I’m afraid I don’t have much of in the way of a photo update this week. I’ve been slaving away over various midterm projects for school, and have been sick and unable to do very much this weekend, so my life has not been particularly photo-worthy of late. Here’s a bento dinner I took with me to a group project prep session on Wednesday, when I was running around all day with no time to come home between meetings (I also brought a thermal bento with chicken soup for lunch on Thursday, but didn’t take pictures because it wasn’t particularly remarkable looking and I was in a hurry to get out the door):
Main container: Mediterranean wrap (tortilla halves containing yogurt, mint leaves, ham, cucumber, and tomato), carrot sticks, cucumber flowers, broken boiled egg (I didn’t boil it quite enough and it turned out somewhere between soft and hard boiled – definitely cooked through, but rather fragile), spoon for the kiwi in the sidecar.
Sidecar: half a kiwi, pistachio nuts
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Onto the real subject of this post, though. I’ve been playing around with Audacity again for the first time since sophomore year of college. I’ve decided to do a short audio essay about my grandfather (who was recently diagnosed with lung cancer, possibly terminal) as a midterm project for one of my classes, and will expand it to a longer multimedia piece for the final. Last night I dusted off my very rusty editing skills and did a practice run by mixing some music in with a recording of me reading a poem (we were required to write love poems earlier in the semester). I sent the results of the practice session to my bf as a happy-fourth-dating-anniversary gift. Tonight D helped me practice recording over Skype. Tomorrow morning I am going to do my actual phone interview with my grandpa. It’s nice to feel that I am helping to record stories and words that my family will treasure for years, long after he is gone, and it’s good for my soul, as well, to have something to do that helps me to engage with the pain of the prospect of losing him. It’s also been stressful, however, trying to negotiate things so that everyone will be comfortable with the interview setup and he will not be overly taxed or tired by it – and trying to get enough material to meet the requirements of my course (which is about experimental poetics) at the same time. I also feel a lot of pressure to produce a something that will both satisfy the aesthetic of the project guidelines and please my family and honor my grandfather in particular. My mother and I agreed today that I should make two different versions: one for the class, and one for the family. She also wants me to focus on both my grandmother and grandfather and their life together for the final product rather than just creating an individual audio portrait of my grandfather. It’s going to be a challenge to use the same raw material to come up with both a documentary piece (for family) and an anti-documentary piece (for the class). But God willing, it will happen one way or another. I know that having input in the final product is important to my family, just as much as the making of it is important to me.
If you believe in God, please pray for my family during this time. For my grandpa, that he wouldn’t suffer greatly. For my grandma, that she would not be overwhelmed with grief. For my mom, that she wouldn’t entirely burn out with the emotional toll of her sadness and the physical stress of taking my grandpa around to many many appointments and working out all the logistics of his treatment. For my family, that this would be something that draws us closer to God, and to each other, rather than apart.
I’ll be traveling to California at the end of this coming week for Spring Break. I think it will be a much needed time for rest and reflection.
Till next week,