01 Story: What’s the best story you heard this month?
Maybe not a story, but a quote. There was a quote from Bette Midler that I just read in The New Yorker, featured in a story that ran in The Talk of The Town. During an interview, she said “Escape is necessary sometimes. Don’t escape into bullshit.”
02 Nature: An encounter with the natural world
There’s a large Indian Laurel Fig tree right outside my apartment. My windows open up into the belly of its bouncy, bushy leaves. It diffuses the sunlight beautifully, and I have never had so much experience with lush green until living here in San Francisco.
03 Art Experience: An encounter with art (in any form)
At the MoMA here, I saw the Hans Haacke sculpture, “News 1969/2008." It consists of an old teletype machine, which spurts out the latest new headlines from wire services from around the world. These dispatches come out on an endless scroll of paper, spooling out all over the floor. In present day, it reads like our endless timelines, except now its vintage type makes these news items appear more instantly aged, and more immediately obsolete. These days, of course, it’s all about how information is shared, and how light is shone on the news. Whether it’s the inherent news cycle, or cycles throughout history.
04 Change: a meaningful change that impacts the way you live (either that you initiated or that entered from outside)
After being here for three years, I have been slowly buying more furniture for my apartment. I’m really am trying to improve the quality of my life by giving myself more places to sit down, rest a glass, etc. I just got a coffee table — it makes a big difference.
05 New Idea: a new way of looking at things or something to attempt in the future
I went go-karting two weeks ago. As an unlicensed driver, it was my first time driving anything like a car before. To my surprise, I went around the track successfully. It ended a string of recurring dreams where I’m asked to take the wheel of a car, and not knowing what to do, I’ll crash it into the barricade of a highway. Since then, these dreams have been taking place on the track, where now I can follow the circuit, looping around like a pro.
06 Object (new): a new object that held significance
I just bought a pair of white, heeled cowboy boots. They are more fashionable than they might sound. I guess the significance is that it’s really uncharacteristic for me. Or, uncharacteristic of a more conservative person that I have become more recently.
07 Object (old): an old object that took on new/different kind of meaning
Years ago, I was given a pair of noise-cancelling headphones. Only recently did I come to understand that it’s an actual feature of the headphones themselves — I had always thought that people simply call them ‘noise-cancelling’ because they are so weighted and large. I had already loved them and used them for writing all the time, but discovering this new aspect of my everyday beloved thing was so exciting to me. I love this new feeling that I am so sealed off from everything around me.
08 Discard: Something you decided to rid from your life (or that you are particularly happy this month to see come to an end)
I logged out of Facebook, and I do not know my password to log back in. I could reset it, but I have decided that I am more happy not to. I’m happy to see my participation there come to an end.
09 Gratitude: something you have been specifically thankful for this month
My own mother told me recently how annoying it is that I’m “so grateful all the time.” There is something about the way that gratitude is communicated here in California that is especially unattractive. But this month I am thankful for everything that’s new to me. I’m thankful for any newness to my routine thinking, or to things I thought I understood. And I am grateful that there are people that care about me more than I think they do.
10 Proportion: A specific moment that reminded you of the scale of the universe; that you are part of a greater whole
I’m lucky that I can take easy trips to visit the beach, where I can see the Pacific Ocean. With regards to “religious experience,” I do believe in that textbook oceanic feeling one gets, that larger feeling of being a part of the universe. You can really forget who you are for a second. What’s most captivating to me about the Pacific is how dangerous and wild it seems. It’s both a calming experience, as well as a disquieting one.