#wordsofwomenHH, 20 questions, blog features, march 2017, words from wise women, words of women

Words of Women 20 Questions: Abby Y.


Inspired by this article from Words of Women, I decided to ask friends to take part in the questionnaire. It’s been so fun reading their answers and I’m excited to share them every Wednesday. If you want to participate, send me an email at aeallen (at) gmail (dot) com.

About the list of 20 questions by Sophie Calle:

Sophie Calle is a French writer, photographer, installation artist, and conceptual artist. Calle’s work is distinguished by its use of arbitrary sets of constraints, and evokes the French literary movement of the 1960s known as Oulipo. Her work frequently depicts human vulnerability, and examines identity and intimacy. She is recognized for her detective-like ability to follow strangers and investigate their private lives. Her photographic work often includes panels of text of her own writing. (Words of Women)

This week’s questionnaire comes from Abby Y., the rad lady I mentioned in this week’s Three Things. She’s an artist, writer, teacher, and magic personified. I think it speaks a lot to our relationship that we’ve actually never lived in the same city, but have a super close bond. Boy, am I thankful to live in a time when distance is just a thing on a map — or however that phrase goes. 😉 Anyway… Hey, ho! Let’s go!

When did you last die?

I died two weeks ago in the Netherlands when I was almost run over by a bicyclist zooming by and again when I walked around the Stededlijk Museum observing the fascinating inner mind and works of photographer Ed Van der Elsken (Camera in Love) WHILE listening to Kendrick Lamar’s ‘To Pimp a Butterfly’ album.

What gets you out of bed in the morning?

The idea that anything is possible and that it will be a great day and good things are going to happen. Also, creating.

What became of your childhood dreams?

They’ve always sat in some part of my brain. I get the sense that everything I have been working on for different segments of my life is going to come together in something that will feel like to me, an incredible symphony. Meaning I think my dreams will happen but it’s been a long road that required the right alchemy.

What sets you apart from everyone else?

I think people are far less big of a deal than they think they are. There are probably 750 different me-type people that are roaming the earth and we all like dogs, rollerblading, You’ve Got Mail, Beyonce and purple nail polish.

What is missing from your life?

Someone I wanna get old with. Well, a male that is.

Do you think that everyone can be an artist?


Where do you come from? Do you find your lot an enviable one?

We are Swedish and Dutch and Spanish and Irish and probably a few more things. We are dogged by depressional episodes and bouts of intensity and threads of creativity and whole lotta need for exercise and play. I think we are lucky to have and be who we are.

What have you given up?

Thinking that I know how this all will go.

What do you do with your money?

I don’t know, the government owns me.

What household task gives you the most trouble?

Any. I don’t mind a little bit of a mess.

What are your favorite pleasures? 

Sex, reading, laughing, wine, traveling.

What would you like to receive for your birthday? 

I want everyone I love to come spend the night in tents at our cottage in Wisconsin and stay up all night around a campfire and drink, talk and look at the stars.

Cite three living artists whom you love.

Marina Abramovic, Noor Unnahar, Casey Niestat

What do you stick up for?

Immigrants, women, children, animals, anyone with pure intention and heart of gold.

What are you capable of refusing?

Dessert things. I’m salt all the way.

What is the most fragile part of your body?

Oh boy, that heart. Feel it pinging all day long. Like a damn text message. I am very sensitive.

What has love made you capable of doing?

It has made me fly across the country and take big, uncomfortable chances. I have gone against convention time and again, to pursue things that seem true and magical. Have made many bad decisions, ignored wise advice and made myself sick with sadness or jealousy. Life has taught me that love (for the most part) should be kind and soft. Thank god!

My mouth.What do other people reproach you for? 

My mouth.

What does art do for you?

It’s church for me. It is seriously my tonic for a bad day. Grab a chocolate chip cookie, put some headphones on, turn music up and sit in front of the giant Buddha at the Nelson for 20 minutes. Reprieve.

Write your epitaph.

That’s enough.

In what form would you like to return?

Blue Ivy Carter, hands down.

Love you, Abby!!


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