How’s everyone doing out there?
I spent a couple of days last week in Santa Barbara with my friend Kari O’Driscoll. She wrote a terrific memoir called Truth Has a Different Shape that you should definitely check out if you haven’t already. Here’s the link. This is a blurb that best describes the book, although it’s far richer and deeper and beautifully written and and and and and so forth.
Truth Has a Different Shape is one woman's meditation on how societal and familial expectations of mothering influenced her sense of self and purpose, as well as her ideas about care-taking.
We talked and talked and talked for the entire couple of days, about everything. We went for a walk with another old friend right on the beach. I walked a ways with the two of them and then I stopped because of my stupid knee and settled down on the sand, urging them to keep walking which they did. I watched them until they were specks in the distance. The beach was deserted except for one lone surfer a ways away, his sunning girlfriend and me. I waded into the water and stood there in the glinting sun feeling about as fantastic as one can feel these days which isn’t all that fantastic but it was something.
Carl and I drove out to Los Olivos later and looked for Golden Eagles. Driving with Carl and looking for birds is always an adventure of the slowest sort. He is patient and his patience lulls the crabby grumpy not-so-fantastic part of me. Have you ever seen a Golden Eagle? To me they’re better than Bald Eagles as they’re free of all that freedom, U S A crap. They are more predator than scavenger which is exciting, and they are huge and elegant in the sky.
Here’s one of Carl’s glorious shots:
I know. Wow.
Here’s a shot of the area we were in, waiting and watching for Golden Eagles. It was out in the middle of nowhere but — nonetheless. My mind wandered in the minutes we waited wondering whether some formerly patriotic mother went out to go “shopping” and
She wouldn’t have left a mess like that, though.
What are you reading these days? I’m finishing up a novel called The Blackmailer’s Guide to Love by Marian Thurm, and I love it so much that I dread the ending. It’s about women and writing and infidelity and love in 1960s New York. I read Dana Spiotta’s novel Wayward which is also about women but also about the environment and being fed up — fed up with womening, not just the environment which, I guess, is just fed up with us. I fantasize all the time and have done so for many, many years about running away leaving everyone and everything and getting a job somewhere like in a library where I’ll shelve books all day and help people I don’t know find things. I have got a whole lot percolating in the tiny little mother mind™ but I’m not writing anything at all these days and you know what? That’s ok. I’m resting goddammit. Perc on. I read a truly crazy article in “Harper’s” called “The Anxiety of Influencers,” and after I picked myself up off the floor I threw my phone into the Pacific, shot out the tv and bought some peaches. I also just watched (right before I shot out the tv) the first season of a series called White Lotus on HBOMax, I think, and it’s a sordid satire about rich people and those who serve them and privilege and a resort in Hawaii. I was sucked in even though my patience runs thin with rich people and privilege on resorts in Hawaii. Honestly, I couldn’t stop watching it and can’t wait for the second season.
I hope you’re well, dear Reader — vaccinated and wearing your masks and avoiding the Plague and all those who believe it to be a hoax. A nurse friend told me that she’s taking care of so many sick babies and children at Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles and that makes my heart ache. All the babies and children are ours. May all the babies and children be well, happy and peaceful. May we all be well, happy and peaceful.
Here’s what the Dalai Llama said (we know what to do):
If you have fear of some pain or suffering, you should examine whether there is anything you can do about it. If you can, there is no need to worry about it; if you cannot do anything, then there is also no need to worry.”