Discover more from How To Cure A Ghost
Happy full moon in Aries.
Action and integration. That’s what these last few weeks have been for me. There’s been a lot of change that’s happened in the last few months for me personally. Summer was rough — I was in constant personal and political disarray, trying to understand myself and my principles and what I stood for, so I took the time to reflect. Choosing to have these conversations publically, using myself as a chopping block through my writing, comes at quite a personal cost, and I’ve been weighing the loss of people through this process. There’s a lot of grief when you feel yourself changing and you realize there are a lot of people that might not understand nor appreciate the growth, they might not even see it. Yet one thing gets clearer each day, I can no longer apologize for myself. And I refuse to be in situations where I feel like I have to constantly apologize… for who I am… I am tired of being small for everyone else’s comfort.
I also know I’m prone to self-isolate (it feels the safest) and now that I’m in a relationship it’s so easy to be in a little orbit with the few friends I let in, or the meetings I need to make and to live a life on a smaller scale. I think I’m realizing how much the pandemic has affected me and how unwilling I am to go back to a sort of normalcy that feels performatively capitalistic… whenever I go to a city like New York, I feel sick by how fast the city continues to move. But I don’t want to return to normal. I want to have smaller, more intimate, safer connections. I don’t want to feel so exposed to the world. This has become so much clearer to me.
Last week, I taught my solstice/ fall equinox class and it was such a dream. I loooovvveeeee teaching and facilitating. It’s such a life work for me, and by the end of the series / class I never want to stop. These containers, even if they’re over Zoom, feel so healing for me. To write together, with the rhythms of the earth, to find each other through our breath, remembering the divine, the erotic, finding that through poetry… that’s so significant to me. It’s how I want all of my relationships in life to encapsulate, but so rarely do I find these spaces to do so. I’m glad I can connect with people through my work like this.
Anyway, happy Full Moon. May it be a deep one.
With love, here’s Twenty Things!
I’m doing a few events in LA in the next couple of weeks as we lead up to the release of Survival Takes A Wild Imagination! The first is at Dynasty Typewriter with my beloved Gabi Abrão (and co) on October 12th! On October 13th I’m doing a talk with another beloved Sara-Elise at Salt Eaters, for their new book A Recipe For More. On October 16th I’ll be doing a reading of Survival Takes A Wild Imagination for (indeed) another beloved Erica Chidi’s launch of the app Loom (an app for reproductive health) at the Lisa Says Gah store on October 16th, then on October 17th — my big reveal — I’m launching Survival Takes A Wild Imagination at one of my favorite LA bookstores, Reparations Club! If you are in LA, please come support! At every opportunity you’ll either get to see me read & speak or you’ll get a chance to meet me and get your book signed! Copies pre-ordered from Rep Club will also be personally signed by me, so let me know if you want a special note or, like, a cat drawing! <33333
Last week I wrote a pretty emotional piece on representation (thank you to all of you who wrote to me about it, and thank you to my friends who read this piece and it got them thinking about things too, I love hearing these reflections and need them) for the last ten-plus years I’ve been trying to find other South Asian creatives, people like me, to find support and care and reflection and uplifting.
It’s been a rocky road, but especially in the last few years, I’m glad that those people in my life keep growing, and I’m really happy that South Asians are creating space for each other to figure out our pasts so we can dream our futures. Anyway, there’s a new contemporary art gallery opening in LA called Rajiv Menon Contemporary and their inaugural show is opening on November 9th. It’s open to the public and showcases a lot of brilliant artists I admire!
I can’t wait to watch this Argentinian film The Delinquents which won the Un Certain Regard at Cannes this year
It’s the lighting for me
I’m lucky to call my friend Marlee Grace a really great friend. It matters to have friends who inspire you and push you to new horizons with yourself. Recently, I’ve been returning to their writing a lot. Both their book Getting To Center (which feels more pertinent than ever because it’s all about wading through grief/ the unknown/ sobriety/ the messiness of being human) as well as their newsletter Monday, Monday which is so rich, deep, and layered. I’m grateful for Marlee’s mind and innovation! I particularly LOVED their newsletter about leaving Instagram, and it brought me into a deep contemplation with myself and my own life… about my own consumption… which is something I kept thinking about recently. This is also my favorite kind of writing, the writing that moves you to consider yourself.
I recently found Dominique Fung’s work and was BLOWN away, excited to see her work IRL somewhere soon
I have not read the book, “Black Nature: Four Centuries of African American Nature Poetry” edited by Camille T. Dungy, however, I was told about this book recently, and its existence really excited me. Nature writing is what I keep turning to these days and so it’s on my shelf list and I’m waiting till it gets a little bit colder outside to really dig into the readings. I’ve been meaning, also, to read Soil: The Story of a Black Mother’s Garden by Dungy as well.
A few years ago I was lucky enough to buy this beautiful Ash Chen lamp. It broke last year during a fight when I tripped along the cord and the lamp cracked open. Luckily my partner was able to kintsugi it back and so it still stands today… I’m not sentimental about most things, but I am about this lamp! Anyway, Ash’s work is brilliant and they just released their new ceramics. Have a gander!
I was recently shown the video clip for It’s All About The Benjamins by the artist FKA as Puff Daddy … and honestly? This film clip feels like a prestige television episode. It’s so surreal and layered and funny and weirdly intimate and strange. Remember old-school videos you’d watch on a Saturday morning? Yeah…
My brilliant and dear friend Sebene Selassie is teaching a 6-week course entitled Ancestors to Elements which was “created for these challenging times, and is a creative & soulful 6-week course designed to help you embody the sacred paradox of belonging: we are not separate AND we are not the same.” I love Selassie’s mind, she’s taken some of my classes, and I want to take hers soon too. She’s also the author of one of my personal faves, You Belong: A Call for Connection so very worth checking out.
Hilweh Market is a market-based in Palestine, founded by a Yaffa native, to reclaim and restore Palestinian and Arab culture. The store is a general concept store and has really cute ceramics and homewares for anyone getting ready for the Christmas season and gifting giving.
I’m obsessed with this painting entitled Sphinx Kallipygos by Ernst Fuchs
For LA folk, I just recently heard of Universal Family Wellness Clinic for anyone looking for good sliding-scale acupuncture!
The Australian company Dinosaur Designs was one of the first design companies I found that worked with resin. I have been following their designs for over twenty years now, and love them… look at this absolutely spectacular bowl.
One of my besties Angela recently introduced me to one of her favorite teenage bands, Cibo Matto, and I’m obsessed
There’s this bar in Joshua Tree that I’ve been dreaming of going to, I don’t know why, I just think because it seems sexy …
Here’s a friendly reminder to pre-order Survival Takes A Wild Imagination babes! The best way you can support any writer you like is by pre-ordering their books! Fun fact! Here are more options to make pre-orders around the world!
Side note, I am absolutely obsessed with these stools. Obsessed!!!
When I was young and first moved to NY there was a store in the West Village called Kiosk that housed strange one-of-a-kind objects that were affordable. I like that in European designs (really anything not American) there are accessibility parameters that have already been thought out in the design model itself, and affordability in design exists as both a theory and a concept. This is all to say that Kiosk now has an online store where random findings (like these incense strips collected from Eritrea and Somalia) are there for you to find and enjoy.
Your moment of zen