MARY’S MUSINGS | Words Have Power

I have to take deep breaths when someone frustrates me or says something incredibly offensive. Oftentimes I walk away because it’s not worth stooping to someone else’s level to bring them down. I take time to cool down because saying things in anger often leads to regret – your words have power. I’ve had friends who put me down in public and in private in order to make themselves feel better. I have gone through a lot, but I don’t hurt others purposefully.

WHITE KNUCKLES | Washing the Salt Away

Over spring break, I dropped my phone in the ocean. It broke, and for two days I felt estranged – no sense of time, no notifications, no detested yet familiar sound of my alarm in the morning or the reassuring faculty of documenting every instant. In San Juan, Puerto Rico, life is much slower – the bright color of the small houses shine in the hot afternoons, the tide of the sea oscillates calmly and steadily; roosters’ onomatopoeias resound somewhere in the distance, sangria is served with lunch and the sun sets late in the evening; coquis sing on your way home. After long days at the beach, we could never get rid of the sand – it was in between our toes, in the cotton white sheets where we slept, trapped between a cylinder of red lipstick and its lid. Sand was everywhere and it drove me crazy; I wish I could write that the slow rhythm of the colors and the waves and the separation from omnipresent and overbearing technology taught me to let go of the small things and accept things as they are, but that is not who I am.

MOSKOWITZ | Somewhere at the Bottom

The other day, I was in the woods and saw color explode. I watched the red radiate, as bright and burning as the color of a sprouting rose or the dark red of an apple in the late autumn. The color drifted on the surface of the water, as if a layer of oil had been spilt, swirling in globs. Then came bursting orange and yellow, colors of the edges of fire, smoldering on hazy liquid. The green was alive, like the verdant greens of the moss growing on the surrounding trees.

MOSKOWITZ | One Summer

One summer, I gutted the prickly bush that sat on the side of my driveway. I was much younger, but I can’t exactly remember when it happened. The bush sprawled out and a handful of stalks reached out to the sky and then curved back towards the driveway. The stalks formed bent bridges between a vibrant, green forest and the dirty blue of the asphalt.

Every time I pursued adventure, I had with me a pair of red metal shears. They were small enough to fit in my hand and be pressed together, but the blades were thick and wide.

GOOD TASTE ALONE | A Utilitarian Romance With Mankind

Buzzfeed, or some similar listicle oracle, recently informed me oh-so-helpfully of the top seventeen most romantic places to visit (I assume they meant with a partner and not just by yourself). Which, of course, got me thinking – what makes a place romantic? I guess this is where we have to admit that romantic means something different for everyone. So dozens of people might call Ithaca’s gorges romantic, but to one person that might mean, “Damn, these gorges really make me wanna bang anything that moves,” and to another, “Golly doesn’t this gorge just make me want to stare at the moon and talk about our spirit animals,” and to yet another person, “This would be a postcard-perfect place to begin an attempt to beat the 50% odds of divorce.” And yet, most people can agree that scenic vistas of nature are romantic, similar to cute or expensive restaurants or places that are quiet and private. Then, you have misattribution of arousal – a term used in psychology – which is actually pretty trippy.