Here You Go, Internet: Speaking On Luke’s Art

posted in: Art 2

On Saturday at QuiltCon in L.A., I gave my favorite lecture on The Great American Quilt Revival. I rehearsed the talk twice that morning though I’ve given the lecture many times; I’m a Girl Scout at heart and try to always be prepared. Usually, mostly, I am.

At rehearsal, there on my bed, wrapped in my robe, wet hair, stopwatch running on my phone, I realized I was finished with the talk with ten minutes to spare, which surprised me; I usually take about an hour with that one. Maybe I was excited and clipping along faster than usual, I don’t know. But there I was with the luxury of extra time. I thought to myself. I chewed my lip. I looked in the mirror. And I decided to use that leftover time to make a statement. As I say in the clip above, everything I think I know is up for revision, except in a case where someone I care about is getting beat up. Then I do know something, which is that I want to help. The road to hell, yeah, but there are times being neutral is as unhelpful as feeding flames.

Most of the kerfuffle about my friend has taken place online, which is not surprising and also disastrous, because no one is accountable. Not being accountable for character assassination seems wrong, but there’s a lot on the Internet that’s wrong (e.g., 9/11 conspiracy theories, etc.)

I’ve been guilty of online snark, but I can say with sincerity I’m cured of it. Last summer, I said something unkind about someone on this blog. It got back to her and it was awful. That day, I knew that can never be something I do. This little impromptu, impassioned speech is indeed an argument and shows ire toward those I disagree with on the issue at hand. The difference is that instead of writing a blog post or responding to comments online, I took a place onstage. You can see my face. There is no avatar. I’m not hiding behind a computer. I’m speaking to you, and you, and you, ready to take it on the nose.

You can disagree with me — I hope some do, for the sake of moving forward with an important conversation — but it seems that to be taken seriously, you must be informed and be willing to identify yourself as a whole person. Otherwise, your content is as good as my backhanded comment this summer, which is to say that it is no good at all.

I’d like to introduce you to my nose. Enjoy.

*Thank you to Jennifer Moore for taping.



This Is Not About The Weather.

posted in: Chicago, Day In The Life 0
"Court of Honor, World's Columbian Exposition, 1893"; painting by John Henry Twachtman. [Could be worse: my last name could be Twachtman.]
“Court of Honor, World’s Columbian Exposition, 1893”; painting by John Henry Twachtman. [Could be worse: my last name could be Twachtman.]
I will not write about how cold it is in Chicago. I will not write about how cold it is in Chicago. I will not write about —

My god.

It’s so cold in Chicago, “minus twenty-five” actually refers to the number of people we’ve lost to frostbite in the last hour.

It’s so cold in Chicago, when your older brother tells you to chill, you burst into tears.

It’s so cold in Chicago, you’d think you be at a bar where all the chicks is models.

It’s so cold in Chicago, the ice machines in all the restaurants are out back smoking cigarettes because dude.

It’s so cold in Chicago, I put on a shirt, a sweater, and another sweater this morning. I carefully wrapped my scarf around and around my neck and face, put on my hat and gloves, and pulled on my flea-market fur coat. Double socks, then out the door to the Latin School to talk about poems and teach storytelling to some of the most incredible students on the planet. (They’re also some of the most hardcore; Latin stayed open while most public schools in Chicago closed for the “extreme weather.” It really was -25 today.) I walked to the school from my hotel thinking, “Well, I’m bundled up. I’ll get a little walk in this morning.” The cold took my breath away; it took a half-hour being inside before my toes stopped aching.

I’m headed to Austin now for QuiltCon. When I get to Texas tonight, I’ll hang my fur coat up in the closet and I will not look at it till I leave. Remind me to get an entourage, by the way. I love my life but the schlep is killing me.