me, taken by my boyfriend, september equinox 2011
(I like very few pictures taken of myself and this one I like a lot.)
today the weather is cold (cold, so cold, it was 58 when I awoke and is all the way up to 64 now) and wonderful and instead of enjoying it I am inside completing secondary apps for medical school.
they say things like
"Give an example of personal feedback in the last few years that was difficult to receive. How did you respond?"
"The most meaningful achievements are often non-academic in nature. Describe the personal non-academic accomplishment that makes you most proud. Why is this important to you?"
"Describe a problem in your life. Include how you dealt with it and how it influenced your growth."
which are of course the kind of things on secondary applications. It is just exhausting to answer more than fifteen "DESCRIBE YOUR ENTIRE LIFE FROM THEN UNTIL NOW AND YOUR FUTURE PLANS AND WHY" questions at a time. I don't want to talk about timelines (please don't mention/ask) and goals and the various medschool "what? why do I wanna do this? WHAT IF I DON'T" freakouts I've had over the past few months, especially summer. There is no past and no future and there is only the purity of color and the way the wind sometimes feels like fabric against your skin, and the way the ends of your hair split into such fine pieces that you can only see them as golden lines in the light.
Since reading Gravity's Rainbow it is harder for me to worry about little things. I think this is a good thing. I have a sense of perspective which certainly makes my mental state better: there is no bomb going to be dropped on me. How can you worry about wordcounts and deadlines when a.) there is no V2 rocket hanging over your head and b.) you know something beautiful and meaningful exists in the world? I cannot. I am calmly giving this my best shot, telling them what they want to know, and leaving it at that. Sometimes I need to stop and make tea and bake a cake and go to lunch or ride my bike around in this lovely weather and that is just how it is. I will work on it and get it done on time.
I need this equanimity now. Last night I dreamed both my thesis readers came to me and said: "we need to read your thesis RIGHT NOW" and awoke relieved that I had a solid 50 pages to give them, with specific spots marked that I was working on and writing for. I saw one of my thesis readers last night, on Magazine Street. It was Art for Art's Sake, which is an event where the dozens of art galleries on Magazine street have open houses and each one has free wine and food. I walked up and down Magazine for three hours and lost track of how much wine and how many tiny sandwiches and tiny desserts I ate. My professor was walking into a little gallery near Napoleon and I said hello, asked him how he was enjoying the art. "I just got here," he replied, to which I said: "Well, you better start on the refreshments!" My mother has raised me to be a charming, hospitable person who is capable of making small talk, and she is a wonderful perfect lady.
Our favorite exhibit (mine and my boyfriend's) was at a little art school near Jefferson, which I've walked past many times but never entered. One room had 3D paintings--sculptures that hung on the walls and came out from them, unpainted clay that came out from the wall. Many of them were distorted, like photos taken with a wide-angle lens. One had death walking through the streets, second-line style, in a suit with an umbrella. Another had a nude woman standing in front of a mirror: on the other side of the mirror was another sculpture of a woman, standing in the same position, in a room full of 3D objects. I wanted it to be lit from within. The woman was connected to the sculpture only by the slightest connection at her elbow: she hung there, torso suspended in air, held in place only by her reflection.
Yesterday I wanted ginger ale and so came home and made my own ginger soda: this is very easy. You boil equal parts sugar and water and however much you feel of sliced ginger, then add seltzer water. When I opened the seltzer water it spewed all over my clothes (the first long-sleeved shirt of the season) and I was upset for all of five minutes. When I checked the ingredients on seltzer water it said the following: "CARBONATED WATER." The CO2 diffused and the water evaporated. I took a nap on the square of sunshine on my bed and my shirt dried. Are all my problems so small?