run with

by sarahannadams

last evening, yesterday evening, i rode the d train in from the reservoir to fenway to attend an art opening at the fourth wall project. I finished up my morning reading on the train. and the next article pulled my mouth open, and i sat in horror :: tortured afghan girl wants in-laws jailed. an afghani woman was part of an arranged marriage, and when she refused to agree to be used for prostitution, her in-laws tortured her. using electric shock, breaking her fingers, and removing her fingernails. i really could not believe it. or i suppose i could, but recently, in hearing atrocious goings-on amongst humans, my mind more quickly attempts to place those happenings on my own body to feel more effected, rather than just feeling bad for some non-identifiable person in some distant country. so this night, last night, i allowed continual cringes at the thought of the physical pain described in the article. my mind turned even more dutifully, thought, to the disgusted knowledge of cruel human capabilities against one another.

i’ve abandoned sleeping in my bed with my head at the head and my feet following. my bed is in the corner of the room, but the “bottom” half lies under the window that looks out onto the courtyard of our feinberg-managed building. i sleep with my head at the foot, my body at an angle to the bed, under that window. my brother spencer sleeps with loads of blankets, even in the summer, to feel as warm as possible. i, however, crack the window to get the cool breeze consistently back-and-forthing into my room.

around 3 am an alarm goes off. with the window open, i think it is an alarm to a neighboring building until i realize it is most likely much closer, and that it is, in fact our building. throughout college, a fire alarm was never really an alarm, but rather a hugely irritating inconvenience when some student had burnt their popcorn. i realized this was the first time i was, truly, alarmed. i realized i might have been overzealous when i saw i was the only person with a backpack (including my laptop, phone, hardrive, and their chargers)…. but at the silly hours of the morning a few things were floating through my mind :: 1] tales of fires in cities when one building catches on fire, and then the next and then the next and then the next…., 2] 1984, with the fab actor john hurt (and now that i think of it on my walk i saw a lady on a terrace that looked like ‘julia’) but all throughout that movie… “announcement” etc and loud blaring horns and alert. i think i half-pretended that’s what was happening, just to see if i could feel a little terror of living in a restrictive society. i like to do experiments with my hypothetical reactions, in hopes of understanding myself more.

an older john hurt, chaneling some degree of bob dylan

an older john hurt, chaneling some degree of bob dylan

and 3] three friends of mine had their apartment burn down in allston a few years ago, and as our consistent letters from the maintenance company reiterate and reiterate, “it doesn’t just happen to someone else.”

the alarm was nothing, again, although it did continue repetitively sounding for i’m not sure how long until it was deactivated. finally fell asleep again, and woke for a good breakfast-time conversation with my roomate ali and her visiting friend, nina.

a handful of my friends have passed around the list of ‘30 things to stop doing to yourself‘…. number one? stop spending time with people you do not want to spend time with. and the reverse, of course, spend time with people you do want to spend time with. this makes such obvious sense, but made me wonder why this is an issue in the first place. i’ve found, for myself, to quote henrik ibsen from his play A Doll’s House, it stems from ” a woman’s overstrained sense of generosity.” not focusing on the gender generalization of the statement – for the true power is found in conjunction with the statement’s surrounding dialogue – i must say this feels a little true :: making sure everyone feels comfortable and happy, but oftentimes at the expense of the freedom to follow my own social impulses.

this is the dover edition that i have - thank you jenny r!

yet next it lead to confronting the unavoidable issue that i fear deep-seated connection. and the reasons for fearing? the never-ending tackling of confidence, as well as being overly mindful that connections come, and then they go. i feel a lot of connections, and potential connections, drifted away after graduation, which discouraged me greatly. i felt lonely, and that even my utmost attempts left me with hollowed conversations at the end of an evening. but just now, within the past month, have i actually felt a weight begin to remove itself from my eyes and my shoulders – re-finding my ability to latch on to big dreams and hope-thinking, rather than resigning to being interchangeable shells of a worker, a daughter, a sister, a “friend” (having a hard time knowing what that means at the moment.)

at a tom fuchs-hosted party last night, i saw adam sultan, who was in my contemporary art history course at BU with professor williams. turns out he’s headed out of the boston area soon, applying for grad programs in painting. i’ll miss running into him like clockwork around coolidge corner. but he suggested to find something, anything, and then run with it, even just for now, at the very least. because trying to do everything at once leaves one burnt out and scattered, and i-you-we are simply not superhumans. honestly this is just now becoming a reality to me, i thought i was much more capable to do so much more. but “artists who seek perfection in everything are those who cannot attain it in anything” (eugene delacroix). so, without forcing it into being, i am striving to find one thing i may run with just for now.

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