I guess it’s been three years since I posted anything in the blog-o-sphere world. Lots has happened and this isn’t a blog about my day-to-day so I haven’t used it much. I’m in El Paso, TX, married, working as a nurse in the Army and trying my darndest to keep up personal growth and development. That thing was easy in college where you’re surrounded by like-minded, like-aged people who are all learning a once. Their are countless events you can go to related to art/literature/science/media/culture/etc./etc. On the other side (out of college and miles from Los Angeles) its been more difficult to find those experiences. But never fear! all is not lost, there are still lots of great things and people out here. I am constantly reminded that a place is what you make of it and that only you decide how to perceive a situation. All that being said I’d like to talk about a few recent interests:
- A new blog project: I haven’t used my own blog in years and I’m starting a new one? I know, I know, what is she thinking? Let me tell you. This new project is a collaboration that I’m starting with some friends. Its centered around the idea of sharing recommendations in conversation. I’m hoping to get mixed involvement with a variety of interests and subjects. I’m no expert in blogs and if this evolves the way I’m hoping it will I’ll need to learn fast and enlist some help. Primarily I’m really excited to see what other people come up with and what they suggest to form and shape this thing. It may fizzle out and die, but I hope it can survive as a way to connect friends and enrich our lives. Heres l’chaim: to life!
- Outsider Art: Probably late to the table on this one but I’ve just discovered the term “outsider art”. It seems like it may be a term on its way out for political correctness sake, since it can ostracize these artists, but it’s interesting nonetheless. Outsider art is work created by someone who is untrained. An amateur artist setting out to make art, almost accidental artists in some cases. Examples I’ve found compelling so far are: James Edward Deeds, who created a series of incredible and somewhat weird drawings from inside a mental institution, Bill Traylor, an African american man born into slavery who didn’t start drawing until he was 85 then produced an astounding 1200-1500 pieces, and Adolf Wölfli, a Swiss peasant who suffered from mental health issues but went on to create a 25,000 page 45 volume “imaginary autobiography” that intertwines prose, poetry, collage, drawing, and music pieces to form a staggering, detailed compendium.
- Minimalist Wardrobe: I have noticed a refreshing increase in environmental awareness in America over the last several years. Maybe I’m just seeing more of it, but there is hope that it’s an actual shift in people’s mindsets and lifestyles. I’m sometimes paralyzed by the things I do to contribute to a lazy abuse of the world we live in. When I think about the fact that I’m using plastic bags for my produce and food storage, or not making all of my food from scratch to cut down on waste I feel a little guilty. Then I remember that no one ever taught me better growing up and now that I’m learning it’s going to take time to get there. I’m working on one step at a time. One of these on the forefront for me right now is clothing. I shopped a lot at big chain retailers who would sell me cheap, trendy-enough clothes. Never thrilled about supporting businesses with less than perfect labor practices and material sourcing, I justified it by thinking I didn’t have enough money to do anything different. Not a good enough excuse. Being conscious and intentional about our choices in apparel is as important as the food we eat. No more supporting child labor/sweat shops/economic inequality /human rights abuse and massive amounts of unnecessary waste out of neglect. I’m looking for clothing brands with transparent business practices and ethical production processes. Companies Who make high-quality goods so I don’t need clothes every month when cheap things rip, fade, and lose their shape (or go out of style when you turn your head). The first step for me was to get rid of most of my clothes. I took 80% of my wardrobe to Plato’s Closet where they bought about 15% and took the rest to the Salvation Army. I still have plenty of clothes and I’m working on slowly and steadily adding better pieces that will last long and look great. One resource I found to be incredibly helpful in this project is this blog Where the author explains her own wardrobe and some ins and outs of having an intentional and thought out closet. If you are interested in learning more, watch this (a quick look at whats wrong with fast fashion), and this (John Oliver’s sarcastic, satirical comedy doesn’t diminish the serious issue of clothing consumption in America).