From the faraway, nearby.

Georgia O’Keeffe used to sign her letters with “from the faraway nearby.”

Rebecca Solnit talks about this in her book The Faraway Nearby, titled after this phrase from many of Georgia O’Keeffe’s letters. This was a recent read for me but it has easily been added to my list of favorites.

“We’re close, we say, to mean that we’re emotionally connected, that we are not separate; or, we’ve become distant, to describe the opposite. After years in New York City, Georgia O’Keeffe moved to rural New Mexico, from which she would sign her letters to the people she loved, “from the faraway nearby.” It was a way to measure physical and psychic geography together.”
— Rebecca Solnit ‘The Faraway Nearby’

Like most of what O’Keeffe has said, I resonate with this.

Read more.

The power to seek new ways of being…

“Only within that interdependency of difference strengths, acknowledged and equal, can the power to seek new ways of being in the world generate, as well as the courage and sustenance to act where there are no charters.” — Audre Lorde

I recently read The Master’s Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master’s House, a short essay by feminist and activist Audre Lorde.

Audre Lorde was a poet, and in reading this gorgeously written and timely essay, it’s easy to see that her passion became her platform on which to advocate for change.

What struck me most about this essay is a very important discussion of the necessity of difference. Read more.

If you’re a pretender, come sit by my fire….

“If you are a dreamer, come in.
If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar,
A hope-er, a pray-er, a magic bean buyer . . .
If you’re a pretender, come sit by my fire,
For we have some flax golden tales to spin.
Come in!
Come in!”
— Shel Silverstein, Invitation

Did anyone else know about Shel Silverstein’s start as a cartoonist with Playboy?

I didn’t, and I find it strangely fascinating.

Playboy not only launched Shel Silverstein’s career, but he also probably had a hand in helping to launch theirs. Read more.

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I am the sea and nobody owns me.

“I am the sea and nobody owns me.”
— Astrid Lindgren, Pippi Longstocking

Pippi Longstocking was written by Astrid Lindgren on request from her daughter.

Astrid herself was not one to be tied down.

She had her children, and eventually a husband, but none of that stopped her from living a full life and doing what she loved most. Read more.

In this case, the color blue

“And so I fell in love with a color — in this case, the color blue — as if falling under a spell, a spell I fought to stay under and get out from under, in turns.”
–Maggie Nelson, Bluets

In Bluets, Maggie Nelson brings us along on her journey through the color blue as she experiences her own heartbreak, and witnessing a loved one’s physical pain.

Is she looking for the reason behind her love of the color? Or simply trying to tell a story through the waves of the color blue? Read more.

The Decade That Destroyed the Modern American Woman

’90s Bitch: The Decade That Destroyed the Modern American Woman’
— Allison Yarrow

I recently read a book for a class.

It was actually a much more momentous moment than it sounds, as it was the first time in my first semester of grad school that I actually got to read something of interest to my future thesis… Whatever that may be.

I chose Allison Yarrow’s 90s Bitch: Media, Culture, and the Failed Promise of Gender Equality, a journalistic review of the crappy way high profile women were treated in the media during the 90s.

It wasn’t exactly what I thought it would be. Read more.

far worse than ugliness…

“In the matter of furnishing, I find a certain absence of ugliness far worse than ugliness.” — ‘Gigi’, Colette (1944)

I recently watched the film Colette. I hated it. The story was great, but I found a major roadblock. Who makes a movie about a French woman, set in France, with a cast full of British accents? I couldn’t get passed that, no matter the Rotten Tomatoes rating.
Read more.