The good

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How I define good right now:

+ Time with the ones I love

+ Food from Venable

+ Climbing rock walls and up to the roof of buildings

+ Mediation

+ My boxy leather jacket

+ Finishing projects

+ Planning for the future (i.e. future classes)

+ Waking up with your entire house at 7 to pancakes and snuggles on a Tuesday

+ Cool, not cold weather

+ This podcast

+ Sharp, red wine

+ Conversations over Chinese food, on foot, in the library, on the phone. . .

No strangers

“. . .There are no strangers. There are only versions of ourselves, many of which we have not embraced, most of which we wish to protect ourselves from. For the stranger is not foreign, she is random, not alien, but remembered; and it is the randomness of the encounter with our already known–although unacknowledged–selves that summons a ripple of alarm. That makes us reject the figure and the emotions it provokes–especially when these emotions are profound. It is also what makes us want to own, govern, administrate the Other. To romance her, if we can, back to our own mirrors. In either instance (of alarm of false reverence), we deny her personhood, the specific individuality we insist upon ourselves.”

– Toni Morrison, Intro. to Bergman, A Kind of Rapture, 1998

Hammock in a high place




This is the way I spent my days in Rishikesh.

(*If I wasn’t sleeping, or drinking lemon, ginger tea, or doing hot yoga)

A rooftop, a hammock, a book, and daydreams to keep me company . . . all under the hot Indian sun.

The simple things in life often bring the most joy.

[Photos: Red hot Rishikesh on a very good day//Grace Farson]

Bits + pieces of home life




I only took three photos at home this weekend.

These three and that’s all. . .

Time at home was beautiful, rowdy, and as always . . . too short.

I woke up this morning at seven knowing that today was going to be big, good, and most of all productive. It feels better than good to have days like these because in all honesty, I think I was actually able to do more than I thought possible. I had meetings, spent a little time with Amirah, went to all my classes [*even got to watch this fantastic movie in class], went on a long walk, ran five miles and joined a running club, and saw one of the most beautiful sunsets I’ve seen in a long while.

It’s days like these where all the pretty people and sights come out and tempt the world with beauty.

little firework, little
not-my-own, soon enough
the non-world we’ve been steering for
from the start: colorless, stripped of motion, all those
pleasures you knew so well how to give to others
gone also—pleasure,
I can hear you say, what world
was that – Carl Phillips

[Photos: Abby’s birthday dinner_Salade Nicoise//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