Welcome to Parallel Coasts - a blog about creativity, community, and place rooted in a long and beautiful friendship I’ve had with Casey Atre. We grew up together in Louisiana and now live on opposite coasts. Casey lives in Brooklyn, and I live in Berkeley.
Casey and I met on the first day of sixth grade. My parents had decided to move me from public to private school because I was starting to "act up." They felt that a small class size, more teacher attention, and greater academic rigor would provide the support I needed. At this new school, there were twenty-four kids in my grade. Many of them had been together since kindergarten. I was both excited and terrified. On the first day of school, Casey sat next to me and oriented me to who was who. We became fast friends. From the beginning, we had much in common: our phone numbers were only one digit different; we both had new-agey moms; we shared a sense of adventure. In the decades since our meeting, there have been many moments where we have noticed continued parallels.
As teenagers we spent so much time at each other's houses. Through Casey, I gained a second mother and little brother. Together we learned to drive, joined the Explorer Scouts, made movies, got into trouble with teachers, tried pot for the first time, snuck out to New Orleans, studied bharatanatyam, shared family trips, and spent many nights at the local Waffle House. We supported each other through both our mother's diagnosis with Multiple Sclerosis, rented a house in New Orleans after college, spent time with our other amazing friends, hosted crazy parties, moved apart to try new cities, met each other's boyfriends, went to each other's weddings, met each other's kids (2 boys each), made plans for family trips, brought our kids to Mardi Gras, made plans to start a blog! Born from this treasured friendship, this blog is place for us to reflect, document, and share as we engage in our parallel lives as friends, mothers and artists.