I have in my notebooks, Word documents, half a dozen sketches about this week. Reflections on consent, privilege, and race. Reflections on social media, connectivity, and mob mentality—and Facebook in particular—I think I’m opting out, by the way, loves, but more on that later in the month. Reflections on teenagers and their pain and beauty. Reflections on the second adolescence that is my forties, and perhaps yours. Narcissistic reflections on what I want, what I don’t want.
Not very much angst about who I am. That, I know and you’d think everything would just flow from that. Yet, it doesn’t.
Ender: You are my Mama.
I am. And so many other things, my little love. But always your Mama, yes.
This little love of mine is nine, but when he curls up in my arms he might as well be three. I wonder if all third or last babies endure this prolonged infantalization. Sometimes, I fight it—I wish he was a tween—fuck, what a terrible word, btw, made up, imagined life phase, too-fleeting and ephemeral to matter except to marketers. And sometimes, I am so grateful I still have my baby that I am still the mom who can fix almost everything with a hug and a kiss.
Not as easy any more with the teenagers.
Sean: They’re good kids.
They’re amazing kids. But they are now metamorphosing caterpillars, caught in the limbo between childhood and adulthood, a time that was never easy and that now seems impossible.
When I meet people nostalgic for that first bloom of youth, that first adulthood, I always think they must have very bad memories. Who on earth would miss that excruciating pain of that first self-discovery and those first attempts at self-actualization?
It’s bad enough the second and third time around.
You: You in a cocoon, metamorphosing again?
I wish. There is a certain appeal in being recombinant liquid swooshing around into its next incarnation in the protective cover of a chrysalis. No. I’m no not metamorphosing. That metaphor does not fit right now.
But I’ve been running, flying very hard and I need to take a break. Rest on a flower.
Her: Just one? You’re not lusting after a meadow full of flowers?
A meadow sounds nice. Sunshine.
This week, the notebooks are full of sketches like this. This one is no better or worse than the others; representative, I suppose. And probably should not be shared either. Technically, it’s just not very good, and I’m paying a lot of attention to technique these days.
I’m also committed to a certain production schedule and deadline.
So there you go.
The year started with a Monday; so does every week (Week 1: Transitions and Intentions)
Easier than you think, harder than I expected: a week in eleven stanzas (Week 2: Goodness and Selfishness)
A moody story (Week 3: Ebb and Flow)
Do it full out (Week 4: Passions and Outcomes)
The Buddha was a psychopath and other heresies (Week 5: No Cohesion)
A good week (Week 6: Execute, Regroup)
Killing it (Week 7: Exhaustion and Adrenaline)
Tired, petty, tired, unimportant (Week 8: Disappointment and Perseverance)
Professionals do it like this: [insert key scene here] (Week 9: Battle, Fatigue, Reward)
Reading Nabokov, crying, whining, regrouping (Week 10: Tears and Dreams)
Shake the Disease (Week 11: Sickness and Health… well, mostly sickness)
Cremation, not embalming, but I think I might live after all (Week 12: Angst and Gratitude)
Let’s pretend it all does have meaning (Week 13: Convalescence and Rebirth)
The cage is will, the lock is discipline (Week 14: Up and Down)
My negotiated self thinks you don’t exist–wanna make something of it? (Week 15: Priorities and Opportunity)
An introvert’s submission + radical prioritization in action, also pouting (Week 16: Ruthless and Weepy)
It’s about a radical, sustainable rhythm (Week 17: Sprinting and Napping)
It was a pickle juice waterfall but no bread was really harmed in the process (Week 18: Happy and Sad)
You probably shouldn’t call your teacher bad names, but sometimes, your mother must (Week 19: Excitement and Exhaustion)
Tell me I’m beautiful and feed me cherries (Week 20: Excitement and Exhaustion II)
A very short post about miracles, censorship, change: Week 21 (Transitions and Celebrations)
Time flies, and so does butter (Week 22: Remembering and forgetting)
I love you, I want you, I need you, I can’t find you (Week 23: Work and Rest)
You don’t understand—you can’t treat my father’s daughter this way (Week 24: Fathers and Daughters)
The summer was… SULTRY (Week 25: Gratitude and Collapse)
It’s like rest but not really (Week 26: Meandering and Reflection)
It’s the wrong question (Week 27: Success and Failure)
On not meditating but meditating anyway, and a cameo from John Keats (Week 28: Busy and Resting)
Hot, cold, self-indulgent as fuck (Week 29: Fire and Ice)
In which our heroine hides under a table (Week 30: Tears and Chocolate)
Deadlines and little lies make the world go round (Week 31: Honesty and Compassion)
That’s not the way the pope would put it, but… (Week 32: Purpose and Miracles)
And before you know it, it’s over (Week 33: Fast and Slow)
Ragazzo da Napoli zajechał Mirafiori (Week 34: Nostalgia and Belonging)
Depression is a narcissistic disease, fentanyl is dangerous, and knowledge is power, sort of (Week 35: Introspection and Awareness)
I’m not gonna tell you (Week 36: Smoke and Mirrors)
Slightly irritable and yet kinda happy (Week 37: Self-Improvement and Self-Indulgence)
It’s not procrastination, it’s process (Week 38: Back and Forth)
Pavlov’s experiments, 21st-century style (Week 39: Connectivity and Solitude)
The last thing I remember (Week 40: truth and um, not really)
All of life’s a (larval) stage (Week 41: Stagnation and Transformation)
Damn you, Robert Frost (Week 42: Angst and more Angst)
Speaking of conflict avoidance… (Week 43: Fight of Flight)
Halloween, Samhain, All Saints Day, Day of The Dead, Candy (Week 44: Neither Here Nor There)
Again with the silver-tongued Persians, and other stories (Week 45: Silence and language)
War, Famine, Pestilence, Mornings (Week 46: Mornings and the Apocalypse)
Time flies but the Christmas tree is up (Week 47: Status quo and Change)
I didn’t kill anyone–it just smells like it (Week 48: Guilt & Poison)
—->>>POSTCARDS FROM CUBA
nothingbythebook @ gmail.com