Math thoughts


Oh how I wish I was good at math!

This summer, each of our team members took time reading Gladwell’s Outliers. The part that stood out the most to us was the discussion about rice paddies.

We were living in the world of muddy rice fields and it gave us an entirely new perspective.

“Rice paddies are ‘built,’ not ‘opened up’ the way a wheat field is. You don’t have to clear the trees, underbrush, and stones, and then plow. Rice fields are carved into mountain sides in an elaborate series of terraces, or painstakingly constructed from marshland and river plains. A rice paddy has be irrigated, so a complex system of dikes has to be built around the field. Channels must be dug from the nearest water source, and gates built into the dikes to the water flow can be adjusted precisely to cover the right amount of the plant . . .” – Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers: The Story of Success

[Photo: My favorite spot in Letang//Grace Farson]

What life looks like these days




What life looks like these days:

1.) Grace: A Memoir. A book I have wanted for far too long + filled with notes and pictures from Amirah. One of the greatest gifts I have ever received. It made me laugh and cry (in public. + at a restaurant. thx love).

2.) Official business cards for Grace Farson Photography!

3.) Packages//letters//notes from many of the wonderful, beautiful and inspiring people in my life from home and all around this big world.

What life feels like these days:

1.) Warm. Sunny skies and a full heart.

2.) Tense. I’m tired of using the word busy to define any part of my life. We’re all busy. Little kiddos are busy, old people are busy, college kids are busy, yes! We’ve all got a right to say we’re busy. That said, I have been a little tense lately. I am overbooked, overworked and tired. School is real and it is a big part of my life, yes, but so is planning for the summer, working (two jobs), taking care of myself, my house, my friends. . . etc.

3.) Inspired. I cannot even begin to comprehend just how inspired and motivated I am to do EVERYTHING right now. I have received so many incredible emails in the past few days with opportunities that are beyond belief. Life is happening all around me and I want to absorb it all. . .

Plus, this little email from Andrew in Morocco made me happy:

“Props to you for giving me the best travel advice I’ve gotten yet: candied ginger. Life saver and friendmaker” – Andrew. February 11, 2013

[Photos: What life looks like these days. Birthday week//Grace Farson]

The world shapes us



Favorite thing I read all week:

“What is she fearing, I ask. Nothing, says Lina. Why then does she run to Sir? Because she can, Lina answers. Sudden a sheet of sparrows fall from the sky and settle in the trees. So many the trees seem to sprout birds, not leaves at all. Lina points. We never shape the world she says. The world shapes us. Sudden and silent the sparrows are gone. I am not understanding Lina. You are my shaper and my world as well. It is done. No need to choose.” – Toni Morrison, A Mercy

[Photos: Siti’s village, outside of Tembi, Indonesia//Grace Farson]

just kids

i’ve read a handful of books this summer both nonfiction and fiction, but i can honestly say smith’s just kids was hands down the best book i’ve read this hot season. she wrote this memoir with such grace and clarity and i cannot recommend it enough. her story is remarkable and true.

*note: i didn’t actually read the book, but rather listened to it on cd. i went back and read parts in the book, but smith reads her own writing and i thought it was perfect.

it was so good for me to read, but at the same time so bad. good because it inspired my like nothing else. . . but bad also, because i haven’t been able to get my greatest life ambition (*becoming a true starving artist) out of my head.

“in my low periods, i wondered what was the point of creating art. for whom? are we animating God? are we talking to ourselves? and what was the ultimate goal? to have one’s work caged in art’s great zoos – the modern, the met, the louvre?

i craved honesty, yet found dishonesty in myself. why commit to art? for self-realization, or for itself? it seemed indulgent to add to the glut unless one offered illumination.

often, i’d sit and try to write or draw, but all fo the manic activity in the streets, coupled with the vietnam war, made my efforts seem meaningless. i could not identify with political movements. in trying to join them i felt overwhelmed by yet another form of bureaucracy. i wondered if anything i did mattered.

robert had little patience with these introspective bouts of mine. he never seemed to question his artistic drives, and by his example, i understood that what matters is the work: the string of words propelled by God becoming a poem, the weave of color and graphite scrawled upon the sheet that magnifies His motion. to achieve within the work a perfect balance of faith and execution. from this state of mind comes a light, life-charged.”

– patti smith, just kids

+ if you read french, this article about patti smith & her book


“memories, even your most precious ones, fade surprisingly quickly. but i don’t go along with that. the memories i value most,  i don’t ever see them fading.”

– kazuo ishiguro, never let me go

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

this memory of this morning, this place. . .  will never fade. . .

{a sunrise walk with mel just outside of baghmara [our home for a little while] in southern nepal}

i have a feeling. . .

today is going to be the longest of days. . .

“it’s a very american trait, this wanting people to think well of us. it’s a young want, and i am ashamed of it in myself. i am not always a good daughter, even though my lacks are in areas different from her complaints. haven’t i learned yet that the desire to be perfect is always disastrous and, at the least, loses me in the mire of false guilt?”

– madeleine l’engle

. . .

+ want to curl up and read this book over and over again. . . it was my favorite when i was just beginning to like books. . .

+ my wedding will resemble this

+ last weekend, abby & i fell in love with st. vincent together again. . . cruel

+ this past weekend was special – photos to come!

+ i have some truly great people in my life right now

+ here’s to a new week! . . .  i’m trying to go a whole week without complaining. . . i find that this campus just breeds complaining. i’m done with it. ultimately, we have so little to complain about. . . who’s going to join me in this?

+ p.s. marry me?

{image from one of my favorite spots in nepal – beautiful, quirky, quiet baghmara right outside of chitwan national park. i lived here for several weeks and rode my bike on these dusty roads several times a day}