5 Things (6/29/14)


Saturday I sat on the floor in front of a great big window in my living room. I sat in the middle of a patch of sunlight. I read poems by Pablo Neruda aloud to myself. I sipped ginger tea. I stuffed slices of freshly cut mango into my mouth and let the my fingers get sticky enough that I had to suck on them a bit before I could use them to turn the page. 

There are times when I feel safe and absolutely IN my body. Times when the sun can reach me without overwhelming me with its heat and I can speak love into existence on the tail of sliced fruit. Sometimes, a mango is home and the smell of ginger can bleed you out.

Sometimes the feel of your mouth around your fingers is a reminder: 

This is mine. This is mine. This is only for me.

But I also try to hold on to the girl who was young and stupid enough to believe in foolish adventures, the girl who was equal parts ready to fall in love with you and hurl a ball peen hammer into your front windshield. I had a strength I did not realize, but one I did not forget. When I am restless and defeated and scared again, I tell myself this: that the greatest trip of my life came because I did not get the things I wanted.

I wish you the same.

But then, of course, there is the simple reality of living. Standing in the Trader Joe’s line tonight, trying to look placid and sober after four beers in the sun, I had the sudden, watery feeling that I’d probably be much the same anywhere. The details would change, there would be gas and parking, or Euros and visas, and yet, always Sunday nights. All lonely and sorrowful, the sun setting no matter what. The cashiers at whatever store, wherever it is, waving me toward them with the same bored hands, me blinking at them slowly and saying, “I can just put that in my bag. I’m not going far.”
She felt panic. She had with some pain cleared this small space and time to think in and now thought seemed impossible. She remembered from what now seemed the astonishing free and spacious days of her education the phenomenon of the first day’s work on a task. One had to peel one’s mind from its run of preoccupations: coffee to buy, am I in love, the yellow dress needs cleaning, Tim is unhappy, what is wrong with Marcus, how shall I live my life? It took time before the task in hand seemed possible, and more still before it became imperative and obsessive. There had to be a time before thought, a woolgathering time when nothing happened, a time of yawning, of wandering eyes and feet, of reluctance to do what would finally become delightful and energetic.
I refuse to limit what is possible for myself if I am willing to try.

(Source: youreaholiday, via foleymag)

My name is Zadie Smith, and I am a 38-year-old pathological reader. I would like to say in my defense that I don’t really get the appeal of YOLO. I live many times over. Hypothetical, subterranean lives that run beneath the relative tedium of my own and have the power to occasionally penetrate or even derail it. I find it hard to name the one book that was so damn delightful it changed my life. The truth is, they have all changed my life, every single one of them—even the ones I hated. Books are my version of “experiences.” I’m made of them. But every summer I hope to take a book to a beach and pretend that it’s only an occasional thing, a seasonal indulgence, which will be put down come September, as I return, like any civilian, to real life.
59 plays

Avant Gardener — Courtney Barnett

Summer aesthetic.

Writer, reader, journalist. 21.

Into books, burritos, aimless walks and front porches.