Layers upon layers
What I want to say here
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A song I’m loving:
I both have so much to say and nothing to say. Perhaps it is that some of what I have to say simply requires more time and space to marinate than these weekly letters allow; perhaps it’s that some of what I have to say isn’t meant to be said to 23,000 people but instead to my partner, or my child, or a friend, or in a longer-term project. Perhaps it’s that the kind of writing I want to be making often takes more thought and intention than I can give it on a Sunday morning writing from bed, and this kind of writing is different than that. I am taking stock of these explorations, noticing what they need from me, noticing my resistance to listening, wondering why that is.
What I want to say here is that sometimes, the rhythm of showing up each week means more to me than what results; the process of sitting down and writing to you in this form means more than whether or not it’s “good” or “well received”; the ritual of saying yes to this practice means more than the outcome of it, or whether or not I write something I consider to be important or meaningful enough, or the judgments I have about any of it at all, really. It’s exhausting to prioritize the outcome over the process when it comes to art-making or writing or anything we do, so I’ve been practicing not doing that as much, here and elsewhere; the practice helps a bit.
What I want to say here is that I ate the best cheesecake of my life on Friday night, a basque cheesecake with plum cherry on top, rich and tart and delicate, during a sweet evening out with my husband. It was our first night out in quite literally a year and we were home by 8pm because we don’t know how to stay out anymore. The next day, I cried quite heavily for no reason at all and for lots of reasons. On Friday, it felt like the world was opening; yesterday, the closing-in feeling returned. And now, Sunday morning, there is a neutrality, a centeredness. As I said last week, it is never one thing. How easily it is to resist or push against what is simply there for the time being.
What I want to say here is that I walked past my old therapy office in Berkeley on Thursday and felt a thick wave of grief in how quickly we had to drop our lives in March of 2020, how I never got to fully say goodbye to that office and the container it held for myself and my clients, how rapidly we were thrown into change and how, since then, there has been no significant or meaningful way of collectively processing it, just a continuation of pretending and going with the motions and adjusting, and how much of that still feels lodged in my throat sometimes.
What I want to say here is that it sometimes feels like my life before that time was entirely different than it is now, and going from pandemic to pregnant to postpartum hasn’t created much room to truly integrate all that has occurred, and there is a relief in not always having to integrate every single thing along with a sorrow in knowing so much is still asking to be integrated without the capacity or space to do so. It feels important to at least acknowledge it — even if it can’t be tended to immediately.
What I want to say here is that I frequently miss who I was before I became a mom, before had my capacity going into less buckets, before I chose to halt the seemingly “successful” path my life was taking and suddenly reroute. Still being in the reroute at times feels like defeat or failure, and I try to remember that is just the conditioning I’ve been fed and not the truth; that where the reroute is taking me is actually closer to myself and what I want to be doing, and sometimes that comes with a heaping helping of grief and longing to feel and honor, too.
What I want to say here is that yesterday, my daughter rolled around in a pit of corn at the local pumpkin patch and I couldn’t stop laughing at how ridiculous & silly it all was, and everything else disappeared while she giggled and buried her legs in corn kernels and had her hand licked by a baby black cow while she moo’d back at him, and it is all that simple sometimes, just letting the sweet moments in when they are there and letting them pass when they are over, somehow trusting there are countless more to come so clinging isn’t necessary.
What I want to say here is that not clinging to sweetness when it comes is hard; trusting there are countless more to come is hard; not always waiting for the doom or the bad things or the next unsafe moment is hard; practicing makes it all easier, though, and that has been a balm — knowing it doesn’t even have to get less hard but I can get better at practicing, and knowing I can, on occasion, let myself feel the frustration of how much practice is still required.
What I want to say here is that the incoming of Fall and lessening of sun has somehow brought a lightness, a sigh of relief, a desire to emerge when what we’re supposed to be slowly doing is actually tucking away more, and sometimes our inner seasons don’t quite match what outer seasons insist on, and maybe that’s just fine.
What I want to say here is that Tuesday is my four year wedding anniversary, and this December will be 14 years since our first kiss, and being in a long-term partnership with someone is perhaps one of the biggest teachers in everything we need to be taught, and it’s interesting to me that I keep it all so private even though it’s at the core of my life, and the privacy of it feels important, maybe even sacred.
What I want to say here is that I don’t want to feel like I need to one-up myself every time I make or do something new; I want to remember the ebb and flow requires both.
What I want to say here is that I’m bored of social media and yet I still find myself there more than I’d like to be, and exploring the both/and of that seems pertinent.
What I want to say here is that I’ve been recognized in public a lot lately, at Doran Beach and at Valley Bar & Bottle and at a poetry reading and on a hike at Point Lobos, and I never know what to say in those situations so I try to resort to gratitude and asking their names, to remembering there are actual human beings living lives somehow woven to mine on the other side of what I share via the internet and screens, to allowing other people’s gratitude to really penetrate and be felt instead of brushing it off or minimizing it. It means something, to know our sharing allows what is only ours to become more than just ours. It means something, to be recognized and thanked and to be able to say thank you back for your readership, for your resonance, for your receiving. It means something, even when meaning doesn’t always need to be made. All of this means something.
Thanks for being here.
△ Picking up my weekly CSA box at the sweetest local farm
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