notes to myself
"It's the slow moving beast that can carry the heaviest load." - poet Rebecca Gayle Howell
I keep a running list of notes of things people in my life have told me that I want to tumble around in my brain. This year I’ve struggled with uncertainty and the strange mania of trying to control things. When Joan Didion died, she reminded me of the beauty of trying to navigate a messy world: “What I want to tell you today is not to move into that world where you're alone with yourself and your mantra and your fitness program or whatever it is that you might use to try to control the world by closing it out. I want to tell you just to live in the mess. Throw yourself out into the convulsions of the world. I'm not telling you to make the world better, because I don't believe progress is necessarily part of the package. I'm telling you to live in it. Try and get it. Take chances, make your own work, take pride in it. Seize the moment.” Here are some quotes people dear to me shared recently.
“Stop judging yourself while you’re doing it. I’m the only one that’s judging you. You're not allowed to judge yourself. You are my little star now.” - voice coach Marilyn Pittman coaching me through a radio recording
“In one weekend, write the heart of the book.” - writer Yuri Herrera
“I love it when churches look like storage sheds” - my mom
“Take portraits of every person you interview for your book” - writer Deborah Solomon sharing the secrets of biography writing with me
“I cannot get pregnant! We are trying every device known to man to prevent.” - my grandma, Corrie McCallum, an abstract painter, in a letter she wrote in 1940
From a conversation between photographers Lynn Johnson & John Stanmeyer: Lynn: Have you ever been in balance? / John: Never / Lynn: It’s impossible. I don’t think it is attainable, balance. Maybe the balance is the work itself.
“I don’t like myself awfully well…the only thing going for me that is really alive for me is my work.” - Maurice Sendak in a September 19, 1966 letter he wrote to my mom
“I can’t promise you will get in - he might send his regrets” - Jasper Johns’ caretaker greeting me in his driveway as I attempted and failed to interview the 91-year-old painter
Sending my regrets and love,