James T. Green is a conceptual artist, radio producer, writer, and educator from Chicago, Illinois, and now in Brooklyn, New York.

thoughts + feelings

35: Wrist Tattoos and Reminders

Last week, we talked about “being (t)here now” and how unexpected situations can remind you about being present. I loved writing last week’s letter and appreciated the thoughtful responses, thank you again! Rhonda Mitchell’s response particularly caught my attention because of the great story behind it. Check out her story below–it makes perfect sense why she’s known as “the magical lady”.

”It was a few months ago I was still working at LUSH Cosmetics, this young high school girl was sitting with me and I noticed on her wrist she had the word “be.” At first, I decided that it had to be something private and I wouldn’t ask her but after about 10 minutes I did “What does this ”be“ mean to you?” She told me that she has bad anxiety so it is a constant reminder to herself to be present and thankful. 

I think about that young lady and how that small tattoo impacted my life, I’ve had to still and still presently tell myself to “be” it’s hard when there are so many things going on around you but what about YOU??”

It’s been great to have this re-awakening of present living and setting aside time for others. Between the recent trials that have occurred in my life and revisiting a few newsletters and sites such as Saya Hillman and her “Life of Yes” and Nick Disabato’s “Kanye West Will Never Go Apple Picking” reminded me of the joys in keeping enough distance (for yourself) and actively living your life through asking for help and asking for what you want. A few weeks ago, I went on a bike ride with one of my friends, Jana Kinsman, and she said something that stuck with me since then, and hope it does with you this week.

“If you don’t ask anyone for help, they won’t know. People generally want to help others–you just have to open that door for communication.”

Precisely.

Have a great Monday and see you next week,

-James

What did I find interesting this week?

1) Sunday Sauce BrandsVeronica Corzo-Duchardt and Margot Harrington started a branding workshop for small businesses and those with a side hustle that need a little help with branding. A must-go for anyone in the Chicagoland area.

2) Detroit Water Project: If you haven’t already heard about it, Kristy TillmanTiffani Bell and a team of others built a website that matches donors directly with Detroit residents that need help with their water bills. If you don’t click on one link this week, check this one out.

3) Yuna - Escape: This song has been on repeat for me this whole week. As a matter of fact, I listened to it while writing this letter.

4) Why Oysters Are Shacking Up in Old Subway Cars: A fascinating look into what happens to old subway cars and how they become artificial coral reefs for the ocean.

James T. Green