Rest, wander, live…

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“The most valuable thing we can do for the psyche, occasionally, is to let it rest, wander, live in the changing light of room, not try to be or do anything whatever.”

May Sarton

My cold still hasn’t quite let up, so I’m especially grateful for a long weekend on this fine Friday.  Wishing you all a restful Labor Day weekend!

 

Feeling beautiful

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Apologies for my absence this week, but I have had a terrible cold.  I’m hoping to be back in action fully next week, but in the meantime, I wanted to share a resonant piece about beauty that I stumbled across this morning:

“… Here are some activities where I feel intuitively beautiful and feminine – Walking through the Minneapolis Institute of Art alone. Writing and creating in an afternoon coffee shop. Talking with my girlfriends late at night, long after the persuasion of sleep has crept in. I feel most beautiful when interacting with this life that surrounds us. So I’m trying to do more of that. Because the image I keep hoping to see in the mirror? She’s never going to show up. But still, without fail, I greet her within me every single day – she is the way I respond to art and humanity. She is the rare and precious awareness that comes only when studying something that is distinctly outside of myself. I want to learn more of her. And it’s not going to happen while looking into the empty reflection of my bathroom mirror. So why would I bother to look there at all?”

–Anna Jeter via Wit & Delight

It made me think about how I feel vs. how I look, and how important it is to feel good in my body.  Here’s to a weekend full of feeling beautiful in and of ourselves.

 

Like a rocket

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El diamante sonríe por la tarde (1947), Joan Miró

 

“The last thing I wanted was infinite security and to be the place an arrow shoots off from. I wanted change and excitement and to shoot off in all directions myself, like the colored arrows from a Fourth of July rocket.”

–Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

Happy Friday, friends.

Are we there yet?

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Last week I had the pleasure of attending a book signing with the delightful Mari Andrew for her first book, Am I There Yet?: The Loop-de-loop, Zigzagging Journey to Adulthood.  I’ve enjoyed Mari’s insights on her Instagram and on the blog Cup of Jo for some time, but fell for her even more after hearing her speak at Vroman’s Bookstore on Thursday night.  She’s been a real inspiration for me: not only did she transition to illustrating full time only a couple of years ago (and already has a book that made the New York Times bestseller list? Amazing!), but she manages to say the things we all are thinking but afraid to articulate in a way that is fresh, disarming, candid, and compassionate — often all at the same time.

In her talk, Andrew held forth on things she thinks are valuable “wastes of time,” including making your own happiness reliable, working towards the person you want to be, pursuing fun, and sometimes having no goal at all.  “I am a person who is loved.  And I am a person who loves.”  These words resonated with me long after I walked out of the bookstore, signed book in hand.  In a culture that seems to privilege self-sacrifice to an impossible degree, sometimes these small reminders that fun is a good thing, and that prioritizing your own happiness is an even better thing, are exactly what is needed — especially when they are offered with a smile as genuine as Mari Andrew’s.

“…than all the blue in the world.”

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Female nude, Pablo Picasso

“238. I want you to know, if you ever read this, there was a time when I would rather have had you by my side than any one of these words; I would rather have had you by my side than all the blue in the world.

239. But now you are talking as if love were a consolation. Simone Weil warned otherwise. ‘Love is not consolation,’ she wrote. ‘It is light.’

240. All right then, let me try to rephrase. When I was alive, I aimed to be a student not of longing but of light.”

― Maggie Nelson, Bluets

 

It is difficult, but I am trying to be a student of light.  I find I get caught up in longings, in the ways I wish things could be different.  It is a challenge to be content in the present moment, but I am working at it — every day.

Made it to Friday

“All the women in me are tired.”

-Nayyirah Waheed

 

For some reason it has been a tiring week.  Not only did I have a lot on my plate, but it feels like family, work, relationships, politics, friends, and social obligations have all somehow been involved.  I contain multitudes, and all of us are tired this week!  I am looking forward to sleeping in tomorrow, and to an afternoon nap with my pups.  Wishing you a restorative weekend as well!

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Travel-minded

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Pont Saint-Michel, Paris

Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends.”

–Maya Angelou

 

I’ve got an intense case of wanderlust.  Photos of faraway places have me itching to plan a trip somewhere — Portugal, Cambodia, Seattle, Uruguay, Kenya, Vancouver!  Somewhere new I can discover!  I also got to see a few people that are very dear to me this week, leaving me with a deep appreciation for some of my closest friends.  Somehow my general concern for the state of the world combined with my feelings this week are encompassed in this wise quote by Maya Angelou.  Happy Friday, friends!