Pi Day (was yesterday, I know…)

they say I bullied them into taking this picture. but whatever.

they say I bullied them into taking this picture. but whatever.

There has been so much great art and writing and magic this past week. Last night I saw the preview of a play with a friend who is so incredibly thoughtful and insightful and a really good influence on me. The play had lots of things happening in it–clown make-up and domestic violence and an OIF veteran and a trans man–but boiled down, it was about change. About how power dynamics shift and what we become when they do. What does it mean to ask to be accepted as you are, not as you were? How do we accept someone’s new identity? What kinds of erasures are required to facilitate forgiveness?

I’ve been listening to a book called Brainstorm about the changing teenage brain, and it strikes me that family is so much about navigating this. When you have this much history with someone, how do you begin to see them anew through their phases? With siblings, and in other kinds of relationships, how is the new self allowed to exist with the fact of the past? Do we need all new people in our lives every time we change? That doesn’t seem at all sustainable.

In terms of my writing, this comes up when I share work in the world, or meet people who are reading or have just recently read my book. I write about moments that have already passed (duh) and then I spend some time editing (understatement), then the long process of publishing (rejections)–so when the piece is out, I’ve usually traveled some great distance from it. It’s a really complicated thing, accepting that we have multiple selves, (who was talking to me about multiple selves last week?? CYNTHIA, of course), some no longer serving us, which have to be released. And that if it’s true of us, it’s likely true of other people as well. So let’s make space to accept the changes.

Our poem this week is not really related to this thought. I just love it so much and want you to read it. So simple and lean. A few weeks ago, I got to hear Ada Limon read. Her poems, man. I’d read a few here and there and then my friend and another fantastic poet I love, gave me Bright Dead Things and I just flopped around dying over them (still am).

Here’s her poem “Crush” your opening phrase is “Maybe my limbs are…”

Crush

by Ada Limon

Maybe my limbs are made
mostly for decoration,
like the way I feel about
persimmons. You can’t
really eat them. Or you
wouldn’t want to. If you grab
the soft skin with your fist
it somehow feels funny,
like you’ve been here
before and uncomfortable,
too, like you’d rather
squish it between your teeth
impatiently, before spitting
the soft parts back up
to linger on the tongue like
burnt sugar or guilt.
For starters, it was all
an accident, you cut
the right branch
and a sort of light
woke up underneath,
and the inedible fruit
grew dark and needy.
Think crucial hanging.
Think crayon orange.
There is one low, leaning
heart-shaped globe left
and dearest, can you
tell, I am trying
to love you less.

the other morning we ran late and I let him skip first period and he agreed to start reading this amazing novel (which I think he may not admit finishing, but seems to have been reading since) oh I love him so so so much

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