Holy cow you guys, how is February over already?
|At the SAM:remix art party for then new Miro exhibit|
|RIGOROUS inquiry, indeed.|
I managed to start and finish a whole entire book this month! All by myself! Now, many of you out in internet land might be rolling your eyes. Let me tell you: as a PhD student, the times I get to read for pleasure have been few and far between. I love to read, and lately it has been taking me FOREVER to work my way through anything substantial. I had been coping with the time deficit by reading a lot of poems, plays, and short-stories; now that I’ve passed my general exam, and I’m almost ready to submit a few manuscripts for publication, I’m hoping to have a little more space in my life for literary pursuits.
I read Rosanne Cash’s memoir: Composed. I found it a pretty enjoyable read. I love both Rosanne Cash, and her father (Johnny Cash’s) music.
She has lived an extremely interesting life and spent time with some extremely talented and interesting people. It’s great to hear her perspective on her father, and the stories about her musical and matrimonial collaboration with Rodney Crowell offer surprising depth and insight into both the creative process and human emotion. That said, the book sometimes suffers under its own gravitas. Rosanne is, for the most part, a wonderful writer. She has several passages that hit you right in the gut with their perception and beauty. A few of my favorites were:
“For me, art is a more trustworthy expression of God than religion“
“We all need art and music like we need blood and oxygen. The more exploitative, numbing, and assaulting popular culture becomes, the more we need the truth of a beautifully phrased song, dredged from a real person’s depth of experience, delivered in an honest voice; the more we need the simplicity of paint on canvas, or the arc of a lonely body in the air, or the photographer’s unflinching eye. Art, in the larger sense, is the lifeline to which I cling in a confusing, unfair, sometimes dehumanizing world”
On the other hand, she does have a tendency to over-write, which can make her prose feel kind of clunky at times. “I fell in love like a lover waiting to fall in love” is not exactly going to win any prizes in the simile department. I would recommend this book to any folk music fans. When Rosanne is at her best, you feel like you’ve been invited to a great party where you get to hang out and jam with Johnny Cash, Emmylou Harris, and Earl Scruggs.
OK so those were the things that I did. Now let’s set some goals for March:
1) Make sleep and recovery a priority.
I have been having a lot of fun, but sleep has been falling by the wayside. As I enter my peak training phase, I have to remember to take care of myself to keep running injury free. I want to make it a priority to get at least 7 hours of sleep per night.
2) Return to a consistent yoga practice.
It’s so strange to me how whenever life feels overly busy and out of balance, yoga is one of the first things I sacrifice. Yoga helps me keep myself IN balance, physically and mentally. I’ve been noticing a few tight spots in my butt and shoulders, and I haven’t been to class in over 3 weeks. I need to get my Ommmmmmm on.
|When in doubt, stretch it out|
3) Keep reading.
I’m currently reading In the Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood. It’s phenomenal so far. Margaret Atwood is one of my favorite authors and this book does NOT disappoint!
4) Do some career planning.
As part of my graduate programs requirements I have to fill out a career development plan. Now that I’m a PhD candidate, I need to figure out what is next for me. Is it an academic post-doc? Industry? Something else? I have been giving this some thought lately, and my goal for March is to crystalize a few long and short term goals.
5) Find a 2 bedroom house in Phinney Ridge with a fenced yard.
Alli is moving up to Seattle in May! We need a place to live, with a yard for porter!
OK- That was a long post. I congratulate you for reading this far. Now it’s time to open it up for discussion with the class. What are your goals for this coming month?