Hayley Coupon was born in New York City and now lives in Los Angeles. She writes lyrics, music, long form essays, and brand copy for herself and for others. She works in creative content and concept, brand direction, and strategy.
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01 CHANGE: A change you enacted with intention, or one that came from the outside.
Another month, another move: After six months in a sublet in an area of Los Angeles, my boyfriend and I pulled up our timidly semi-planted roots and moved again. This marks the fourth (I think?) move this year. We moved cross-country in April and have been ricocheting around in this new sprawl since then like pinballs. Getting used to a new neighborhood and a new home has been challenging this time around; knowing it's another temporary space only makes it more so. But we're balancing change with certainties, like always having morning tea together.
02 SIMPLE NOURISHMENT: What simply satisfied you? Maybe it was a ten-minute phone call with a friend. Maybe it was a perfectly timed bath. Maybe it was a sandwich.
A trip to New York, my hometown. It was for three full days, and you can pack so much into three days in New York: the theater, the museums, the walking, the restaurants. And for me, on top of the intellectual nourishment, my family and closest friends are all there. It's cliché, but quality time is the most nourishing thing in the world to me.
03 NEW TO YOU: What did you do for the first time, as a beginner or simply with a new sense of openness?
I think I bought a house, which is very new to me. I don't want to jinx it, but as of right now, the new year will start off with a new home. I also went to the Huntington Gardens for the first time.
04 ABUNDANCE: What was plentiful?
Can I say that friendships in my life are in abundance? Not necessarily 'plentiful' in a quantity sense, but in a depth of feeling and emotional support sense. As I get older, and especially when I start to reflect around my birthday (which also occurred this month), I find myself really grateful for my friends, most of whom are suddenly people I've known intimately for 10+ years (and new, exciting friendships that have formed since moving to LA.)
05 LOSS: What was lost, what are you mourning? Maybe it is minor. Maybe it was more of a simplification than a “loss.”
I think particularly at the beginning of this time period but still today, I have been mourning the end of October, which I spent in Italy at the artist residency run by Villa Lena. It was formative, inspiring, and had a streak of purity or innocence. I see the faces of the fellow artists in my head almost once a day. I miss them, and I miss the time to breathe and explore and create.
06 MYSTERY: Describe a mystery from the last month. What happened that you can’t explain?
A mystery since 2016 persists: How did anyone vote for Donald J. Trump, and how has he lasted this long?
07 FRONT BURNER LIST: What was read, watched, seen, listened to? Any colors, tastes, sensorial details that stand out?
"Disgraced," the play by Ayad Akhtar. Saw it on Broadway years ago, and hadn't been able to get it out of my mind for some time, so I revisited the play. Also currently reading "They Can't Kill Us Until They Kill Us" by Hanif Abdurraqib. And a lot of news articles.
HBO's adaptation of Elena Ferrante's amazing achievement, "My Brilliant Friend."
Bruce Springsteen's one-man show on Broadway, proving, once again, his skill as writer and performer. Also, Hilma af Klint at the Guggenheim: wow.
"The Conversation" soundtrack by David Shire. "Amy's Theme" in particular.
08 PROPORTION: A specific moment that reminded you of the scale of the universe, that you are part of a greater whole. An outdoor shower in the mountains. A particular drive at night. Reading a certain quotation at the right time.
While trying to do a work project, I stumbled upon a Walt Whitman quote from Song of Myself and had to stop working for a moment:
"I bequeath myself to the dirt to grow from the grass I love,
If you want me again look for me under your boot-soles.
You will hardly know who I am or what I mean,
But I shall be good health to you nevertheless,
And filter and fibre your blood.
Failing to fetch me at fist keep encouraged,
Missing me one place search another,
I stop somewhere waiting for you."