Julio, mi amor
Photo by Dewang Gupta on Unsplash
I dunno what to say about the past few weeks. Everything feels unrelenting. Like oh there’s flowers and sunshine but BAM no more bodily autonomy, ladies…
May we live in interesting times.
In other news, I did a big work thing and survived the big work thing. Technically, that means I can enjoy some summer.
And I’m trying. I’m trying to relax and enjoy and be social. But it’s so hard to social these days. Everyone’s still on a sliding scale (both as individuals and as things change where we live) with covid comfort, and it’s hard to find things everyone is happy doing. Plus nothing feels spontaneous anymore. I feel like I have to book social outings weeks in advance with everyone, which I’m only half-good at, so it gets lonely when you forget to schedule time with people and there’s so little spontaneous space anymore.
But the Pittsburgh pools opening have been a boon. I can to go the pool and. . . run into people! People I like from all different parts of my life. Suddenly having those spontaneous interactions again makes me remember how much I miss them. So thanks, Pittsburgh pool system. You’re kinda the best.
Seriously, though, if you’re struggling to figure out what your footing even looks like right now, when you kinda wanna hide under your bed but you also kinda wanna go dancing but you also don’t want to go dancing in a mask but you also don’t want to get covid but you also are kinda enjoying puttering around your house but you also kinda miss doing crazy shit and everyone seems really busy with really cool things except you and you can’t afford to do any shit, let alone crazy shit, because inflation is real and travel is outrageous and you also like being alone but you also wish you weren’t alone just for these exact ten minutes after which you’ll want to be alone again…
Well, I see you. I don’t know what the fuck is wrong with either of us, but I see you.
Speaking of not knowing what the fuck is wrong with us, maybe you’re also someone who sometimes, if you’ve been really happy for a while, you’ll put on that song that will always and immediately make you cry, and you’ll listen to it four times in a row sobbing just for shits and giggles, but instead of feeling bad you feel refreshed because you’ve balanced out the happiness and you feel grounded again and your happiness feels sweeter because you let yourself remember that chaos is always nipping at our heels? Well, turns out we’re just a type, and it’s a good type, and we get our moment in this woooonderful book Bittersweet by Susan Cain.
I also *finally* finished Heather Clark’s Red Comet: The Short Art and Blazing Life of Sylvia Plath. Spoiler alert: it’s sad. But it’s glorious! And part of what’s so interesting as a reading experience is she managed to write it in such a way that, as the blurbs claim, it feels open-ended, like a thriller. I kept thinking “what happens next” when we all know what happens next. But it’s just gorgeously written and, despite being roughly a million pages long, is weirdly unputdownable. I had to force myself to stop reading, or I’d be up for 3 days straight, and I am a fast reader. So it *is* a time commitment, but it’s so worth it. I found what stuck with me most was the discussion of gender dynamics and how radically things are different for women like me than they were for Sylvia. She was so proscribed by her times that it’s heartbreaking. What’s also notable about this biography is that it’s so nuanced in its approach to a person who’s been painted with broad strokes by so many biographers. She was a beautifully flawed human being who suffered, and loved, and tried her best to be whole despite having no idea how to get there. She was both damaged and damaging. And she made amazing art! Moreover, she made it consciously, ambitiously, and with tremendous bravery and commitment at a time when a woman’s role was to be the object of art, not the artist. I think reading this book and then watching I Love Dick would be a leveling up experience for anyone.
What else I’ve been enjoying…
This faaaabulous podcast episode with adrienne maree brown, author of the wonderful book Pleasure Activism, in which she talks about achieving authentic happiness through listening to your body and how she defines eroticism, which is basically mind-blowing. It’s sooooo good and I want to live in her brain.
I watched the FLDS doc on Netflix and was suitably horrified. If you haven’t been suitably horrified yet today, you know where to go.
Finally, my friend wanted to go the Elvis movie, and I said yes, but I wasn’t expecting much. I enjoyed it way more than I expected to. It has more substance than your typical Baz film, but is still typically shiny with a great soundtrack. So yeah, totally worth seeing.
Till August, hang in there, everybody. Go to your version of a local pool and remember life is still out there, and there are good books, sad songs, and beautiful people who love you.