Leaning into the coming season

So close to the end of other things right now. Today has been the kind of day where everything seems possible again. Maybe it is the good night’s sleep, the productive morning, the sun (*finally out to play), or some Haim at work . . . but, today is going to be good. The hard work and the long days are finally starting to pay off.

That’s all.


(Old photo –> re-liked: Pancake rocks, New Zealand)

Muscle of Difficulty 

November’s clench. A sullen band
of cloud is louring in the West—
a low forehead, a corrugated frown.
Behind it comes the cold drop of frost
and autumn’s first hard night.

Corrugator—the tightening band
over the forehead’s bone,
the ‘muscle of difficulty,’
of concentration, effort, of leaning in
to frigid wind.

I lean into this coming season
of difficulty, when the sun
will struggle to raise its head
above the angle of sunset,
its bleak obliquity.

November’s forehead wears
scoured furrow, tension.
Forgets joy, the orbicular crinkle
of eye, those other muscles
to be strengthened.

I think of squinting into the ache
of snow, corrugated tracks.
Facing into November, I find it
difficult to anticipate

the warmth of small, enclosed spaces,
the candles of memory
at its center. How can this ever be
enough? I fear too much.
The losses. Isolation.

– Alice Major

Portrait of an artist as a college kid


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]

things that bother me:

  • not being able to spend time with the ones i love
  • the fact sleep is a requirement to living a good and productive life
  • cheap, flavorless food
  • there are only 24 hours in a day
  • i don’t make time for yoga as much as i should
  • i never learned to play an instrument
  • words are never enough
  • not staying physically active
  • leprosy
  • grades
  • competitive and controlling environments
  • climate change
  • fakes
  • modern day slavery
  • the fact i like meat {reading peter singer’s practical ethics in philosphy and feeling quilty about eating meat} i’ve been vegetarian off and on for ages, and i still don’t know what to make of it all. . . i know that i eat a better more balanced diet when i eat meat, but how can eating meat be morally right? i don’t even support zoos, but i still eat meat. . . how does that work? your thoughts?

. . .

what has been bothering you these days?

so. . .

what are you going to do about it?

i am going to start getting more sleep. start staying more informed and aware. and start making time for the things i need to make me feel more like me again!

. . .

{photo from one of the many train rides in india}

the andrew alphabet

ambition: become homeless

bad habit: reckless bike driving

city: chapel hill, n.c.

drink: arnold palmer {*in his creepy nalgene}

education: yes

food: steak and apples

guilty pleasure: creating awkward situations for others for his own enjoyment

hometown: charlotte, n.c.

ice cream: dairy frost soft strawberry

jonesing for: a natural disaster {*a hurricane, tornado, and earthquake weren’t good enough for this kid}

kryptonite: christmas carols

look-a-like: the guy who played gilbert blythe in anne of green gables

movies: “fiddler on the roof.” “saving private ryan.” “the emporer’s new groove.”

nicknames: carrot cake. bubba. stinky pants. andew.

obsession: gold bond

perfume: hmmmm. . . natural flavors

quirk: getting distracted from brushing his teeth by making faces in the mirror

regrets: never been in a fistfight. never learned an instrument.

starbucks: stealing grace’s chai tea

talents: unicycling. climbing. dancing.

university: uni of north carolina at chapel hill {studying arabic & asian studies}

vacation: escaping from the château d’if and winning a knife fight with a pirate, then stealing a ship and sailing to an island where he would discover sunken treasure.

wine: welch’s

x: x grace farson {*for making him do things like this}

years: nineteen years

zen: sticking head out of window in the car

. . .

here’s the fourth alphabet!

i’ve known andrew since i was in the seventh grade. when i think about it, we’ve both changed a lot. . . but. . . at our core, we are essentially the same people we were at age twelve.

we really haven’t grown up much.

i can always count on andrew to help me get out of my ruts in life. he helps me to live life to its fullest. he is always there when i have the need to – climb a building, climb a tower, climb a tree, climb a mountain, climb through a tunnel or two, go on a scavenger hunt, take a spontaneous trip, etc.

he helps challenge me to think outside the box and find a creative solution to most anything.

andrew, thanks for being you. . . for putting up with me at my best and worse. . . and for ending up at unc too!

. . . here’s to a fun, crazy, memorable year bro!

{p.s. if anyone else wants to contribute to my alphabet series let me know! i’d love to share them! just post a comment with your email and i will contact you . . . fariha & anna’s coming soon!}