Please write it down
In the year of our lord 2022 I had covid twice and consumed two hot dogs from Costco. It’s been wild. I apologize dear readers for my Sunday absence due to covid. I am back. I got my nails done, shopped and now feel extreme fatigue. Normal. The truth is the light is back. In all of us. I love the solstice. I feel like it is magic and mysterious, and I always wake up on the other side feeling lighter. But then I remember that I live in Ohio and February exists. It doesn't matter really because if you've been following along at any speed with me this year, you'll know that I'm actually levitating. I'm actually happy. I'm actually not crying all the time because there is only so long that you can ride the grief train to creativity before it busts into a cement wall. I am done driving that train. I am on the love train now. I like the gratitude train too. It stops at beautiful vistas from time to time. The acceptance train is groovy too, with all of the shoulder shrugging and chill vibes. But I like the love train best as everyone is waving and smiling when you take off and when you arrive and all of them have destinations that makes sense if you allow it. I am cultivating my art from all of the realness of life now, not just the broken-down parts.
I know that we don't talk about grief enough and I know that that's been some of my job since my mother passed to relay this information, to give you primers, to show you what it looks like for a normal human to fall apart. And remember grief matches up in all different ways with all different people with divorce, death, estrangement, isolation, mental health… the list goes on and the entire thing I've been thinking about all year is that it does exist within us like love all the time. I suppose it is a form of love that we don't understand and therefore we're scared of it. I've tried not to be as scared, and this is the first Christmas since my mom left the earth that I'm not devastated. I'm instead trying to recreate all the things that she did that made the holidays so special. I'm insisting on going to Costco on the busiest day of the year to buy the exact glass bottles of San Pellegrino that she liked, procuring her favorite prosecco, demanding my father make cheese balls and trying to cultivate joy round here. I even continue to buy $100 worth of the British treats online so that Joe can have a little bit of England in Ohio. I mean, even though we're not together we are together forever in the sense that we actually grew up together and have these beautiful boys and he did a big thing by leaving his home very far far away to make a home here and so as much as he can annoy me and as much pain as he may have caused me in the past—that is the PAST. And the present will be full of Tins of Quality Street candy and weird Terry’s chocolate oranges, Yorkie Bars and the like because he's important to the whole thing too. My dad and Scout and Joe are in Athens OH right now and the snow and ice and blizzard conditions here in Ohio make me nervous that they will not make their way up Interstate 71 tomorrow and then there is Finnian in Rockland Maine who sails his boat tonight into the icy ocean for a holiday ceremony of finishing his apprenticeship and then has to get on a bus and two planes to make it home by 10:45 PM on Christmas Eve night. I can have a Christmas miracle???? Blaise and I are trying to keep the fort down here, we're playing Christmas music and decorating Finn’s room. We're wrapping gifts. Watching movies. We’re missing my mom. Sometimes we are missing the old days of our family, but we are making new tradition too.
I am in love with spending alone time these past days with my middle son. He is truly so interesting and has a beautiful mind. Inquisitive and charming really, sometimes life gets so busy and kids keep growing and growing and the mail never stops and the cooking is always happening and the existential dread drips and you forget to stop for a little bit and just look at them and take them in, yes he's devastatingly annoying and he takes all of my money and is a class clown, but he has the mind of an artist, he's got something special inside of him and I can't wait to see who he is in 10 years. He loves me and weirdly gets me and he's so much taller than me now and he holds me in his big arms and tell me I am the best and I feel like everything is going to be ok when that happens.
I opened my January journal today and wrote I LOVE YOU, 2023. I am prepping! I'm serious about the idea I told you recently about buying the 12 journals and getting a really pretty ribbon that you like and pretending that it's like 1850 and you have a journal habit. I want to write down things that are really real and I want to keep them, and I want to tie up all 12 notebooks next year in a gorgeous bow and put them away. Please do this with me? Let's make this a thing.
I also have one really great piece of advice that I try to give away all the time, but I forget if I've told you…when you pack away your holiday tree ornaments or holiday boxes or bins, please write a letter to yourself. Please write a letter to yourself about how your year was and don't be fake about it—tell the truth. Tell the bloody truth to yourself and then next December if you're here on the earth and you're alive and you're lucky then you can open up a bin and you will have 100% forgotten that you did this and you will read it in your hands and you will probably feel joy, pain, sparks of weirdness. You will be smiling or crying, and I guarantee that some things will have lessened, and some things will have intensified, but it will all be your life and it is so important. Please write it down.
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I am going to tell you a story this Sunday. I will be back. I just wanted to hop on here and say hello-I'm-alive-I-love-you-I-miss-you I just wanted you to know that I was thinking about you. I also want you to know that your subscription to my newsletter is helping me financially to create art for next year and I really appreciate it. I have a couple things planned and it's possible because of you. So, on Sunday, I'll send you a story and I'll send you some prompts and you can read it on Boxing Day in your pajamas and think about how there is this person in Ohio, this strange woman living a life just like you. Just like you, trying to do her best. And we are all doing our best right now. I hope you know that. I hope you know that in the swirl of humanity in the basic nightmare that is our society, that in the wild winds of wherever you exist you are magic, and you are loved.
You are so important to this entire thing. Sometimes I feel like I can go away from that fact for too long. Please don't go away from that fact. Please know that you are so important and that you are are so loved and that anything is possible and if you ever doubt it just think about all the people in the world and the wonder of it all.
Think about love.
My zines have all mailed out and they are still in stock. Help me sell out so I can make another! They have a little surprise in them. xo
Buy here: ZINE
Not me crying reading this. ilysm, wild woman. 😚😚💞
Thank you for this. And for everything. You’ve changed my life and my thinking and you always touch me so deeply. I hope you have a lovely holiday.