Heiti so thoroughly articulates the ruminations of a modern, feminist 30-something woman torn between social and biological expectations and the constHeiti so thoroughly articulates the ruminations of a modern, feminist 30-something woman torn between social and biological expectations and the constant doubting of her own will and desire to become a mother or not. I’ve asked myself so many of these same questions. I’m tempted to dump all those resonating quotes here.
The voice is strange at times, asking questions as if writing in a diary dialog and leaving answers to the oracular coin toss as she might discover her own mind following the Ouiji board. But that strangeness and distance from oneself is perfection: as if she is waiting to hear the call to motherhood and feeling constant anxiety that it hasn’t whispered or shouted to her yet. “I woke up terrified at three in the morning, wondering, What if I’ve suppressed my desire for children so much that my desire is unrecognizable to me?”
Heiti so perfectly articulates that even the intention and plan not to have children doesn’t feel like a decision until the opportunity has completely passed: “It sometimes seems as if the question of having children can only be resolved one way—by having them. For even if one comes to a definite resolution against having children, hanging over one’s head remains a spectre, the possibility, that a child will come. Or that life circumstances will conspire to make you change your mind, and if not actually bring about children, then make you regret not having had them.”
Heiti gestures at some positive definition of a life without children, and locates it in creative output and the writing life. But she never quite lands on an articulated positive definition of life without offspring. “Child-free” instead of “childless” still centers around the idea of a child. “What is the main activity of a woman’s life, if not motherhood? How can I express the absence of this experience, without making central the lack? Can I say what such a life is an experience of not in relation to motherhood? Can I say what it positively is? Of course, it’s different for every woman. Then can I say what it positively is for me? I cannot. Because I’m still in a place of indecision, not knowing what I want. I haven’t yet birthed the person who by actively choosing not to have children lives in a way that positively affirms non-parental values, nor can I affirm the maternal experience of life.” Perhaps one day we will have a better term for this definitive choice. Until then, Heiti gives voice and permission to trusting those instincts even if they feel biologically counterintuitive. ...more
Though intended to be an accessible primer, many of the how-to projects require significant prior scientific knowledge. The essays provide interestingThough intended to be an accessible primer, many of the how-to projects require significant prior scientific knowledge. The essays provide interesting, cross-disciplinary reflections on hackerspaces and maker culture and are the strength of this collection....more
Having worked through The Artists Way, much of Cameron’s themes and insights are covered thoroughly there. The exercises and “initiation tools” for wrHaving worked through The Artists Way, much of Cameron’s themes and insights are covered thoroughly there. The exercises and “initiation tools” for writers look useful and I plan to return to them when I need a creative kick in the pants.
Cameron is helpful for writers who are consumed by the many reasons they can’t or shouldn’t be writing. Get rid of the ego, don’t wait for the perfect conditions, be willing to write badly first. The idea of listening and documenting is a useful mental model to counter the feeling that says you don’t have anything new or interesting to say.
And as always, I’m a fan of Cameron’s Morning Pages and Artist Dates, which are central to the creative practice.
“Did you write today?” “Yes.” “Then you’re a writer today.”...more
A classic exploration of doppelgängers, society’s expectations of civil behavior, and psychological states. Still, I found it actually difficult to foA classic exploration of doppelgängers, society’s expectations of civil behavior, and psychological states. Still, I found it actually difficult to follow jumps in plot and scene at times. Note that the Dover edition has lots of typographical errors from OCR processing....more