The hibernation of the mind

I have two basic states of being – creating and consuming – and I’ve found that they tend to be mutually exclusive. The interpretation of either state is relatively broad, but the main constant is that they remain separate. When I was younger, the transition was seamless. I would write feverishly for fifteen minutes, then…

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From the mouths of babes

When I was a teenager, over the course of about a week, three different companies starting building self-storage facilities along the same block. It was as if, unbeknownst to each other, they all bought the same consumer research poll that indicated my neighborhood was full of people with too much stuff willing to pay for storage.…

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My summer vacation in Detroit

“I’m taking a long weekend in Detroit,” is not a phrase I ever thought I’d say. It’s also not a phrase people expected to hear. But some of my Beijing friends were going to be back in the states for a few weeks, visiting their families in Michigan, and as it turns out, airfare from…

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The lost art of the letter

There is something inherently magical about a letter. It’s tactile communication – paper touched by the hand of another, tucked into an envelope that traps their air inside and transports it to you. I find it fascinating, and even slightly romantic, that we still lick envelopes to seal them shut. In a sense, peeling a…

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The dawn is a blinking cursor

One day last week, I woke up with a line of verse in my head. It didn’t go anywhere, but it also didn’t go away. For days, any time my mind was at a lull, the line would float back up to the surface. I wrote it down, stared at it, willed it to continue…

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