i like to finish my work for the day by dinnertime, then do something fun in the evening. yesterday morning i struggled to fill this cherished fun-time on my calendar. it hit me in an instant: why not just go to london tonight? the freshers’ fair gave us £1 return tickets and that was enough justification for a half day trip. i spent the morning in the rad cam reading about shakespeare, then read some more periodicals with marvin on the coach. halloween costume shopping and delicious vegan food in camden, tea with my friend simon, and my first ever trip to the national to see timon of athens, the best shakespeare production i have seen in a while. why spend the day at home being mildly productive and mildly bored when i could have an adventure instead? i chose the adventure. ★
computers have been integrated into modern life to the extent that they are pretty much required. and everyone who has a computer has desktop wallpaper, however plain, however automated. i love to see what others have chosen as their wallpaper; it is the picture contained within the intimacy of someone’s screen that they have personally chosen and it reveals something about them, and about them in the present. mine is above – a blurry but mystical shot of the boston sky as my sister and i drove home, a magical treat of a view that made the sky seem endless and wonderful. ★
i like sheep. they are one of my favourite things about england. on the coach journey to oxford there are many viewing opportunities, so i link them with the whole traveling-in-england experience. but beyond associative nostalgia, i admire their lifestyle. they are calm and make comfy sounds. i love to watch sheep; i call it graze gazing. occasionally one will bolt across the field and that is an exciting rarity. besides, they are fluffy, and that is adorable. ★
october is my favorite month of the year. the air smells crisp and fresh, the weather is perfectly cool, leaves are bright and daintily messy and gorgeous. while i love my work, there is the inevitable stress that occupies my mind, distracting me from enjoying my autumn. yet, sometimes the two correspond. here anne elliot thinks of autumn, though distracted by her own mind’s musings:
her pleasure in the walk must arise from the exercise and the day, from the view of the last smiles of the year upon the tawny leaves and withered hedges, and from repeating to herself some few of the thousand poetical descriptions extant of autumn, that season of peculiar and inexhaustible influence on the mind of taste and tenderness, that season which has drawn every poet, worthy of being read, some attempt at description, or some lines of feeling.
– jane austen’s persuasion ★
^ yoga atop stanage edge in the peak district
i used to be under the impression that athletics, physical activity, exercise – whatever you want to call it – meant team sports. it meant knowing the rules to baseball and caring which team won. it meant soccer cleats and tennis rackets. i was a theatre kid, they were the jocks. but in the past few years, athletics have become an essential part of my life. it just took me a while to find the right kind. my three practices are in rock climbing, yoga, and running. i interpret them all as sports that challenge personal boundaries. each requires small steps to improvement with steady extension of individual limitations. each is a mental exercise as well as a physical one, and each allows me to spend more time in nature. each is about breathing and focus, and practice. ★