Recommended reading: “One of the drillers fell to his knees. Some sobbed, in the way men do when their mothers die, or when their sons are born.” An exceptional and deeply moving long-form essay in the New Yorker recounting the 69 days spent underground by the famed ’33′ Chilean miners buried in the 2010 accident at Copiapó.
Both my parents are prolific mailers. Every year my mother sends me at least two birthday cards, which arrive on the same day. She insists she can’t pick between the messages. (Hallmark loves her.) … I joke with friends, calling it Summer Camp Syndrome, half-embarrassed by the constancy of the post, by its hint that I am merely on an extended trip somewhere, except that the trip is my life. But the truth is: there in the mail lobby, after a long day, I have come to crave seeing their hand.
Had my piano teacher scrawled, ‘Play one wrong note and you die’ across my sheet music in addition to her helpful but not particularly inspirational fingering suggestions, I probably would have practiced more diligently.
The new feminism is making the problems visible in new ways, perhaps in ways that are only possible now that so much has changed.
Feminism is an endeavor to change something very old, widespread, and deeply rooted in many, perhaps most, cultures around the world, innumerable institutions, and most households on Earth—and in our minds, where it all begins and ends. That so much change has been made in four or five decades is amazing; that everything is not permanently, definitively, irrevocably changed is not a sign of failure. A woman goes walking down a thousand-mile road. Twenty minutes after she steps forth, they proclaim that she still has 999 miles to go and will never get anywhere.
I’ve since read it a few times for no particular reason, because the thing about Dubliners is that it never loses its capacity to draw me into its confined narrative spaces, with all their cruel precision and humane comedy, all their beauty and their bleakness, their terrible evocations of boredom and desperation and yearning and entrapment. And if you live in Dublin, if you are yourself a Dubliner, no matter how many times you read the book, it will always reveal something profound and essential and unrealized about the city and its people. Somehow or another, it will always hit you where you live.