“The internet brought us together. There was a fake story in one of the tabloids about a feud or something. We didn’t even know each other so we started talking by email.” - Jennifer Lawrence
Call me impressionable, but awwww.
This sums up everything I think about Taylor these days.
you are allowed to terminate toxic relationships
you are allowed to walk away from people who hurt you
you are allowed to be angry and selfish and unforgiving
you don’t owe anyone an explanation for taking care of yourself
“Our hearts beat so loud the neighbours think we’re fucking
when I’m just trying to find the nerve to touch your face.”
– Andrea Gibson, Pansies (via wethinkwedream)
My sophomore year in high school, a local entrepreneur came to talk to us about “planning ahead for our futures” and “ensuring our fiscal stability.” I sketched and scribbled open roads and disjointed poems leading to the holes in my lined paper, and no doubt frustrated with my lack of attention, he directed his harpoon-sharp line of questioning (“What, young lady, are you going to be?”) for a spot located directly at the center of my forehead.
Fresh out of a solo-art show which ended up being more successful than I ever would have projected—my passions encouraged, vindicated and applauded—I retorted, fire on my breath: “I’m an artist and I will continue to be.”
A stand-off of sorts grew between the two of us, me staring daggers down my nose in his direction and him quietly weighing me with his eyes. A series of rapid-fire questions followed (“Are you prepared to be a poor college student, committed to your craft?” “Yes.”) (“Are you also prepared to compromise your artistic identity and aesthetic in order to please potential clients?” “I don’t think that’s necessarily a prerequisite of all artists.”) (“Do you have a plan to fall back on?” “At sixteen, did you?”).
He waved his hand in my direction, as if to push away the words I spat into the air separating us, and told me I was in for a rude awakening, laughing.
- - -
On the city bus, my freshman year of college, an elderly oriental gentleman took his seat beside me, smiling. “The Tempest,” he asked. “For studies or pleasure?” I told him that it was for a little bit of both and he nodded, knowingly. Paul—his name, which I learned after a colorful introduction—had been an English professor in South America for more than a decade, and a lover of words since the day he was born. When his stop neared, he gestured his hands toward my face (“May I?”) and I obliged, allowing him to hold his palms against my cheeks and tell me, his voice clear and young: “Carry the torch. There are dwindling numbers of us and it is an important gift we were born to bear.” He blessed me with kind eyes, and left my hands shaking.
- - -
I have discovered, through the years, that art—the process of creating something from nothing, conjuring it from thin air; or something new from something existing—is simply the obligation of my hands and brain.
Fitzgerald called it holding your breath. Hemingway called it something like sitting down at a typewriter and bleeding. He also called it a vice, an addiction, a hell of a disease to be born with. We are creators, we are fanatics. We do this to catch our breath, to silence the chaos of life, to excise the things we cannot name out of our spirit and wrestle them into something we’ve got more control of—between the lines and bindings of our journals, and kept chained underneath the dirty keys of our keyboards. Ruth Stone felt it coming like a great wind across the landscape at times, inspiration. A force of nature or a call to arms that she tried, sometimes futilely, to catch and draw inside herself.
I was born an artist, and I will carry this crown with me to the grave no matter how tarnished and no matter how inglorious. Live by the sword and die by it. Let the torches of those before me light the way. We fight this battle, headlong, because sometimes you’re born with a tune and you’ve got no choice but to hum it. I am an artist, and I will continue to be.
“Alls we really want to do is the thing we do, heads down and leaned into the squall.” *
nothing in the air
that night suggested that love
was heading my way.
the thing about love:
it keeps you warm when it lives,
and cold when it leaves.
i miss you too much
surely this cannot be good
for my mental health.
Grilled cheese with tomato soup