I’ve been researching for another post, but I’m taking a week to head to Oregon, my former home, to visit a few college campuses with my son, who is now 17. Of how that happened, I am still in a state of head spinning. I find I’m constantly wondering if I parented him enough, what I could have/should have done more of if there was more time. How odd to have this lovely being who has been tied to me for so many years become his own person—who is taller, stronger, and deeper voiced than my own body. I still have this impulse to parent—to make sure he eats, has clothes that fit, gear in cold weather. To check-in, only to remember (again) that it’s annoying at this point, and I remind myself to respect his autonomy. And then the growing new worries—of how to afford a school somehow on a meager income because learning and being with peers was such a defining experience in my own life, I want him to experience that joy (and hopefully it will be joy). How to do it all well, I don’t know. I keep trying—it’s in reality the only thing we can ever do.
"I wish for a world where staring at the sudden green beauty of the trees blowing in the wind outside as I write was the mark of a successful day. "
The shelter/exile dance speaks to me deeply as well. Thank you.
Since you asked... we're listening to Inciting Joy by Ross Gay right now. So flipping good. Highly recommend the audio book. You really want to hear those essays in his voice.
I have your back in teaching values over expediency.
Music is special. It's the key that unlocks my feelings. It can ambush me and make me cry at the most in opportune moments. Although there are some pieces that get me every time, like Bach's Partita in D minor for solo violin, it can be almost any genre.
I think often about the push and pull of community and independence, and reading your letter here, where it’s couched in the language of “shelter” and “shadow”, has helped illuminated my thoughts further. Thank you, this was so lovely to read ❤️
Fantastic piece, Freya! R.E.M.’s “Murmur” is my example of what you’re talking about.