This Is Water

Inspiring stuff:

But most days, if you’re aware enough to give yourself a choice, you can choose to look differently at this fat, dead-eyed, over-made-up lady who just screamed at her kid in the checkout line. Maybe she’s not usually like this. Maybe she’s been up three straight nights holding the hand of a husband who is dying of bone cancer. Or maybe this very lady is the low-wage clerk at the motor vehicle department, who just yesterday helped your spouse resolve a horrific, infuriating, red-tape problem through some small act of bureaucratic kindness.

Of course, none of this is likely, but it’s also not impossible. It just depends what you what to consider. If you’re automatically sure that you know what reality is, and you are operating on your default setting, then you, like me, probably won’t consider possibilities that aren’t annoying and miserable.

But if you really learn how to pay attention, then you will know there are other options. It will actually be within your power to experience a crowded, hot, slow, consumer-hell type situation as not only meaningful, but sacred, on fire with the same force that made the stars: love, fellowship, the mystical oneness of all things deep down.

Watch David Foster Wallace’s commencement speech {vimeo} to the 2005 graduating class of Kenyon college.

It’s kind of funny how the things he suggest we shift our thinking about are now passe, just eight short years after he gave the speech. Stuff like SUVs, people talking on their cell phones… those items and behaviors are still annoying, but cars are getting smaller and people are texting more than they talk.

Via {daring fireball}.

Funny how stuff happens

Less than two weeks ago I was tearing down pallets, ringing up customers and working until 1:00 a.m. as a “crew member” at Trader Joe’s

Tomorrow I’m going to buy a car, so I can get to my new job as a copywriter at QVC. I never would’ve thought I’d be working for a home shopping network, but it’s actually a lot more than that, and a pretty cool company. I never thought I’d be buying a car or working anywhere outside of bike-distance, but here I am driving sixty miles a day.

When you’re smaller/in school, the future seems so mappable, and the lives of everyone around you seem pre-ordained. Even though I’ve been following the non-path of an adult for a bunch of years now, I’m still fascinated by the way it actually happens.

Life Update

I graduated from college, I think. (Still waiting on that “diploma.”)

Still volunteering once a week at Mighty Writers. It’s an awesome feeling when I walk in there and a handful of kids run up to me, yelling “MARC!,” and jump up for a hug. One of my little buddies there, Mukhtar, is a prolific comic book artist who wants me to help him “animate” his drawings in Illustrator. “Animate” is his word for coloring them in using vectors…

The internship at WHYY is super awesome. Like Mighty Writers minus the kids, it’s a great feeling to walk in at 9:00 a.m. to the sound of Radio Times playing live in the background. I’m anxiously awaiting for the moment when I run into Marty Moss-Coane or Terry Gross in the hall though… Such a fine line between stalking and happenstance.

Kidding aside, they’re really dedicated to giving me a good experience there, and I’m even getting some good stuff for my writing portfolio. (I’m working with the senior publicist.) This week I did lots of editing, and interviewed and wrote a profile for a staff radio producer. It’ll appear in an upcoming newsletter that goes out to their employees.

I’m also working on a bunch of new stuff for b minus which I’m going to share with you soon. I’m also excited to finally move into a new apartment, and settle into a new routine in a new place. New new new. Work at the coffee shop has been pretty good too — it’s awesome to be able to make so many friends at a job. One of them, an ex-New Yorker, even offered to help us move! Until next time…