Writing this newsletter is the first time I've sat at my desk to write anything since December. This week marks the first week in which I've lived in the same place as all my belongings since last year. So my life is ironing itself out again, perhaps for the first time in five years; so finally again I can breathe. The return to my desk, the nature of being, simply, here, is already prompting my thoughts to fire, ideas to churn. I am thinking about the La Brea Tar Pits, excavation, preservation; I am thinking loosely about color theory, a concept to which I often return; I am thinking about houses and how all of them are haunted and how all of us are haunted, too; I am thinking about growth and healing and recognizing the ways in which I have changed and am changing, the ways in which I am capable and confident and rooted and strong.
This month I will turn thirty. My life has changed rapidly in only the last few months, and now that I can rest I am purging. I am taking stock and assessing who I am, where I am going. My grandfather said recently, you can't plan a damn thing. It's hard not to try to plan everything, but I am trying. I am trying to focus instead on presence, thinking about what I know and what I want to learn, what I've learned and what I am doing now. This upcoming birthday feels, after the last few months, like a homecoming, in part because I am living in Missouri again, I am writing at my desk, I am home.
For a couple of reasons, I am thinking lately, too, about maps. These thoughts are occurring in part because I just drove a moving truck seven hundred miles, and also because I can't get the song "Maps" by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs out of my head. I keep thinking about the ways in which maps are connective. Maps guide us, they connect us to each other, they plot out space in a way that shows us how to get from one place to another, how nearly any place can be reached somehow. When we go the wrong way, we recalibrate and find another; when we get lost we look for something familiar, or retrace our steps, or turn around. Writing, too, is map-like: writing connects everywhere we've ever been. It connects us to everywhere we've ever been. We are the constant: writing connects us, too, to everyone we've ever been with, to everyone we've ever been.
As I purge the items that are no longer serving me, as I begin to plot out the fresh ideas taking hold, I am mapmaking: here is where I am now; here is where I am going to go. I can't plan a damn thing, but I can stay on this journey, discover and welcome new possibilities along the road.
Our contributor conversation this month will be with Scott Thomas Meistrich, author of "Me and Mine" and "Costumes" in ISSUE 02. His thoughts about evoking awe, world-building, and exploring the surreal will be available on April 15th.
Love and Light,
Founder and Editor, The Champagne Room