Cy Twombly, Untitled, 1970
I hate when someone annoying makes a good point.
So many issues could be avoided if the Chopped kitchen had two ice cream makers.
it's not that I can't live without you, it's that I live better with you.
I spent Saturday evening holding my good friends' sweet baby who has gotten chunky and solid, like you're holding a Christmas ham that wriggles. So wriggly. I kept whispering in his ear, "you're going to get me in trouble if you head bobbles off, use those new neck muscles!" and to be fair, he's much better at it than he was just a few weeks ago. The thing I noticed about myself besides the obvious of just loving this little guy and being happy to hold and feed him and make him cozy was that I felt comfortable and confident in my own self and physicality. I didn't feel the nerves I usually would at a baby squawking a little but rather I was patient and rolled with it; I realized that for a long time, even with babies who have no object permanence, I felt judged or not good enough because I was judging myself so harshly. And of course it's not just babies, it was everyone and everything. I wasn't grounded in myself so much as the perception others had of me and this led me to rely on how other people felt about me at any given moment. I hadn't picked up on this shift in myself until I held this baby and realized that I felt more secure with him than with other babies I had held in the past because I felt secure in me. Also it was extremely beneficial from a purely biological sense to just sniff a pretty brand new baby's head, like wow so good for the nervous system of me! I may have planted a few kisses on that baby too.
One time when I was a kid I put my sweatshirt on as pants, like my legs through the arms and pulled the main part over my hips. My mom was like "that's not functional" and I was like "what are you talking about not functional, I can go to the bathroom through the neck hole without taking it off!". I still think about this a lot.
Wouldn’t it be terrifying if every night while you were sleeping someone came and put a hat on your head and left it on all night but always came back to take it off before you woke up? Like imagine not knowing all that time.
I always talk with my hands. I used to think it was perhaps an ethnic thing but I’ve found that the most passionate people I know do it, regardless of their heritage. I can fully describe to you what I’m ordering for dinner at a restaurant with not just my words but my hands. There’s a specific action for a large water with lemon and another for the way I want my vinaigrette on the side of my salad. They wave when I’m excited or clap sometimes, and when I’m angry they point a lot and tend to involuntarily form a chokehold, warning you what could happen if you don’t stop talking. In my dreams, they say entirely different things when you’re holding them in yours. My finger stroking your palm means something you instantly understand as soon as my fingerprint meets the life lines of your hand. Your hands respond, squeezing my smaller ones as an answer. Later your hands whisper frantically to mine as you hold them captive over my head. The conversation trails from our hands, moving constantly from my skin to yours as they meet. The supplements to our conversation, the literal punctuation through motion of our fingers, become part of a language that only you and I know, its vocabulary made up of skin and toes and shoulder blades and thighs and ankles and your chest and where our hips meet. We spend time creating the most perfect sentences and phrases and paragraphs with this language, page after page of your mouth between my shoulders, my knees on your floor, your hand between my legs, my feet on top of yours in the morning. We write it carefully but naturally, each word chosen with longing and the innate knowledge of where to perfectly place it. I have an eye only for language and you, my mind thinking only in adjectives and turns of phrase that are as pleasing as waking up to your breath on my neck.
I'm constantly trying to remind myself that offering compassion to myself is in fact offering compassion to others.
Sometimes it feels like loving someone is just doing it quietly apart from them until they’re ready to take in all the love they couldn’t accept. This is how I want to love my people, building reserves of this love so when they’re ready they can cup their hand and drink some of it.
It feels like progress to scream when i’m angry, to want to turn those feelings outwards, as opposed to sitting and feeling it gurgle and churn inside me, my organs and tendons and muscles and spirit decomposing in the acidity of my rage and anger and pain.
I wonder if I'd be me if I'd had a happy childhood.
Nothing in life happens in a vacuum except maybe vacuuming.