Baz went on the big-boy swing for the first time today. It was awesome. You wouldn't have caught me dead saying that a few years ago, but I don't give a damn. It was crazy cool to push him and watch him hanging on tightly with his little hands, his feet swaying as he figured out how to kick to make himself go back and forth.
can seem like total jerks on the road. They can cut you off, drive dangerously,
and be inconsiderate. This is challenging to deal with if their selfishness is
directed intentionally at you. But even if it is, what does it ultimately have
to do with you? Even if they are being completely confrontational, even if they
have just sped up and cut you off and are screaming at you with veins bulging
from neck and forehead, they have chosen you randomly.
means it has nothing to do with you. So why be reactive?
was actually making an error we all make at one time or another – the error of
taking anything personally. The sad
truth is that most people going through the day, actively pursuing their
business, don’t have any idea you’re alive. Nothing is personal. They aren’t
trying to wound you; they’re too busy protecting their own wounds. Often their
behavior is unconscious. They are talking on the phone while driving, involved
in an argument with their spouse, or overtired from working the late shift. You
are incidental, inadvertently experiencing their ‘jerky behavior’ as a
by-product of their inattention. It is only in referring every event back to
“me” – what that person did to me, how
they cut me off – that one’s personal suffering is created.”
After two and a half years, my mojo has returned. It happened suddenly and after a serious period of energy drought. One day I was dragging myself out of bed; the next I was talking gardening and travel.
I attribute this to a few things:
- Bazzy is holding his own more and more. He's becoming his own little person (not that he hasn't always been; just now he's capable of climbing into his high chair, into his car seat, onto his changing table) and it takes pressure off of me. Not to mention that it's rewarding.
- I'm finding the strength I always had plus the resolve of being a parent.
More and more I'm convinced that love is the way. So why do I still hold anger and speak in angry ways? And is this anything I really need to work on? And why do I have more questions than answers?
I'm not even sure answers are answers so much as they are sort of guidelines in the moment. Those guidelines tend to be flexible. Flexible in the moment, hour, year, whatever. They move with us. They change with the seasons.
This week I said farewell to a pair of people who have played strong roles in my life. Both writers, both guys, one dead, the other alive.
Neither was perfect. Both pissed me off. Both meant something to me. These things are not mutually exclusive.
There is not much else I care to say publicly about that, which is unusual for me, but exceptions may be made for everything. All I will say is that after a long time I made a choice, said what I needed to say, and now I have found some element of peace and closure.
want to tell you a couple of stories about Wesley. The first takes place maybe
a year or so ago. I’d posted a picture of my son and I on Facebook. We were in
the hospital. He was less than an hour old. Still had the clamp in his navel and
everything. Tons of likes came in. Comments like aw, how sweet. Beautiful. Then came Wesley, written in all lower
case: well, that’s kinda pukey. That
Wesley is the reason I wrote my book. I told him about it before I told anyone
else – including my husband – and he simply said, “Sweetheart, go for it.”
Those four words have echoed throughout my brain for the last decade while I’ve
struggled with this project, through the rejections and the acceptances, the
failures and achievements. Sweetheart, go
was Wesley too.
can still hear his voice, so how can he be dead? And yet he is, and we are
gathered here in his memory. He’s up there with a martini in one hand and a
cigarette in the other, and he’s probably telling at least a few of us to go
hope I’m one of them.
here’s the thing: for all the pain he carried, the pain that eventually ended
his existence, Wesley was here. You Are
Here, the name of his book. And yes, he was.
I am a writer and mother to a 10-month-old girl. Sometimes I feel like these two identities are in conflict. Other times, they are one and the same. Who are we without our words, without our family? ... While I grapple with that question, I decided to turn to a community of writers I know who have had children and ask them how they feel. I want to know if becoming a parent impacts the way people write -- if it rewires the way we think.
Thanks for letting me be a part of this, Julia!
I'm a writer and performer in Berkeley, Calif. I'm married to a big Jew nose and together we have a fantastic little boy, two gorgeous dogs and the afterlife of a beautiful cat. I am represented by Miriam Altshuler of Miriam Altshuler Literary Agency. Life is good!