This past Tuesday I went to New York City and did all the things I love– visit art galleries, take a class and learned something new, browsing bookstores and buying, eating Poke, sunny day, saw the STORY store, had a meeting with GABRIELA NY– but I wasn’t fully engaged. I realized that I wasn’t as happy as I thought I would be. As I usually am.
I became worried that I was becoming depressed again. But there were times when I was really happy to be there. Walking the high line for the first time during spring. Flipping through pages and reading tiny excerpts from the books I ended up buying at 192 books.
Random flip throughs:
“It was if I were standing in some figurative doorway with my head resting against the frame, watching these older girls get ready to go out: considering which earrings to wear, how to part their hair and do their makeup. Because observing any woman smudge shiny powder down her brow bone to her cheekbone, or flutter-blink her lashes between strokes of mascara, or delicate part her lips when lining her eyes—those rapidly precise, tidy-messy and pored-over motions—feels closest to catching a glimpse of her acquiring the world with quiet enormity from that faraway planet: her mirror.” – from “Part of a Greater Pattern” page 104 of Too Much and Not the Mood by Durga Chew-Bose.
Her words are quite beautiful and she’s Indian-Canadian! I’ve been wanting to add more Asian women writers to my shelves and this hit the spot.
Now in the darkness of your tent you knew only your wife, her lips and skin, the sound of her voice. And when she said, “You will tire of me,” you kissed her brown, and when she said, “Do not tarry with questionable men,” you insisted she had silenced the rowdinesss within your soul. And in these nights you wanted nothing of God or His works, for you desired only to lie within her. You told her, “My only city shall be the city we build here.”” – from The Revelator by Robert Kloss, illustrated by Matt Kish.
Told in second person, this is about the fictional rise of Joseph Smith and how the Mormon church was founded. I remember reading an excerpt and loving how violent and lush it all was. Breathtaking. I also got this at 40% off. Also breathtaking haha.
“When my finger accidentally . . .”
The figure refers to any interior discourse provoked by a furtive contact with the body (and more precisely the skin) of the desired being.
. . . .
(A squeeze of the hand—enormous documentation—a tiny gesture within the palm, a knee which doesn’t move away, an arm extended, as if quite naturally, along the back of a sofa and against which the other’s head gradually comes to rest—this is the paradisiac realm of subtle and clandestine signs: a kind of festival not of the sense but of meaning.)” from A Lover’s Discourse: Fragments by Roland Barthes. Translated by Richard Howard.
I’ve seen Roland Barthes’ words on tumblr and he seemed really interesting. And then I found out about this book which is about the language of love. It feels a little beyond me but I wanna learn.
Learning how to bind books at The Center for Book Arts and doing it right. (Though I messed up a lot and felt defeated with how many mistakes were piling up so maybe that’s what soured my day? It was the first thing I did and I was late.)
Meeting with kasamas and learning more about mass campaigns and participating.
My favorite was Stephanie Inagaki in Booth’s “Subliminal” show. I loved the titles, how the Asian women just stare you down, the use of washi paper, how rich the black is, and how mythology just imbues the paintings. They’re gorgeous to look at. I want to know the stories so bad.
Maybe next time I’ll take photos of the artworks, but I felt that I couldn’t do them justice, plus I HATE the friggin glare and reflection ish. Bleh.
I think I would enjoy the day a lot more if I sat down at the high line and read. If I ate the poke from Pokeworks outside as well and savored it more. If I wrote in my notebook and just embrace being more.
I think I want to experience things more deeply. I can’t do things surface like I used to. Probably why I enjoy conversations a lot more now too. I just want my everyday to be more meaningful.
I will report that the day ended well when I rushed to return the lost wallet of a man who exiting the train. The passenger next to him was yelling to him but he had his earbuds on. So I rushed out and screamed to him and he paused at the station’s platform. Then I ran back to grab the wallet and he said “God Bless You, Thank you” and I actually told him that it was her, another passenger did it and he said thank you. The other passenger said thank you as well.
I’m actually prouder of myself that I didn’t take credit. That I reacted instantly that it wasn’t me but her who did it. It was nice to be thanked though, I really appreciated it his kind words and I’m glad I did it.
I think I want more meaningful interactions with the world. Whether it’s through writing, conversation, documentation, or reading, I just want to be more fully immersed. I think that’s why I’ve been writing more than ever, why I perform onstage, want to talk more, became more willing to take risks.
I used to be content with just buying books but I’m depriving myself by not reading them, by not sharing them, and such.
By not letting them change me.
I want to make more use out of today and every day.
I think that’s why mail art is so attractive to me right now. I joined a few groups and nearly everyday I’m working on collages. They’ve been cathartic and I’m excited to do more submissions. I actually got a pen pal recently too and sent off my first letter! If you want to be pen pals, let me know~!
I just came across an awesome swap! Found Poetry Postcard Swap, which is due by May 29th! I have to go after this, I would love some found poetry back!
I like how I could create things with my hands, use up my beloved albeit dusty ephemera, recycle and reuse things, and witness the strange corrections I make within a collage. I love making things fit on paper and I really hope I continue this hobby and transform it into a passion!
I don’t want to continue leaving my aspirations in daydreams. I want to enact them. And I also don’t want to be easily defeated. I actually thought of not going for more book binding or even printing classes because I was so bad at it.
But fuck that.
It was only one class. I shouldn’t be downtrodden after the first session. So once I have the money and can set aside the time, I WILL go for more book art classes, dammit!
I dream about binding more paper into my sketchbooks from the sketchbook project. And one day I will. It’ll be so worth the effort. I’m excited by the mere thought.
On the bright side, I think I’m braver than before and will go after these daydreams and a deeper life. I just have to stop being lazy about it. The people I admire and want to be like are prolific and profound. I can be like that too.
So hopefully this means that I’ll blog more here, apply for more jobs, write more, and read a ton more. I want to earn each day and do more than exist. I have a fully capable body and I’m stable and I’ve seen what I can do.
No excuses, let’s go.