It is idle to fault a net for having holes

Home, August 2016
Japanese print in our dining room. Formerly hung in my beloved grandparents’ home.

“Am I disorganized because I lost something I didn’t need? In this new cowardice of mine—cowardice is the newest thing to happen to me, it’s my greatest adventure, this cowardice of mine is a field so wide that only the great courage leads me to accept it—in my new cowardice, which is like waking one morning in a foreigner’s house, I don’t know if I’ll have the courage just to go. It’s hard to get lost. It’s so hard that I’ll probably quickly figure out some way to find myself, even if finding myself is once again my vital lie. Until now finding myself was already having an idea of a person and fitting myself into it: I’d incarnate myself into this organized person, and didn’t even feel the great effort of construction that is living. The idea I had of what a person is came from my third leg, the one that pinned me to the ground. But, and now? Will I be freer?”

— The Passion According to G.H., Clarice Lispector (translation by Idra Novey)

Clarice Lispector is blowing my mind right now. I don’t know what she’s on about 50% of the time, but I am so in. I’m committed to whatever game she is playing.

“Don’t you try to Ryan Lochte your way out of this one,” Guion said to me, during a recent disagreement. Normally, we both would have laughed at this off-the-cuff cultural appropriation, but we were too deadly serious in the moment to even crack a smile. I think we can laugh about it now, though, now that “to Ryan Lochte” has become a verb.

No one is ever at the same “life stage” as anyone else and that is OK. (A recent realization.) I used to think “same life stage” was a precursor to deep friendship. It certainly makes it easier to forge a connection with people who are in the same general social/relational place as you (e.g., single, dating, consciously not dating, married but childless, married with just one child, etc.), but I’ve ceased to believe that it is a prerequisite or even preferable. It is silly of me to think that (a) people will always be around who map their lives to my life stage and (b) when they cease to share my life stage, this occasions a natural breakdown of the friendship. Neither is true. When a life stage changes, we may have to work harder to maintain that bond, to find time to see each other, but it is not a moment for grief or an ending. It is good to have people in one’s life who are not consumed with exactly the same things. It is good to be around people who know nothing of your life stage. It is broadening, deepening, humbling.

Charlottesville 2.0 (our post-Europe life) so far has been a continual lesson in patience. And a reminder of the rich, unspoken joys of our community here.

Even amid the oppressive heat and the skunks residing under our shed, everything about my daily life remains good and solid and happy because Mom gave me an e-cloth mop upon our return to America, and it is all I ever dreamed about and more.

*Post title comes from The Argonauts, by Maggie Nelson, which she (apparently) lifted from her encyclopedia.

A weekend with Jonathan

Had such a wonderful, lazy, relaxing weekend with Jonathan while Guion was out of town.

Jonathan explains Korean food at the Japanese restaurant last night. #lovehim #sushi
Sushi at Ten.

We:

  • Had excellent sushi at Ten
  • Walked the dog
  • Drank lots of tea and talked
  • Loaded up on Trader Joe’s snacks
  • Watched episodes of “Will and Grace,” the film The Third Man, and copious amounts of K-Pop music videos/the K-Pop equivalent of MTV, which was extremely fascinating
  • Bought plants at Fifth Season and generally geeked out about them
  • Were lucky enough to grab dinner at Mas with Sean, our favorite fashion blogger
  • Laughed, cried
So proud of his #succulents right now. #latergram
Helicopter mom-ing his succulents.

Thankful for him and his many years of friendship.

Back in the Triangle

This weekend, I journeyed to the Triangle to spend some quality time with some much-missed friends. We had a shower for Kathryn, the beautiful bride-to-be. I skipped back to Durham and got to see three great films at Full Frame with Jonathan; stayed up until 2 (super-late for me these days) with him and Brittney, discussing the beauty/terror of whales, Radiolab stories, and dramatic break-ups. They are great. Everyone is great.

A small selection of photos:

The rest of the weekend’s photos are on Flickr.

Keeping the company of old friends is so renewing. This weekend, I realized that I’ve known Catherine, Kathryn, and Jonathan for six years now. To date, their friendships are the oldest ones that I’ve consistently maintained. (Including Emily, who wasn’t there but should have been. Durham feels absolutely desolate without you, dear.) I posit that a large part of the joy of old friends rests in the lack of having to explain things. You don’t have to explain your background, your family, your fears, your aspirations. You laugh about the old inside jokes, of course, but what is almost richer is the moment where you forget those old jokes or stories and then a word or a gesture sparks something and you suddenly resurrect the old days together. Your eyes widen and you say, “Ohh, I totally forgot about that night,” and then you experience it all over again.

There is much more I could say about these people, about how we’ve evolved together and separately, but all I need to say now is that I love them and I am so thankful for them. It is a considerable mercy that North Carolina is not too far away.