A Brief for the Defense

First day of the new school semester.

These past few days have been incredibly heavy, dark, and troubling. It is hard starting a new semester with this much weight, but I know things shift, change, and improve.

This photo was taken in Tulum, in stillness and silence.


Sorrow everywhere. Slaughter everywhere. If babies
are not starving someplace, they are starving
somewhere else. With flies in their nostrils.
But we enjoy our lives because that’s what God wants.
Otherwise the mornings before summer dawn would not
be made so fine. The Bengal tiger would not
be fashioned so miraculously well. The poor women
at the fountain are laughing together between
the suffering they have known and the awfulness
in their future, smiling and laughing while somebody
in the village is very sick. There is laughter
every day in the terrible streets of Calcutta,
and the women laugh in the cages of Bombay.
If we deny our happiness, resist our satisfaction,
we lessen the importance of their deprivation.
We must risk delight. We can do without pleasure,
but not delight. Not enjoyment. We must have
the stubbornness to accept our gladness in the ruthless
furnace of this world. To make injustice the only
measure of our attention is to praise the Devil.
If the locomotive of the Lord runs us down,
we should give thanks that the end had magnitude.
We must admit there will be music despite everything.
We stand at the prow again of a small ship
anchored late at night in the tiny port
looking over to the sleeping island: the waterfront
is three shuttered cafés and one naked light burning.
To hear the faint sound of oars in the silence as a rowboat
comes slowly out and then goes back is truly worth
all the years of sorrow that are to come.

– Jack Gilbert


All I know is now



I wished I had said more in a three hour presentation . . .

or at least I wished I shared more of my true feelings.

I wished I followed my instincts more.

I wished I had a dog to take on walks.

I wished I was Indian.

I wished I had a child.

I wished I went swimming.

I wished I always walked places.

I wished I was back to work at this dark desk in Delhi.

I wished I was the couple making out in the grocery store parking lot.

I wished I had more days like these where I crossed most things off my list.

I wished all the things that seemed urgent and scary at the time were put into perspective.

I wished (for a moment) I was the girl on the bike pretending she was really on a motorcycle.

Then, I stopped.

I stopped wishing.

I wanted to be me.

Walking home on a hurt foot and with a backpack too heavy.

Always with too many feelings. Troubles. Ambitions.

But I’m all I know right now.

All I know is now.

And today taught me this.

And somehow . . . October happened

I feel like October will be one trying, challenging and altogether rewarding month. Campus is overwhelmingly gloomy today and everyone I have encountered today seems entirely distracted and stressed.

It seems that everything and everyone is annoying or upsetting everyone else.

I have to admit to feeling somewhat gloomy too. I had to come back to Chapel Hill//Carrboro yesterday after a lovely weekend back home [with family + Alex + Amirah + Jamie]. Home felt like a real escape and I never wanted to leave. We rave-caved// we roller-bladed// we stuffed our little mouths with curry and sweets.

In addition to your typical school//life-related issues, I feel weighed down by a lot of issues bigger than my head can handle at the moment.

These things:

+ Grace’s thoughts on studying abroad in Chapel Hill and communal living

+ This song

+ Every couple of months I get an alarmingly intense urge to pack up and leave it all behind for Mexico

+ Looked into classes here and now my head is swirling

+ This guy was arrested, mid-haircut

[Photos: Warmer September days at Lake Jordan//Grace Farson]

deserted campus

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. . .

“ivan ilych’s life had been most simple and most ordinary and therefore most terrible.”

–  the death of ivan ilych, leo tolstoy

. . .

tolstoy and the russians.

i’ve missed them.

. . .

+ check out abby’s 20 essential authors {tolstoy made it to 7th place}. most definately want to take a russian lit class as soon as possible

+ i wish i knew russia

+ enjoy the photos of our very empty, eerie campus at night


have a extraordinary weekend. . . make a memory or two. . .