the week, in brief
Monday—it’s ok, it’s ok, everything is ok. Tuesday—so fucking mopey, kill me now. Wednesday—a little better, maybe, anyway, I’m getting shit done—but I don’t want to talk to you. Thursday—ugh. Friday—all the things, solo sheesha date—hello, self—sleep. Saturday—fucking done, now writer tribe, children, art, Guinness. Sunday—it’s too hot, but we go to the Glenbow anyway, hello, how are you.
Cinder wrote his English 10 final on Thursday—year one of high school officially over, praise the Lord. Jane finished her shitty first draft of the new WIP on Saturday. That felt good for about seven minutes. Flora was mopey on Friday, so we went on our first girl date in forever. It was nice. Fuck, her brothers are noisy. I sorta understand why she complains so much about them, even when they’re being “good.”
I interviewed four local superstars, experiences that left me energized. The purpose of passionate people, I think, is to infect others with their energy. To make us see—look, here is a life well-lived. Appreciate it, laud it. But I think too often, the side-effect of these lives is to make us feel bad about ourselves. We don’t think, “Here is a life well-lived, and that’s awesome” and use that as fuel to lift ourselves up. We think, “Here is a life well-lived… and oh-my-god, my life is shit by comparison,” and we tear ourselves down.
I don’t think that, by the way.
Their stories fire me.
They also tire me, though. Just a little bit. I’m still trying to find a place to rest.
I am writing and thinking about radical honesty and radical compassion, and my overall dislike to the word radical. I think, in the end—radical and dogmatic are basically a synonym.
You: Suddenly a centrist?
Jane: An inadvertent iconoclast.
I miss Cuba.
Fuck, do I ever miss Cuba.
And it’s summer and hot now, and so I can’t pretend it’s about the winter.
I don’t actually miss Cuba as Cuba, you know. Much as I rag my children about it—I also like being able to flush toilet paper down toilets, drink water from a tap, and just run to the grocery store for things I want and need—or imagine I need—at my leisure.
But I miss—I miss the silence. I really miss the silence.
I miss the time and space I had to be in my head.
… and yet… I sabotage my chances at solitude ALL THE TIME.
Interesting, isn’t it?
And is it solitude I want… or that particular solitude I had in Cuba?
Or do I just want to smoke cigars and drink Cuba Libres every day?
Maybe I just don’t know what I want.
No. I do.
…keep on surprising me. When did they get this clever? And why do they always want to have those in-depth, earth-shaking conversations at 10 pm or midnight, when my eyes are closing and my brain is foggy?
The teenagers are also humbling me. I decide they are the Universe’s way of making sure the average human doesn’t get too full of herself as she hits her peak. I mean, really. Here I am, and, all my whining and whinging notwithstanding, I’m pretty together. I’m doing some awesome shit. I’m, if not quite at the peak of my creative powers, pretty close to seeing how to reach that summit. I fucking rock.
Enter teenager and the “OMFG can my mother possibly be this stupid?” look.
Flora’s particularly good at it.
Every once in a while, she pays me a backhanded compliment.
Flora: You’re not as lame as most moms.
At least Ender still thinks I’m perfect.
Cinder: Enjoy it while it lasts.
Jane: I will.
Cinder: You’re not lame. You’re just weird.
Well. There is that.
I start cleaning the kitchen—on Monday—and then, of course, as a result, I rearrange all the furniture and throw shit out and change things—and then end up sitting under the kitchen table, not weeping exactly, but just pondering… how long that pasta sauce has been under that baseboard and how much effort should I expand on dealing with it, and if I don’t… does it really matter?
Flora: Are you crying?
Flora: Are you hiding?
Flora: Do you want some chocolate?
Teenager or not, she loves me.
Cinder: Like I said, weird.
Ender: Pillow fort!
On that note… next week, I will try to be less self-indulgent.
—->>>POSTCARDS FROM CUBA
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