“Virgin Astronomer” is the first of a few pieces I will be slowly sharing from my Senior Capstone, Oh, The Places.
Oh, The Places, is a collection of 15 short, creative nonfiction essays focusing on the theme of place. This project was meant to be like a plein air painting (but with words), like sketches. I wanted readers to feel like a close friend handed over their personal journal or a box of intimate letters. I wanted the collection to be a delicate thing of beauty like a single flower or a rabbit in the night.
I was inspired by many artists (Jenny Slate, Patti Smith, Lauren Elkin, Durga Chew-Bose, Rebecca Solnit, Robert Smithson, Norton Juster and Jules Feiffer, Lewis Carroll, Maggie Nelson, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Charlie Mackesy, Jamaica Kincaid, and Greta Gerwig in particular) and I have immense gratitude and respect for my wonderful professors at The New School for motivating me to refine my voice and use it. This project would not be possible without Rebecca Reilly, Richard Tayson, Timothy Quigley, Laura Cronk, and, of course, the incredible Lisa Freedman.
Music That Inspired My Project:
Behind the Scenes:
Virgin Astronomer: This piece came about in a Sprout’s parking lot. I was thinking a lot about how crazy our planet is and also the idea of humans seeking permission, an idea inspired by Jenny Slate’s stories, “Restaurant” and “Blue Hour.”