Why don’t you read more autobiographies? These are unequivocally my favorite genre. Nothing satisfies me more than somebody telling the story of their own life—whatever it means to them. Some tell stories and others teach lessons, others are like diaries, and all of them are wildly informative. You can gather the essentials of somebody’s entire life, apply it to your own, and never have to go to all the trouble they went through. I’m reading the autobiography of Agatha Christie at the moment, staying up too late, and giggling. It’s wonderful. (And occasionally horrifyingly problematic.) I’m sure I’ll go back to some of the quotes I’ve found for the rest of my life. Other autobiographies I worship are by Gloria Swanson, Diana Vreeland, Michelle Obama. Each provides divine glimpses into worlds I may never know. But I can still be there in a book through the eyes of somebody relevant. Absolute magic when it’s done right.
Why don’t you see what your green thumb situation is? I’ve always been fairly competent with plants even even though I’ve only started thinking of myself a plant person. I’ve always enjoyed picking my own tomatoes and pumpkins. Very satisfying. Right now I’m trying to start a real garden, which is a lot of fun to plan, but very frustrating as well because my attempt to grow tomatoes from seed is making me feel deranged. Pumpkins are much easier. In the past I would have shrugged and bought greenhouse plants, but being crippled by a newfound dedication to sustainability, I keep on fighting. I was really struck by a line in a lecture recently when the professor said “try to eat something you’ve grown every single day.” What a marvelous concept. It radically reorganized my brain. I have to have food growing around me at all times now.
Why don’t you watch the parade of royal mummies that happened recently in Cairo? The remains of of a significant number of ancient Egyptian rulers and relations needed to be moved. I’ve been captivated with the plans for a ceremonial procession ever since I first heard rumors of it happening. I had every intention of being there to see it live, but then, you know, the pandemic began and I was lucky enough just to see it live on YouTube. I thought it was going to be tacky, ostentatious, ridiculous, and somehow embarrassing…but I burst into tears repeatedly. For real. The original musical score was thrilling, and I gasped when sensational singers performed in the ancient Egyptian language. I literally thought I was dreaming. The doors of the museum were dramatically thrown open and an unbelievable number of people in ancient Egyptian attire paraded out. It was truly a really decent recreation of Egyptology’s modern understanding of ancient Egyptian mourning practices. Again, was I dreaming? My eyes were either leaking or glued to the screen. It was an overwhelming show of strength and the huge number of participants was powerful. The entire thing was pharaonic to the extreme and I was living. The mummies were each driven in custom vehicles with their titles emblazoned along the side, and it was surreal. It was incredible. I’ve very rarely sat on the couch captivated by something so completely. It was a wondrous triumph. Watch:
Why don’t you create a curio cabinet? Apparently I have a hard time completing any task I set my mind to — nothing new — but every room of my home is slightly chaotic at the moment. I’m redoing everything. I’ll go crazy if I don’t. Inadvertently, when I shoved all my gorgeous little things and knickknacks into the entertainment center, the wild assemblage of antique Halloween decor, Mexican folk art, photographs, and lovely rocks have made a gorgeous thing to sit and stare at. I understand why the Victorians did it. You can waste absolute hours if you need to lose them. Always something to sit and meditate on.
Why don’t you try something you’re sure you hate. Nothing will ever convince me to willingly eat celery or a banana or, worst of all, even a nibble of a cucumber. Still, I’ve discovered I rather like cashews. Never would have guessed in a million years. Never would consider buying them let alone eating them, but I wound up with a bunch that I looked at for quite a while. I realized that I’ve no real idea why I was so determinedly against them. I have violent histories with those other foods, especially the loathsome cucumber (a stupid food that has a fan Twitter account who CAME for me years ago — I’m not lying, that’s a real story, a real thing that I had to go through…), but I’ve never been assaulted by a cashew. Anyway, it’s lovely that we’re always changing as people. We aren’t who we were yesterday or a year ago. I’m a cashew girl now I guess. But I will NEVER be a cucumber girl.