francesca mari

Francesca is a journalist and a senior editor at California Sunday. She lives in San Francisco
website / instagram

01    Story: What’s the best story you heard this month?

A coder was telling me bits from his life. He grew up in rural Michigan, one of five boys raised by a single mother. He and his older brother would often run into the woods. The nearest structure was a shack a mile away. When its owner—Pete, "Crazy Pete," they called him—wasn't there, they'd slip inside. Pete was a Vietnam vet and his shack was filled with lumber, tools, rifles, ammo. Enough to occupy the boys for hours. Later, when the boys were back at home, the police knocked on their door. They asked the boys if they knew Pete. The boys hesitated. Pete, the police said, had called the police because he was convinced that people were trespassing while he was away. He was a paranoid schizophrenic, the police said. Pete had planted land mines in a ring around his shack. The police were arresting him. In the meantime, the boys shouldn't venture too far into the woods.

02    Nature: An encounter with the natural world

In the Bay Area, the smoke that cast the sun neon pink. In upstate New York, the dying leaves that mirrored that distant sun.

03    Art Experience: An encounter with art (in any form)

I hate the New Museum, but I tend to forget this in the years between my visits. So every five years, I end up going and reminding myself anew. This month, I went to see the gender exhibit. And while the majority of the works were insultingly on the nose, there were some exceptions, and this was one. Vages like oozing targets! But the oozes are yarn. Emotional threads, tough and resilient, even a little celebratory. Take that, Harveys.

04    Change: a meaningful change that impacts the way you live (either that you initiated or that entered from outside)

My wellbeing is almost entirely dictated by my diet of light. When I was living in LA, my bedroom window looked east, onto the sunrise. There was a real incentive to wake up early, and being up at dawn was a high. I'm trying to find similar incentive in San Francisco and failing. The waning days aren't helping.

05    New Idea: a new way of looking at things or something to attempt in the future

Work = time spent in concentration, rather than productivity. Work as routine.

06    Object (new): a new object that held significance

I bought some bitcoin. $100 worth. Not much, but enough to be curious about what happens to it. Unfortunately, after eying it for weeks, waiting for it to lose value, it just kept going up, so finally I bought it at an all-time high. That's me accepting that I live in San Francisco and going along for the ride. I hereby submit to the city's tulip mania.

07    Object (old): an old object that took on new/different kind of meaning

Items of clothing absorb the environments in which they are worn. A velvet, floral, floor-length gown picked up a few new memories in New York.

08    Discard: Something you decided to rid from your life (or that you are particularly happy this month to see come to an end)

Well, shit. I gotta get rid of something.

09    Gratitude: something you have been specifically thankful for this month:

Nonie. ---> see video

10    Proportion: A specific moment that reminded you of the scale of the universe. That you are part of a greater whole.

This leaf ---> see video


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A piece from "Trigger: Gender as a Tool and Weapon" at the New Museum

A piece from "Trigger: Gender as a Tool and Weapon" at the New Museum

Fran in a floral dress

Fran in a floral dress