18 March 2013

by jkatejohnston

Dear Max,

Enzo:  Did you know that Violet’s snake’s nickname is butt-cheek?

Teresa:  Left or right?


I was thinking of how I write about Enzo, and Teresa makes prints of him and that we’re probably a tad obsessed. But we both have something important apart from him, which a lot of moms don’t have. He may be our muse, but we need to get away from him to do the work.  There’s a distance we get by using him as a subject that’s sort of a saving grace.  He’s not our whole life.  Glory be. 

Having said that, he’s interrupted what I’m writing here at least ten times this morning.  How this qualifies as getting away from him is bit mysterious. Well, he exists.  What can you do? And I get away from him at work.  Thank god.


I’m reading two great things.  Letters to a Friend by Diana Athill and Brief For Respondents in Hollingsworth v. Kristin M. Perry (the California marriage cases). On the day of oral argument, if they broadcast it live, which I think they sometimes do, I’ll take the day off work and listen to it on the computer.  And what about the snacks? 


I’m thinking about identifying all my insanity-producing habits and replacing them with habits that produce calm and insight. This would make an awesome article in Oprah magazine.  The trick is that the replacement has to be something plausibly equivalent.

Insane habit: Going on Facebook to figure out if I am popular. Replacement habit: Going on Al Stephens dot com to read a poem.

Insane habit: Weighing myself every morning and recording it on a spreadsheet entitled “Fat Fight.” Replacement habit: Eating buttered toast.

Insane habit:  Going on Amazon to see if my books are still there and if they are popular. Replacement habit: Eating buttered toast.

Insane habit: Checking every single email that comes in because my phone makes a beep. Replacement habit: Eating buttered toast.

Insane habit:  Writing. Replacement habit: Reading.

By the way, my mom thinks I write too much about fat. Like Bridget Jones. Well I love Bridget Jones, and if you’re a natural-born fatty like me, you have to cultivate a low-grade eating disorder. I’ve been fat. I will be fat again. I have no problem with other people’s fat. But for the moment, I’m cultivating my bulimia-without-the-barfing level of eating disorder. Spreadsheet mentioned above is one of the symptoms.

But back to the subjects of sanity and writing.  I do want to find my way back to that sweet-spot where I can work hard without striving.  I want to be a Lily of the Field but more industrious, that is, accepting the gifts of the gods, not screwing up, and of course, looking fabulous.  (Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed, etc.) I’m tired of sowing and reaping.