This year has been a treasure hunt for silver linings amidst the rainout-your-whole-life clouds of 2020. At some point this spring, my partner, Melinda, and I swapped our rhetorical lament, What is going to happen next?, for an actual question: Wonder what we’re going to do?

What followed was a wonder quest for experiences uniquely enabled by these times. Here are a slew of moments that got me through this year in no particular order.

(Note: This is not a productivity list, at times, surviving was more than enough. I also acknowledge my work-from-everywhere privilege and ask, if you are also in the position to do so, please signal boost and/or donate to an organization committed to helping those in need get through this time and be resilient on the other side — and, of course, keep wearing your mask, washing your hands, and socially distancing.)

Citibiked: Manhattan

Read: How to Do Nothing, Jenny Odell

Picked: Cherries (spring), Peaches (summer), Apples (fall) at Rosehill Farms, and Jalapeños (near Seneca Lake)

Watched: Flamingos mate for life (Celestún, Mexico); gulls soar through Manhattan; turtles lay eggs; lambs be born; caterpillars eat bouquets of dill; bears roam; foxes fox; cottontails bound; wild turkeys fly; Mom’s new kittens play

Drank: Compaigne des Vins Surnaturels By the Lake and all over New York thanks to their spectacular home delivery

Made: Protest signs from a fully stocked children’s art supply closet

Listened: “If you waiting for life to go back to the way it was,” said my friend, Lulu, “you’re trying to live in a world that no longer exists.”

Practiced: Spanish 1:1 via Skype with SpeakShop tutors in Guatemala

Cut: Coffee (from 2 pots to 2 cups a day)

Read: A Paradise Built in Hell, Rebecca Solnit

Lit: ~100 fires

Picked up: 4 Charles Prime Rib

Stretched

Read: Think Small, Wendell Berry

Cheered on: Every team in the WNBA (especially the Lynx) via League Pass

Ate: Rubirosa outdoors on Pride

Microdosed

Gathered: Queer night on the farm (Chaseholm Farm)

Conferenced in: From home (Chelsea, NYC); a creek (Catskills); a fireplace (Hudson Valley); the beach (Yucatán)

Drank: Chëpìka

Chopped: Wood, like whole trees, and local farm vegetables for Melinda to grill

Voted

Saw: Uxmal

Ordered: 1 kilo of handmade, heirloom corn tortillas from Pancho Maiz

Lived: Next door to a popsicle shop

Puzzled: Sometimes looking at the box, sometimes not, and one I didn’t finish (Smoke & Petals because I got high)

Cried: When Rough Draft bookstore re-opened in Kingston

Marveled: Farm Arts Collective‘s Dream on the Farm performance amongst hemp and fairytale eggplants

Wrote: Daily journal (as I have since childhood but, for real, just to journal, not to publish)

Ate: Fresh fish

Listened: Astrology readings – now on the new CHANI app✨

Counted down to a bright new year

What’s lightened your year? Share your silver linings…

Unabashedly gushing over artist Zilia Sánchez in Bust

Bust’s raison d’être is for feminists with something to get off their chests. So I wrote about experiencing Zilia Sánchez’s work for the first time in 2018 and being furious about it. See why: Artist Zilia Sánchez’s Soy Isla (I Am an Island) Retrospective Comes Ashore. 

ElMuseo ZiliaSanchez

Like two plumes of smoke rising on a bright day, Juana de Arco (Joan of Arc) (1987) features two painted panels billowing nearly to the ceiling. The immensity of the body brings to mind the historic magnitude of the title’s heroine, and as I look closely at the curves, crevices, lips, and nipples, the sensation of surveying the landscape around the open legs of a love with whom I want to forget time.

Soy Isla is scheduled to be on view at  El Museo Del Barrio November 20, 2019 – March 22, 2020. (El Museo is closed for public health concerns – stay tuned for more information.)

The exhibition catalog is viewable here: Embodied Spaces of Zilia Sánchez.

“What do you want to lie about?” asked Kiese Laymon; “Write that,” Sari Botton said.

Me: Marriage Proposal Follies for Longreads.

girlfriend-proposal Katie Kosma

Illustration by Katie Kosma. So perfect. I’m obsessed with it.

 

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