Monday, September 30, 2013


"As to when I shall visit civilization, it will not be soon, I think. I have no tired of the wilderness; rather I enjoy its beauty and the vagrant life I lead, more keenly all the time. I prefer the saddle to the streetcar and star-sprinkled sky to a roof, the obscure and difficult trail, leading into the unknown, to any paved highway, and the deep peace of the wild to the discontent bred by cities. Do you blame me then for staying here, where I feel that I belong and am one with the world around me? It is true that I miss intelligent companionship, but there are so few with whom I can share the things that mean so much to me that I have learned to contain myself. It is enough that I am surrounded with beauty... Even from your scant description, I know that I could not bear the routine and humdrum of the life that you are forced to lead. I don't think I could ever settle down. I have known too much of the depths of life already, and I would prefer anything to an anticlimax."

Sunday, September 29, 2013


I love the rain and how it can make you sick physically and how it can heal you mentally.

Monday, September 23, 2013


"To the Parents of U.S. Teenagers,
(An open letter.)
Remember that intimate conversation you had with your son? The one where you said, "I love you and I need you to know that no matter how a woman dresses or acts, it is not an invitation to cat call, taunt, harass or assault her"?
Or when you told your son, "A woman's virginity isn't a prize and sleeping with a woman doesn't earn you a point"?
How about the heart-to-heart where you lovingly conferred the legal knowledge that "a woman doesn't have to be fighting you and you don't have to be pinning her down for it to be RAPE. Intoxication means she can't legally consent, NOT that she's an easy score."
Or maybe you recall sharing my personal favorite, "Your sexual experiences don't dictate your worth just like a woman's sexual experiences don't dictate hers."
Last but not least, do you remember calling your son out when you discovered he was using the word "slut" liberally? Or when you overheard him talking about some girl from school as if she were more of a conquest than a person?
I want you to consider these conversations and then ask yourself why you don't remember them. The likely reason is because you didn't have them. In fact, most parents haven't had them.
By contrast, here are some conversations you might have a better recollection of. I'll give you a telling hint: they probably weren't with your son.
"Be careful with the way you act and the way you dress -- it's easy to get a bad reputation."
"That's just the way boys are -- you can't give them any excuse to behave that way towards you."
"You need to be safe! When you dress that way, some people read it as an invitation."
"Never go out alone, never walk alone at night, never drink from an open beverage."
These are conversations often had by loving parents like you. They come from a place of care, they come from a place of concern but most notably they come from a place of upside-down, cultural indoctrination that is hurting, stifling and punishing young women.
The cultural indoctrination that I'm speaking of goes something like this: It is a young woman's responsibility to safeguard herself from rape, assault, harassment, stalking and abuse because boys will be boys and some of them just can't help themselves.
As a writer on issues of sexual health, I've talked to a fair share of parents who are more than aware of this screwed-up reality but don't really know what to do about it.
"It's unfair and it's horrifying," one mother admitted to me, "but that doesn't change the fact that it's true. I can't change the fact that there are creepy men out there behaving badly. I have to help my daughter protect herself."
So let's take a quick look at these "creepy men." Who are they, really? Who are the creepy men that are making it unsafe for your daughter to go solo to a party on campus? Who are the creepy men that are catcalling her or slut-shaming her or intimidating her with their words? Who are the creepy men that are stalking her? Harassing her? Attacking her?
Who are these "creepy men" and where did they come from AND who in the hell raised them?
The answer, unfortunately, is YOU.
We have too much information to continue blaming the anonymous man lurking in the shadows. We have more than enough data to conclude that the majority of perpetrators aren't "others," they are peers and classmates and ex-boyfriends and friends.
They are young men your daughter probably knows and interacts with. You cannot build a wall up around your daughter to keep these men from entering her world -- they are already inside it.
I don't expect you to welcome this news. I doubt many will even accept it. I want you to know that I'm not saying all young men are rapists or disrespectful of women -- and I'm certainly not saying that all young men are just hardwired that way.
What I am saying is this: we live in a culture that puts victims on trial with questions like, "well, what were you wearing?" and "how much did you drink?" We live in a culture where a mother, concerned about raising sons who "act honorably," holds young women accountable for the way young men objectify them. We live in a culture where a judge hands down a 30-day sentence to a rapist because his 14-year-old victim was "older than her chronological age." We live in a culture that relegates not getting raped to women and girls instead of expecting and demanding boys and men to be responsible for not raping.
Your son is coming of age in that culture with those messages swirling around him. You might have raised him in a home that perpetuated that culture without ever intending to or perhaps you raised him in a home that taught values in complete contrast to that culture. The more important question is: did you ever directly tell him to never buy into that culture? Did you ever tell him that culture is unacceptable and WRONG? Did you ever have any of the aforementioned conversations?
When you have the "avoid getting raped" conversation with your daughter, it is difficult, as you don't want to imagine her as a victim. The idea of having the "don't rape" conversation with your son is more difficult as you don't ever want to imagine him as a perpetrator.
Do it anyway.
Do it because so many parents have thought they didn't need to and so many people have suffered because of it.
Do it because you love your son and want him to have a bright future.
Do it because not doing it is irresponsible.
Do it for your daughter or for your nieces or for young women in general because while this particular conversation might be terrifying, the much more terrifying reality is young women continuing to be taught to live in fear of men.
That is really what you're doing when you have the "don't get raped" conversation with your daughter. You are telling her to always be suspicious, you are telling her to spend her life looking over her shoulder, you are telling her that any man is a potential predator.
"BUT IT'S TRUE," you might think. "All of these things are true."
And you're not wrong. Sexual assault is pervasive today -- 1 in 4 to 5 female college students will be sexually assaulted by the time they graduate.
But sexual assault is pervasive despite the conversations many parents have had with their daughters. It seems that the "don't get raped" angle is not a successful strategy for curbing this pandemic. In fact, it is counter-productive as it perpetuates a culture where men don't feel the need to take responsibility.
Fortunately, you do have the tools to curb these crimes. You CAN help to protect your daughter and other young women like her.
And you can do it from your living room.
All you have to do is talk to your son."
-Karina Colodny (Huffington Post)


I love the sound of shaking a match out—like fabric flapping in the wind.

Friday, September 20, 2013


“The pessimist resembles a man who observes with fear and sadness that his wall calendar, from which he daily tears a sheet, grows thinner with each passing day. On the other hand, the person who attacks the problems of life actively is like a man who removes each successive leaf from his calendar and files it neatly and carefully away with its predecessors, after first having jotted down a few diary notes on the back. He can reflect with pride and joy on all the richness set down in these notes, on all the life he has already lived to the fullest. What will it matter to him if he notices that he is growing old? Has he any reason to envy the young people whom he sees, or wax nostalgic over his own lost youth? What reasons has he to envy a young person? For the possibilities that a young person has, the future which is in store for him? No, thank you,' he will think. 'Instead of possibilities, I have realities in my past, not only the reality of work done and of love loved, but of sufferings bravely suffered. These sufferings are even the things of which I am most proud, although these are things which cannot inspire envy.' "
“For the world is in a bad state, but everything will become still worse unless each of us does his best.” 
“But today’s society is characterized by achievement orientation, and consequently it adores people who are successful and happy and, in particular, it adores the young. It virtually ignores the value of all those who are otherwise, and in so doing blurs the decisive difference between being valuable in the sense of dignity and being valuable in the sense of usefulness. If one is not cognizant of this difference and holds that an individual’s value stems only from his present usefulness, then, believe me, one owes it only to personal inconsistency not to plead for euthanasia along the lines of Hitler’s program, that is to say, ‘mercy’ killing of all those who have lost their social usefulness, be it because of old age, incurable illness, mental deterioration, or whatever handicap they may suffer. Confounding the dignity of man with mere usefulness arises from conceptual confusion that in turn may be traced back to the contemporary nihilism transmitted on many an academic campus and many an analytical couch.” 
“It isn't the past which holds us back, it's the future; and how we undermine it, today.”  
“Man is originally characterized by his "search for meaning" rather than his "search for himself." The more he forgets himself—giving himself to a cause or another person—the more human he is. And the more he is immersed and absorbed in something or someone other than himself the more he really becomes himself.” 
“Having been is also a kind of being, and perhaps the surest kind.” 
“Live as if you were living already for the second time and as if you had acted the first time as wrongly as you are about to act now.” 

Friday, September 13, 2013


"What I really feel...
If you were here now,
I would kiss you.
I would hold your hand and
look at you with wonder.
And then,
if you would let me,
I would kiss you again.
And again.
And again.
If you were here now,
we’d get in trouble.
The stewardesses would have to
pull us apart, then send one
to sit up front and the other
in back.
We’d get a scolding at the
airport, an asterisk by our 
name, for future flights,
then released, promising to never
ever again salsa dance with
the seatbelt sign on."

Tuesday, September 3, 2013



Take Away Shows are impromptu concerts performed usually while walking down the street. They are usually performed in, but not limited to, France. These videos have enabled the world to see popular artists in a versatile setting, with new limitations, as well as new freedoms, and with complete honesty. Footage and audio is raw and sometimes there are even second takes because maybe the first just wasn't all that good. But you bet your bottom dollar both take is available for viewing. It's an entirely new sense of honesty from the artists, as they have no choice but to use the talent they were born with. There's no way to enhance, cover up, or hide a thing. My favorite part of each video is the intense sense of personalization and intimacy - mistakes included. I think I love those most.