The heat came on yesterday. It's August. I have some opinions about that. One of which is: WTF.
Sometimes I feel like I'm wasting my life, or specifically that I'm wasting my summers, working and reading shit online, but then I think: What was I planning to do? Is it a shame that I didn't spend time reading a book under a tree? It is. But then how much of a shame? Not enough to make me prioritize that, clearly. I like my job most of the time. And I like being a person who does what she says she will. And thus I sometimes spend summertime indoors doing projects I should not have agreed to do, and the clouds shift and the cool air rolls in and the shadows lengthen under the tree. Shiver. Existential dread of winter in August. It's not my best look.
But I didn't stay inside the whole summer! I spent six weeks in the US soaking in all the things I love: art, friendship, oysters, cocktails, hard laughter, road trips, the very specific pleasure of knowing someone for a long time. I cried (because I persist in being myself, including one day that I literally flung myself across a bed and howled into a pillow), but MOSTLY I was happy.
And I went to Prague twice to perform, and once went well and once did not. Performance is interesting because you're often saying very personal things to a room full of people who then think they know you, that you've shared something with them individually, and it's intense. Well at my level of fame ("fame") it's totally fine, because there can be connections; I'm still just a person. But I see more famous people trying to continue with that "we are equals" narrative long after they have ceased to be equals with their audience, and it's just... it doesn't work. Back when there were blogs, some blogs got popular and then those writers were only reading other writers of a similar level of popularity, and yet they wanted the people they didn't read to keep reading them. It stopped being sharing and started being performing, competing. They wanted to be adored as equals (ah, we're all just friends!) but they also wanted the power ("power") that came with being popular. [This is also, I believe, the root of a lot of sexual harassment cases: One person wants the pretense of being equals; the other person is keenly aware that they're not really equals. So when the first one takes something or even asks for something from the second one, that's messy].
Having never been particularly "in group" OR "out group", please forgive me while I work through observations that possibly were old news to you in high school.
I wouldn't want to be a mean girl. It seems like there's a lot of insecurity involved. It IS true that I didn't get invited to something recently that I felt that I absolutely should have been invited to and I 100% stomped around my living room for almost a week over it. I didn't write a burn book or anything though. I just did some stomping.
I have also been thinking, regarding performance, that I have the very softest space in my heart for things that are amateur, clunky, brave, vulnerable. And I also have a huge amount of available affection for things that are professional, thoroughly considered, perfectly executed. In between, it's a lot about what I ascribe your intent to be and I have found that I have much less patience for things that present as being professional and then fuck it up. And yet is it not at some point cloying to pretend to be less good at something, to play "whoops this guitar just fell into my hands here and I just did a little van Halen thing on it." And even if you're not that good, public self-deprecation requires too much assurance from the audience as a form of participation. Still, I prefer people to err on the side of underestimating themselves, just a bit.
My mind wants to go into a little digression about differences between men and women but I'm pulling it back by the scruff of the neck.
Another thing I am thinking about, which probably ties back into performance but was actually related to art, was the difference between invitation to narrative and invitation to dialogue. Like, some art just raises so much thinking in me. Where does that path lead? Why is she sad? Some artists seem to invite you to think about it on your own, but some artists, for some people, it feels like an invitation to dialogue. And I wonder why that is. Like why people felt the need to hunt down J.D. Salinger but maybe not Harper Lee. I would say that both invite narrative (the reader wants to write or paint or think new thoughts after reading) but Salinger (despite, I think, his intentions) invites dialogue: people wanted to talk with him afterwards. Whereas I think people wrote to Harper Lee but not with the same need to be seen? I'm thinking on it.
I ordered a new pair of shoes online, always so tricky to figure out how they'll look from a photo. They just came in the mail today. They have memory soles. Maybe fall won't be so bad.