Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Mrs. Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself, PART I

I've had a poster of Picasso's Blue Nude on my wall since sophomore year, initially thumbtacked and now (thanks to my pseudo-adulthood) framed. I've kept this poster around for a number of reasons—mostly because I like its colors and textures, its interesting combination of figurative and feeling, and that it reminds me of the beauty of the lines of a woman's back—but for the past two months or so I've been paying more attention to it than usual.

I began to really notice my Blue Nude again back in March, I think, right about the time that I last wrote in this poor, languishing little blog. At that point I was knee-deep in a swampy malaise composed of late-winter slush and never-ending, largely joyless work. It was a slog and I was a drag and for awhile I could barely see more than three feet in front of me (to loosely quote Andrew Bird). Then one day I came home from work and someone had posted this audio recording of David Foster Wallace's now-famous 2005 Kenyon commencement speech—published in 2008 as This is Water—and I sat down on my tiny couch and listened to it all the way through.