Happy April! New months always make me excited and anxious at the same time. But tell me again, how is it April already? Weren't we celebrating the new year's just yesterday?
Anyway, no theme today (not fooling ya on April fool's) - dip back & forth in my random musings. And tell me if you like this randomness more?
I don't particularly love the summer heat. But I do love this Summer Poem by Charles Simic (click on the link to hear him recite it!)
"I love to stay in bedAll morning,Covers thrown off, naked,Eyes closed, listening.Outside they are openingTheir primersIn the little schoolOf the cornfield.There’s a smell of damp hay,Of horses, laziness,Summer sky and eternal life.I know all the dark placesWhere the sun hasn’t reached yet,Where the last cricketHas just hushed; anthillsWhere it sounds like it’s raining,Slumbering spiders spinning wedding dresses.I pass over the farmhousesWhere the little mouths open to suck,Barnyards where a man, naked to the waist,Washes his face and shoulders with a hose,Where the dishes begin to rattle in the kitchen.The good tree with its voiceOf a mountain streamKnows my steps.It, too, hushes.I stop and listen:Somewhere close byA stone cracks a knuckle,Another turns over in its sleep.I hear a butterfly stirringInside a caterpillar.I hear the dust talkingOf last night’s storm.Farther ahead, someoneEven more silentPasses over the grassWithout bending it.And all of a suddenIn the midst of that quiet,It seems possibleTo live simply on this earth."
The lines "It seems possible/to live simply on this earth" have been stuck in my head all week (in a good way) and I hope it's the same for you.
It's no secret that I am a Cheryl Strayed fan girl. It's only natural I read her memoir Wild, right? I loved it (but not as much as her other book, Tiny Beautiful Things).
At 22, Strayed lost her mother to lung cancer. Her family, her marriage, her life collapsed in the wake of her mother’s death. With nothing more to lose, Strayed decides to hike a thousand miles alone with no training to the Pacific Crest Trail. She would hike from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State — and she would do it all alone.
There are lots of stops on the way before Strayed makes the decision to go wild (quite literally): she ruins her own marriage to a great man by cheating on him continuously, she begins taking heroin, she watches her mother’s horse die, she realizes she’s not going to be able to pay her debt by 43, and she begins to do a waitressing job after getting divorced.
Her story is interesting. It’s different from most memoirs because her life has a certain level of relatability that other memoirs lack.
I am, like Strayed, very attached to my mother. Some of the passages about her mother's untimely death, thus, shattered me completely. An excerpt:
“I didn’t get to grow up and pull away from her and bitch about her with my friends and confront her about the things I’d wished she’d done differently and then get older and understand that she had done the best she could and realize that what she had done was pretty damn good and take her fully back into my arms again. Her death had obliterated that. It had obliterated me. It had cut me short at the very height of my youthful arrogance. It had forced me to instantly grow up and forgive her every motherly fault at the same time that it kept me forever a child, my life both ended and begun in that premature place where we’d left off. She was my mother, but I was motherless. I was trapped by her, but utterly alone. She would always be the empty bowl that no one could fill. I’d have to fill it myself again and again and again.”
I love this book. But it isn't Strayed's best work. Click on "Read More" to find out if you'd like this memoir. Or simply read her best - "Tiny Beautiful Things"
WWW Of The Week
I read George Orwell's famous essay "Why I Write" over 4 years ago. It has stuck with me since then. It is comprehensive, authentic, and elaborate. Orwell writes with a prose that's unapologetically a style only his. The essay talks about childhood experiences and how they shape a writer's writing, how a writer's writing evolves, and the fact that it is still relevant after 75 years speaks for itself:
"When I sit down to write a book, I do not say to myself, ‘I am going to produce a work of art’. I write it because there is some lie that I want to expose, some fact to which I want to draw attention, and my initial concern is to get a hearing. But I could not do the work of writing a book, or even a long magazine article, if it were not also an aesthetic experience."
I have been recently begun being active on twitter (come say hi!), and there I found this amazing article called "Effort" by Ava. It is a fresh writing on the efforts people make to do marketing on social media - and the author likes when she witnesses the back-in-the-scenes effort of a creator. The article goes a little off the topic and comes back and forth, but it's an interesting musing to read:
"It’s about how people always assume I’m interested in the end result—the wonderful thing they’ve made—when what I’m really interested in is the process. How did you get this way and why? I’m curious about the ugliness of trying, the years and years of wanting and hoping and working. I don’t know why I’m so fascinated by craft. I think it’s because it requires such a sustained tenacity. Like Michelangelo saying that he just chips away at everything that didn’t look like David: a hundred thousand little motions to reveal the underlying beauty."
Instead of giving you more things to read, here's a cute comic that always cracks me up:
Question For The Week
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Until the next musing,
Thankyou for reading. Thankyou for being a part of this community. It means so much, truly.