I want to like Patti Smith. Really I do. by Naima Lowe

My Dearest 10 Readers, I have forsaken you. It has been over a year since my last post. This blog has gone the way of many that have come before it. Big dreams about the radical potential and ease of online presence crash and burn when faced with the realities of having a full time job or just being too unmotivated to write. Also there's this whole Tumblr thing that seems to be all the rage these days. I'm behind the curve apparently.

I'm not going to make any grand promises to myself or anyone else about my new-found commitment to the craft of pithy web presence. I will, however, attempt, in earnest, to share some of what's been running through my head over the last 14 months or so.

The biggest “project” that I’ve taken on has been my move to a small town in the pacific northwest called Olympia, WA. This town is the home of The Evergreen State College, where I am a member of the faculty. It is also the state capitol, the entry-way to the Olympic National Forest, the owner of a fantastic food co-op… And so very much rain. Rain, rain rain. Ugh. I think someone told me that Kurt Cobain wrote that last album up the street from where I live. And then there was all those pissed off white girls screeching…

Ok, that’s not especially earnest. Dammit! On the one hand, this place leaves me more earnest than ever, with its slowed down pace, its plethora of small farmers grinning me down at the market on the weekends, and its total willingness to embrace all sorts of unapologetically weird people into its fold. On the other hand, I am damp for 9 months out of the year and the lack of black people is almost as alarming as the volume of shapeless fleece outerwear. I am often at a loss for nice things to say, even when I’m feeling perfectly happy. Ambivalence is turning out to be a major theme in my interactions.

This was the culmination of one particularly difficult week last spring.

Naima, bashful, with Flyer

It is actually a whole lot more earnest than it seems. I even made a potential set list of my favorite songs by the artists’ pictured, and printed 50 flyers to post around town. They are all sitting in my little office though. I never got up the nerve to put them up. I suppose the rain just kept me from wanting to do much more than make soup and be cranky.

That, my dear 10 Readers, is the start of an honest assessment of my life in Olympia. There’s more to come, I hope.

Yours Truly,