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

thoughts + feelings

54: Fickle Bodies

Spring is nearing. With that brings life to the dead in nature. During last year’s nature of transition, I experienced my own near deathnear family death, and my nearest friend dying. Two days ago, thanks to the nature of transition, another family member was discovered in her own transition to the afterlife. With this quadrant of reminiscence and contemplation, death is on my brain and I’m going to talk about it.

Bodies are fickle. We are sacks of blood composed around bones and muscles that bend and contract according to the demands of two major organs and a highway of nerves. 

Minds are fickle. We are given the same blank, moldable organs at birth, but each results differently through environment, experience, and routine.

Once you ignore the ways that many of us can be marginalized (racial, gender, economic, able-bodiedness, etc.), we generally have equal footing in this world. Born, live, die ~ the trifecta. Then you begin to ponder that we are fickle.

We cancel plans, miss deadlines, and don’t follow through on promises. We are not dependable as a whole, but still count on each other for the development of our species.

Why? Because we are all we have.

Whatever device you are using to read this letter and the surrounding structures in your environment has been intervened by humans–that same fickle, sacks of bones n’ blood that make mistakes. Even though we are temporary in our existing space, we have the same power to connect, interact, and intervene with the spaces and people around us. Whether it was my family, friends, and wife that looked after me during the recovery of my almost death, to the way my late aunt taught me how to enjoy living in the moment, to the immense daily inspirations of traveling and expression from my late best friend Brian, to the way my late cousin Chinescia showed me how to find joy in life’s toughest moments, the way that other humans unknowingly help other humans is powerful.

Your challenge this week is to ask a single person how they see you in their life. Let that question gently mold into a conversation about how you see each other in your lives. If you want to share the responses, you can feel free to tell me with a reply. You might be surprised just how much you impact someone else.

What did I find interesting this week?

★ The Tiny Missile Podcast: A little birdie told me that there’s a Chicago-based podcast interviewing talented game designers and developers.

★ Why Do You Have To Use So Many Four Letter Words?: As a fan of colorful language, this defense of it from Hanna Brooks Olsen is fucking brilliant.

★ The Cost of Paying Attention: With all this chit-chat about living in the moment and taking in your surroundings, this cynical look at that within the lens of advertising is fascinating.

★ Five Reasons to Go Veg on Your Next Trip: These non-judgmental tips from my favorite black run travel blog are a great resource to keep in the back pocket. My partner and I are going on a trip to Denver in April and strongly considering a full veg experience.

What do I have coming up?

☞ My solo exhibition has been officially announced! April 10 at 6pm will be the opening of “exceptional/respectable” at The Arts Incubator in Washington Park. If you aren’t in Chicago or can’t make it, I’m going to live-stream it on Meerkat with some kind of Her-styled front pocket method. Yes, I’ve become a parody of myself. 

☞ A new episode of Cher Vincent and myself’s podcast, Open Ended, will be released on Wednesday, March 17. This week, we interviewed our parents on how they assimilated to changing technologies over the years. Prepare for some hilarious b-roll. Find it on iTunes, or subscribe in your podcast player of choice.

Thanks for reading and have a great week,

-✌ James

James T. Green