I WANT TO BE UNPRODUCTIVE
to ponder the meaning of yellow. to listen as summer cicadas sing their final symphony of the season. to dine with friends. to savor course after course. to inhale the scent of San Marzano tomatoes bathed in balsamic brine. to taste vanilla bean gelato and espresso marry on my tongue. to study the morning habits of a neighborhood robin. to plunge blistered toes into sun-ripened sand. to float in the sea. to feel my heartbeat slow to the rhythm of the tide. to memorize the laugh lines of a California redwood. to spend a morning rereading stories from childhood. to determine which song most resembles a honey bee collecting lavender pollen. to observe a spider spinning her web. to chart freckled constellations along my child’s spine. to taste test every croissant in the city. to rest for the sole purpose of slowing down. to savor stillness. to allow myself the gift of being.
Most successful thirty under thirty.
Wealthiest forty under forty.
We can’t all be burgeoning poppies,
bursting forth, robust and colorful.
Show me those who are more tortoise than hare.
The actress who gets her first starring role at forty.
The writer who publishes his first novel at fifty.
The entrepreneur who launches a business at sixty.
The painter who opens a gallery at seventy.
Recount the stories of those who bloom
like the agave americana, slow and steady,
maturing over decades until flowers ripen,
releasing the rich, honeyed nectar
it took a lifetime to create.
TO MY SON ON THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL
- Watching you walk into your classroom is like sending my heart out into the world without a ribcage.
- Ask questions.
- Timelines are arbitrary, learning is lifelong.
- Take your time. Take your time. Take your time.
- Friends are one of life’s greatest joys. Befriend people who make you feel like you belong rather than those who encourage you to change to fit in.
- Words have the power to slice through bone, and each person you meet is fighting an invisible battle. Be kind.
- Stay safe. Stay safe. Stay safe.
- Your wild energy is a gift you will learn to harness, do not let anyone convince you otherwise.
- Remember there is nothing you can tell me that will change how much I love you.
- Come home. Come home. Come home.