Greetings from Berlin
Life updates big and small
I now live in Berlin. I have my own apartment here that doubles as a studio. I have to keep the windows open even when it’s freezing cold, because otherwise the paint fumes would probably kill me. I take lots of baths, boiling my skin so hot that I can only wear a t-shirt afterward. Then of course I get freezing again. This is all very confusing for my sinuses, and probably not great for my skin either.
I maintain a daily sketchbook practice, but most of my studio time is devoted to oil painting. It turns out that painting is difficult.
Everyone in this city is so goddamn beautiful, I can’t even look out the window of this coffee shop without falling in love. I can’t ride the subway without getting my heart broken three or four times.
I’m a year into my struggle with insomnia. I don’t have trouble falling asleep (thank God) but I invariably wake up after just a few hours so exhausted it’s almost as though the fatigue itself keeps me up. Then I have to take an allergy pill to go back to sleep (I know, I know) or else I’ll spend the following day miserable. Any advice would be greatly appreciated, as this affliction is slowly chipping away at my sanity!
On a lighter note, one of my best friends happened to move to Berlin at the same time as me. Thanks to him, I’ve all but bypassed the new-in-a-foreign-city isolation. This particular friend is a very talented poet, and we’re working on an illustrated book together. Stay tuned.
Speaking of books, I wrote a real book this past year! It’s going to be real-published too but I’m not allowed to say anything else about it. I signed a contract!
I just spilled my tea all over this table and I don’t have enough napkins to wipe it up.
I got accepted to a fully-funded MFA in creative writing. Basically, this means I’ll be getting paid a salary to sit around and write for two years. The only drawback? It’s in the Midwest. And no offense to Missouri but I am anticipating a rough transition from European capital to St. Louis. (Also I am planning to keep drawing/painting throughout the program because I don’t know how else to exist.)
This month marks a full decade since I dropped out of high school. In one sense it feels like I am living out my teenage dreams, wandering the planet making art. In another sense, life is extremely painful even when I’m exactly where I want to be. I suppose if life were any easier, I wouldn’t feel the need to write or draw. That would be another form of pain altogether. With that in mind, maybe I prefer it this way—feeling the pain and processing it through art—versus not feeling the pain at all. Numbness was never the goal.
Thanks for reading! It’s nice to have you here on my little email list, away from all the social media noise. Feel free to comment/reply with thoughts, feelings, greetings, advice, recommendations, or anything else you’d like to send my way. You can also forward this to a friend and tell them to sign up (hey, just throwing it out there, no pressure). Have a nice day!
It feels so special to get a news letter from you, almost like a real life letter from a friend. Thank you for that! as for the insomnia, I had the same issue for a long time + not being able to fall asleep. I don't really have any tips besides get rest when you can. It is important!
Really happy for you! I really appreciate you taking the time to write for us. You're such a great writer.
Although you don't know me, I've been caring about you for a long time, as if we're distant friends. BTW, I really miss you wonderful podcast, Hatchling. Any plans about it?
Sending you love, from Brazil.