Monday, August 25, 2008

It's incurable.

I go everywhere, I admire all kinds of country...But when I strike the open plains, something happens. I'm home. I breathe differently. That love of great spaces, of rolling open country like the seas--it's the grand passion of my life. I tried for years to get over it. I've stopped trying. It's incurable.
Willa Cather

[Georgia] was working boldly and taking real risks in her work. "I've never thought of myself as having a great gift," she said later. "I don't think I have a great gift. It isn't just talent. You have to have something else. You have to have a kind of nerve. It's mostly a lot of nerve, and a lot of very, very hard work."
Georgia O'Keeffe, A Life : Roxana Robinson

Forced myself to be social this weekend and then spent the rest of my time reading this Georgia O'Keeffe biography like it is a self-help guide.

I say forced myself because I never really want to go out. If I've worked all day, I think, How can I go out now. If I haven't worked all day I think, How can I go out now. Anyway, I force myself, I tell myself, Leigh, you live in New York, why do you live in New York if you aren't going to go out and do something, so I go, and then I have a mixed time. I adore some people, can't stand most.

I can't stand the spoiled, unambitious children of the upper middle class who just want to spend their lives going from one good time to the next. "I have all these credits and I could graduate early, but instead I'm going to go to China," someone told me, "because the last thing I want to do is graduate and have to get a job. I just need to figure out a way to make four million dollars so I can be a man-child for a few more years."

I also can't stand elitist MFA students. Elitist MFA graduates. Elitist MFA applicants. Etcetera.

Every morning I make coffee and go sit on my porch and look at New Mexico real estate listings. I got the job at the New Yorker, so I plan to work there for a couple years, going to the New School part-time, spend my third year going full time so I can finish my degree (my bachelors degree), and then move back to the desert.


ryan manning said...

the asian robert oppenheimer

Anonymous said...

i am glad you are not elitist.

congrats on the new yorker! i am glad to hear you got it even though you thought it wasn't going to happen.

julia said...

:( i hope you had fun all the same, love you much

Leigh Stein said...

julia, you're in the adore category, obviously.

i'm sorry i can't relate to your friends.

Mike Young said...

I hear ya re: the class warfare thing. But you have to be quiet about it. If you start talking about it too much, they will pout, because having a life of safety nets is not enough; we have to like them too. My solution is just to be louder than everyone, which, obviously, doesn't usually work.

Meggy_FFW said...

congratulations on the job! i just made myself breakfast (grits and eggs and veggie sausage), and if you were here i would also make you breakfast.

Leigh Stein said...

I'll leave them alone to like each other.

Being nice to everyone's face and then talking (or blogging) behind their backs is one of my more unfortunate Midwestern tics.

Anonymous said...

Wow...really glad to hear that.

Mike Young said...

"I'll leave them alone to like each other" is a good line.

SHMALEX! said...

Hi. I met you at a reading at the Bushwick open studios a couple months ago. It was during that first heat-wave. Anyway-- I was cleaning my room today and I found, safety pinned in my dress pocket, your url written on a piece of yellow paper. So, hi. Again.