Hi! So nice to see you here!
You may have (unknowingly) followed me over from my newsletter on Bulletin. My newsletter here on Substack will be a continuation: Same me, same brain, same texts from loved ones saying, “You really need to make these essays shorter.”
If you’re brand-new, I’m thrilled to have you! This newsletter is all about wondering; I begin with something I’m wondering about and I take it from there. For example: I wonder how a broken heart can go on, I wonder if there’s a purpose to pain, I wonder how to grieve a complicated person, I wonder how to make my space my own, I wonder what to do with my life, I wonder how to begin a relationship.
If you’ve been with me since Bulletin, think of this as a move across town, from one home I really loved to a new one that I’m just beginning to decorate. Now, where shall I put this oversized ceramic whimsically-painted pitcher that I got at a flea market where the seller actually questioned why I wanted it…?
The exciting thing about setting up a new home is that you get to imagine the possibilities of the space and honor a new set of priorities that reflects how you’ve grown. For example, in my first studio apartment in New York, the priority was “find a place to store my shoes.” Where I live now, I’m more focused on welcoming guests, beautifying my first ever art studio (tour coming soon!), and ensuring that my cat has at least a dozen quality options of places to sleep for 23 hours a day.
When I first started newsletter-ing, my #1 priority was to show up fully-human-ly online. I’ve been enjoying doing that so much, and it’s a superb bonus that readers show up too, and subscribe, and comment! I hope you can feel my joy desperate to beam out through your screen (you may need to turn your brightness settings up for full effect).
I do still plan to show up fully-human-ly!
But now I’m interested in experimenting with a lot of other ways to make this my creative home: Shall I add some chairs over here? Frame some art over there? Another fun thing about moving is that your new place is an evolving project at first, continually adjusted and tweaked and rearranged until one day it feels like you’ve always been there.
Here in my new Substack home, I’m envisioning bringing in a big old farmhouse dinner table into the dining room with enough seats for whoever wants to join. Think: clattering of dishes, bottles and bottles of your favorite beverage, side conversations, hearty laughter, a tear here and there, flattering candlelight, and more than enough to go around.
That is to say, I’m imagining a more community feel here where we can frequently chat back and forth in the comments. I’m greedy when it comes to your brilliant little minds and I want to hear all your thoughts. I’m even reimagining my advice column so that readers can also weigh in on the answer. There will always be a comfy chair ready for you. Let this be a place of abundance.
All of my new plans for this community will be possible because of the new paid subscription option. Imagine! You! A patron of the arts!
The paid subscription will include extra posts where I bring in more playfulness and personality. I’m calling those bonus newsletters “Blue Notes” (hehe) and they’ll be personal updates (the juicy gossip), plus dispatches about:
things I bought that I love
cooking and eating adventures
I’ll be experimenting with audio and video too. (Does this mean I will finally buy a ring light??) Either way, your support be a big part of setting up this home and getting it to feel just right through the process of discovery. We’ll be in it together!
If you'd like to get access to all of these subscriber benefits and support this project, please consider upgrading to a paid subscription:
And if you want to invite friends to come along, you can even give a gift subscription (you generous gem!):
Whether you pay for a subscription or not, please know how much I appreciate you being here and signing up to read my work. You are so wonderful.
Now that I’ve just hauled in the giant dinner table, let’s have an impromptu housewarming party! In the comments, I’d love to hear where you’re from, what matters to you right now, and any questions you’re pondering. Not for me, just in general. Maybe there’s an astrophysicist in our midst who can answer yours for you!
Hi Mari! Congrats on the bigger-and-better step! I can't pay for now (un-officially-employed caretaker of special needs teen kids and 91yo mother) but I'm here for the content, as much as I can see. Things that are all up in my head (per your request for what's up with us): the pervasive creeping sense of a loss of control, as the pandemic persists and we are aging and I'm sandwiched between a fading parental unit and burgeoning but still very needy child-adults. I'm trying to meditate and find joy and at least for the last month, it's actually been bouncing from crisis to crisis and even when I take time to myself, it's empty, as opposed to refilling batteries. So yeah, I'm a ray of sunshine, aren't I? But that's were things stand here. Oh and if you could weigh in on friendships - I'm 57 and have patted myself on the back for maintaining friendships for decades, but my eyes are opening more (Trump, pandemic, life) about how poorly I've maintained them, really, and how in reality they don't fit current-me much at all. But there are not a lot of folks waiting in the wings to replace them. I'm less fun now, and I'm choosier. Not willing to put up with what I used to accept. Raising the bar. Fit your analogy here. Thanks for letting me ramble.
Hi, I’m from Singapore. I’m wondering if my food can stay in my stomach, if something can come out of my array of hobbies (my hobby is to have a hobby? Knit, garden, type, fountain pen… and then hoard hobbies…), if I can quiet my mind and sit with myself without being tired 🙏🏼