The Breaking and the Blessing of Motherhood – This On Being piece by Courtney Martin absolutely took my breath away. One of the most resonant and relatable things I have read in a long time. This? Yes. Every word: “But one of the gifts of obliteration is that I just don’t hold on as tightly to my own agenda. I don’t measure as many of my days by to-do lists. Productivity and social status have lost their glean almost entirely. I’m humbled. I just to want to express some small part of who I am in the world, to love people well, to spend time with those who don’t have time for any other bullshit. So motherhood narrowed me, but it’s also focused me. It’s made me as clear as I’ve ever been about what matters — and what doesn’t. I spend so many more of my moments on what does. I let go. I let go. I let go.”
Dear Future Man Who Loves My Daughter – I can’t wait to read Mary Louise Parker’s new book, Dear Mr. You. This piece made me cry so hard I could not read through the tears and my desk was wet. I love every word of it, and in particular the way she evokes the brother-sister bond. I share her view that “almost all I need” is for Grace and Whit to love, and to have, each other.
One Bouquet of Fleeting Beauty Please – I found this Modern Love column particularly powerful. Like many people I love flowers, and I’ve always been struck by their short-lived-ness. I can’t describe how much it moved me when a friend sent me this link and told me that the last line reminded her of me. “How startlingly beautiful impermanence can be.” I couldn’t put it anywhere near so beautifully, but I do think that’s one of the central tasks of my life: calling attention to how much loveliness (and how much heartache) can exist in that which is transient.
Caitlin Moran’s posthumous advice for her daughter – As I expect from Caitlin Moran, this letter made me laugh out loud at the same time. She is writing to a daughter about to turn 13, which is deeply familiar to me as well. I love every single piece of advice in this letter, but the final paragraph is my favorite: “Babyiest, see as many sunrises and sunsets as you can. Run across roads to smell fat roses. Always believe you can change the world – even if it’s only a tiny bit, because every tiny bit needed someone who changed it. Think of yourself as a silver rocket – use loud music as your fuel; books like maps and co-ordinates for how to get there. Host extravagantly, love constantly, dance in comfortable shoes, talk to Daddy and Nancy about me every day and never, ever start smoking. It’s like buying a fun baby dragon that will grow and eventually burn down your f***ing house.”
I write these Things I Love posts approximately monthly. You can see all the former ones here.
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