This past weekend I had a lot on my plate. All good things, either enjoyable or necessary or both, but an introvert like me sometimes just needs a bit of uninterrupted time to recharge. I finally decided to give myself half a day off, which did me a world of good — I napped, had pasta for dinner, and read. And oh, did I read.
I read Maggie Nelson’s Bluets on the couch that evening. I loved it. I’m not even sure how to describe it. Non-fiction. Numbered snippets about the color blue, simultaneously about and not about a breakup, entirely raw and honest and contemplative. Hundreds of small poems in the form of lyric prose. A three-year meditation on color and loss and suffering and limits. I haven’t felt the desire to pick up a pencil and mark up a book in a long, long time, but passage after passage spoke to me. It felt good to read and feel understood and hold that book and pencil in a lamp-lit room on my green velvet couch, with my favorite candle burning. Yearning, and desire, fucking (she does not mince about), philosophy, musings — it is the kind of book I would want to write, the kind I feel like I could write, and I say that with an utter lack of hubris, but rather in the sense of finding a longed-for kindred voice.
Bluets was an outstanding read, bursting with emotion in a quiet, intense, meditative state all it’s own. This is a slim tome I will be returning to again and again, like an old friend, or perhaps something even better: a sense of being understood.