books (2020)

The stereotype of bookish people being homebodies always seemed true, except that after a year with nearly 10 months worth of home-bodying what really strikes me when typing this list are the visceral memories I have of the places (not at home) that I read the first seven or so books of 2020: Now, Now, Louison at The Commons Chelsea – drinking a latte from a mug, indoors in a tiny cafe around the corner from work on a break. How Should a Person Be? in a mostly-empty afternoon pub on a day I got off early after working an event late early in the week, where I stopped for lunch on the way to my studio. The food was bad but the bartender was nice. Say Nothing sitting or standing in the subway, drawing me in so much that I hardly noticed packed and noisy train cars on my commute.

Little Woman was a book I read (and loved) multiple times in elementary school but hadn’t read since. Like many others, I re-visited it in advance of Greta Gerwig’s film retelling which I then went to see/cry through by myself in a movie theater at a matinee showing, which was the last time I was in a movie theater at this point. (Little Women bonus content: this podcast episode, and this one built around these essays)

In the peak of early spring anxiety and non-stop sirens outside, I turned to poetry when my attention span couldn’t handle more than a line at a time – Mary Oliver, paying attention as liturgy – and novels or memoirs written staccato-like with short chapters or shorter paragraphs that kept things moving briskly along (Dept. of Speculation, Ongoingness). Scriptorium was my favorite poetry collection I read this year.

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Abstract Thoughts

image via Art In Res (art by moi)

Artist-curator Mel Reese included my drawing let there be warmth, let there be light in this edition of Art In Res’ Weekly Curation, Abstract Thoughts. She writes,

“The beauty… is in the imperfection, the moments when we can spot the hand of the artist in the perpetual loop.”

This drawing is available for sale via Art In Res, which allows you to pay in monthly installments if desired. I will contribute 50% of my proceeds from the sale of this piece to Brooklyn Defender Services.

end of semester / artist statement

IMG_4519 - Version 2

In seeking to better pay attention, the art principles of pattern and repetition emerge as useful tools. Much of our learning relates to the recognition of patterns, whether biological, aesthetic, mathematical, or otherwise. By pointing out things we may have missed the first or second (or third) time around, they help us to notice.

This work1 maps, tracks, and presents as evidence some of the repetitions in my life. It takes advantage of the power of pattern in several ways: as documentation, remembrance, meditation, points of empathy, and studies in aesthetics. The physical processes inherent in art-making demand that embodiment accompany mental-spiritual presence, and embodiment is always relational.

“I am stumbling in pursuit of grace2” – wholeness, healed-ness, holiness – for “out of wholeness we make good things.3

Out of wholeness, we love.


1some of it is here: lynnettetherese.com/portfolio
2Sarah Kay spoke this.
3Shauna Niequist tweeted this.