I’m returning to this blog after about six months with a list-y post, but I hope to write here more in the future. Lots of changes in the past six months: I left my job of eight years and started freelancing, my chapbook was published (more about that below), I started focusing more on projects I’ve wanted to do for no reason at all (the best reason is none sometimes; goals are suspicious), and one of my great friends moved to Minnesota from Beijing.
And here is that list:
- My chapbook, Shine a light, the light won’t pass, was published! I’m so proud of the work and care that made this little book of essays. If you want to read about star birth and death, dance, violence and its perspectives, love, sadness, and how the moon (ours) was formed, please check it out! And look at the other books MIEL has published too – they are beautiful, inside and out. I’m especially excited about Metta Sáma’s Le Animal and Other Creatures.
- In other writing news, I have a short essay called “Reductionist Confessions” in Image Journal‘s “Evolution and the Imago Dei” issue. I wrote the study guides for churches and colleges that are provided with this issue, so had the privilege of studying it closely. It is incredible! Lots of different perspectives from people who gaze at their faith and the history of evolution with loads of intelligence and love. I also wrote a related blog post about my heart, music, and dissonance over at the Good Letters blog.
- And other new publications: A very short essay called “Amok” published in Timber and a longer essay called “Dance It Viscous” about dance and hemoglobin and viscosity/friction in Lumina.
- I created a Society6 shop to start selling some of my art and illustration prints.
- I’ll spend a week at a writing workshop at the Collegeville Institute next week. I’m looking forward to writing my face off and the Bauhaus library and bullfrogs and Milky Way and water.
- I learned about northwoods mushrooms and ants, the latter because I’m terrified of them. I love all insects, but I’m so scared of ants. I’m getting better; I don’t like the idea of being scared of (read: wanting to hurt) something because it has a different body or different way of moving. I’ve learned that forager ants (the ones you see aboveground) are usually older females; because they can no longer reproduce, they get the dangerous jobs. (Think of an Ant-Man movie where the protag was an elderly woman forced into a life of danger because she could no longer reproduce, and she had to enter a world where the bulk of info about her life and body was focused on exterminating her. I’d watch the hell out of that movie.)
My grandmother also died last week, and I’m feeling alternately ragey and sad and sleepy/sleep-logged; I don’t eat that much meat, but I get huge meat cravings when someone close to me dies. This probably only makes sense to me, but to me, it makes great sense. I will confess that things are a little on top of me at the moment. Here are some (non-meat) things that have helped recently:
- Helen Macdonald’s book H is for Hawk, about grief and goshawks and wildness and the danger of blood-belonging and land myths/erasures and loads of other things. It’s revelatory.
- Sarah Bray’s post about getting out of bed.
- This article about nurses who help people voluntarily starve or dehydrate. It’s not as dark as it sounds, but it is what it is.
- Watching The Babadook and thinking about how kids invent monsters so they have a reason to keep saving their parents, and how you can love something more than anything else and still resent it enough to want it destroyed, and how horror movies would move so much more smoothly if people could just stop denying that something really awful got in their house and stand up to it.
Love to you all. I am not Captain Effusive, but I’m lucky to know so many lovely artists in person or online, and I’m admiring and caring about you from afar. Will work on that – ant fear and compliments and using this space to write more: the summer’s to-do list is set.