“What have we been doing all these centuries but trying to call God back to the mountain, or, failing that, raise a peep out of anything that isn’t us? What is the difference between a cathedral and a physics lab? Are not they both saying: Hello? We spy on whales and on interstellar radio objects; we starve ourselves and pray till we’re blue.”
— Teaching a Stone to Talk, Annie Dillard.
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Annie Dillard knows all the things.
Who’s really ready for this election to be over?? I am! I am! I don’t think I’ve ever been more exhausted by politics and its relentless charade. Someone on NPR referred to the Republican National Convention as “theater,” and I thought, Yes, that is what all of it is, regardless of your party. One big performance, predicated on fear.
I am going to the mountains this weekend to celebrate at Kelsey’s bachelorette retreat! Hard to believe lil sis is getting married so soon. Can’t wait to see her and spend some time in the Blue Ridge, hanging out and teaching her how lingerie works.
This weekend, I journeyed to the Triangle to spend some quality time with some much-missed friends. We had a shower for Kathryn, the beautiful bride-to-be. I skipped back to Durham and got to see three great films at Full Frame with Jonathan; stayed up until 2 (super-late for me these days) with him and Brittney, discussing the beauty/terror of whales, Radiolab stories, and dramatic break-ups. They are great. Everyone is great.
Keeping the company of old friends is so renewing. This weekend, I realized that I’ve known Catherine, Kathryn, and Jonathan for six years now. To date, their friendships are the oldest ones that I’ve consistently maintained. (Including Emily, who wasn’t there but should have been. Durham feels absolutely desolate without you, dear.) I posit that a large part of the joy of old friends rests in the lack of having to explain things. You don’t have to explain your background, your family, your fears, your aspirations. You laugh about the old inside jokes, of course, but what is almost richer is the moment where you forget those old jokes or stories and then a word or a gesture sparks something and you suddenly resurrect the old days together. Your eyes widen and you say, “Ohh, I totally forgot about that night,” and then you experience it all over again.
There is much more I could say about these people, about how we’ve evolved together and separately, but all I need to say now is that I love them and I am so thankful for them. It is a considerable mercy that North Carolina is not too far away.
This weekend, we enjoyed the beautiful wedding of our friends Michael and Mallory, who tied the knot at James Monroe’s gorgeous estate, Ash Lawn-Highland. Photos on Flickr! Warmest congratulations to Michael and Mallory!
The Hyena and Other Men. These photos are mind-blowing. Photographer Pieter Hugo became interested in a group of Nigerian men who capture hyenas and then keep muzzled on huge chains. Why? Not really sure. My best guess is because these animals are TERRIFYING to look at. These photos are astonishing. I also recently learned that hyenas are not from the canid family; rather, they are more closely related to cats. So bizarre. (Pieter Hugo)
Flowers A-Z: O Is for Orchid. I love orchids so much. They’re the only plant that I seem able to keep alive for an extended period of time. I’m inspired to buy another one from the Charlottesville farmers’ market to put in our bathroom. (Design Sponge)
Mike, Windy, and Granddad were unable to make it this weekend, unfortunately, but we are hoping that we get to see all of them very soon. In lieu of their visit, we spent our weekend making apple cider in Waynesboro (photos on Flickr) and watching a shamefully large number of episodes from Friday Night Lights, season four. That show needs to stop making me cry. It’s getting old, producers! It’s getting old.
Here are your Snax and a side of hot cocoa with durable marshmallows that don’t melt away instantly:
The New Studio (Interior). As many of you know, I wrote my thesis on Virginia Woolf’s emphasis on the importance of private space for women artists. This is our wedding photographer’s studio and it’s absolutely beautiful. I have to say I’m quite jealous. Meredith, Woolf would have been proud: you have a gorgeous room of your own! (And Unlimited)
Karl Erik Brondbo. GASP. Where is this Scandinavian paradise?? I must go to there. (Miss Moss)
In the Event of Moon Disaster. This is an amazing find: The transcript of the report that President Nixon would have read if Apollo 11 had failed. (Letters of Note)
The Kindle Swindle. A respected and literary lady blogger expresses her opinion on why Kindles just aren’t that great. Huzzah! (Fussy)
A History of Fist-Fueled Author Feuds. Who knew that authors were such a belligerent type? I guess they are. Flavorwire collects a history of fist fights between favorite authors and then decides who won the spat. Women authors are missing from this historical round up, but I guess they fought in other ways… (Flavorwire)
One & The Same. If I was independently wealthy, I think I’d spend a ridiculous amount of money on stationery–particularly cute cards like these. (Where the Lovely Things Are)