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Cruel compendium #3 💕
Everything I'm reading, listening to, and thinking about this week
In case you missed Tuesday’s post: I wrote about experiencing the Harry Potter books as an adult, and what I’ve learned about grief and resilience from The Boy Who Lived. I finished Order of the Phoenix yesterday, and I truly shed some tears. On to book six!
CSBC will take a short break next week. Keep your hearts safe in the meantime.
My appetites by Jerry Saltz at New York magazine. A sprawling essay about losing a mother, a cruel adolescence, and finding what you love after 40. I’m inspired.
Please stop using the pandemic as a test of friendship by Anna Borges at Self. I needed this reminder that we are all dealing with a lot, and we are all trying our very best.
Ask Polly: “My ex keeps emailing me and I hate it!” by Heather Havrilesky at The Cut:
Knowing how you feel and who you are is so fucking important. Because the core of your tastes may not change over time. Self-acceptance requires MOVING CLOSER TO THE THINGS ABOUT YOU THAT UPSET YOU. You move closer, you keep your eyes open, and you try to love those things more and more — or at least forgive them more and more. You try to ease yourself out of rigid positions. You try to pry open your heart, and you also respect a heart that wants to stay closed at the moment.
The poem Head, Heart by Lydia Davis, via Laura Olin’s newsletter:
Head tries to help heart.
Head tells heart how it is, again:
You will lose the ones you love. They will all go. But
even the earth will go, someday.
Heart feels better, then.
But the words of head do not remain long in the ears of
Heart is so new to this.
I want them back, says heart.
Head is all heart has.
Help, head. Help heart.
I’m listening to:
Elizabeth Gilbert on her creative process on the Tim Ferris podcast. For half of my life, I’ve tried to be “better” at grief. For the past year, well-documented in this newsletter, I’ve worked on minimizing and moving past my pain. I have felt so much shame about my struggles with loss, and always felt like such a freak for how very much I feel. Elizabeth Gilbert just comes out and says it: “You can’t be good at grief.” Fuck!!!
I’m also now considering reading The Artist’s Way. Have any of you gone through the process? I’ve love to hear your experiences.
Questionable self-care advice
Support I got that you might need to hear
I enthusiastically endorse
“Mrs. America.” I’m working my way through this Netflix series and learning a lot. And I’m disturbed by how closely many of the issues of the 1970s—including the exclusionary tactics of white feminism and women’s expected roles in the household—line right up with the issues of today.
The Evil Witches newsletter. I’m not a mom, but I respect and fear them. This newsletter explores motherhood with honesty and sarcasm. This edition is one full of pandemic haikus.
Pee in the potty.
No, not there on Daddy's leg.
Well, on second thought.
The Boys With Plants Instagram:
This list of things to do instead of calling the cops:
Minerva is back home with me :)
Anthem of the week
“Rain on Me” by Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande, obviously
And all of Chromatica!!! It came out at midnight; I’ve listened to it three times already.
This cheered me up
I got a yes on a pitch for a publication I’ve never written for! And spent some of this week interviewing several incredible women for the story. It’s taking me back to my sex and dating column days, and I’m loving it. Stay tuned!
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