Trip Like I Do—Priest Lake, June 29-July 2

The object of our trip was Priest Lake in northern Idaho; it was our destination and where we spent most of our time. I wasn’t exactly looking forward to this part of the journey. In fact, Christine reminds me that my very first reaction to a proposed gathering of sisters at this traditional family summering spot was precisely this: “I am inclined to say no.” Part of my hesitation is due to my relatively urbanized comportment: I am very much the product of my time, preferring the contemplation of natural beauty over my immersion in it. As the author of … Continue reading “Trip Like I Do—Priest Lake, June 29-July 2”

Composition #2

Every time I think of Kundera I recall my favorite line from Unbearable Lightness: “In the sunset of dissolution, everything is illuminated by the aura of nostalgia, even the guillotine.” And as I wrote these words, I went back to refresh my memory and was surprised to see that sentence on page 4—page 4!—of the book. Could something so meaningful to me have come so early in the text? Does that make it any more or any less significant? I’m pretty sure the man would say: both. Kundera opens his Unbearable Lightness with a reflection on the concept of “eternal … Continue reading “Composition #2”

Consolations

A Pentecost sermon is many things, but you don’t often expect to hear about the fear of heights, let alone the kind of morbid ideation that sometimes accompanies that phobic vertigo: “what if I just flung myself over the edge,” the preacher intimated, illustrating his larger point about the fragility of trust in the self in contrast with the solidity of trusting in God. I suspect that his moment of vulnerability was encouraged by an editor who left a comment in the margin urging him to “tell us something of what you’re afraid of here.” I wonder if he worried … Continue reading “Consolations”

47

“Photography has two antithetical ideals: in the first, #photography is about the world and the photographer is a mere observer who counts for little; but in the second, photography is the instrument of intrepid, questing subjectivity and the photographer is all.” (Susan Sontag) X “You can grieve for what you are grateful.” I was out of town when @jacquelineviola’s last installment of the (inconceivable and unbelievably absurd) times landed in my mailbox, so when I opened the carefully wrapped package this morning, I was more than a little surprised to see a sentence that so directly spoke to my mood while away. Wistful, … Continue reading “47”

Camera Lacrimosa

Roland Barthes wrote a book about photography called Camera Lucida, a play on “camera obscura,” that ancient primogenitor to Polaroids and Instagrams. In it, he introduces useful terms for reading photographs, like “studium” (the presence of elements that lend themselves to sociocultural or historical analysis) and “punctum” (the features that convey a meaning in an individual without invoking any recognizable symbolic system), anchoring his reflections in (his) subjectivity and emotion. Halfway through the book, however, Barthes seemingly abandons his whole project (or takes it to its logical extreme) and begins to meditate on a single photograph of his own recently-deceased … Continue reading “Camera Lacrimosa”

SPIN+INTERIOR LOCUTION+DISLOCATION

All my work is informed by my training in media studies. The medium is the message. All text is con-text. As an editor, I approach writing as a strategic site of influence, crisscrossed by discursive fields and loaded with potential counter-valence. Even apolitical work is doing politics. My role is to help you know your impact and maximize the intentionality behind it. This training also helps us think beyond the text. The medium is the message. All text is con-text. Composing is framing. Writing is resonance. This why, in addition to editorial work, I am offering creative services to help … Continue reading “SPIN+INTERIOR LOCUTION+DISLOCATION”

The Meaning of Zero

What is the meaning of life? If I were trying to be funny, I’d respond to that question with a “yes.” Because, yes, that is exactly it—meaning is the “what” of life. We seek it, we make it, we unmake it & remake it—we are compositional beings all the way down. Even when rejecting meaning, as in the convulsions of postmodern nihilism, we are reacting to that very same “what”—what? “Why, it’s nothing,” comes the answer. The what is no-thing and so—wait for it—that “so”? That’s meaning. If you are reading this, you are making sense of it under the … Continue reading “The Meaning of Zero”

All-In-One

Today, the Full Moon is in Pisces and I’m thinking about how not that many lunations ago, I would not have known nor cared about what that signified. I’m less concerned with what this time might mean for me and more in awe with how a couple of conversations could cascade into a whole new comportment towards vast webs of signification—stimulating ideas, for sure, but also, whole communities of practice. I’ve stumbled onto a wholly foreign shore and have realized that millions of people have been here all along. It really doesn’t matter what I end up getting out of … Continue reading “All-In-One”