Present Tense »


A few days ago, I read these words from Laura Poitras in a profile by George Packer in The New Yorker:

I’m interested in how people understand things in present tense, and not how they tell the story back to themselves in the past. That’s why I’m not that interested in interviews. People create these narratives of themselves, and it becomes a kind of locked path. All the uncertainty and danger and risk and decision-making are ripped from the telling.

Today, Sara Hendren shared these somewhat similar lines from Wallace Stegner's Angle of Repose (1971):

There is another physical law that teases me, too: the Doppler Effect. The sound of anything coming at you — a train, say, or the future — has a higher pitch than the sound of the same thing going away. If you have perfect pitch and a head for mathematics you can compute the speed of the object by the interval between its arriving and departing sounds. I have neither perfect pitch nor a head for mathematics, and anyway who wants to compute the speed of history? Like all falling bodies, it constantly accelerates. But I would like to hear your life as you heard it, coming at you, instead of hearing it as I do, a somber sound of expectations reduced, desires blunted, hopes deferred or abandoned, chances lost, defeats accepted, griefs borne.

My parents came to town and we took them to Whidbey Island today. Everything was nice.

I was Googling the Syrian civil war looking for a military force fighting ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria or ISIL) that wasn’t a terrorist organization. I found the YPG (Kurdish People’s Protection Unit) on Facebook and saw it wasn’t a terrorist organization so I contacted them.


Opening from a pamphlet that shows the “Sea Concert” (conducted by the Polish artist Edward Krasinski). The pamphlet documents Tadeusz Kantor’s Panoramic Sea Happening, which took place at the Polish seaside town of Osieki in 1967. -ds

There are so many people that use ‘following your dreams’ as an excuse to not work, when in reality, following your dreams, successfully, is nothing but work.
Humans of New York creator + photographer Brandon Stanton (via marihuertas)

I love having an alley again. Every time I go back there to take out the trash, I pause for a bit and look down one way, and then the other. It’s always quiet and the light is always nice.

I’m reminded of this passage from Suburban Nation:

The alley is often criticized for its lack of neatness, but that is its essence: it’s where all the messy stuff goes. From garage doors to trash containers, transformers, electrical meters, and telephone equipment, the alley takes them out of public view, something that is all the more necessary these days with the advent of recycling bins and cable TV boxes. Also, by handling many of the neighborhood’s underground utilities, alleys allow streets to be narrower and to be planted with trees, which becomes difficult when water, sewer, gas, electricity, cable, and telephone are all placing demands on the front right-of-way. Alleys are also appreciated by the fire chief, since they allow firefighters another path to the building. Alleys may also provide direct access to backyard granny flats, giving them an address independent of the main house.


Adam Instone. Late Night blurrr. 



Nathan Fletcher gets eaten alive while trying to tame a Tahitian sea-monster.  

photo: Brian Bielmann

(via vanssurf)

I'm Jed Sundwall. This is my blog, which you can follow on Tumblr or via RSS. You can talk to me on Twitter.