Come September we’ll get back, perhaps, to the nuts and bolts of parenting. But August is a hot and dreamy time, a strange and lazy time; no time for specificity, industry, clarity or ambition—rather a time of melting ice-cream cones and pool, lake, river and sea water drying on shoulders.
A recent movie review of “Mysteries of Lisbon,” (reviewed by Manohla Dargis in The New York Times) sounded both intriguing and long—Andy suggested Netflix—but in the meantime (since it’s not even showing in LA yet) I was left pondering a quote, about Remembrance of Things Past, filtered through the psyche of Nabokov, who saw that book as: “a treasure hunt, one in which time is the treasure and the past its hiding place.”
“The transmutation of sensation into sentiment,” he wrote, “the ebb and tide of memory, waves of emotions such as desire, jealousy and artistic euphoria — this is the material of the enormous and yet singularly light and translucid work.”
Finally, Dargis suggests, that the hero of “The Mysteries of Lisbon,” “becomes a near-footnote in his own life, as is true of us all.”
As a child I wanted to be an entomologist, but my dad told me there was no money in it. We would often talk on the way to pick up his custom-made shirts or suits flown in from Hong-Kong as he would tell me that money wasn’t important; it was just a way of keeping score. The amount you needed was to achieve “F-you money,” this would allow you to say, “F-you” to whoever you liked. My dad spent all his money saying F-you to everyone he knew, and ended up in a nursing home hoping my mom might take him out for a hot dog.
My mom also liked to tell me that money wasn’t important, usually on the way to Neiman Marcus or the country club. For people to which money didn’t matter, they sure talked about it an awful lot, and even more so after they lost all their money.
For years I had been thinking that we need to wake up, but now I’m increasingly thinking, (and when I’m really lucky, not at all thinking) that we, or at least I, need to realize that we are in a sort of lucid dream together, a lovely, vexing, enchanting, educating, connecting dream—and that waking up is, in some strange sense, the end of this world. Instead, my vote, my intention, is to linger awhile in this dream, respecting its Vast Design, learning to speak its native Motherese, perpetually devoured by and devouring words like big/little Wolves, like good, bad, poetic and etherizing Wolves, cherishing every Ordinary Day’s Blessings and working alchemy in our Witchy Kitchens, Walking on Hands through shadow lands, and melding cultures and transcending loss through Being… transformed by traumas that reveal blessings, in sacred altered spaces, committing to parenting and brainfulness and practicing the art of only connecting.
Intention, attention, money and time… things to spend, nothing to bind, but that we say and make it so; miles to walk, no place to go… can August blanket mantled snow—and soothe hot pain and lonely woe?
So, let’s feel our feelings and cry our tears, laugh our joys and transcend our fears—by knowing we are in it together, and treating every last child with love, no matter how inclement our weathered leather, parental skin growing thick enough to love absolutely no matter what.