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

thoughts + feelings

65: Moving at my pace

“If you could have a house built for you, in any style, what color would your door be?”

“If you could dye your hair any color, what would it be?”

“If you were forced to have a tattoo on your finger, what would it be?”

I’ve been saying no a lot lately, and it feels good. I thought about this for the second Sunday in a row with a virtually empty calendar throughout the week. I made breakfast, made my incredibly fussy coffee with a V60, daydreamed about the future, cuddled on the couch, listened to podcasts, then went for an hour walk around the neighborhood with my wife.

Strolling on the sidewalk, hand and hand, we checked out the local farmers market. We didn’t buy anything but saw what plants were in season. We listened to a guy jam out on an accordion while singing in Spanish. We gazed at plants I knew I would kill due to my lack of watering. We saw a film crew across the street filming a commercial. We smelled fried oil from the hot dog stand around the corner.

We snaked around various blocks in the neighborhood, slowing our pace to gaze at houses and found typography in front of stoops. I felt the way water spreads underneath my boots, the way leaves brush against C’ne’s hair, the sounds of dogs barking behind the closed doors of homes we passed. The loudest sounds on our block was the laughter from the questions we asked one another, reminding me of the early days of our dating seven years ago.

For once in a long while, I didn’t think about struggle or injustice that is institutionally placed on me and my people. My mind was free from obligation, free from routine, free from other people’s demands.

If I look back at these last two weeks on a calendar or a todo list, it may look completely empty. Productivity porn experts would look at my life as wasted, not optimizing my energy, missing out on my chance to be on the next 30 under 30 list. At this point, I’d happily reject it, knowing that I’m moving at my pace, with the things I want to do, living the life I want to live, being known for the things I say no to, to make time for the things I say yes to. If that means that I don’t hustle hard enough and stay up until 3am every night, but I get to have enough energy to enjoy lazy weekends with my wife, that’s fine by me.

As I took a deep breath and smelled the damp air, I answered: cherry red, royal purple, and a series of dots in-between each knuckle.

What did I find interesting this week?

Watch this talk by Laura Helen Winn.

After that, feel good about your selfies and fuck the haters.

Dig your eyes into this longform interview of artist George Ferrandi and her investigations of intimacy with strangers.

And while we are on the subject of intimacy, this essay on modern dating and avoiding feelings will hit you in the feels.

Lastly to round things up, feast your eyes on this rad identity system for the LA 2024 Olympic Bid.

Thanks for reading,

-James

James T. Green