Today, on epiphanies as I ripen with time and age, like a banana nearing its bread only stage: I think that if you talk long enough, you will eventually arrive at something true. How are we meant to craft the perfect and true thought fully just in our heads, and THEN say it? Coming upon truth partially requires a small leap off a cliff into a cavern of eyes staring at you, expectantly, waiting for wisdom. As you ramble and fall, you will find the right thing to say, the true thing, because you must, because the plummeting itself reveals it.
Oliver Sacks, brilliant neurologist, writer of character candy books such as The Man who mistook his wife for a Hat, passed away yesterday. RIP, you sage explorer of neurons and pathways. But surely, he went peacefully, having lived a full life. When he found out he was terminally ill, he wrote:
“I have been increasingly conscious, for the last 10 years or so, of deaths among my contemporaries. My generation is on the way out, and each death I have felt as an abruption, a tearing away of part of myself. There will be no one like us when we are gone, but then there is no one like anyone else, ever. When people die, they cannot be replaced. They leave holes that cannot be filled, for it is the fate — the genetic and neural fate — of every human being to be a unique individual, to find his own path, to live his own life, to die his own death.
I cannot pretend I am without fear. But my predominant feeling is one of gratitude. I have loved and been loved; I have been given much and I have given something in return; I have read and traveled and thought and written. I have had an intercourse with the world, the special intercourse of writers and readers.
Above all, I have been a sentient being, a thinking animal, on this beautiful planet, and that in itself has been an enormous privilege and adventure.”
Hi, I has new job! I am honored and stoked beyond recognition to get to work on the first season of a Starz show based on the epic and epically beautiful novel American Gods by Neil Gaiman. HI TO NEIL AND TO NEIL’S GOOGLE ALERT. It’s only a book about all of the Old World Gods who have been brought over to America by immigrants, who live among us, but are dying out as no one believes in them anymore — waring with New Gods — media and internet and war and fear. It is only about Everything Ever. It is only about agency and selfhood and faith and God and Gods and money and holidays and tv and dreams and Babylon and Ireland and Genies and morality and loss and gain. JUST THOSE THINGS. I find myself thrust into the very center of every giant question we should be asking ourselves, both personal and political. I think it has the potential to be a show that is theatrical and big but small and specific and forces us to look out ourselves in an arrestingly truthful way. ONLY THOSE THINGS. Okay so off to build a tower of books to climb up to this VERY HIGH BAR.
I keep being drawn to these shirts that can only be described as SPACESHIP CASUAL. I very much hope that that my grandchildren will be rocking similar clothes as they hurtle and float through space, as they fall in love / re-invent food / write books just with their brains / wear robots as shoes.
Every playwright fantasizes about her first New York Times Interview. How she’ll breeze two minutes late into the Cobble Hill cafe, a free moment between rehearsals, in 400 dollar jeans but it’s not a thing that’s discussed, just a thing that the journalist notices, order a chardonnay at eleven AM, speak deeply of important things in a way that no one quite ever has.
Yesterday morning I had my first NYT interview over the phone re: the incredible upcoming Women’s playwright’s festival in DC. I will have you all know that I did this interview in my night shirt, which is a thing that I have, not having yet brushed my teeth, shoving string cheese into my face while also trying to get dressed for work, and I can’t fully remember anything I said and there was no glamour or profundity and my greatest hope / wish is that I SPOKE IN SENTENCES AND USED WORDS RIGHT.
Morrison says I have a Christmas demon living inside of me that emerges around the holidays and feeds off lights and joy and wrapping paper and fudge and fresh rolls of scotch tape and the soft tissue around old ornaments and tying bows around candy canes and velour dresses, demon that sleeps deep and wakes early to make hot chocolate and hide things. I REALLY don’t know what he’s talking about and the fact that today I smelled cinnamon and suddenly felt a surge of a maniacal joy and my inner monologue turned to AHHHHH IT’S ALMOST SEPTEMBER WHICH IS ALMOST OCTOBER WHICH IS ALMOST NOVEMBER WHICH IS ALMOST DECEMBER WHICH IS ALMOST CHRISTMAS IS REALLY NOT INDICATIVE OF ANY SORT OF DEMON QUALITY NOT AT ALL WHERE IS THE TREE.
I somehow accidentally got myself a business class seat back from Vancouver, and ohhhhh no, I think I get its appeal. It is a scary feeling when you sense your standards shift slightly up, and your inner poor person / brooklynite winces into her ramen. Business class: First to board, first to de-plane, infinite cocktails, a sort of strange gourmet dinner, little porcelain bowls of nuts, mild feelings of superiority that feel totally gross but right. The guy across from me complained to our servant / stewardess: Since this flight’s delayed, I’m going to miss my connection, which means I’m going to have to get the later flight to New York and FLY COACH. The servant / stewardess replied, with great sincerity: Oh, no. I am so, so sorry. My moral center rolled its eyes as I transcribed this dialogue. I then asked for more warm nuts and stretched my legs out on towards infinity.
I wanna live my life outside. This is a late discovery. I used to hide inside reading Babysitter’s Club until my parents literally had to lock me out of the house until I’d ridden my bike around the neighborhood. And even THEN, I would sit under the swing set in the backyard and play circus, which, from what I recall, just involved sitting underneath the swing set in the backyard, and imagining a circus happening all around me.
But in my adult life, I LOVE OUTSIDE. It’s gorgeous and massive and calm and here for us to play on and explore like a grown up swing set but sturdier most of the time. Today Julien and I hiked the Stawamus Peak Chief and if I’m being real it was more of a TWO MILE TOTALLY UPHILL CLIMB.
I nearly died 9 times partially because of a back injury from something pathetic like lifting something and then like, standing out of a chair too fast, but a bunch of terrifying chains / ladders / stairs / trees / stones / very fast children later:
By far the highest I have ever climbed. The Chief stands 2,000 feet over Squamish, so I’m just going to tell myself I did that.
We rewarded ourselves with something not found in nature but Godly, just the same.
And props to these kids who ALSO <3 the outside and also taking money from tourists who are dying of thirst who thought the hike was 90 minutes ROUND TRIP NOT ONE WAY.