Excerpts from Journaling About Death

By Karen Tomczak 

Jan 23, 2013.

No amount of wine is going to erase that 3 of my friends are dead in 3 months, all before the age of 22. 

I am going about life, but I feel everything and I feel nothing. I feel the stress of every day like a thorn in my heel. I feel the pull of what the world wants versus the pull of what I want. I feel like someone turned down the dimmer switch on my light. I watch those around me move in a dance of task and routine, a dance of color and lives, in a sea of everything, a sea of nothing. 

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“Memento mori”

 

By Michael Singer

 

"“Mr. S—, are you interested in helping me with a project?” These were the first words spoken to me by Dr. V., as I passed him outside the operating room one morning in September on my rounds collecting surgical specimens. Gray-bearded, bespectacled, attired in a long three-button sport coat to accommodate his lanky frame with a matching paisley tie, he exuded a solemnity and continental élan that stood in stark contrast to his playful demeanor. He introduced himself as V. and asked me to stop by his office that afternoon. After he left, one of the nurses whispered to me: “That’s the chief of surgery.”"

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I Am the Danger

 

By Monica Trausch

The danger was that we loved Lee too much. He was too bright, too warm, too much joy. He danced in the ocean, let you win at foosball, wore neon green t-shirts, and played guitar constantly. He was too much. And we all loved him immediately. Me, Shae, Tyler, Brendan, and Narath. All of us. We loved him strong and fast. But the danger was always there. I mean, we met the guy, threw back a few warm beers and said, sure, man, come live with us. Sure, man, let me hook you up with a job. You can borrow my bike, sure, man. We were so damn sure. Where were our senses? Our instincts? Our insights and observations? Sure, we were drinking a lot back then, sure, man. Sure, we created this little island for ourselves, this lord of the flies thing, and Lee always had the conch and that was the danger. We followed him off of the island.

...

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Hannah Suzanna: "Thinking about death strips away the things that are unimportant." Founder/Artist behind BCD on Death and Considering Life

 

When I was depressed in college, I read the book, The Nature and the Human Soul. He [the author] mentioned how, 'thinking about death strips away the things that are unimportant.' It became this constant in my life, to talk and read about death. I was actually working with my friend Allison, who's a Life Coach, and she pointed out how I really seemed to light up when I talked about 'this death thing'. From there I started including it into my photography, and once I moved from California to New York, I wanted to figure out a way to create my own job that was fulfilling, for me and for those around me, so I came up with Benefits of Contemplating Death. Originally it was just my Hashtag, but then I thought it would be interesting to expand on it, because we don't talk about death or grieving very often.

 

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Complicated Pussy

 

By Kim Davalos 

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facts.

1. this pussy is complicated.

2. Sex and The City fucked me up.

3. i don’t want to have children.

 

carrie bradshaw was, and honestly, still is, the epitome of life goals. years ago i was going through my first real break up with my first love of four years. at that time, my roommate had the Sex and The City series box set and i thought, “meh, why not give this show a try.” and like anything else i do in my life, i go from zero to one hundred real quick.

 

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Seeing Red

 

By Garrett Omi 

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“Omi-san!” 

She impatiently yelled at me, her annoyance seeping through her heavy Japanese accent. My classmates twiddled their thumbs and exchanged awkward smiles at one another. She leaned in closer.

“You are not from Japan, you are not a Nihonjin. You are from America, you are an Amerikajin. So when I ask you what you are, you do not say ‘Watashi wa Nihonjin desu’ you say ‘Amerikajin’. Wakarimasu ka? Understand?”

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Inheritance

 

Words by Ashley Williams

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When my Granny moves on past breath, I will inherit a plethora of polyester, 

2 million non-matching Tupperwear pieces, and my Granny's life thesis:

 

"A man can be a dog, more than a dog can be a man, but a dog can be more of a man than a man can." 

 

I'll inherit the responsibility of being the keeper and translator of our family legacy impacted by a history of oppression of blackness and all things black men, perpetuated through systems still rocking at the manly blue cradles of my 3rd cousins today; while their young fathers and my aging one rot in cell blocks wishing for the cycle to end. 

 

I've also inherited her gift of creative tongue; my Granny is a storyteller. 

 

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Notes on Attending My First Sex Dungeon:

 

As a 25 year-old-mixed-brown-spiritual-queer-hood-millennial-artist named Jarvis, being unique is my jam sandwich and the soundtrack to my life. Conversations about my personal identity are usually accompanied with a “but…” or “although…” or some varying explanation of how I got here. “My family emigrated from all parts of Latin America…”, “Some of them immigrated to the pacific and settled…”, “I come from toxic masculine culture…”, “Sexuality is fluid…”, “90s cartoons are better than…” All usually while standing in front of someone who needs an explanation to understand the person they're looking at. 

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On Otherness, An Introduction

 

*this is a rather short exploration into the idea of Otherness, and an introduction to a week of narratives shared on the topic of Other. It is our first 'themed week', and we're excited to bring you our first batch of contributing friends for this edition of F{P. 

Growing up, I remember being told I was 'too Asian' by the White kids, and 'too White' by the Asian kids. I remember being called a 'faggot' in high school for wearing short cut-off jeans and feeling the need to choose my flavor of sexuality. On the street, people touch my hair and ask me if I am mixed, they compliment my thick bushy hair I have grown to love and remind me that Japanese people are supposed to have straight black hair. But lately, I don't mind so much.

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Laure Reilly of Thrillist, A Greenpoint Home

This is the first place I've ever lived on my own that feels like a home. Everywhere else had a very temporary feeling to it, or it just didn't feel like somewhere I could host people, where they could feel comfortable as well. I feel like I have had a lot of great memories of friends just being here, drinking wine and cooking food - hiding from the snow or the heat.

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Amber Lee, On Being Uncool and Living Your Authentic Self

 

I was embracing myself and embracing my features.

And I'm really grateful for who I am. There was a time where if given the choice to get out of it, I may have, but now I just appreciate and value all of the challenges and opportunities to embrace my own authentic self.

Processing is something that we don't value enough in our culture, allowing yourself to share what's true to you. The more you share the more you can access what's really there. The beauty of all things is that once you take a stand for yourself, it's not that you're alone, but rather you're in an environment where you can authentically interact with everyone in your life.

 

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Mete Erdogan, On Eavesdropping

 

Eavesdropper has been really good about bringing that to light, in hopefully a beautiful way. We all just want really basic things and there's just so much beauty in that. I think a lot of that stuff is taken for granted. A lot of those off-hand jokes or those comments are very innocent, but if you read into them and then you look into what these people actually want out of life. You realize that we're all kind of the same. It just keeps coming up in different ways. 

I think, you know, it's that it's really easy to relate to people if you just listen to them.

 

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Lily Wan of Surface Mag, On Yes, Yes, No.

There's nothing wrong with that, being absorbed and wanting more out of life, and maybe if you're shut out [it's not healthy], but it's, I don't know ... now I'm entering this see-saw period, finding that balance. Yes phase. No Phase. And now this pendulum.

Doing nothing is also very valuable, it's an investment into your sanity. Nothingness is super powerful. We don't get to feel this in the everyday, because we're just in the flow of everyday. You know,  on a normal day, all of these are just objects, but when I take the time... it's really really cathartic. I love this coach. The texture. I think about the story of how Pash and I dragged it around Brooklyn.

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Open Art Spark, A Conversation on Sustainability, Creativity, and Collaboration

I'm trying really hard right now to realize that fear is actually the thing that holds you [back], and I've been fearful a lot. But, look at all the good that comes from it.

Here I am. 

Recognizing that fear isn't really real. I'm still working on it, but I feel like I'm doing pretty good. Just trying things. 

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Kim Argetsinger, Surrender to the Grey - Entrepreneur/Life Coach

Surrendering to the gray. Wanting things now, wanting them a certain way, I think it came from my conversation with my coach. You can't connect the dots looking forward, you can only connect them looking backwards. Black and white is your comfort zone, it's a way we pretend to not have fears, but we still have them. We grow more clever in tricking ourselves, and surrendering to the grey is just us stepping outside of that, to look at the beauty that's going into the grey.

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