Thursday, November 28, 2013

10 feet from the summit

another thanksgiving has arrived--another day of mourning. it was 9 years ago this week that i started writing here, almost one decade ago. and i'm still here. still writing. still mourning. still navigating this profoundly cruel and unjust world. but also still giving thanks for all the beauty and inspiration, for all the amazing people i have known and loved during this time.

so 9 years later, i find myself living in philadelphia; in the third neighborhood of my nearly 5 year journey here. my life is completely up in the air right now. i'm sitting in the waiting room, struggling to finish, now, my first draft of the master's thesis by next wednesday morning. everything is completely on hold until that is complete. from now until then, i will immerse myself in the writing. i will get into the zone and make this happen.

i just got off the phone with my sister who shared something very helpful from her experience in art school. one of her professors looked at a series of paintings she had done and responded, "it's as if you were 10 feet from the summit and then just turned around and went home." 

10 feet from the summit.

that's where i'm at now. after nearly two years of this low-residency program at goddard i am so close to being done. almost there. and yet lately, my focus and determination has been nonexistent. i have felt isolated from the process. i need to treat this challenging task ahead the same way i approached moving out of my house and into my current living space early last month. i didn't over-prepare. i just focused my determination on accomplishing what urgently need to get done. and i did it, despite everything. despite trips to the emergency room and parking tickets. i made it happen.

after this task ahead is complete next week, i will be free to figure out what the fuck i am doing with my life. i will update my resume, research job openings in philly and beyond, and spend most of my time writing cover letters and pursuing something new. a new life.

for now, i'm 10 feet from the summit. but i'm not turning around.  

Thursday, November 07, 2013


fall has arrived and i'm ready to change with the leaves. embracing all the upheaval, the crumbling of foundations long taken for granted. i walk all around this city now, my bicycle broken and quietly resting in the parlour of my temporary living space. walking, we notice the details of the changes going on around us. yes, the leaves do change colors in the city. they are bright and then earth-toned...and then dead. i walk miles to sit in a coffeeshop, one that i will be not getting paid minimum wage to be inside. sitting there, gazing out the window, instead of diligently writing, i see the one face i would prefer to never see again pass by. it's unclear whether we made eye contact or not. but in that moment, i think to myself: i need to get the fuck out of here. i should leave. and fantasies of starting a new life in a new place are so comforting. like the change of the seasons. but for now, i am here. and i am writing. i am changing.