Summertime Reflections

The days come and go so quickly, and it’s frightening to think that summer is already nearing its end. As with the close of every season, I find myself being overly introspective and self-reflective. These past few months have provided me with a great deal of clarity. I began this summer with the intention of pursuing graduate school, perhaps for plant biotechnology or chemical ecology. While I researched graduate programs and professors, I had found myself working for an organization that could be the poster child for the non-profit industrial complex, boasting inexcusable hypocrisies, shameless nepotism, and a disregard for hard work and ambition. Work hard I do and ambitious I am, and it was difficult for me to spend so much time in such a work environment that prevented me from pursuing my goals.

As my ideas and projects grew both in size and number and my contempt for my work situation persisted, I had found myself feeling increasingly stifled. With every passing week, the work I did went without validation, and the meager paycheck I made was absorbed into various expenses. Thoughts on graduate school slowly waned, and I began to see the necessary steps to achieve graduate status as a chore rather than a life choice. Instead, every corner of my mind flooded with creativity. The after-work energy I had could only be used for art, which had demonstrated itself to be my priority over all else.

When I was freed from the 40 hour per week schedule, ideas quickly evolved into plans, and plans were fleshed out into goals. Goals were then, rather naturally, dissected into sub-goals which were laid out with strict self-imposed deadlines and rigorously managed time to maximize productivity. Motivation and determination seemed to maintain themselves, and I finally felt that I was doing exactly what I should be doing.

Of course, there are loans to pay and resources to invest it. While I love the various part-time jobs I have, I often feel overwhelmed by my shifting and chaotic schedule. It seems that, once again, I’ve managed to overextend myself. I am certain that I will come back here to write more soon, hopefully to establish it as habit, but I am doubtful that posts will be a regular occurrence. There are so many angles and perspectives on art and agriculture that I want to tackle, but it’s something that will have to come naturally when I feel particularly inspired.

For now, I need to settle into my new work schedule while I adhere to my reading deadlines and maintain a steady flow of finished illustrations and paintings. I am so grateful for those who have supported me as a I transitioned from aspiring scientist to aspiring artist and writer, for you are the ones who give me confidence in pursuing this endeavor. I look forward to the fruits that Fall will bring me and another chance to reflect come the winter solstice. I will write again soon xx

Ramblings

     I’m well aware that, at this stage in my career, this website has very little traffic. The art I make and the books I read are my world, however, and that is more than enough justification I need to write out the rambling thoughts I have.

      As someone who spends the majority of her waking hours lost in thought, I find it necessary to cement my mind’s abstractions in some way. Only when one can write clearly on a matter does one fully understand that matter, and that is why I need this outlet – so I can meld the things I learn and the thoughts I have together, but with clarity and precision.

      It is my intention for this to be a place for serious thought. If you know me, you probably know how important sense of humor is to me. I have lost far too much time to depression and anxious thinking to believe that we need to be serious all of the time. Yet, there is no denying that the world is sodden with cruelty and that countless lives have been spent in desolation and suffering. We all know this, and it seems we are reminded of it everywhere we look. Cruelty is an inevitable part of human nature, but that is never an excuse to stop striving for a better world. Improving our planet is no easy task; We must constantly educate ourselves and engage in productive rhetoric if we wish to see change.

      With all of that said, it is here where I will supplement my whimsical writing of herbs and vegetables with the heavy-handed writing. Agriculture has a rich history of heirloom varieties, self-sustenance, and summertime meditations. Yet far more prominent are its associations with slavery, serfdom, and soil exhaustion. Industrial agriculture is a curse that scourges the laborers who toil away for meager wages, the animals whose entire confined lives are spent wallowing in excrement, and the wild squashes and sunflowers who are slipping into the cracks of genetic erosion.

      Food has always been inseparable from politics. Monocultures have always existed, running the soil barren until famine inevitably strikes. Now, these issues are compounded with the heavy use of chemical pesticides and fertilizers that poison our waterways, our soil, and our children. Mechanization has exacerbated the habitat loss and fragmentation caused by farming,  proving to be a death sentence for our planet’s astounding biodiversity.

     Under my whit and sarcasm, my heart is always heavy with thoughts of those victimized by industrialized agriculture – human, animal, and plant alike.