Maybe this will be a Patti Smith and PJ Harvey week. Feeling I’m having.
Maybe this will be a Patti Smith and PJ Harvey week. Feeling I’m having.
About how I have the most exasperating, exhausting, stubborn adviser whom I love so dearly that all he needs to do to make my day is stop by my table in the coffee shop and, with no introduction, explain that he had a student present a bad poem about “daddy love” and therefore wanted to show her what a good poem about the same thing looks like. It was a verbal, one-week-late response to an email I sent him, saying that I spotted him walking across campus with Sylvia Plath’s Ariel under his arm and wondering what he was doing with it.
“So what else have I missed?” I asked. “How are you?”
“Not good,” he replied, “But muddling through.”
I managed to squeak out a cautious “Okay? Well enough…” before he slowly turned on his heel, no goodbye, and plodded away and out the door into the cold (with no coat on).
I am supposed to be figuring out a short lesson plan for Tuesday on topic sentences and paragraph organization while writing profiles, and find myself perusing old New Yorkers, which brings me inevitably to Janet Flanner, which brings me unavoidably to her story about Picasso in the introduction to Paris Was Yesterday. I don’t know how I can use it for anything related to my internship, but since I’m already crying while reading the story I feel like I just have to post it here:
About fifteen years ago I happened to be in Cannes, where, on the Croisette, I met the young artist son of an old New York friend of mine, who spoke to me and gave me his news. He was married, and newly a father, and as a favor Picasso, whom he knew, had drawn a vague sketch of the young artist’s infant son, which he had promised to sign and dedicate if the father would go to Picasso’s villa, La Californie, that very day at noon. Did I want to drive up with him? I stipulated I would like to take the drive but would not get our of the car. When we arrived at the gate of La Californie, the young father went inside with his invaluable drawing, a moment later emerging to say, “Picasso says to come in,” which I did not wish to do, as an intrusion was the last thing I had intended. When Picasso sent a second pressing demand, I was forced to accept. As I walked into the salon, which was as crowded with vaaried art works as an auction room, Picasso turned to me with his hand outstretched in greeting, and then, with a loud cry of astonishment, shouted, “You! Why didn’t you ever speak to me in the old days at the Flore? For years we saw each other and never spoke, until now. Are you just the same as you were? You look it!” By this time he had his arms around me and was thumping me enthusiastically on the shoulders. “You look fine; not a day older,” and I said, “Nor do you,” and he said, “That’s true; that’s the way you and I are. We don’t get older, we just get riper. Do you still love life the way you used to, and love people the way you did? I watched you and always wanted to know what you were thinking … Tell me, do you still love the human race, especially your best friends? Do you still love love?” “I do,” I said, astonished at the turn the monologue was taking. “And so do I!” he shouted, laughing. “Oh, we’re great ones for that, you and I. Isn’t love the greatest refreshment in life?” And he embraced me with his strong arms, in farewell.
But usually it just makes me feel good about always having had great taste.
Originally saved as draft on March 21st, 2012.
I’ve made it to Dublin! Exactly a year after my first time reading Ulysses, I’m here. It felt like I waited forever, but no; my relationship to this city, however fictional, has been brief, but I am desperately happy to have made it nonetheless.
But first: I don’t know how much I can say right now about my final time in Scotland, since it feels as if there’s too much to justify my writing/your reading on what should be a pretty casual blog. In briefest possible summation, it was beautiful, I loved it, and I was sad to leave. Oban, though tiny and quiet this time of year, was a treat. I was happy to be met with so many opportunities to read and to journal while settling my body into the pebbles on the beach, listening to the sound they make as they get pulled back with the tide; something that I think I can now call a habit, having done it in two different countries. My time in Oban also included what may end up being the most exciting episode of my entire trip: nearly getting trapped in an ancient castle. That’s right! Here’s a photo of the Dunollie Castle ruins just outside of Oban, which I went out to visit on my second sunny day in town:
More of that story later.
Sometimes I feel like it’s too bad that I seem to rely on dudes to prompt me to think about why I love music and why it’s important to me – to introduce me to new bands or turn me back towards old favorites, to tell me about shows, to lend me books and show me documentaries, to help me get on the radio or behind the record store’s counter. Maybe (definitely?) I just need more weird brilliant punk rock ladies in my life, but they always seem Too Cool for me or they’re not into the same stuff or they’re harder for me to approach for some reason or another. I never just stumble across them like I do with the boys. When I do, it doesn’t feel the same.
So maybe it’s too bad. But lately I’ve felt removed from the ideas and the sounds that have shaped me, and somehow it seems that dudes in my world are nudging me back to where I want to be. They’re good about that. Thanks, awkward punk rock loving book reading young men of the universe. You keep me honest. You remind me.
I’ve missed my blog.
I am a professional excuse-maker, something that I hope to become more un-professional about, but I just want to put this out in the world and hope that it motivates me to do better: I like having a blog. Blogging more regularly will be good for me. My life is crazy and busy but that doesn’t mean I can’t make time to do small things that make me feel go0d that aren’t just sitting on the couch scrolling through Tumblr while my room mates play video games. I deserve, and can provide myself with, a more stimulating and intellectually active life.
I know that this is a day late (I am also a professional latecomer), but something that I know a lot of people have done the last few days is catalogue a few of their thankfulnesses, and I’d like to follow suit, however inadequately.
My parents, who, for some ridiculous reason, still seem to think I can do anything, and who always remind me of that when I most need it.
Colin and Fred together, for how much we all love and heckle and admire each other, and for a seamless and revivifying reunion after one long year very, very far apart from each other. Fred for always being sweet and encouraging and cautious, for taking care of me, for bike rides and splitting biscuits and gravy at Hard Times and for making food so good and delicious in Venice that I could taste it even though the most powerful head cold I have ever had. Colin for always inspiring me to be my better self.
Joe, for being the smartest, sharpest, most astute and generous thinker I know — perhaps even on planet Earth. For sending me cat updates all year. For being the most glorious ginger in all the land, for watching ridiculous British comedy with me, for being the reason that I ever even got it in my head that I could, and should, go to Oxford.
Treza, for being the most amazing travel partner I could ever have imagined. For becoming one of my best friends in one week. For transcendant dance floor experiences in Bristol, always and forever. For always being quick to respond to my texts about Doctor Who feelings.
Lisa, Kate, and Gretchen, all of you. For putting up with my lateness and never even being jerks about it, for every mad dash for free drinks and party dresses, for every night spent on the floor eating Dominoes and drinking wine and talking about sex. For managing to be so exquisitely selfless and supportive during every essay crisis or life crisis, even though each of us was going through a hard time, too. For contraband port under the stars. For an amazing year. I love you all so much and am so inspired by you.
Kate and Nathan, my perfect room mates, for a comfy, homey home. For really the most outrageous and disgusting jokes/conversations/ideas ever. For always making me feel better after a shitty day, for making food together, for walks to Merlin’s. For making me feel so proud to know people so obviously bound for great things.