Weekend Note / 03.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Weekend notes are short-form POVs.


One night this summer, long before I knew of Marie Kondo and her philosophies on keeping a tidy home, I did a thorough purge of my apartment. I discarded anything I no longer found useful, beautiful, or, for one reason or another, didn't feel like me. This included a dress festooned with navy blue sequins; blank calendars from 2011, 2012, 2013; a high school gym shirt. It had occurred to me not long before that I might not stay in New York — or this apartment — forever, and suddenly, all of these things felt like weight, too cumbersome to carry. My parents had done this recently, before downsizing to a smaller home this summer. They shocked my brother and me with their ability to let go of possessions we'd carried with us for decades, over the course of many moves. Even the artwork we'd done as children was carefully photographed, saved to a hard drive, and then thrown away. "We have the memories," they said. "That's all we need."

Non-Career Advice: Bekka Palmer.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Non-Career Advice is a series that asks people - young, old, and in a range of occupations - for words of wisdom unrelated to work, career-building, dollars, or getting ahead.


Bekka Palmer / Photographer
Also: Maker / self-taught surfer / ice cream enthusiast
Age: 28

Commit as much energy — and as much heart — to your free time as you do to work. "I’ve made it a point to use my free time wisely. When I’m away from my computer or out with friends, I try my hardest to put my phone away and be there — because if I spend that time checking emails or worrying about missing a call, then I’m missing out on connecting with people I care about, or even just time to myself. (Also, I try to hold myself to the same standards in my personal life as I do in my professional life — I’m on time to meet friends, I follow through on commitments I’ve made to them.) Free time isn’t a luxury, it’s a creative necessity. Making time to surf, go out, meet people, visit museums— in the end, these kinds of things make everything I do better. I’ve realized: if all I ever did was work, my work would be lifeless."

Thank you, Bekka! More about the Non-Career Advice series, here.

Go, Gunther.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Gunther Holtorf is 77-years-old and has only just returned from a road trip that spanned more than two decades — 24 years to be exact. Over that period of time, he's visited 215 countries, traveled more than half a million miles, and contracted malaria five times — and he's done it all in the same car, which has been outfitted to include a mattress and storage space for everyday necessities. 

Initially, the trip was only supposed to last 18 months, but, as Gunther tells DW, "The more you [travel], the more you realize how little you have seen."


More, in the spirit of non-traditional travel: urban camping, life swaps, paying homage to fiction.

Visit Gunther's Facebook, here. Photographs: Gunther Holtorf/SWNS.com via Daily Mail.

Recommended Reading / 08.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Every Monday, words to start the week.


This week, via The New York Times: Fascinating advice from Marie Kondo of Japan, a master of home organization and the author of "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up." Ms. Kondo suggests getting rid of items that do not "spark joy," thanking each for its duty first. As Penelope Green so poignantly paraphrases, "Tidying is a dialogue with oneself." Find Green's full article, here(I'd also recommend reading the readers' comments on the right-hand side of the page — click "Readers' Picks" for a curated assortment.)

Three more links, just because:
-Midnight snacks.
-Music from Saharan Cellphones.
-Tolstoy on happiness: "A quiet secluded life in the country, with the possibility of being useful to people to whom it is easy to do good, and who are not accustomed to have it done to them; then work which one hopes may be of some use; then rest, nature, books, music, love for one's neighbor — such is my idea of happiness.

More recommended reading, here. Happy Monday!

POV: Thoughts.

Friday, October 24, 2014

POV ("point of view") is a series that addresses many of the same themes covered in my Equals Record column: growing up, saying yes to adventure, learning to embrace a quarter-life crisis. Each POV entry will include a photograph and a short reflection based on what’s pictured. While my previous column focused largely on ideas, POV focuses on moments - glimpses, glances, tiny stories.  

In Chapter One of J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan, there’s a passage about how the children’s mother, Mrs. Darling, spends some period of time each night tidying the minds of her children, sprucing and straightening and setting things in order. 

“It is the nightly custom of every good mother after her children are asleep to rummage in their minds nad put things straight for the next morning,” the passage reads. “If you could keep awake (but of course you can’t) you would see your own mother doing this...you would see her on her knees, I expect, lingering humorously over some of your contents, wondering where on earth you had picked this thing up, making discoveries sweet and not so sweet, pressing this to her cheek as if it were as nice as a kitten, and hurriedly stowing that out of sight. When you wake in the morning, the naughtiness and evil passions with which you went to bed have been folded up small and placed at the bottom of your mind and on the top, beautifully aired, are spread out your prettier thoughts, ready for you to put on.”
I came across this bit of the story while reading aloud to my niece one afternoon over lunch. Because I found it terrifying — and feared she would, too — I skipped over it entirely.

Non-Career Advice: Emily Johnston.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Non-Career Advice is a series that asks people - young, old, and in a range of occupations - for words of wisdom unrelated to work, career-building, dollars, or getting ahead.


Emily Johnston / Artist + Photographer
Also: Owner of Gil / creator of collages / friend to many (myself included)
Age: 32

Embrace what's working — and give yourself a break. "I had a sort of identity crisis last year. It was a time of a lot of uncertainty — I was asking myself a lot of questions about what I was doing, what I wanted to be doing. I was putting a lot of pressure on myself in general. Then, out of nowhere, I remember having this amazing series of conversations over coffee with different women who were all really passionate about finding their own path, and who were determined not to adhere to a pre-scripted vision of what life is supposed to look like. At one point in the middle of this, I noticed that all of these women — every one — had dirty hair. I thought, here's this beautiful, inspiring girl who has her shit together, and her hair is a mess. It was an epiphany. It made me realize that I could let go of some of the pressure I was putting on myself. That my perfectionism wasn't necessarily serving me. That I can embrace what's working for me — and what I'm doing well — and not get caught up in other things that don't matter as much."

Beautiful. Thanks so much, Emily. Read more about the Non-Career Advice series, here.

Photo by Jack Sebastian via Emily's Instagram (one of my favorite feeds). 

Let Me Fly.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

A little weird and a lot wonderful: portraits by Berlin's David Catá of faces swathed in dandelion seeds. Part of a series called Let Me Fly, they're dreamy, contemplative — perfect for perusing on a cloudy East Coast Tuesday, waiting for rain.


Visit David Catá's website, here. Thank you to Feature Shoot for the introduction.

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