Where do these episodes come from? A past life? An innate discontentment with everything life already offers, combined with a form of voluntary synesthesia developed from an adolescence of perpetual loneliness manifesting itself in movie marathons and an inconvenient impulse to pay attention to every visual and auditory detail of every situation as an escape from the social interaction at hand?
I was asked to share my "big big world" at the Sydney Opera House and the Melbourne Writers Festival and mostly talked about fangirling, the anxiety of influence, and being happy instead of putting pressure on yourself to be some tortured artist. I love Neil Gaiman's "make good art" speech, but I wanted to talk about what happens when you can't make good art, and about how fulfilling it can be to appreciate other people's art. If you prefer to watch the FIRST-EVER DELIVERY of this thing, the Sydney one is here, but I've embedded the slightly-updated Melbourne one above.

When it’s really, really cold outside, sometimes even the items in your wardrobe that you always depend on (everything from ripped jeans to cashmere sweaters) no longer cut it. This is when you have to find creative ways to layer under your clothes that no one will notice. You can, for instance, throw a pair of tights or sheer stockings under a pair of ripped jeans or layer a form-fitting sweater over a long-sleeve T-shirt. Also don’t be afraid to whip out the long johns you normally reserve for ski trips—sometimes during the winter they’ll come in just as handy for the walk to work.
I don't actually think these events really happened to me, but they'll still come to mind when I think back on a time when a secondhand event seemed to hold some kind of truth that reality did not. Example: I felt all weird and drifty at the beginning of last summer, and when I try and revisit that place, I don't literally imagine the view from behind a car windshield and how everything must look to the narrator in Yo La Tengo's "Today Is the Day," but I sure remember the exact sadness that it captured.
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