"In the midst of winter I found in me an Invincible Summer." - Camus ...On exploring strength in its many forms:
strong people, strong writing, strong curiosity, obsessions, stances, and loves.
Strength as a concept wide enough to encompass fear, truth, vulnerability, and joy.
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Things I'm mild-to-excessively obsessed with currently:
The color orange. Specifically, International Orange, or the color of the Golden Gate Bridge.
Flags on display at the International Orange exhibit last month at Fort Mason
A faux-store of all International Orange things, from the same exhibit. Me want!!
Some StickyWords from under the bridge
And the newly repainted writing desk! Now in Daredevil Orange (thanks to three coats of Sherwin Williams this weekend). Much less clashy with the rest of the house now. Next project: corral those ugly looking cords on the side.
For about a year now, orange has been my new favorite color. It's just so dang happy looking.
It's a very local icon. You can spot it almost anywhere in the city, if it's not ensconced in fog, but it is so beautiful when it is ensconced. (Sorry, I also watched a bunch of Anne of Green Gables lately, so I'm all Lake of Shining Waters-y in my speech) I can see it from my front window and am trying to muster up enough courage to tackle this gigantic blank canvas that I got recently with a rendition of it.
My scale model
The view from Golden Gate Park
The view from the Mission, with awesome crazy fog rolling by
Ever since I read the book The Geography of Bliss by Eric Weiner a few years ago, I've been intent on getting to Iceland someday. So recently, I've started writing a story about it in order to create the perfect excuse to make sure I do get there someday. I've also been checking out all the non-travel books on Iceland I can find at the local library. There aren't many, so it's not a daunting list. Right now I'm really enjoying Meltdown Iceland by Roger Boyes. It's about the economic disaster of late, but Boyes has such a love and knowledge of Iceland, it overflows with excellent details and stories of the place (for instance: because of the way last names are passed down through the father's first names, the phone book is alphabetized by first names. In the words of Holden Caulfield--I'm also currently reading Catcher in the Rye--that stuff kills me).
I'm actually planning a trip there, hopefully this winter. As much as I'd love to enjoy it's endless Summer hours someday, I'm equally fascinated with all the darkness there in the winter, as well as I'm hoping for a chance at seeing the Northern Lights (check out this image on Iceland Express http://blog.icelandexpress.com/iceland/2007/12/08/chasing-aurora/ ). If you happen to know anyone in Iceland who would be interested in housing a writer for a week or so this winter, drop me a line! Or, if you've been and want to give me tips, I'd gladly collect those too.
And, well, the Kittens
We've had the kittens for one month now. They've each gained over a pound, and I've spent more time this month in various pet stores than I thought humanly possible. Someone asked me recently what I've been up to and I had to answer honestly: "I do have a life, really. It's just that right now all I really have are kittens."
Clue, posing with the cat tree. Yes, I've become one of those people who has a cat tree.
Can I help you with that email? The kittens routinely find buttons on my laptop that do things I didn't know my laptop could do.
Bellies begging to be petted.
When they aren't teaching each other how to be lionesses, they are snuggling.
That's a roundup of my current obsessions. What are you obsessing about these days?
I lost my mom twenty-one years ago today. She died from
complications related to a long battle with chronic-progressive multiple
sclerosis. I was a week away from turning twenty-one. Which means I have not
had her as long as I did have her.
It used to make me unique among my friends, to have lost a
parent at such a young age. But I’m no longer young and many friends have
joined this depressing club. The dues are astronomical and no one prepares
People, moms are important. Don’t let anyone tell you
differently. Whether you were once a child or are currently a mom. They are the
sun, moon, and stars, even when they are completely obscured by darkness.
I wish she mattered less. She doesn’t. She matters more than
almost anything: that first hit of love, that childhood sense of safety, that
initial understanding of what it means to be a woman in the world: mom.
Memory is funny when it comes to dead people: I can remember
her any way I want. Which means I can also mis-remem…
I inadvertently found myself in possession of an advance reader's edition of Elizabeth Strout's newest book, Anything is Possible. It's set to drop on April 25th.
Scrabble's response to the title:
Does this mean I can eat ten times a day?
It's a companion, a follow-up if you will (but not a sequel) to her last novel, My Name is Lucy Barton. Which was fantastic and spare and a perfect example of Strout's phenomenal carefulness in her writing. I loved it for all those reasons. I love Anything is Possible for completely different reasons.
It's a collection of linked stories, not unlike Strout's Olive Kitteredge. Each of the stories showcases a particular character referenced in My Name is Lucy Barton. In My Name, conversations with her mother over the span of a few days reference a host of do-you-remembers, and whatever-happened-tos involving offscreen characters that are delightfully interesting in their own right. Anything is Possible is full of these ri…
I make a decent attempt at gratitude on the regular, but I love how this season makes me think about it specifically. Even in the midst of all the holiday hoopla and the days of generalized anxiety we currently live in, there are genuine reflections of thankfulness everywhere. Way more so than say Valentine's day prompting people to really reflect on their love for someone. I've been keeping a list in my notes app on my phone to record the things that are currently immense suppliers of joy in my life. Here's an incomplete list:
My dental hygienist.
This is not a product placement disguised as gratitude. This is my genuine, heartfelt gratitude for a woman I see every six months who I have complete trust in, and who makes an otherwise unpleasant experience as humane and awesome as possible. Yes, yes, my dentist is also great. Absolutely. But making a teeth cleaning a pleasant experience is a gift not many hygienists possess. It's a combo of demeanor, the exact right amou…