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Haikus, Spaghetti Hat, Bathtubs, Chicken Curry, and Nietzsche
Things Experienced: Week 01
“Things Experienced” started off as our attempt to inch closer to our own existence—a selfish attempt to stop meaninglessly, accidentally, or mindlessly moving through life without grasping the impact it has on us (and we have on it).
It’s an indulgent practice of seeing and being open to our own our existence and the things and people in it. An act of rebelling against the numbing that comes from mundane tasks, external pressures, and thoughtless routines. In other words, it’s about feeling the way the rain soaked through our shoes rather than being caught up in a philosophical discussion about being cold.
Existing demands participation. That may seem obvious but most of us perform and observe our lives rather than live it. But paying attention ain’t easy! Existing fully with a constant cognizance of every detail is exhausting . . . which is why most people don’t do it (a rabbit hole we’ll be diving into on the Stack later this week)!
“Things Experienced” is our respective lists of—wait for it—things we experienced. It’s our attempt to not miss a thing—to not waste anything that presents itself to us. It’s a practice of observing of how we move through the world on a very practical, visceral, and embodied way. It’s our public navel gazing!
What evoked a feeling? What struck us with its beauty or sorrow? What provoked a thought or challenged a belief? What moments highlighted our openness and willingness to see someone as they are? What gave us chills? What made us laugh? What reminded us of our humanness? How did we experience our existence this week?
Attended the opening-night performance of Carmen and got full-body chills at the sound of the thud, thud, thud of ballet shoes hitting the stage floor.
Read 5 haikus by Richard Wright which provided me the perfect words for my current season.
Took a yoga class where I was told to imagine I was on Jupiter and the gravity was too strong for me to lift my arms to scratch so I didn’t scratch when I really needed to which was a nice exercise in restraint.
As I walked home from picking up my busted computer from the computer hospital, I was struck by the beauty of an empty Bed Bath & Beyond (see picture!) which looked like a contemporary art installation.
Listened to Sufjan Stephen’s new album while on the train from Philadelphia to New York which felt like a parody. Though I did love “Genuflecting Ghost” (mostly because it uses the word genuflecting) and, yes!, I still feel sentimental listening to Sufjan sue me.
Played cards and shared a bottle of gamay (Melissa Lavaysse (2022) from young vigneron Jérémy Quastana) at a new favorite spot in Brooklyn.
Stepped outside on a sunny morning to meet a friend at the train station and Harry Nilson’s “Everybody’s Talkin” was queued up and this is your friendly reminder to feel sad and happy at the same time as you go off to meet a beloved!!!
Went to the Brooklyn Book Festival which was just so cute. It always is! People are just so lovable. Especially enjoyed picking up I Like Your Work, a small, humorous book from n+1 about having manners in the art world which made me lol.
Bought this ball cap from Mister Parmesan that says “Spaghetti” and looks like a spaghetti western and makes me happy to look at. It has a deep crown and just feels really good sitting on the noggin.
Laughed so hard wine came out my nose. When I woke up the next morning I was congested and my feet ached from how much walking my friend and I did the day before exploring a new city. A physical memento and reminder that discomfort, too, can be wildly pleasurable.
A girl drunkenly stumbling on the stone streets of London in her high heels.
A rib-crushing hug from one of my best friends.
Slight nausea induced by the smell of coffee and shitty airplane breakfast food an hour before landing.
A married couple sitting next to me having dinner together and not speaking a single word to each other.
Sitting alone at the edge of my hotel bathtub at 2am and soaking my feet in burning hot water because a TikTok stranger told me it would clear the haze of pain triggered by my migraine.
The whooshing sound of an email I’ve been postponing sending for weeks.
A perfectly comfortable bed with the pillows gently cradling my head and fluffy duvet bending with the curves of my body.
Goosebumps evoked by an intense conversation about the spiritual realm we may not be physically able see while chewing on some delicious chicken curry.
Reading a quote by Friedrich Nietzsche (or at least that’s what the internet wanted me to believe): "Is it better to out monster the monster or to be quietly devoured?” The actual quote says: “Whoever fights with monsters should see to it that he does not become one himself. And when you stare for a long time into an abyss, the abyss stares back into you.” (Beyond Good and Evil, p. 69). It doesn’t have the same ring to it, but worthy of reflection.