Sending you a short missive this month because I am dealing with some personal things. Anyway here is a poem by Molly Brodak:
In the Morning, Before Anything Bad Happens
The sky is open all the way. Workers upright on the line like spokes. I know there is a river somewhere, lit, fragrant, golden mist, all that, whose irrepressible birds can’t believe their luck this morning and every morning. I let them riot in my mind a few minutes more before the news comes.
One day this week I looked out my window and saw buds appearing on a tree in my neighbor’s backyard, and in that moment I genuinely felt some of the ice around my heart melt away. It reminded me of a poem by Ada Limón that my friend Elle included when she wrote a guest star edition of constellations a couple years ago:
Instructions on Not Giving Up
More than the fuchsia funnels breaking out of the crabapple tree, more than the neighbor’s almost obscene display of cherry limbs shoving their cotton candy-colored blossoms to the slate sky of Spring rains, it’s the greening of the trees that really gets to me. When all the shock of white and taffy, the world’s baubles and trinkets, leave the pavement strewn with the confetti of aftermath, the leaves come. Patient, plodding, a green skin growing over whatever winter did to us, a return to the strange idea of continuous living despite the mess of us, the hurt, the empty. Fine then, I’ll take it, the tree seems to say, a new slick leaf unfurling like a fist to an open palm, I’ll take it all.
Here are some other things I have been consuming lately: 1000 gecs by 100 gecs; Radical Romantics by Fever Ray (which I reviewed for NPR Music); Sublimation by Shalom; a long-awaited and really magnificent Strange Mangers show (also featuring Brittle Brian and Vinegar and Knifeplay); We’re All Going To The World’s Fair; the podcast series SISTERS from The Heart (so moving but honestly so emotionally triggering — if you also have sisters and have listened to this series, please unpack it with me); a rewatch of the first few seasons of Girls, which apparently everyone else is re-watching now, too; this really nice interview with the writer Charlotte Shane; this conversation between Cate Blanchett and Maggie Nelson about Tár (thanks to Hazel for sending me this); a manicure, for the first time in years; homemade blueberry muffins; an excellent cardamom bun from Otway in Clinton Hill; an excellent martini at Hart’s in Bed-Stuy; some bad news and, in response, a lot of tears and a lot of kindness
This time last year I was: giving and getting compliments; and before that, I was moving out of a very good city
Thanks for reading. Take care of yourself. I hope you see some nice things blooming between now & when we speak again.
I saw the news about layoffs at npr and hoping you're all holding up okay! always so appreciative of these newsletters and your perspective.
It hurts my heart to hear you are going through a sad time, especially so because I am too. Perhaps I project but it seems we are often aligned in this way. You’re one of my favorite people I’ve never met. Your words help me to connect with and absorb the world in a lovely way. I hope things subdue quickly for you.