The woman and the cockroach.
Olá and welcome!
Just before the new year, I moved from my home of many years in the Pacific Northwest back to California in pursuit of new adventures. Since arriving in the Bay, it’s been a challenge to get acquainted with so many places that are once again new and strange to me after being away for so long. However, I’ve had the pleasure of getting to visit new friends in beautiful San Francisco and all across the Bay Area which has certainly been a warm welcome. I’m feeling very grateful and very excited for what the rest of the year has in store. This month, full to the brim of varied and profound change, has had me thinking about all the small familiarities that make me feel at ease.
I have this beautiful antique lawyer's bookshelf with amazing glass doors that used to belong to my great grandfather when he was a professor. It had been sitting in my grandparents' old barn in their backyard for ages, and one summer when I was particularly going through it, my grandfather taught me the basics of woodworking and helped me fix it up. We repaired broken hinges, filled gaps that had opened up between boards of wood, sanded it all down, and tenderly brushed on a new finish. It's been sitting in my room ever since, and though its contents have shifted over time (what was once full of “classics” like Steinbeck, Vonnegut, and Salinger is now full of my favorite Lispector novels, collections of poetry and folklore, and lots of leftist theory—and okay, I still have a soft spot for Steinbeck.) Words have always been a comfort to me when everything else was uncertain; I could return endlessly to the same passage and just live there in it. Since I already mentioned her name, I’d like to share one of my long-time favorite passages from Clarice Lispector’s novel The Passion According to G.H., which I re-read often. She was a Brazilian writer and one of the reasons I wanted to learn Portuguese; I'd love to be able to read her texts in their original language someday, as I'm certain the English translations hardly do them justice. This particular piece is about a woman and a cockroach but is also about being and becoming and not-being and… well, everything:
I am the cockroach, I am my leg, I am my hair, I am the section of brightest light on the wall plaster—I am every Hellish piece of myself—life is so pervasive in me that if they divide me in pieces like a lizard, the pieces will keep on shaking and writhing. I am the silence etched on a wall, and the most ancient butterfly flutters in and looks at me: just the same as always. From birth to death is what I call human in myself, and I shall never actually die. But this is not eternity, it is condemnation.
How opulent this silence is. It is the accumulation of centuries. It is the silence of the cockroach looking. The world looks at itself in me. Everything looks at everything, everything experiences the other; in this desert things know things.
Often, when I feel like I too am lost in my everything-ness, I leave the same song playing on repeat all day long (and sometimes several). Here is what I am fixated on for whatever reason as I write this.
I’m new to this whole newsletter thing and am looking forward to getting a little weird with it! If there is something you’d like to see here in the future, I'd love to know. As always, I’ll be posting more frequent short-form “diary” updates on my free OnlyFans page as well as on Twitter. I hope your day is splendid. Til next time.