Saturday, September 10, 2011
My Dearest Mama,
On your birthday, while reminding of your stunningly youthful looks, I would like to tell you about (remind you of) what I've loved, learned and continue to understand about you, after having known you for 31 years. Let's see: Ice cream is a necessity, not a luxury, and can be incorporated into ANY healthy diet. Self preservation is not selfishness, period. Baths don't have to happen only on the weekends. Routines are helpful, and you can schedule spontaneity. Broccoli is a super food. Having time to put your feet up at night is the perfect way to say thanks you to your body. Reading is fun. Dusk is the best time of the day, I wish it lasted longer too. Always brush your teeth after coffee. Always wear your seat belt. Traveling with snacks is simply smart.Beautiful architecture should be appreciated, often. Having cheerleaders helps play the game (of life). Drink water, plenty of it. Use Retin-A, it's a face lift in a tube - you are proof positive. Write down questions for your doctor and insist you get answers and a copy of the super-bill. Let people love and admire you. Have manners - say thank you and bring a loaf of banana bread whenever possible (like I did to a recent Banana Republic shoot). Wear colors that don't die on you. Good is a dead word. Use the "show me technique" when telling a story. Share. Going out in groups is fun!!
Most of all my dear Mama, you have really raised a daughter who knows that she is loved, will always be loved - unconditionally and without exception by her family. YOU have imparted upon me such tremendous values and manners and gratitude that my friends and family notice. Thank you for the past 31 years. I so hope that you know the value of your 65ish years and what you mean to me, to Awa, to Dad, your sister, your friends and even perfect strangers. Here's to you sweet Pamela on your very special day! Keep it up, kid. Happy Birthday.
Saturday, May 21, 2011
I once thought that writing would save my life. I think it still just might. With all the happenings that keep happening in my life, the only way to sort them out, is to ride, ahem write them out. Real life events, and then the possibility and probability of such events playing out in my life, are getting trapped in my head and proceeding to tape loop over and over and over and over again. It is becoming toxic, this internal revolution. They say stress is responsible for some crazy percentage of disease, like 80. I don't know who they are, but I believe them. The stresses, any anxieties that sit within or upon my skin are beginning to show their true colors and tarnish me from the inside out. But what's the remedy, how does it reverse? On it's own, doubtful. With the help of outsiders, not likely. It comes down to me, little timid, seldom strong me. I need to cultivate more strength and establish better boundaries. I need to say "no" more often to others and "yes" more often to moi. True. But it's frightening. Who wants to start a conversation and be the bad guy? I know a few who easily confuse my offerings as an invitation to take and take. I am a giver, yes, but do not wish to be sucked dry and never refilled. Nevertheless, it appears as though there is something about me that attracts -with a mysterious magnitude- people who exhaust me. One of those people is me, ps. So beginning sooner than later, I am taking a big old fashioned break. Buckling down, paring down, and hunkering down. I will try to heal, I have to heal. I will carve out the time to do the things I used to love to do, and still love to do, but have become rusty at doing. Like writing. Where is my usual voice, here? Rusted, in need of some literal form of WD40. And perhaps I will conjure up some analog days, free of web related minutia that locks people in and often becomes a stand in for real life experiences. It's a good thing that I enjoy my own company, because while they say stress kills, they also say "if you're not good company for yourself, you're no good company for others." I like being alone. As a Gemini, it's as if I never really am. So here's to a pre-Gemini birthdate that is quickly approaching . . . Here's to a fresh start a little later in the game, where I actually begin to act and feel like a grownup as opposed to a doormat and a pushover who often feels as though entitled, mannerless folks take advantage of. It may not be easy, but I simply don't have the time not to find out. No time to waste time. Don't they also say "there's no time like the present?" Or my favorite, "yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery and today is a gift, that's why it's called the present." Clever, real clever. And on a final note, of self affirmation and my attempt to listen to and trust a doctor's poignant prescription for once, "be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind." Dr. Seuss, he's the perfect combination of what I need in my life, advice and solutions from a doctor and motivational lyrical goodness from a writer. And here I go, living for today, while mending the past and fine tuning what still ticks and what may even work better with just a little bit of attention.
Saturday, March 5, 2011
I just picked up my Senior Thesis after I read a friend's blog this morning. The quote she posted reminded me of one of my favorites. And so I dug up my work. Brushing off some dusty residue, from having rested untouched, atop books crammed into a space too small, I opened the booklet to the page I needed and then shared. Ralph Ellison, the author of my favorite book ever - Invisible Man - is quite simply put, a genius. His large work inspired my petite work. His words became the architecture to the small building of words and images that became my thesis. The quote that raised my brow and continues to tape loop my brain is this: "The end is in the beginning and lies far ahead." I think it is perfect. It's kind of like how the universe never ends - we all know this, but don't really know this . . . right? It's simplicity only becomes more profoundly evident via it's complexity. Seriously.
So, after unearthing the quote that I wanted to ensure not to misquote, I began to peruse the body of work I assembled almost a decade ago. Did I really write this? Peppered with quotes and cited works throughout, the bulk of the text, however, is my own voice on paper. My narrative, my dialogue, my edited and a more legible version of my very own stream of consciousness. Wow, I sound like I know what I'm talking about, all the while maintaining a curious and investigatory tone. This morning I impressed myself. And trust you me, this is rare. I believe I was meant for the world of academia. A world chalk full of chalk. An environment that thrives on thought and theory and wonder and malleable answers to positively uncertain solutions. A place of hypothesis and opinion - educated, political and personal - which in my mind are rather inextricable. The political, as I learned long ago, is the personal. I suppose that's why life becomes a struggle for a gal like me, who so strives to be authentic, but who is also required to play a game and wear myriad hats on a regular basis. It's a sense of invisibility indeed, this struggle. Which brings me to another poignant idea from Ralph Ellison.
"Invisibility, let me explain, gives one a slightly different sense of time, you're never quite on the beat. Sometimes you're ahead and sometimes you're behind. Instead of the swift, imperceptible flowing of time, you are aware of its nodes, those pints where time stands still or from which it leaps ahead. And you slip into the breaks and look around."
Invisibility has pros and it has cons. For now, however, I will hold the pros as paramount concern and be inspired by this ghostly notion of the outsider, the observer. I will slip into the breaks, off beat, and look around.
Images: After 'Invisible Man' by Ralph Ellison, the Prologue 1999–2000
Transparency in lightbox 1740 x 2505 mm by Jeff Wall
(I got to see this work in real life at SFMOMA. The lightbox element could not have been more relevant nor visually sublime. The postcard on my fridge does Wall's work little justice).
Friday, January 14, 2011
Gary: "Have you seen "Eat, Pray, Love" yet? If not, watch it . . . "
Me: "Read parts, still haven't seen it."
Gary: "Well . . . the movie is Gary* approved, if that says anything . . "
Note: the * is present due to real names being withheld, nevertheless, this was a real text from a real person to me. This is my life in dating.
Regrets and regards,
small fish, unfishable pond