Monday, January 11, 2010

notes on the new decade

Yes, in fact, we're almost two weeks in, but a fresh clean slate of a new decade is something to REALLY think about. it has taken me some time to sort out what i want to say about that.

i've been trying to find a physical something to exist as evidence of everything the last year was, what it did, what it meant. what made it through to the new decade! in my head all these things are visual.

so, here are some images that have been coming to me from all over the place, almost all in real life but also sort of imagined. have been wanting to throw them all out there into the universe, in the hopes of it being a way to stitch everything together.

i was thinking about sitting in the detroit airport on december 30th, in an unplanned, extended layover from chicago to seattle, and watching people pass back and forth on the moving walkways directly in front of me. there wasn't anyone sitting around me, or across the concourse, just people passing on by, trying to get where they were going, and being given a friendly, speedy tool for getting that few dozen yards just a little bit faster than nature allows--by a really cool machine. personally, i love stepping onto those things, getting that weird rush, and then just standing there, watching everything pass by at a somewhat alarming rate. inevitably my heart beats a little faster. you aren't in a car or exerting yourself on a bicycle. you are just standing there, flat-footed, feeling more powerful than you normally do, but realizing that momentarily, you'll have to step off, slow down, and rely on your own legpower again, which can feel just as good. doesn't being alive feel like that sometimes?

then i was thinking about christmas lights, and the way they melt tiny glowing holes, green and yellow and pink, through 6 inches of heavy snow on top of the little round hedges in front of my parents' house in illinois. when i think of strings of christmas lights, those are the ones i see. it always looks so quiet and obvious and good.

so then i thought about how i love strings of things, like paper garlands, which i made rather a lot of this year, or popcorn threaded around the christmas tree--which i have only done once, in katie's and my dorm room, in 2007, but that is why it is special--and how i also love practical lines that connect things, like the color-coded ones on a subway map or the numbered, crowded ones on a dress pattern. i like the simple, calming repetition of tracing my fingers along those lines, and ending up where i am supposed to.

but then, also, i was thinking about how i just really love words. strings of written words. blocks of type in black and white. writing. and how, when you really get going, you often don't end up where you thought you would at all.

i have been thinking about how, yes, graduate school really sounds quite enticing. how i was completely ready for college to be over and thought i'd never consider going back immediately but now, i think designing costumes is something i just might have to do forever and thus, i sort of want to go. for me, to be able to interpret words, somebodys story, visually (!!!) is the raddest thing about it. it is purely about stories and it cant NOT be collaborative. plus, ive never met anyone who designs costumes thats not the coolest.

i have been thinking about making theater and about making movies and about the people who spend their entire lives creating such a beautiful, stinging, transitory magic in each, and how whichever way i end up at least i know i will love it and want to keep doing it in a fierce way.

i have been thinking about just how rad the sirocco research labs and its movies are and how we're doing some amazing things and i am so lucky to have been asked to help make a werewolf bodysuit and spend a week of unadulterated creative time with so many wonderful people.

photos by Ben

and finally, i have been thinking about how, in the midst of it all, lizzie and i have been talking and talking.

our brainchild SAMSTAG (SATURDAY) was born in berlin, germany, in the summer of 2008 and here we are. it is a modest endeavor, and we have been talking baby steps. we want to make things and we want to give old, beautiful things new life. we want people to join us. we have BIG ideas, and are stepping forth in small steps. it feels great. and, i think people would be happier if everyone had such a community. because i know i am.

i look around at all of you we love who are writing albums, blogs, jokes, Publicalenders, scripts, grants, poems, and marketing strategies, who are starting businesses, internships, relationships, bands and book clubs, who are making recipes, hats, and submarines, and, knowingly and totally embracing the platitude of saying so, i want to say that this new decade for me is fueled by all of you ladies and gentlemen i call friends. because, as we know, "friends" and "inspirations" are synonyms.

so, let me tell you what made it through 2009: we did.

as for SAMSTAG (SATURDAY)--lizzie and i, we have some really good ideas, you guys. i don't care who knows it. i can almost see lightbulbs over our heads sometimes. and then we write them down to remember the date and time of such inspirations, and then we get to work.

photo by a superrad german photobooth

what a wonderful way to live, right?


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