August. 1. Creating an online course on how to use journal writing to lead an examined life. Proof: The extra-large planning sheets lining my hallway are covered in Post-it notes. 2. Drafting personal essays to become the bones of a memoir. The first is about why I called my parents by their first names as a kid and what I lost by doing so. 3. Submitted a piece of flash fiction and a short story for publication.
non-negotiable morning routine for proper installation of the self
Wake up before my alarm at still dark o'clock worried about some things and excited about some other things
Read a spiritual text aloud
Put the kettle on for tea (milk oolong)
Write in my journal
Begin noticing what I'm grateful for
Water the garden
Iterate my to-do list
Stretching (PT exercises) Post on Instagram
*July & August meditating at 3 p.m.
Sometimes I forget the order in which Le Sacred Morning Routine flows most smoothly. I'm always tempted to test things like whether washing my face before I brew tea flows better than stretching right away or before watering the garden. I am rarely the same person I was yesterday, so the test is inherently flawed.
apparently I can't let go enough for fiction during a Pandemic (but I can let go enough for romantic comedies because love is love and love is good.)
August. "Palm Springs," the film, on Netflix. I can't put my finger on why this one so delighted me. Yet the female character is my new spirit animal because she just won't accept "this is how things have to be." Spoiler alert. Stop. Reading. I mean, she applies herself: She learns enough about space-time-travel-loops to get out of dodge. Long live the space-time generalist!
July. Reading James Baldwin. Unsurprisingly his published letter/essay, The Fire Next Time. My all-time favorite Baldwin book is Another Country, for this paragraph:
Book 2, Chapter 1:
Eric sat naked in his rented garden. Flies buzzed and boomed in the brilliant heat, and a yellow bee circled his head. Eric remained very still, then reached for the cigarette beside him and lit one, hoping that the smoke would drive the bee away. Yves' tiny black-and-white kitten stalked the garden as though it were Africa, crouching beneath the mimosas like a panther and leaping into the air.
April. I'm reading Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay while ignoring that I am super late to the party on this one (the book, not feminism). This collection of essays pairs well with watching every lecture or talk of Ms. Gay's that I can find on YouTube. I'm feeling switched on, smarter and smarter, and like I'm on the verge of something. It's like accidentally getting a caffeinated latte instead of the decaf. From one of the essays in the collection:
Abandon the cultural myth that all female friendships must be bitchy, toxic, or competitive. This myth is like heels and purses--pretty but designed to SLOW women down.