Poetry

I attempted écriture automatique yesterday—

yes upended rear ford things reax montrer alostery

Poetic, no?

I also found a poem that I loved—Le dormeur du val by Jean-Nicolas Arthur Rimbaud, from his 1870 Poésies.

C’est un trou de verdure où chante une rivière,
Accrochant 2 follement aux herbes des haillons
D’argent; où le soleil, de la montagne fière,
Luit : c’est un petit val qui mousse de rayons.

Un soldat jeune, bouche ouverte, tête nue,
Et la nuque baignant dans le frais cresson  bleu,
Dort ; il est étendu dans l’herbe, sous la nue,
Pâle dans son lit vert où la lumière pleut.

Les pieds dans les glaïeuls, il dort. Souriant comme
Sourirait un enfant malade, il fait un somme :
Nature, berce-le chaudement : il a froid.

Les parfums ne font pas frissonner sa narine ;
Il dort dans le soleil, la main sur sa poitrine,
Tranquille. Il a deux trous rouges au côté droit.


Happy Wednesday friends!

Radio Three Sixty and Adrienne Rich




Have I ever mentioned my undying love for Radio Three Sixty? It is the perfect background music for designing and coding.

I have also been reading the wonderfully poetic Adrienne Rich—

The first American woman astronaut is interviewed by the liberal-feminist editor of a mass-circulation women's magazine. She is a splendid creature, healthy, young, thick dark head of hair, scientific degrees from an elite university, an athletic self-confidence. She is also white. She speaks of the future of space, the potential uses of space colonies by private industry, especially for producing materials which can be advantageously processed under conditions of weightlessness. Pharmaceuticals, for example. By extension one thinks of chemicals. Neither of these two spirited women speak of the alliances between the military and the "private" sector of the North American economy. Nor do they speak of Depo-Provera, Valium, Librium, napalm, dioxin. When big companies decide that it's now their advantage to put a lot of their money into production of materials in space . . . we'll really get the funding we need, says the astronaut. No mention of who "we" are and what "we" need funding for; no questions about the poisoning and impoverishment of women here on earth or of the earth itself. Women, too, may leave the earth behind.

The astronaut is young, feels her own power, works hard for her exhilaration. She has swung out over the earth and come back, one more time passed all the tests. It's not that I expect her to come back to earth as Cassandra. But this experience of hers has nothing as yet to do with the liberation of women. A female proletariat—uneducated, ill-nourished, unorganized, and largely from teh Third World—will create the profits which will stimulate the "big companies" to invest in space.

On a split screen in my brain I see tow versions of her story: the backward gaze thorough streaming weightlessness to the familiar globe, pale blue and green and white, the strict and sober presence of it, the true intuition of relativity battering the heart, and the swiftly calculated move to a farther suburb, the male technocrats and the women they have picked and tested, leaving the familiar globe behind: the toxic rivers, the cancerous wells, the strangled valleys, the closed-down urban hospitals, the shattered schools, the atomic desert blooming, the lilac suckers run wild, the blue grape hyacinths spreading, the ailanthus and kudzu doing their final desperate part—the beauty that won't travel, that can't be stolen away.


(from "Notes Toward a Politics of Location," 1984)



Principles of Feminist Critique

I. Gender is historically contingent (located in time).

II. Gender is culturally specific (located in material practices and specific places).

III. Gender is an interpretation of what female and male bodies mean in relation to what we believe about the world (our philosophy).

IV. There is a cultural reciprocity between gender practices and perceptions of biology, and there is a tendency to forget that a fact is both observed and interpreted.

V. Frequently, even though a gender practice has been discarded, the perspective it created on "nature" can be difficult to eliminate.

VI. Our systems of social policy and cultural practice reflect a tendency to conserve the ideological result of practices that are no longer apparent. E.g.—Women no longer wear corsets, but the medical establishment treats them as if they do.

VII. We let competing ideologies undermine healthful practices. E.g.—After surgery, one should rest and recover vs. after childbirth, the mother should care for the child.

VIII. Sexual inequality is the single most prevalent form of inequality in the world. The majority of those in poverty, in dire need of improved health care, without access to education, without access to political rights, etc., are women.

Breakup roundup

A friend asked me for breakup advice, and in addition to some other things, I gave her songs I listen to when I'm having boy trouble. I'm not pretending that all of these songs are first-class music, but they're what work for me. Also, listen to the songs before you watch the music videos. Sometimes a crappy video can taint an otherwise great song.

Anyway, here goes—

First you're going to be angry. That's okay—good, even. Get in your car, turn on Gives You Hell by The All-American Rejects, roll down the windows. Let it play as loud as you can, on repeat, and shout, don't sing, the lyrics as you drive. Do this until your vocal chords are sore, and enjoy every minute of it.

When you get as far as you want to go, turn on The Guy That Says Goodbye To You Is Out Of His Mind by Griffin House and listen to it as you drive home. Feel the wind on your face, smile. You'll feel a kind of pleasure. Do you remember when you were a kid and you would cry uncontrollably? There was always a point when your crying slowed, and your breath caught in your chest as you inhaled—hih, hih, hih—but the tired exhale that followed seemed to cleanse you. You could finally lay your head on your mother's shoulder. The pleasure you feel now is similar; it is your old self returning to you. You gave so much to this relationship, and it took a part of you away that you're just realizing was missing. It feels good, now, to have her return. Play Beautiful by Christina Agulera.

You're going to wallow, and that's ok. Just don't let yourself get lost in it, and make sure it's about you and not him. You'll know the difference. If you find yourself in a place where you don't want to be, listen to No Children by the Mountain Goats. Laugh at yourself, laugh at him. Remember that there is more to life that what you're going through right now.

Most of all, trust yourself. Don't let others tell you how to handle your own heartbreak, and don't let them minimize it. It's hard, and you need to let yourself work through it. You will know if you're taking it too far, or if you're trying to ignore what you need to work through. Trust yourself.

When I wallow, I usually start with Mirrors by Justin Timberlake, How To Love by Lil' Wayne. I start to move to slower, introspective songs. I'll listen to Let Go by Frou Frou and Fix You by Coldplay, Poison & Wine by The Civil Wars. Maybe even Skinny Love (Das Kapital Rerub) by Bon Iver.

Somehow a song will slip in that doesn't even have much to do with breakups, but it seems to fit with how I'm feeling. This will be something like This Boy by James Morrison or Ain't No Reason by Brett Dennen. If I've been with awesome, supportive friends, I'll feel like listening to Count On My Love by Liz Phair. If I'm daydreaming about all the things I want to do in the future I'll listen to See The World by Gomez.

After awhile life moves on, almost without my noticing. But I still come to a point where I need to bundle up all the things I've been through, and finally just let them go. The only song for this moment is The Heart of the Matter by India Arie. I couldn't find this on YouTube, but just buy it. It is worth every penny. Let yourself remember the pain, but relish the fact that you've moved past it. Allow it to be a part of you now, a piece of your past that will help you be who you need to be.



You would think this was the end, but there's one more step. There will be a day in the future when you remember this guy and the breakup and all the heartache it caused you—and you will laugh. Your life will be beautiful and fun and so different, so much better, than you ever would've imagined. When this happens—just trust me on this—strip down to your underwear in your bedroom, grab a hairbrush, and use it as microphone as you dance joyously to Breakin' Up by Rilo Kiley. Enjoy every minute of it.

It feels good to be free.

Life lately




Fall is winding down and the trees are beautiful.






I've made a goal to really enjoy my food, instead of scarfing down sandwiches between classes.






And I discovered that I don't take good selfies. When I made a Facebook account earlier this year, I just snapped a quick picture of myself for the profile. It's not very flattering. A couple days ago I thought I would try the selfie thing to see if I could get a good picture, but ended up just making funny faces and laughing at myself as the camera took successive shots. My profile picture hasn't changed.

School is busy but engaging, and the weather is exceptionally beautiful for this time of year. We've been expecting snow for weeks, but every day I wake up to a perfect autumn morning.

Friends, I have found my bedroom

I have a thing for design—not that I'm particularly gifted with interiors or anything like that, but I feel like I know my own style best when it comes to a room. When it comes to clothes, my style is black. Just black. And apparently with rooms, too, I guess, because I saw this and fell in love with it—



Can't you just see yourself curling up in that bed with the lamp on and rain outside the window?

Also, the other day I made banana ice cream and it was delicious! I just put frozen bananas and a little bit of milk in a blender. That's it. Don't put too much milk in, and if the bananas don't get all the way mashed up just use your spoon to get the rest, and you have these delicious chunky banana pieces. I also didn't have a weird feeling in my stomach like I do after eating ice cream. Be sure to let the bananas get as ripe as you can before you cut them up and freeze them. The riper they are the sweeter they'll be.

If I think of it, next time I'll post a picture of the results.