Art, college, Minnesota, music, Musing, nature, Thoughts, Travels, Writing

Some Things

Morgan,

Book Across the Bay was magical. I was thinking about you, and the way you would’ve loved the yellow candles in the snowy darkness, and the beaming moon and stars. There were thousands of people there, and I felt like I was crossing the Bering Straits in the Great Migration. Terrific.

Anyways, I’ve got loads of work (blah blah. The worst), but I wanted to share with you. I feel as if we remember periods in our lives less by dates and months, but by seasons, smells, and the art–the music, literature, whatever–that we are within.

So here are a couple things I’m in now:

*This beautiful video and song, called “John Wayne” by the Green Little Cars

*On The Road, Jack Kerouac. We’re doing the Beats in my Modern American Lit class. .

“because the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a common place thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes ‘Awww!’ ” (6)

Now I’m feeling all moody and sad, because these things are so pretty and my work is so boring. Oh well! I hope you had a terrific weekend too. Love love love,

Drew

P.S. I’m still working on your birthday present. At this rate, you’ll have it by your 20th… ah, eventually!

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college, lists, poetry, Thoughts, Writing, YouTube

She’s Alive! And Dayquil Prompts her to Talk about Other Things (and refer to herself in 3rd person in post title)

Alright, so it’s my one-week anniversary of being SICK. Eh.  But I’ve had a lot of tea and used a lot of toilet-paper tissues and am *knock on wood* on the tail end of whatever this has been.

Anywhos.  LOVE the inspiration, Drew.  (Literally- all of it.  Just finished Glass’ commencement speech.)

I think I’ve got to carve out more time (or let’s be real- use some other time more constructively) to sit and think, to pause and bring those moments and words of inspiration to the front of my mind from the back cubbies where they often hang out.  I feel like things have been ebbing and flowing and I’ve been (merci germs) on an ebb- like I need to hold still and find some way to rejuvenate my ‘me’ supply.

Why is it so easy for me to drop off the face of the planet, Drew?  I get sucked into the ebb and flow long enough that I forget this ebbing and flowing cycle, when I really just want to doze on some warm sand.

Other Things:

Thing 1.  You all look terrific as zamish.  The paper bonnets are a super classy (and crafty) touch.

Thing 2.  Roman Pooh is quite dashing.

Thing 3.  I second “McKibben is a total boss.”

Thing 4.  Jeeziecreezie I’ve been a serious blog bum, major apologies.

Thing 5.  Some more slam for y’all.

So went to my second slam poetry in 10K (one of the dorms’ basements I mentioned before) and the guest poet (who performs during the ‘intermission’ for the students performing) was Jamaal May.  ‘Twas awesommme.  I picked up his The Whetting of Teeth and Other Poems,

And HUZZAH- they uploaded some of the poems he performed!  Here’s one I really loved-

“Pomegranate Means Grenade”

Remember the stuff we wrote in Lower School?  Yah some of it was ridiculous, but my mom sometimes tells me things I used to say…it was like I was on a whole different plane, maybe it was just those few old soul moments were more old soul-ly because I was so young.  Or maybe it was just because whatever strange morsel I said came with some chubby cheeks and crazy, crazy short curly hair.  That was probably it.

But when Jamaal (he signed my book and we talked about how CT is the 17th state to abolish the death penalty this past April…so we’re on a first name basis) was talking about his students and the poetry they write…well, it made me think of when we were younger and how, I think, the way we used words created truer descriptions and described truer (?) feelings (Perhaps by ‘truer’ I mean…I don’t know, but I know that’s not the adjective I want to use.  What would you use?).

Another thing Jamaal did that I liked- which is what actually got me up out of my chair to go and buy one of his collections- he signed a friend’s copy with “hope these poems keep vibrating.”  I love that.  To write something that vibrates, to listen, to read something with sounds and phrases that vibrate, to remember something because it’s still vibrating–

Also had brunch with a friend (who is also a sophomore leader in Lives of Commitment) and a friend of his from home.  After brunch I hugged this super awesome now-less-of-a-stranger.  Goodness brownies and frownies, brownies and frownies!  (I’m reading this over, Drew…Dayquil has really got me loopy.  Apologies?  No!  Sorry I’m not sorry!)

Last thing- pretty sure this is my first successful human pyramid!  Can you believe it?  WE’RE VOTING THIS WEEK DREW!

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college, creativity, Musing, Thoughts, Writing, YouTube

“Ira Glass on the Creative Process”

I’m working on a story right now that I want so badly to be good and sound and beautiful. But it’s ambitious and honestly, I feel as if I’m trying to find my way to the bed in a dark hotel room. I keep bumping into things and I can’t seem to get my bearings–in short, I have no idea what.I’m.doing.

And so (of course) I started searching around the internet for some help and/or inspiration.

What I found was a video featuring Ira Glass, in which Glass talks about what he really wishes someone had told him when he was beginnerIt was exactly what I needed to hear and so wonderfully consoling that I felt compelled to share it. Thus, see below.

I’ll admit I’ve got a bit of a brain-crush on Ira Glass. He has, undoubtedly, a remarkable ability to tell stories. I’m an avid listener of This American Life. I play episodes while I work out, walk to class, fall asleep, and each time I’m amazed by how captivating it is, by how fascinated and engrossed I become in the story.

In this Ira-Glass-fawning-vein, Glass also gave a terrific commencement speech at Goucher College last May, chalk-full of humorous, hopeful bits of wisdom and insight. You can watch the full speech here (though I’ll warn you about the unreal peculiarity of seeing the face attached the voice), but below is just one quote that stuck out to me.

“I had to learn that ideas, if you were going to make creative work, you have to find an idea to make the work about. That is a job in itself. And where do ideas come from? They come from other ideas, and you have to surround yourself with things that are interesting to you and notice what is exciting to you and what you want to dive into, and finding what you’re going to make your short story or film or song or art project or movie about is a job.  Finding what you want to do next is a job. It’s a task: You have to set aside hours in the day, and you have to be a soldier, and you have to fight for what you’re going to make in yourself.”

So often I think ideas will simply arrive in my mind, as if the idea fairy is just going to leave an idea under my pillow at night. But Glass argues, No, it’s not as romantic as that; we have to work to form our ideas. That creativity isn’t this natural, flowing entity but something we must nurture daily. Something that requires earnest endeavor; concerted effort.

And I like that thought–I like it a whole lot–because it rings true to me and because it makes my struggling seem useful, worthwhile; heck, maybe even valuable.

–Drew

P.S. The You Tube Channel through which I found the Ira Glass video also has a terrific Steve Jobs’ quote video, which you can see here. Inspiration overload!

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