- When “Life-Hacking” is Really White Privilege:“You know that fun game you play at Chinese restaurants, where you add “in bed” to everybody’s fortune? You will achieve great success this year…in bed.
I have a related suggestion for Altucher’s article. Just add “if you’re white” or “because I’m white” to each generalization or anecdote in the article. For instance:
‘I find when you act confused but polite then people want to help if you’re white. There was a line behind me. I wasn’t fighting or angry. So there was no reason for anyone to get angry at me, because I’m white.’“
- Rachel Cusk reviewing Confessions of a Bad Mother by Stephanie Calman: “[T]he appearance of honesty, the willingness to “own up” to certain unorthodoxies, merely conceals a deeper strain of social competitiveness. The “good” mother, with her fixed smile, her rigidity, her goody-goody outlook, her obsession with unnecessary hygiene, is in fact a fool. It is the “bad” mother, unafraid of a joke and a glass of wine, richly self-expressive, scornful of suburban values, who is in reality good.” (via Blue Milk)
Why is it so difficult to write about parenting? Maybe because it is difficult to write about any relationship — especially relationships with people who are still alive, who you love, and who you hope deeply will outlive you. Because things can’t be boiled down to words and still be accurate, no matter how many words you apply to them. Because writing about relationships changes them, sometimes for the worse. Because people don’t always appreciate being written about. Because the relationship itself is so valuable, so much more valuable than written words would be. So we are left with cliches, platitudes, jokes, glimpses, incomplete pictures and secrets. Some of best words I’ve read about parenting — the words that have made me feel less alone, more sure of myself, clearer on my bearings — have been not in memoirs but in psychology books.
- Time Still by Peggy O’Mara: “Now I am caring for eternity” — This line in particular is what being a mother feels like to me. Like active meditation. Like always returning to the present. Like longing for something to take the edge off of it. Like learning to tolerate it, to relax into it, to meet my child there — the only place I can parent him.