Today, on questions prompted by a total lack of structure and ocean air: Selfishness. To what degree is certain amount of selfishness just part of our nature – an animalistic instinct to act out of self interest and protect ourselves? Are we born with a certain amount of selfishness? People who are arguably extremely selfless: how did that happen? Was it how they were reared or some life experience that forced them to forget themselves? Or are they angels? Does a person only discover a true, deep selflessness once they have children, or witnessed great tragedy? Do people sometimes intentionally have children to become better human beings? Subquestion: Does this work?
I can’t think of a structured way to share these really important pictures with you, so I’ll just sort of throw them at you at random, like bombs.
BOOM! My shark beach towel!
BLAM! This lobster roll I ate with great fervor!
KABOOM! This acapella group battling their latent homosexuality with song!
I could really have an entirely separate blog about how I discover and get excited about things 900 years after everyone else does. This would of course be called Bekah Last One on the Boat Brunstetter, and would involve me getting all up in arms about how terrible Genocide in Darfur is, how great feather extensions are and how Pavement really is a great band. But the latest installement: The documentary Marina Abramovic: The Artist is Not Present.
As if my time at Martha’s Vineyard could be any more idyllic: there’s also a film festival happening while I’m here, and last night, I got to see this INCREDIBLE film that I’d definitely heard about, but didn’t know much about. Marina is a Yugoslavian Performance Artist who’s been known for work with the human body, violence, contact, silence, immobility, etc. She also happens to be, in my opinion, the most beautiful woman in the world. Here she is at 63:
Marina worked tirelessly for years, lived in a van, fell in love with another artist, walked the great Wall of China, basically lived a whole life before 40 – when her relationship fell apart, and she managed to pick up, keep going, and practically reinvent herself. Years later, she gets her own exhibit at MoMA, nobigdeal. I remember when this was happening – I remember friends telling me about it – and I am KICKING myself for not going. Some 750,000 people attended the exhibit, and some sat waiting for hours, days, just to sit across from her.
For 3 months she sat in the this chair, 8 hours a day, as MoMA patrons, one by one, sat in front of her, motionless – some weeping, some smiling just staring. She has incredibly deep and simple gaze that seems to bring out years of suppressed sadness or joy or innocence in everyone. What I love about what she does is that it’s art sans any political agenda, really. She’s not really saying much other than – we’re all people, and we really ought to slow down and look at each other.
Oh hi, I am currently living inside of a Children’s book. Yesterday I rode my bike through a magical forest, to a magical produce store where I sat outside and ate magical raspberries, and then journeyed home past a Kale farm where I spotted a rainbow. I can’t tell you how long I’ve been holding this sentence in my head until it became true.
I’ve never given much weight to astrology, until I guess as of late, when I’ve really been enjoying blaming all of my thoughts and behavior on my Saturn returning. But also: my whole life, or rather, since middle school, when one could start to read one’s horoscope and one could learn, before ever really even liking a boy, that it’s a good week to Get Real with your Romantic Partner, I’ve been told that Gemini (my sign) means Twins. Duality, a split personality. I’ve never really gave much thought to this other than, well, that’s totally not me, ha ha! and other manic thoughts, quickly followed by deep introspection.
But what I’ve noticed, mainly in the last few months or so, since I’ve been crisising over 30, career, and life in general – asking myself large questions – is that this duality is true in me, to a T. This duality explains my indecisiveness, my sometimes lack of conviction, and the fact that I vacillate frequently between introvert and extrovert, between Charlotte and Carrie, between wanting to make dinner and wanting to be made dinner, between wanting to get up early and make bread and wanting to stay out all night, between confidence and insecurity. It’s completely exhausting, but, what I’m realizing is: it’s just how I am. Instead of obsessing over how this quality is a fault of mine, I can just embrace it.
I’m up in the Vineyard with an amazing girl Lauren (fellow Gemini) who is writing her first play (I’m so jealous.) She says that being a Gemini is the absolute best, because we fully inhabit the different parts of ourselves. We’re not fickle or weak, it’s genuinely how we are. I find this really, really liberating. Now if you excuse me, I have to go clean my room then get popcorn in my bed; Introduce myself to strangers, then hide in a corner and write poems about them.
Do you like movies with a story that’s nice? Do you like good acting and nice people falling in love with each other, overcoming odds for each other, people being kind to each other when faced with great odds? Do you like laughing, music and looking at nice things? Then you’ll surely like this movie, because it’s nice in these ways.
To be perfectly honest, I haven’t had a real home since I lived at Home. With my parents. As in a grown up home. With a linen closet. With a yard to mow. With a drawer just for dish towels. With nice plates for guests. Each home I’ve had since then has had traces of a grown up home. You throw knife block on a counter, drop 3 backs at Target on a thing that should hold mail but will instead hold old programs, receipts and 5 year old birthday cards. Hang some curtains and pretend you’ve got a mortgage to pay. Instead my money goes to rent and flights and shows and shoes and booze and sushi and books. While it might appear externally, to some, that I am living the dream, as it were, I sometimes fantasize about having a house. It mainly happens when I’m off on one of these out of town writing things, and get a taste of it. So while I was previously motivated purely by wanting to really Stick it to all the people who thought I was lame in high school, I now have a newer, firmer reason to (financially) succeed: I need to buy a house and it needs to be on Martha’s Vineyard and it needs to possible be one of these.
I’m not quite sure who Martha is, but I am very much into her Vineyard. I get to spend the next 3 weeks in this beautiful house, where my bathroom is en suite and the shower is roughly the size of a New York apartment.
I’m walking distance from the quaint Edgartown which is pretty much adorable store after store of antiques and ice cream and lobster rolls. Each morning, I get to walk or run or bike by this:
I’m just wondering how exactly it was that I died and subsequently went to this heaven.
Oh also, I’ll be rewriting my Naked Angels Commission for the 900th time, and possibly this time, maybe getting it at least 40% right.
Heading up to the vineyard arts project today! I decided that to properly engage in the vineyard experience, I really needed some sort of hat. I purchased this one from a large Jamaican woman on the street who told me it made me look like I was ‘chillin long time.’
It’s amazing how a hat can transform you. Don it and suddenly you are the crazy Hat lady at Walgreens, balancing bags of paper towels and Brussel sprouts, charging to the checkout to pay for cough drops, swearing that she already paid for the seltzer at the pharmacy.