“Style is the answer to everything.
A fresh way to approach a dull or dangerous thing
To do a dull thing with style is preferable to doing a dangerous thing without it
To do a dangerous thing with style is what I call art
Bullfighting can be an art
Boxing can be an art
Loving can be an art
Opening a can of sardines can be an art
Not many have style
Not many can keep style
I have seen dogs with more style than men,
although not many dogs have style.
Cats have it with abundance.
When Hemingway put his brains to the wall with a shotgun,
that was style.
Or sometimes people give you style
Joan of Arc had style
John the Baptist
I have met men in jail with style.
I have met more men in jail with style than men out of jail.
Style is the difference, a way of doing, a way of being done.
Six herons standing quietly in a pool of water,
or you, naked, walking out of the bathroom without seeing me.”
— Charles Bukowski
A nice list of things to miss.
- The smell of a fire.
- The crunch of snow under your boot.
- First morning light.
- A well broken in sweater.
- A crowed ski lodge.
- A kiss on the forehead.
- The sound of crickets at night.
- Midwest summers.
- Freckles from the sun.
- The beginnings of things.
- New cities.
- 90’s dance music.
“Look at every path closely and deliberately. Try it as many times as you think necessary. Then ask yourself, and yourself alone, one question … Does this path have a heart? If it does, the path is good; if it doesn’t it is of no use.”
– Carlos Castaneda
Writing helps me process and for that reason I am writing this:
You told me that you didn’t deserve “all of that.” You could never have the wife or kids or happy family. You said you would find happiness in other things like music and art and friendships. I think for the first time I believe you; right now, as I am sitting in the home where I grew up with a wonderful example of unconditional love, my father, sitting beside me, I actually believe you. I believe that you deserve so much; a happy family, wife, children and all. I believe that you are wonderful with a surprising amount of sensitivity in the most surprising moments. I believe that you are capable of sharing and receiving rich, unconditional love. However, I understand now, what I think I’ve always believed, it does not matter what I believe because you do not.
Maybe you were lying to me. Maybe the things you told me were ways to close me off. Perhaps you have no interest in actually being friends. Maybe you’re just being a bit dramatic. Let’s just say that I have no idea of why you either said or believed those things.
We were friends. I hope we still are — or maybe someday in the future we can be again. Of course I felt something more for you, and maybe you felt something for me, but what I miss most is our friendship. I do not fall in and out of relationships hastily, particularly not the ones which I truly value. I enjoyed the quick closeness we shared along with the way you unashamedly challenged me. I am also proud and strong and deserving of respect and love. And for those reasons we are not speaking. I am more than aware that we were not best friends or in love, however, I value people. I value relationships. And for those reasons I miss you.
What I’m saying is this — it doesn’t matter what I think of you. It doesn’t matter that I believe in you and care for you. We all must choose our own lives and happinesses. You have to believe that you deserve family and love. In order to do that you must treat those around you with consideration and respect. I actually think we need to all treat ourselves and each other better. (Ugh, I’m the most opinionated about everything, so sorry — not sorry.)
I know very little of your past and you know almost none of mine, but we are shaped by our experiences (even our lack of experiences) and for that I must say: let them not turn you bitter or hopeless.
Now something about me: I am not delicate and I over care about everything. I do not want to make decisions that stem from fear of rejection or hurt. I’d rather be passionate and a mess then disconnected and ok. I hope neither of us are ever ok. I want to feel everything and never be content. Life is so much more beautiful than ok. Give a damn, give all the damns in the world.
Ok, that’s it. No more looking backwards. Forwards, now.
(I guess this is my way of saying all those things that never get said.)
“In wildness is the preservation of the world.”
-Henry David Thoreau
Sometimes you get your nails done and they all chip within a the week. It’s really frustrating, actually. Expecting, after having paid $35 to get gel, to have perfect nails for a few weeks. THEY SAID IT WOULD LAST FOR SEVERAL WEEKS. It’s rational to expect something after all evidence points toward said expectation, right? Meh, maybe wrong. See, even though many of my other gel manicures lasted beyond expectation, these, alas, did not.
The past, nor cultural allusions, should dictate your expectations. I remember sitting in philosophy class last year while we were discussing the difference between science and philosophy. Many people think that they are at odds with one another but, in fact, many people we call “philosophers” today were once called scientists. This discussion led us to question the certainty of the future. There is no certainty of the future. Ask any scientist, just because the sun has risen every day for all of time doesn’t guarantee that it will rise tomorrow. Umm, that’s a little crazy, right? But honestly, why do we let things that have happened in the past define our current situation?
Acceptance. Tomorrow, there is a VERY slim chance the sun may not rise. Your nails may chip (despite what they said). He may not feel the same. You might not get that job. Sometimes, shit really sucks; but, expecting things outside of your control to do things that are also outside your control will probably make you feel worse. This is where people get lost, or sometimes even offend. There is this poisonous misconception that expectation are good; sometimes even necessary for relationships. We think this because we have so causally linked expectations with care and love and investment. We think that if we don’t expect anything then we have disconnected from the situation at hand. Wrong. So harmfully wrong. The opposite of expectation isn’t disconnect- it’s acceptance. I accept this job for all of it perks and downfalls it brings. I accept this relationship and all of the struggle and joy that may come of it. I accept you even though you don’t always do the dishes and sometimes say the wrong things. And if one day I don’t accept it, and try to change something other than myself- I walk away. Maybe that’s harsh. Actually, it is harsh. It really sucks to walk away and it’s hard as hell. But why, please tell me why, you would ever sacrifice any great thing about yourself for something that doesn’t (and probably never will) make you happy.
I am there, standing right beside you. Life is a damn struggle sometimes; but if I spend another second wanting to change something or someone instead of accepting it, I will have wasted, completely, a second of my life. Nope, not ok with that.
Ok, I’m off to get my nails done again because, dammit, they look so much better covered in sparkles.
(This post magically deleted itself but I think the title pretty much summed up the article so I’ll leave it.)
“When I write, it’s everything that we don’t know we can be that is written out of me, without exclusions, without stipulation, and everything we will be calls us to the unflagging, intoxicating, unappeasable search for love. In one another we will never be lacking.”
The Laugh of the Medusa
Oh my goodness. I have found something awesome and I really want to share it on every platform ever. In case I haven’t mentioned it, I’m a feminist. Not “I hate men” feminist (I’m actually a real big fan of men) but rather I’m a “let’s empower women to do awesome things” feminist. Which is why I am so excited about this. The organizations Lean In and Girl Scouts of America have brought us the #banbossy campaign. It’s brilliant.
I’ve always been an advocate for changing culture rather than implementing “rules.” I find that rules, or laws, often anger people. It simply skips the connecting between A and C. When rules or laws that are culture based are put into place it basically creates a flawed syllogism. You remember: A=B, B=C, therefor A must equal C. What happens when laws that should be a cultural change come into place is that we skip that middle step. Assumptions, often incorrect ones, fill that void. When laws regarding women and girls come into play the assumption that is made is that we either are getting things we don’t deserve or we are too weak to get them without help. Wrong. Where laws leave a void culture must fill in. Sometimes it gets filled in incorrectly. This campaign, and many like it, are working to fix that. In a very grassroots way (hashtags are the new grassroots) they are working to answer questions, give advice, and inspire. This is a cultural problem. It is a language problem. It is lack of understanding problem.
Calling a girl “bossy” at a young age gives her the label that she is wrong and out of her place. It hushes her. It stifles her creativity. It makes her self conscious. Why do boys get the the label of precocious and we get bossy? Labels define and influence children more than we’d ever thought. Stop labeling you girls as bossy. They are strong, smart and most importantly, to quote Beyonce, they are the boss (I call my mom the Boss for a reason, she kicks-ass).
Let’s empower each other. We need to start from the bottom. Tell your wives, girlfriends, children, sisters, friends, mothers, aunts, and grandmothers. Tell them they are beautiful and intelligent and they have the power to accomplish anything. This is a cultural problem. Let’s change the culture.
Ban Bossy. Check it out. Spread the word. http://banbossy.com/#
And so with the sunshine and the great burst of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow fast in movies, I had the familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.
F. Scott Fitzgerald