Mandy (3/26/2018)

I talked with Mandy Kimm again this morning.

It was the first time we've chatted in about 6 months. She has been traveling the east (presently in Seoul), privileged enough (as am I) to be engaging in the grand tradition of post-grad soul-searching. 

Each time we talk, I find meaning in life. There is a profound window that opens up between the two of us, and it always lends itself towards revelations outside of ourselves. Dealing with the nature of life, of time, of healing, of love. A familiar and welcome softness in my stomach, a humility, and a reverence for this human experience. And the end of our talk today, I said that I hope we get to see each other in person some time in the coming year. I believe we will. She is the kind of friend I travel for, one whom I sense myself tethered to for the long arc. I wrote in her graduation yearbook that we would talk again in forty years, in the same way, and what stories we'll have to tell. It would be a privilege to live that long. But what stories we have underway already.

On: This Blog

The short answer is that I take no moment for granted. A large part of myself expects to die very soon, very often. 

That notion doesn't disturb me if I've taken care of what I need to. For a long time, that meant making some musical work that would mean the world to people. I aspire to that still, every day, but have grown to understand the other achievements I've earned in my life.

This blog is dedicated to the most important: the people I've met over my (now) twenty-two years of life. 

If I die, it's my hope someone will stumble across this, and make it public to the world.

I should also note: this list is, and always will be, tragically incomplete. As anyone who's tried to put pen to paper in the service of the soul will attest to: words fail us every day. Especially in expressing the incomprehensible joy and peace found in love. The main point is that I have felt love for every one of you. Deep, deep love. It is my prayer that I had the courage to act with it, though I know there are many instances in which I haven't. That's being human, I think. A condition I haven't been able to rid myself of yet. At the end of the day, it's something I embrace. Every stuttered breath, every kiss received and given, every delicious fucking meal I've gotten to enjoy on this earth have resulted from it. It's why we're here. And what a blessing that is.

Sending you all love,

Hayden

Jizel and Ramsha

2017-04-17 19.49.08.jpg

I saw Jizel and Ramsha a couple of weeks before I took a semester off from school. They were by the Arb - a peaceful little park on the outskirts of our college where I spent a lot of time - sitting with their friend Jude, laughing. We talked only for a moment, but it was enough time for me to consciously note in my head that these were people I'd like to be friends with when I get back to school.

I was lucky, then, to be placed in a dorm with both of them when I got back next spring. They were, above all, loyal and supportive friends throughout that time. The photo above was after they had kindly taken my senior posters and put them up all over campus. 

We had brunch many times. They enjoyed listening to me play the piano, and I loved playing for them. It became a nightly routine - their due diligent studying, and my noodling around on the French House piano (my favorite piano at that school).

They are both exceptionally intelligent and driven young women. I was inspired by them many times at Oberlin, and know many others will be as well, over the course of their lives.

They are also very silly. And also totally annoying ("Dave"). But I love them a lot.

Maryam

2017-04-07 16.25.28.jpg

We lived together for a semester. Maryam makes bad jokes, smokes cigarettes, and is truly beautiful. There is a unique bond made when you live with someone - when their presence is an element of your domestic support - as much a part of it as the walls that make up your bedroom, the heater that keeps you warm. She was that - I saw her cry - she saw me cry - we saw each other a few weeks back, and she made some bad jokes.

She is also, unsurprisingly, a very good dancer.

I love her like a sister.