1/9/2018

Dear Stuart,

Today was my day off. I almost didn't want it, after such a successful yesterday, but it was good to have some uninterrupted time at home.

I woke up too early, tired and hazy, but with a swelling compassion for my mother-- a feeling I didn't want to miss out on sharing with her. When I went downstairs I found her trying to put away Christmas ornaments with my dad in the basement. A few were shattered on the floor; they were bickering.

The swell of compassion began fading quickly, but I hugged her tightly and said nothing. Then I laid on the couch and tried to fall back asleep, half-heartedly, as I answered questions my dad had about current films. This seems a typical morning. 

I haven't been listening to music since you left. My mind has been filled with too much else. I silently organized and continued cleaning out my room, something that has simultaneously brought me great joy and great stress. 

I went and saw Lady Bird. The movie theater is so different now! The seats are all recliners with little buttons for your foot rest and back-of-the-chair adjustments. I got there 15 minutes early (!) and settled into my seat, took off my boots, cuddled up in my coat (previously your coat); ready for the movie and disappointed by the previews. I was feeling antsy.

Lady Bird was introspective, funny, uncomfortable, heartwarming. Every time I see a movie like it-- a coming of age, slice-of-life character piece-- I get re-inspired to write films. I love the idea of taking "normal" moments and crafting them into a script; cataloging a period of time artistically like that. There's so much to life; the people, the words, the sounds, the setting, the context of the day, the year, the season. Taking each element, noticing it, writing it, and putting it together intentionally with all the other elements... I suppose that's what I love about film. It's so detailed! So beautiful! So profound! So intricate!

After the movie I cranked up the heat in my tiny house (car), warmed up and ate lunch. I looked through some e-newsletters that had accumulated on my phone email, and ignored all the emails that I need to respond to.  I listened to a Dave Matthew's CD that I found while cleaning my room and really liked it. I hung out there for over an hour (forgive me environment!), just enjoying my little parking lot oasis. Eating all the snacks, thinking all the thoughts, being all the things. It was nice.

I stopped to see Nonno before going to the climbing gym but he was so tired. He had a warm towel over his face when I walked in. As he talked to me his eyes remained closed.

The gym vibe was permeable. All young dudes muscling up hard problems. I could tell (I'm not judging) some of them were not regular climbers, but trying to play the cool card (ok, that's a judgment) by constantly trying one move on a hard problem and then giving up. Some of them were good climbers.

There's this weird performance thing that happens when I'm at the gym by myself. I feel super vulnerable, get frustrated by problems and quickly move to the next. It's a mixture between boredom and feeling overwhelmed; not really focusing on one thing but going wherever the people aren't and just trying whatever. It's hard to get a rhythm. I miss you, I miss my New York friends, I get sad nostalgia and then I try to snap out of it. I don't know when to stop.

Sad nostalgia was the theme of the day; cleaning my room, watching the movie, climbing, being at my grandpa's. There's so many amazing people in my life, buzzing around me, starting and stopping, talking and listening. But I get this heaviness in me when I think about it all. It's not a bad heavy, necessarily. It's just a full, weighty kind of heavy that comes from wanting to do so much for so many but feeling so limited by time and means and priorities and life. It's a lot to hold in this little body. 

I could write things forever Stuart. Does this make me self-indulgent?

I love you always, and I want everything for you!

Love,

Emily