Archives for category: Inspirations

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.

Twenty years ago, I studied abroad in England–curious to learn something new. When I arrived, I took a train into London for a welcome orientation weekend, before heading north to Lancaster University. Moments after checking into a nondescript, student-friendly hotel, I met Mel.

Our connection was instantaneous; it felt timeless, as if we had always been and would forever be.

Mel was destined for the University of Sussex. And nobody–not even baby dykes–started a long-distance relationship on the first day of study abroad, back when prepaid phone cards were the only option.

We became friends and eventually partners. The only anniversary we cared to celebrate was the day we met.

For our 20th, we went back to London. We found our hotel, piecing together fragments from my journal, her scrapbook, my photographic memory, her pigeon-like sense of direction. It was still a hotel. And London was still London; so the rain started to fall as we gazed up at the third-floor window of the bunkbed room we first shared.

Mel and I ducked into the lobby and were kindly offered a cup of tea. We waited out the passing shower.

“This is where we met,” we kept repeating.

Tracey Emin I want my time with you 2018

Tracey Emin, I want my time with you, 2018

Serendipitously, one of my favorite artists, Tracey Emin, also had a public art piece on view at the St Pancras International station.

I Want My Time With You stretched 20 meters, over 65-feet, across wrought iron and glass roof. The nearby Champagne Bar by Searcys offered a stunner view.

We rang for Champagne but learned there was an English sparkling on the menu we decided to give a go.

Mel and I toasted to our time–and to wanting more.

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