Lemons on the trees and on the ground
Sandals on the stirrups of the scooters
Neon orange drinks on the beach
Four generations make up a family

Early nights in white sheets with lace curtains
Pompeii in the distance
In a place that can make you change
Fall in love again and again

— "Everything is romantic" by Charli XCX

Milestone numbers: My son turned one in April. I turned 30 in June. This fall, my husband and I will have been together for 10 years, a third of my life.

Adulthood is different than I expected. I remain so dependent on my parents — financially, because we couldn't afford to stay in the Bay Area without their help, but also in a more holistic sense. Mom and Dad are still my mother and father, my protectors, my guides.

I hope it will be that way for my son too. Not everyone gets to have that kind of relationship with their parents — and not all parents get to have that kind of relationship with their children. I consider myself lucky, in this respect and so many others.

I happen to be a lucky person. I'm not lucky because I'm virtuous. And insofar as I am virtuous (which is not far), it is because I am lucky.

My disposition is to be cheerful, but not content. I always want more. I am always yearning and striving for something. I am always chiding myself for the inadequacy of my efforts. I try not to, because I don't think it does any good, but I've never managed to stop.

Among the many thoughts roused by my toddler's rapid development: He'll have to make so many mistakes in his life. He will discover the guilt and self-loathing that, in the best case, are later transmuted into "personal growth."

I look at my perfect innocent child and reflect on my own transgressions, most of which I've never disclosed to you, because I'm ashamed of them. I won't relay any details, I cannot bear to — but you know the ways that people harm each other and degrade themselves. I've done those things.

Most of the time I forgive myself. Horror at one's own conduct is the impetus for the self to improve, to purify. But Lord, I ache to think of my son arduously learning to forgive himself. And also to forgive me.

I wrote these lyrics while pregnant:

Your eyes will be brown like your father's,
I guess, can't know for sure yet.
You'll giggle and squirm when I gather
you into my arms, I bet.
But will you forgive me for bringing you here
when youth disappears,
on the day you notice the brutality?
I'm sorry already, I'm already sorry.

I can only hope you'll fall in love
with cold wind blowing, grey skies above.
Innocence lasts a decade at most
before you meet the ever-present ghost
of other people's pain,
not to mention your own.
You'll feel so betrayed.
Had I always known
I was bringing you here?
To heartache and fear,
where youth disappears
and children reap what mothers sow.

Funny thing — my boy has blue eyes, not brown. He surprised us all!

There is so much beauty in the world. Vivid summer nasturtiums. My son's gaze, his delight when I get home from work. The way his round cheeks wobble slightly when he practices running (my dad called it a "fast stagger" lol).

And there is so much ugliness. So, so much pain.

Neither joy nor suffering negates or outweighs the other. It is what it is.

"Mindfulness has no judgment of good or bad and right or wrong. It is simply observation and this, when nurtured, is what gives us the space to be with our experiences across all the levels of our being." — Gillian Hull
"just keep crawling towards the light like a car crash survivor at the bottom of a ravine" — @meaning_enjoyer

Sonya stuff

I'm hosting a Splits meetup on August 24 in San Francisco, and I'd love to see you there.

Related: "How to start a club," the rundown of social organizing that I've been meaning to share for a looong time:

Why are social Schelling points necessary? Because people are lazy, or, more charitably, busy with other demands on their energy. Managing meetup logistics is work they're not getting paid for, and don't feel particularly comfortable or confident doing. The dynamic is reminiscent of the rule of thumb that 90% of social media users just lurk and scroll, while 9% comment or respond to others' posts, and just 1% create original content. Be the 1%!

Working on the Splits blog is fun. Three favorites:

I finally published "The Tinker's Talismans" by Matthew McDowell-Sweet. Still need to update the Wanderverse website though...

Recently I wrote a couple of short poems inspired by Higher:

1 //
love is constant
flow, flame, and flux
burn in, burn out
the energy
that makes your blood keep dancing
2 //
underneath this
quick ambition
lies a quiet
soaring impulse
up, up, up
through the fog into clear air

And a theme song 📯

My dear friend Lena started a personal color analysis studio in the Bay Area. If you want to visually present as your best self, I recommend a consultation with Lena! As she put it, "Wearing colors that are in harmony with your appearance allows your talents and personality to come into focus, enhancing and grounding you so that others can take you as you are." I was a doubter before Lena demonstrated the effectiveness of PCA, but it's surprisingly powerful and a great way to boost your self-confidence.

As usual, here's an eclectic smorgasbord of interesting Content™ that I wish to promulgate across the web:

In this line of business, one day, you are sure to meet Brother Abernathy. And when that day comes, you best clear your schedule.

Crashed at a motel last night after a long haul. Man sitting in a chair when I walk in the room. Says he's been waiting. Says haven't we all. I'm quick on the trigger. Faster on the pedal. No time for sleep.

Within the grass lies an island of mystic wood, once adorned with golden treasures and crimson beauty. I drive by here often. One day, when work is over, I will enter.
[Y]ou'll keep growing to the point where you no longer grow, and you are what you are, and the oyster-shaped world adults promised you will be revealed as a preamble to their pyramid scheme, something they'd stupidly bought into and now need you to as well. There's nothing wrong with wishing for a different world. But one day, wishes won't matter — or rather, you'll realize they never mattered and were just one of the Santa Claus lies told to you by parents, teachers, and the elderly obese. By then, the end of the merge lane will have cornered you, and you'll have to weave yourself into the traffic, seat-belted into unfathomable speed; but you'll still wish for a perfection so still and silent, like rainbow trout in a frozen-through lake. My greatest fear? That this world will pass me over like I would a miniature man in a top hat, like something it has seen 1,000 times already and will see 10,000 times more.

An important dispatch from the inimitable St. Rev:

Had a dream about the Last Coyote/Roadrunner Story.

Coyote finds out that he's dying for real. Cancer from exposure to all those Acme products. Looking back on his life, he realizes that his vast intellect only brought him pain. And that inspires him to concoct one last plan.

He invents a serum that will give his genius to the Roadrunner, reasoning that it since it always backfired on the Coyote, it will do the same to the Roadrunner.

The serum works. The Roadrunner is now as brilliant as the Coyote.

But with his new, vast intellect, the Roadrunner achieves enlightenment. He forgives the Coyote, and they reconcile at the Coyote's deathbed.

Literally came to me in a dream, and seemed so significant that I forced myself to remember it.

Last but certainly not least, é os dois (video) by rogerin is beautiful:

I remember the day I understood
that everything has its own speed
I remember thinking something like
what is close passes quickly
and what is far passes slowly
I know that this sounds simple
but I think that whoever understands this phrase
will be able to fool time
I think that the most beautiful studies
are those dedicated to the relationship between bodies
for example
"two parallel lines meet at infinity"
I accept this without understanding
not knowing if it's hope or naivety.

Your turn! Hit reply, show me what you're working on.

Love always,
because what else is there but love,

— Sonya