The world is so old and sad today, isn’t it? Gaza and Iraq and the GOP. And this. And here on my beloved little chunk of the Pacific everything seems to be shutting down. Chain stores are going in where all the weird locally-owned places used to be. We were walking past a shuttered shop the other day: “Paintings by the Sea with Antoinette” or something like that. One look in the dirty windows told you that it wasn’t exactly the most professional shop, but it was a homemade kind of place, and it just got to me. Jacob said “But did Kauai really need a shop like that?”
No, Kauai certainly didn’t need it, but it seems to me that the edge between what we need and what we don’t seem to actually need, but which fills up what people call our souls, is the edge where we should be living. That spot somewhere between bread and water and light and color. Our souls, for lack of a better term, are dying in this mean lowdown capitalist world.
Which reminds me of a pep talk I’ve been meaning to give myself:
Women of the world (and the good dudes, too)!
Whist raging against the dying of the light for yet another year, remember this:
When your entire life is a project, a continually exploding burst of rocketfire continually remaking the way of living in the world, people are going to not understand what you’re doing. They are going to —often unintentionally, it sometimes helps to remember that (it sometimes doesn’t)—hate on you.
The other day some dude put me and my little micro business down, put down, in fact, my entire sort of gestalt, and I hid how much it had bothered me for three days. Then I started talking about it, and Jacob pointed out that there was another way to see the insult, that it could have been a critique of the rest of the world, and a compliment to me, in a certain way. The potential insulter had told me that the large chocolate corporations waste more chocolate in a day than I use in a year, basically, and I interpreted it was a way of putting down my tiny little business. Jacob pointed out that this person could have been saying how shameful it was that big choco companies waste so much of such a precious commodity, and how I am part of a positive tide in the opposite direction, or something like that.
Anyway, for three days I worked up a little pep talk for times like this:
Women of the world! You have to be rock solid in your beliefs. You have to constantly examine yourself and measure your beliefs against how you understand, as Gandhi said, Truth at that moment. You have to constantly change and grow and learn and be honest.
And once you’ve committed yourself to that road, which is the road of being square with yourself on the deepest level:
fuck everyone else.
Because people are not going to understand you and that your life is a big beautiful messy project and that everything is of a piece and that those pieces have a goal. People are irredeemably stupid and cruel, and they are going to constantly say irredeemably stupid and cruel things to you, mostly out of ignorance, not malice. Most of the time they will not understand that they are being hurtful. So you can be nice to people and be friends with them and learn and grow with them, but in the end you need to pick your people and fuck everyone else.
Speaking of picking your people: that can be hard to do. Here’s a tip. Your people are the ones who get you, who are like you in important ways. My friend S. once said the best thing to me about relationships. She was telling me about how her partner C. annoys her all the time: the way she squeezes the toothpaste irritates her, the way she does the dishes. Basically everything she does around the house annoys her—the way she lives. Even her haircuts and her clothes. But one day she realized that those were all small things, and that they had all the big things in common. Their big overarching beliefs about how the world works and how it should work, their goals, where their hearts were, how they loved loving and caring for each other. They don’t fight about the toothpaste tube these days—they each have their own toothpaste. They get each other, and because of that they can overlook all the small stuff—they know that it is small stuff. Your people are the people like that. You’re lucky when you find them, and you need to hold onto them.
I’ve been aching to write letters to friends lately. I’m too impatient and there is always something outsidey to do and in the end I hope they are all just reading this here blog because at its root it’s a love letter to my kind of people —this is my world. I adore it and I adore you, and I’m so happy you’re there.
Here’s to a year of revolution, transformation, confidence and not giving a shit what other people say about us!