I’m still reading Maggie Nelson’s memoir The Argonauts. This story about Nelson’s relationship with her “fluidly gendered partner” Harry takes a look at the hot button topics of sexuality, gender and what it means to be a family.
It’s been taking me longer than usual to get through this slim book of less than 150 pages. It’s a heavy read, packed with thoughts and insights that seem best suited for slow, meditative pondering.
In the pages I read last night, Nelson writes about a lecture she attended given by poet and professor Anne Carson in which Carson spoke about the concept of leaving a space empty so God can rush in.
Nelson said she had heard about this concept from a boyfriend who was into bonsai. In bonsai, people often plant a tree off-center in the pot to allow space for the divine.
“But that night Carson made the concept literary,” Nelson writes. “I went home fastened to the concept of leaving the center empty for God. It was like stumbling into a tarot reading or AA meeting and hearing the one thing that will keep you going, in heart or art, for years.”
That’s what I’m thinking about these days. Leaving the center empty for God in my writing and in my life.
The Argonauts is a terrific read. Dense and intense but worth the effort.
P.S. I’ve been sleeping better.
I find that when I’m focused on social media and the news, I have a bad day,” I told W yesterday at dinner.
“And when I stay away from social media and the news, I have a better day,” I told her.
“Then stay away from social media and the news,” she said like a Sapphic sage.
That’s been helping, plus W has been rubbing my face with lavender butter before bedtime. She rubs the thick cream on her hands and then smooths it on my forehead, my temples, the back of my neck and a little under my nose.
It smooths over the jagged edges of the day. I have been sleeping like a baby these days.
Plus, it makes me feel like I’m being taken care of, which is a nice feeling right before bed.
We just ordered a new batch of butter. Check out Renaissance Lavender on etsy if you are in need of a magic sleeping potion.