This is a distillation of experience.

Great Song, Excellent Album

(Source: Spotify)

[Of the woman’s light, which the Sun feeds, the Sun told her]
Do not waste it by illuminating those who
cannot even be bothered
to learn your last name
-from Sade Andria Zabala’s poem “For All The Girls With Messy Hearts, And To The Men Whose Skin Has Tasted Mine”

My face is colorful

And definitely not matte

Textured -

Gerard Manley Hopkins would approve

My dappled beauty.

Too bad he was gay.

Philip Glass: Einstein on the Beach “Knee 2”

In the movie the female protagonist never smiles.  Not even once.  On bad mornings, while she walks to work, she purposefully sneers at men as she passes by them.  Either that or she fixes her gaze hard in front of her, as though their presence doesn’t even register on her consciousness.  The soundtrack to this film features selections from Philip Glass’ Einstein on the Beach.  One reviewer, a white man in his forties, calls the choice pretentious, despite how well the score - the endless repetition, the peaks & valleys, the l  e  n  g  t  h, the schizophrenia of competing obsessions  - mirrors the woman’s days.  Sometimes the viewers find themselves enraptured by her wit and accidental glamour.  When she is out, drinking, and aggressively attempting to woo, she possesses a magic that turns people on to all kinds of possibility.  Mostly, though, viewers experience a disappointment in her that is mundane in its familiarity.  She reminds them of other women they know.  They love her; she infuriates them with her pessimism and inconstancy.  She will not stop seeking and therefore has no security.  This character is neither original nor common, but she seethes with a rage that’s never been more threatening.  The director of the film, a woman in her fifties, has been quoted as saying that she hopes the protagonist will create a gang mentality in female moviegoers.  She wants them to crush together immediately after viewing, form militias, and create their own world, where eating disorders/ clinical anxiety & depression/ psych meds only serve as part of the herstory of a terrible past.

Suffering is interesting but so is getting better.

— from Leslie Jamison’s “Grand Unified Theory of Female Pain”

Early Fall Reading
The Middle Passage: From Misery to Meaning in Midlife by James Hollis
The Empathy Exams by Leslie Jamison
Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabokov

Early Fall Reading

The Middle Passage: From Misery to Meaning in Midlife by James Hollis

The Empathy Exams by Leslie Jamison

Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabokov

Late Friday afternoon L, a resident, asked if we could talk.  “Yes, come on back,” I answered enthusiastically.  I had an hour before I could leave for the weekend, and I wanted to engage with someone.  L really values conversation with staff, though I can’t always accommodate him.  There are times when he just wants someone to talk *at* him, which I find tiresome and not very fruitful.
 
L can be an exceptional conversationalist.  He’s an intelligent man, particularly in the area of philosophy.  During our last conversation, he quoted something from Being and Time, and then mentioned that Martin Heidegger was a Nazi.  We then discussed how learning of someone’s hate politics can really destroy the value of a person’s work.
 
When he first moved in, he used to scandalize staff with questions about making money through prostitution.  He mostly just wanted to suck men’s dicks, and he thought, “Hey, if I can make some money from it, why not?”  Since then, he’s stopped with this line of thought.  He’s learned that he doesn’t have to be sensationalistic to get our attention.
 
L always wears his shirts unbuttoned, and his large, autonomously bouncing belly (it literally bounces on its own because of abdominal spasms) has what looks like a C-section scar that starts at the end of his sternum and ends at his belly button.  It’s quite the sight, but now everyone in the building is used to it.
 
He has complimented me over the past year in some of the most original, touching ways.  For example, after I finished saying something on Friday, L said, “You’re a pearl, you know that?”  Jokingly I replied, “But what if I wanted to be a diamond?”  “Oh,” he rejoined, “you don’t want to be a diamond!  Diamonds are colorless!”
 
And to think that I often don’t give as much credence to a compliment given by L - or any other resident who lives at the Mo - than I do to what some jerk I meet on OkC tells me, or rather - that I let a stranger dictate how I feel about myself through the withholding nature of his personality.
 
When I say I think I’m finally growing up, I am saying (among other things, though not very articulately) that I am recognizing that I have always chosen whose opinions of me matter and whose don’t bear much weight.  I have often chosen incorrectly.  It’s time to bring to the fore the people who have lifted me up, even though they’ve had nothing to gain, i.e., sex, in doing the lifting.  It really saddens me that I’ve wasted so much time on insignificance, but I feel heartened by this new consciousness.  

I feel like I’m finally starting to grow up.  More to come…

Failure is unimportant. It takes courage to make a fool of yourself.

— Charlie Chaplin (via nathanielstuart)

(via strange-geography)