April 2019's Post-it note art from Instagram

April's Theme: I’m Trying

We all know what happened here, I had great plans and now plans are just laughable, well-loved but worn-out, too threadbare to really wear for any length of time. Just ideas nothing sturdier, shed almost as soon as we try them on. I felt so clever planning how people living artist lives would choose all my post-it publications this year, but now I’m quarantined in Memphis in a vastly emptied warehouse, this indoor luxury ghost town, the art community at home out of reach across the gaping canyon of my rundown computer. The handful of us still here politely keeping our distance, it’s not a time to sit together on the couch, lean our heads in closer over my notebook to peruse the intimate years. So I grabbed a few post-its from the moments this residency—my busy projects—my plans, our plans—were shutting down—this slow motion tumbling interruption—moving actually quite fast—and sent them to Martin. Martin is who I always send these to. I never know what he thinks of my choices, but he does keep publishing them. Over time, all I’ve gleaned is maybe he most likes seeing recent days. Martin is certainly a person in the arts, not just as co-founder of The Seattle Review of Books but also as a novelist and designer. I asked him to narrow my scant sheet of moments down to 4 post-its; these are his choices. I’m struggling with what to say because I want to be uplifting, I want to be amusing, I want to turtle, an escape inside myself, I don’t want to bare my guts right now. I look at these post-its and see my prior months folding over on themselves, falling asleep, piled up blankets on blankets over whatever I was doing before. I’m so sleep-deprived. I’m a little naked and floating just above the rubble, it’s a little unseemly, somehow it turns out I can still go on walks. An invisible rustling behind the buildings, the weather moving overhead. My bedtime body my own solitary toddler, I have to manage it, trick myself into needed rest. The last movie I saw in a theater was a pleasant-enough Jane Austen adaptation and now I just want endless plots I know the end of, and no one dies, that pastoral five thousand miles away. Steeling through my staying-put-here decision instead of rushing into Seattle, bodily goodbyes to family I couldn’t see at home anyway, I palmed my copy of Persuasion and slipped secretly into a dress from teenage summers with long hair. Reading in this starkly air-conditioned concrete bedroom, chair backed against the ghost of a hulking, industrial column emerging through my newer wall, waiting it out like an open window, waiting to be so cold I might sleep. On sudden warm days before the thunderstorms, outside the heat crashes my heart into other places. I walk around on the phone feeling like a million humid vacations, other versions of myself or something about palm trees. Don’t make me talk about money, ok? I think there’s something sweet about my take-out-tofu-craving self I don’t want to sully with the gritty details of an artist’s income. I’m doing ok.