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The Poetry of Things 🦎 🆓

Whether you succeed or not is irrelevant, there is no such thing. Making your unknown known is the im

a good life

June 27 · Issue #64 · View online
I write thoughtful self-help

Whether you succeed or not is irrelevant, there is no such thing. Making your unknown known is the important thing. Georgia O'Keefe
In 1999 a major show of Georgia O'Keefe’s work came to the East Wing of the National Gallery, a place that had been a second home in my girlhood. I stood in line three times for tickets, spending hours elbowing the crowds to take in her paintings. Art has long been my refuge, but this show captivated and thrilled me.
It was called The Poetry of Things, the name of my Instagram handle today. I have continued to think about this exhibit for nearly two decades since the show. It was unapologetically female, clean, beautiful, singular.
I have since taken every opportunity to see her work and no matter where it is displayed, great pains are taken to explain that the flowers were not sexual. I’ve always thought that a bit ridiculous. 
Flowers are sex. Sex is not apart from who we are, it’s baked in.

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True Tales of the Silver Fox - YouTube
During my time in Abiquiú I visited Christ in the Desert Monastery. Twenty-six miles of dirt roads with no cell service, and I still have never changed my own tire. It’s nice to know you can do any fool thing you set your mind to.
“I’ve been absolutely terrified every moment of my life—and I’ve never let it keep me from doing a single thing I wanted to do.”
It was worth it. The architect who designed the monastery was George Nakashima, the famed Japanese-American furniture designer. The property is a thing of beauty. O'Keefe would occasionally venture out there to visit with the monks, who are still welcoming and friendly.
A courtyard shot I took at Christ in the Desert Monastery
I never cared anything at all what other people thought. I always knew I could earn a living doing something else besides painting, so I wasn’t worried. I could just do what I wanted to do, and I didn’t have to care what people thought. Oh, if I’d followed people’s advice it would have been hopeless. That man Bement gave me some very good advice. He told me things to see and do, and he was very helpful. But if I’d really done in painting what he wanted me to do, nobody would ever have thought anything about me.
But I’m much more down-to-earth than people give me credit for. At times, I’m ridiculously realistic. 
Georgia O'Keefe
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