Portrait of an artist as a college kid

beach

Yesterday on a bench outside on the most beautiful of all fall days, I asked J what I should do when I grow up. He tried to avoid the question and then with some hesitancy, said: an artist of sorts.

Later, I got this email:

When we talked today, I didn’t mean you should be an artist. Rather, you are an artist. I think it means seeing the world a certain way. With your own eyes. With eyes that are uncertain and curious.
. . .
“Living is a form of not being sure, not knowing what’s next or how. The moment you know how, you begin to die a little. The artist never entirely knows. We guess. We may be wrong, but we take leap after leap in the dark.” – Agnes de Miller

I’m currently working through my third year here . . . And, if I had done things right (* er, not abandoned school for a year), I’d be graduating in May.

Happy and thankful right now I’m only doing school // work // relationships // making life plans . . . but I find that within me there is this growing pressure to know what I want out of life after this. After all, so much of our college careers are wrapped up in that question. Sometimes, it is hard to ignore.

I find that all I want, all I’ve ever really wanted was to be an artist. I want to create. To feel. To be curious (always). And to not shrink back from challenges.

If college has done one thing for me, it has given me a sense of possibility. Each and everyday, us kids are bombarded by possibility and just all we could do if there were more hours in a day// if we were more talented//etc.

I find that I’m dissatisfied by my work and how I spend my days unless I’m touching // molding // and creating things with my mind // my eyes and most of all, my hands.

I find that I want to do. . . I want to do everything and cannot comfortably (*just) learn without actually doing.

I’m certainly a work in progress, but I’m enjoying the process for the most part. . .

[Photo: Swallowed in the sea. Depock beach, Indonesia//Grace Farson]

Work hard | Play hard

life

Day off (*sorta).

Day off at school // Day on at work.

An almost four-day weekend = a glorious blessing. I’ve worked a lot, read a fair amount, seen friends I haven’t seen in a while, made a lot of late night food, surprised him, stayed up late, watched movies, learned to play poker, and thought a lot about hair. 

“Looking beyond life’s imperfections allows one to be able to find happiness. Life is not perfect, ever. For me, remembering that life is flawed, people are flawed, and therefore relationships are flawed, allows me to look at the flaws and imperfections as part of life itself. A perfect life includes all of the flaws associated with what and who you surround yourself with. My life and my means of living it are no exception. I was, as all people are, flawed. I accepted myself as being flawed no differently than I accepted others as being so.”

– Scott Hildreth

[Photo: What some of the work I do looks like//Grace Farson]

Living With Clams

Yesterday, I read a great poem
about clams, although evidently,
it turned out more to be
instructions for cooking them –
Linguini with clams,
not living with clams
like I thought – even though,
I want to know, how.

I mistake everything for what
I want it to be: recipes for poems,
poems for instruction manuals,
classrooms for cathedrals.
Once, even, I saw a man
but he turned out
to be just a clam.

Eventually, all the poems
end up sounding alike:
written in that same short
language of longing.

Steep burden,
how my heart puns about.

[Poem: Sarah Edwards //Two Serious Ladies]