Who you were

Abby (Childhood)
My young self, enjoying athletics like a natural.

On a whim, I bought a domain for this blog because the ads are so awful. I despise chum boxes in all instances and thoroughly dislike the fact that anyone who comes here (however tiny the number may be) is unwillingly subjected to such garbage.

Upon doing so, however, I was revisited by the uncomfortable feeling I get when I find posts I wrote here seven or eight years ago. Strong waves of nausea and embarrassment wash over me when I uncover them. I sound very childish, and I feel very different from who I was then. (I have also shifted the way that I think about writing here; now I am far less personal and open.)

I am reminded of the ludicrous notion, which we often cherish when we are young, that we are fixed entity. I was BORN this way, we like to think. I have always been an INDIVIDUAL. This is deeply false. We change so much, by the year, by the week, almost. We are not who we once were. And that is OK.

Sure, there are some constants in my personality (I have loved words since I was tiny, I have always been bossy, etc.), but I have changed a great deal. And I expect I will continue to. This prospect, of lifelong personal change, is pleasing to me.

. . .

“I will do anything to avoid boredom. It is the task of a lifetime. You can never know enough, never work enough, never use the infinitives and participles oddly enough, never impede the movement harshly enough, never leave the mind quickly enough.”

— Anne Carson, Plainwater

Anne Carson, patron saint of my aspirational mental state.

. . .

Monday Snax

This past week…

Sean, Julie, and baby Phinehas! (Sorry for the blurriness. Dark in there.)

We got to meet the perfectly charming Phinehas Edwards McDermott! Welcome to Earth, new McDermott. We are so glad to have you here.

And I got new glasses, which make me both totally serious AND crazy. I also got shot for the Charlotte’s new style section, which was confirming to me at what a truly terrible model I am. But Sean and Stephanie were super-nice about the whole thing. Thanks, friends.

SNAX:

Liz + Matt. Just some shameless self-promotion: I just finished this calligraphy project for our dear friends, Liz and Matt, and I had a blast doing it. This was my first time doing an invitation suite, which was turned into a fabulous letterpress invitation by the matchless Patrick Costello. A lot of fun! (AFP Calligraphy)

A Reunion with Boredom. Charles Simic discusses life without electricity, reading, and how much he owes to boredom. A thoughtful and lovely piece that will make me strive to appreciate our frequent power outages. (New York Review of Books)

Just Like a Woman. In defense of Jane Austen as a legitimate and important writer, in response to V.S. Naipaul’s remark, which is a campaign that I am 100 percent behind. It’s a little late to be responding to him now, as his comment is kind of old news, but I do wish Austen would be rescued from the plight of being constantly written off as a “chick lit” writer. Thanks a lot, Keira Knightley. (Los Angeles Review of Books)

Findings. My favorites, among the lighter findings surveyed: “Florida could be up to 50 percent older than previously believed” and “Chemists discovered why van Gogh’s yellows were fading.” (Harper’s)

The Slow Art of Tea. A re-posted article from the Curator that talks about one of my favorite daily rituals. (The Curator)

There’s Nothing Like… Even though Tom Wolfe got on my nerves in From Bahaus to Our House, I’m going to side with him on this one: What an unfortunate place to live. (Unhappy Hipsters)

Before & After: Music Room Redo with Custom Shelving. Wow, so THIS is how you can make built-in bookshelves. Going to be trying this one day. (Design Sponge)

Table and Chair, Pen and Paper, Text and Time. If I was an artist, I think I’d like to do what Helga Schmid is doing. (Le Projet d’Amour)

Yaron Steinberg’s Installation, How He Imagines His Brain. Amazing. (The Fox Is Black)

When the Fog Lingers in the Forest. I just keep coming back to her blog, because I want her life. So dreamy, rustic, idyllic. (La Porte Rouge)

The College Ranking in Which a Black School Beat Out Princeton and Yale. And, might I add, UNC-Chapel Hill beat out Princeton, Yale, Duke, UVA… Interesting stuff. (Good)

Eggcellent Living Quarters. Um, can we get chickens, just so I can build them a coop like this one? OMG. The Ritz-Carlton of chicken coops. (Pawesome)

How to Buy Houseplants (Once and For All). I need to people to tell me about these hardy plants, because I am skilled at letting them die. This is a helpful introductory guide. (A Cup of Jo)