"The idea that you might end up in a job that doesn’t allow you to be who you are, over the course of a lifetime, is still one of the most chilling nightmares to me. It’s a good metaphor for fears I have about losing my soul in some accidental, mundane way. So, to me, these jobs that my characters have are very loaded. They immediately suggest a complex character to me, a woman who is, say, a secretary, but also a vigilante on behalf of her own soul."
"Writing isn’t a habit. It’s a unique form of expression. And nobody owes you that special experience on a daily or a weekly basis. But if you make an effort, when it’s gone, to keep living your life and experiencing new things, it will eventually return. And when it does, enjoy it as much as you can, before it goes away again."
Etgar Keret, Getting Unstuck
It reminds me of the “bike to work” movement. That is also portrayed as white, but in my city more than half of the people on bike are not white. I was once talking to a white activist who was photographing “bike commuters” and had only pictures of white people with the occasional “black professional” I asked her why she didn’t photograph the delivery people, construction workers etc. … ie. the black and Hispanic and Asian people… and she mumbled something about trying to “improve the image of biking” then admitted that she didn’t really see them as part of the “green movement” since they “probably have no choice” –
I was so mad I wanted to quit working on the project she and I were collaborating on.
So, in the same way when people in a poor neighborhood grow food in their yards … it’s just being poor– but when white people do it they are saving the earth or something."
comment left on the Racialious blog post “Sustainable Food & Privilege: Why is Green always White (and Male and Upper-Class)”
"I would like to curl up and become a small thing. About this big. And still. Very still. Have you ever become so melancholy, that you wanted to fit in the palm of your beloved’s hand? And lie there, for fortnights, or decades, or the length of time between stars? In complete silence?"
Sarah Ruhl, Melancholy Play
I’m having a rough go of it lately. Adding insult to injury, I managed to lose my journal in a pile of newspapers that the cafe put in the recycling, I’m sure.
You’re so used to this kind of smoothness in writing, this feeling that you, the reader, or you, the writer, are this great empathic, wondrous soul. I would love to be that, but of course when we see the way we behave in the world really to other people, we’re confronted with a different version of who we are. Not just this wonderful, tolerant, broad person who sees humanity and everything, but someone a little more narrow, self-defended, sometimes cruel, sometimes selfish. I wanted to try and show that. And also, someone who—people who live in a city, who are able to switch off these famous values of empathy and tolerance and love quite suddenly when you need to. Or if you need to. I wanted to be honest about that experience, but it’s not something you want reflected back at you perhaps, it’s not a pleasure. But reading can be many things: sometimes it can be a pleasure, sometimes it’s a bit tougher. It’s a broad church that way.
relevant quotes are relevant.
Jenny Holzer - Truisms (1977-79)
wow. the point is that it is illegal and very dangerous for drivers to open a door into the path of oncoming traffic, especially for cyclists. it’s one of the most deadly types of accidents. if you survive the initial impact, you are still often thrown onto the ground in the path of traffic behind you.
HOW TO OPEN YOUR CAR DOOR:
turn your body, & open it with your RIGHT HAND.
it forces you to look over your shoulder to see if a car, bike or pedestrian is coming, so you won’t a) damage your car or b) HURT OR KILL SOMEONE
Beili Liu - The Mending Project (2011)
“…Hundreds of Chinese scissors suspended from the ceiling in a shimmery cloud. The piece involved the artist sitting at a small black table, hand-mending patches of fabric together which visitors were encouraged to cut themselves near the entrance. As the performance continued, the piece grew as one continuous cloth and lay spread on the floor.
The hovering mass of the downward-pointed scissors represent the distant fear and looming violence present in today’s cultural climate. The sharp blades above the artist are put in contrast by the silent and simple act of mending. The dichotomous result of the instant fear superimposed with the calming effect of the sewing created a surreal atmosphere in the room.”