprocated – we can’t throw it away? Will one day, people feel sentimental about emails in the same vein or will all our digital maps of love disappear like the flash of a Snapchat?…

Typewriters // Embossers // Monogrammed Stationery // Poetic Love // Dramatic Love

Sunrise on South America

My whole life I have dreamed of going to South America. I think it had to do something with the million times I watched this movie as a little girl dreaming of adventure. LAN Airlines are the kings of the South American skies, and they wanted to take us around Chile to discover new things to be found #onlyinsouthamerica with them. The first stop: Santiago! I was expecting color and I was so pleased when I got it. Murals painted all up and down the street, some with the words of their Nobel Peace Prize-winning poet Pablo Neruda and other times just beautiful birds or majestic headpieces and my favorite – romantic rusted iron roses crawling up the sides of buildings.  We stayed in the Bohemian quarter of Santiago – Bellavista – where on a walk about we saw many beautiful cafés, artisanal shops, and toured the famous poet’s unique city dwelling, one of my FAVORITE activities of the entire trip.

The first thing I found quite surprising was the quality of food. The food found only in South America was phenomenal. I don’t know if it has changed since decades past or if this is just the best kept secret…or if I’m just a sheltered American. For lunch we had tapas with local Chilean wine pairings at Bocanariz meaning, appropriately, nose and mouth. Dinner was at Europeo in a neighborhood I called the Beverly Hills of Santiago with drive-thru Hermes shopping and Bentley lots. Europeo was unlike any dining experience I have yet to have, with a tasting menu by 2013 chef of the year Francisco Mandiola of single-serve plates that look more like works of art than mere nourishment. Afterwards when the chef came out to greet us he explained about our favorite dish (two little mushroom raviolis in sauce in a small glass bubble) that he wanted it to be like a little aquarium – the broth is the water, the raviolis are the fishes!

The afternoon was spent exploring historic Santiago from the Gabriel Mistral Centro Cultural, Plaza de Armas to the Palacio Moneda and on our final morning (day 2) we explored the fascinating and culturally rich Vega Central food market. This place was so big I felt like you could have fit all of Manhattan in it! The colors, the exotic fruits, the gorgeous seasonal produce, the man sharping a knife in the middle of the aisle with a machine as old as the city…this was the adventure I was looking for….

Take a look at my first steps in South America~

“I want
To do with you what spring does with the cherry trees.”

~ Pablo Neruda


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