applying to graduate school

And who are you to stay?

Three days I spent in compressed existential crisis while I wrote and wrote about myself for an application. I filled my time with fret and scripture when I wasn't working through Sula and my statements. I have a chronic issue ignoring my emotional awareness of an event. 

I am beginning this week with Blue Plate Special: An Autobiography of My Appetites by Kate Christensen. Again, I have completed the intro only, but it is leagues beyond Second Book Syndrome that Sula held (this is not to discredit Sula; it is an educational book in its own right). Blue Plate Special was promised to me by a short-lived friendship many semesters ago. He told me about an NPR interview, and that she reminded him of me. I listened to Christensen's interview about the book and confirmed his speculation. He responded with a Cheshire cat-grinning comment about how he enjoys knowing his "friends" so well (a year and a half later, and he's forgotten my own autobiography. I am going to blame the drugs that stole his weight.).

My last semester in Kansas City is rising. Soon, my plans will be known and I can finally unfold. Unfortunately this school does not have cinder block walls with lines for my fingers to trace and imagine my world bursting around me.

"Sula" interim review

Every break, I make it a point to buy another book in Toni Morrison's long discography. This time, I gathered Sula from the same secondhand bookstore I found Tar Baby last spring. Sula is Morrison's second book, and while I have read nothing in the order of publication, I believe the universe is organizing such encounters. 

Her foreword, written in the book's most recent republication, has helped tremendously with my artist statement. I am knowing that though Sula is not Morrison's strongest book, and will not be my favorite, it is the book she took chances with. She knew she had nothing to lose, and no real hope to truly gain, and this freed her. This gives Sula the ability to act as a prologue to her later work; not only does the reader meet characters Morrison organizes in later work (albeit, not the exact same characters), but can see specific themes manifesting. Morrison mentions this work as an aesthetic piece, rather than the political writing her "contemporaries" were doing. And though Sula is not the peak of, the absolute essence of what Morrison writes, her "classic" work, it is the imminent of.

This second book—anybody's second book, really—is the most important. Where does one truly go after their first? First novel, first idea, first project? On to the second. Once second is down, third and fourth and fifth come, et cetera. The artist can find her "classic" work, and the work that moves beyond that. It is up to that second to solidify a track, a reason to keep making. The second, an ungraceful grip on the reason for making her art.


Interlude over, it is time for real work and forged bedtimes and knowing loneliness. This time, the last I will survive apart. More than a sprint—an entire field ready for imposition.

Again, the break has filled with social engagements and "catching up," dotted with work opportunities and the quiet nostalgia that finds dinnertime. I am using the sketchbooks I started fall semester, hoping the work I developed then can move from auto to Full Attention Manual. Click, my thoughts re-equipped to drive the break. 

I cannot stop trembling and this caffeine high I've picked up doesn't seem to be helping.


Apologies for the absence; school ended and I made a quick escape Northwest.

My transcript has sent, the fellowship application has probably arrived, and I have collected one (unnecessary) letter of recommendation. Yet to complete my purpose statement and artist statement, but there are still enough days for that. 

I am inclined to take flight when an experience ends, an immediate reaction. A break, a pause and I spend time making Lists Of to ignore the mist that curls my hair. A sign on the highway told me to "Be here now," and for the first time I have found alignment with the phrase: this, too, shall pass.


Days used for healing dreams and dancing, the holiday ended so soon. Everyone has turned their attention back to the long list of projects to complete before break. I have accrued a list of magic realism novels to read from a friend, and I am eager to finish schoolwork so I can be free to wander.

Awake and not oppressed for the first time all semester, I have slowly risen and begun sprinting again. Two more weeks of labor and busy work, and then I will start long hours on my application.

With Bated Breath

Third studio visit this semester tomorrow morning. I've begun my research for the Rothko paper, one month and counting to finish it (writing that sentence caused an enormous burst of adrenaline). Still to write a cover letter to approach a gallery for my senior thesis show. 

I have also begun "setting the folds" in my current project. It is exciting for it to come together.

I went to the dentist last week. My roommate's parents also visited. The next time I see both parties I will know what my future holds right after graduation. 


A semi-feud with a professor and yet to go back to studio since Monday. Days move quick, like their deft fingers and even a nap can't save me from the anxiety.

I've been stuck on. On and on and on

Stopped caring to pick up pieces. Stopped caring when I open my mouth, so wide

You can't take this high I'm on. I haven't been this inspired in a very long time.