I am more of a reader than a writer. When I was a little girl my favorite book was Where the Red Fern Grows. In middle school it was Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. As a young woman it became Beloved by Toni Morrison.
Brown is the color of mystery
Her empty stomach gurgled a complaint, but she didn’t feel hungry. Her eyes were wet with tears. The cold wind threatened to freeze her eyelashes. The tips of her extremities burned from lack of blood, but the pain in her chest drowned out any physical discomfort. “Is he hurt, too?” The question entered her mind and she immediately knew the answer. No, probably not. At least, she hoped not. A fresh wave of sobs threatened to wrack her body.
She organized the ingredients in straight lines on the marble counter. Garlic, olive oil, basil, pasta, tomatoes, salt. “Heat a medium pot of water to boiling.” The system’s voice dictated over a cheerful piano melody. “Add a sprinkle of salt to water.”
Individuals on the periphery of your life should keep you humble. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the novelty of your latest crush or your best friend’s drama, but your circle won’t keep you humble. If they do, find new circles. Not my circle, just another one, out there, somewhere in the boundless universe. One can exist in concurrent circles, for example, your high school friends, although valuable, might be in arrested development. One might find it useful to enter new relationships, and even some cross-circle bonding might be beneficial, if controlled.
Black dads, ice-cream, and inflation
Part of baby fever is wondering which of my parents’ stories I will tell. Children are like blank palette souls waiting to be colored by their experiences, and parents are like spirit guides who give frame of reference to every new color, shape, and texture. Thinking about which narratives I will perpetuate feels like curating my future children’s library. When my son notices that his hair is short and his sister’s is long, will I tell him the story of Genesis? Shall I give him a brief introduction to gender roles? Or maybe I will immerse him in popular culture by showing him pictures in magazines that inspired his look? Will I encourage my daughter’s anthropological curiosity by delving into the history, and even the utility of long hair? Will I explain to her that vitality and fertility is signaled by long hair? Or will I let my children’s hair both grow long and free, and wait until my son comes to ask my why he is different, and then should I choose that moment to reinforce to him that he is special? I think of the many ways my dad made me feel special.