Reasons and Excuses

Well, clearly I’m bad at this whole regular-updates sort of thing. There’s only so many times a person can apologize for it, I suppose, without just coming across as neglectful with a thin sheen of apology slathered on top, like butter on a fine muffin, which I’d sort of like to have right now, but not incredibly badly, because it’s hot, and heat makes dairy products mostly unappealing to me.

Anyway, I just wanted to pass through and say hello. I’ve spent a lot of time away from NYC this summer, mostly traveling through Vermont, where I worked at a summer arts institute for teens, which was absolutely wonderful–getting to help younger people with their processes and identities as artists, even as I still form my own–which is a lifelong process, I believe. Super cool.
And now I’ve got a few new pen-pals, which will enable me to put my mostly obsolete mint-green typewriter to use. *Finally.* I hope. Or just some under-used microns.

It’s nice to create excuses to write long-hand and collect or create nice things to send to other people. It makes you notice things more, I reckon, because you’ve got fresh reason to share them with another person. I’d like to remember anyway, so I can share them with myself, maybe. Which is a strange concept: sharing things with oneself. But nice.

I spent some time yesterday dividing a bouquet of wildflowers from the farmer’s market across the street from my apartment into different vases. Dividing by leaf-length and color, by general form. I’m not all that good at it, but it was a soothing act, in any case. I think we should do more that soothes us, when we’re no longer directly protected by people like parents and the houses we grew up in. And not everyone grows up feeling protected, of course, so there’s that. And so we’ve got to learn to give it to ourselves, to watch out for ourselves better, to make ourselves feel safe. There’re little ways we can accomplish it, or pieces of it, at least. Maybe it’s just paying attention to our bodies more, or breathing better, or eating really good chocolate. Maybe it’s much bigger than that, something not accomplished by small acts. Small acts accumulate though, eventually. Or I’d like to think so. Maybe I’m very naive. Probably. Enlighten me, please, if you’ve got other opinions, knowledge I’m not aware of by way of my own limited experience.

It’s always funny what ends up coming out when I finally sit myself down to write in this thing. I never quite know what to expect, and I always remember that it feels nice (even if part of me is worried I’m just spewing some variety of drivel.) Another small act. I’d like to accumulate more. Be a great accumulator. Soon, I’ll start asking everyone to call me that. Like a superhero. A really badly-named superhero? And would that imply that my superpower is just, like, collecting massive amounts of things? Because I’m already really good at that.

Freedom via ropeswing; New Orleans, LA.


About kateellison

Author, artist, weirdo
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One Response to Reasons and Excuses

  1. brem2013 says:

    I just read your book The Butterfly Clues and thoroughly enjoyed it. It was a hard book to put down and I finished it in just a few days. Having OCD and being 17 myself, I could easily identify with the character Penelope Marin. Have you ever thought to make a movie out of the book? I know this is your 1st book but, I hope it is just the 1st of many. Do you suffer from OCD or how did you know so much about the disorder?

    P.S. Happy New Year!!! 2013!!! and tap, tap, tap bananas : )

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