Sand in my coffee
I’m sitting on Santa Monica Beach on my super cool camping chair and listening to the kids play in the waves. It’s almost 6pm so the wind has picked up and that means higher and rougher waves. They couldn’t be happier. And that means I’m pretty good as well, they’ve left me to my own devices, reading and reflecting.
I’ve been obsessed with the Twitterscape recently - because how else can you get up to the minute news? And with all that’s going on in September 2020, you need up to the minute news don’t you? And so I’ve been following one of the big California wildfires, aka Creekfire, which has caused the temporary closure of goddamn Yosemite National Park! For which I happen to have a reservation for starting September 30th. So I do the hashtagging thing at night when the littles have gone to sleep and I “inform” myself of what’s gone wrong in the world for the past 12 hours.
I do this, and I read also, or try to. I’m in the middle of 9 books. I could never read more than 1 book at a time in my 20s, but I think motherhood sort of expands your awareness so you can more easily read different books at the same time. That’s what I say to myself, which sounds better than saying I’ve developed Adult ADD at the age of 40. I even surprised myself by being able to go back and forth on 3 fiction stories at the same time.
Current Reading List -
The Road by Corman McCarthy - I read this ages ago and know of the movie but didn’t watch it. I picked it up again after a night of particularly bad news and I totally felt like we were heading straight into an Apocalypse, and this is a beautiful story about a parent and a boy making their way after surviving some sort of apocalypse.
Nine Perfection Strangers by Liane Moriarty - master of thrillers, this feels like a perfect mystery for beach reading. I read it was being turned into a tv show or movie, which made me return to it after a 2 year hiatus
Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout - the story of a retired schoolteacher in smalltown Maine and some of the lives she encounters, winner of the Pulitzer Prize. 90% with this one, thoroughly enjoyed it.
Black Swan by Nassim Taleb - about extraordinary and rare events - again, felt apt for this time
The Coddling of the American Mind by Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt - here's the subtitle: How good intentions and bad ideas are setting up a generation of failure. I also think this is part of how the radical left was made.
The Infinite Game by Simon Sinek - he's the man and I will read everything he puts out, forever.
Understanding and Using Tarot by Emily Peach - this was given to me by the first person I ever had a tarot reading from. Traditional ideas, but jampacked with info on each card.
Outwitting the Devil by Napoleon Hill - defeating the inner demons that prevent us from advancing towards our goals
What kids are listening to: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain - 'nuff said
Is that 9 books?
Anyway, I was feeling grateful for my life, even as my 9 year old kicked sand into my freshly made $8 latte in his jubilee. And so I continued reading Olive Kitteridge, and I happened upon a quote from one of the vignettes. "Don't be scared of your hunger, you'll just be one more ninny like everyone else."
Boom. Mic drop.
Wish someone told me that when I was 10. Or 25. Or even 35. How many times I felt that I was going to be eaten alive by the magnitude of my ambitions? How many times was I smacked down by my parents, teachers, and society for wanting so much?
Like they say, the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.