Archive | Language Matters

The Church of Carrie and Her Cat

Over the last month I’ve done so many readings in my space that the energy has gotten shall-we-say kerfuffly. (Yes, I made up that word; it’s absolutely necessary.) So after finishing this weekend’s readings I got the hell out of dodge. I fetched my groceries, worked out for the first time in a dog’s age, and took advantage of the pretty sunshine by visiting with various friends in neighborhoods all over the city. Basically I did the grown-up lady version of standing outside pals’ houses and screaming, “CAN ANGIE COME OUT AND PLAY, MRS. ANTONELLIS?” which is how we Boston kids used to arrange play dates back in the un-helicoptered 1970s. Continue Reading →

Use Your Words

Since November 9, I’ve been thinking nonstop about why I so hotly dislike GIFs, emojis–all the visual options that now exist in lieu of words. Essentially, all these visual codes train us to stop articulating ourselves–to rely on limited pre/post-literate symbols for self-expression rather than this handy, deeply nuanced system of symbols we’ve already developed called LANGUAGE. This mutation of expression is dangerous. Really dangerous. For the less we use our power of articulation, the less available it is to us. All muscles atrophy when not regularly deployed, and we are in a national crisis in which all our critical facilities are vital in order to resist fascism; we must be able to describe the beast if we are to defeat it.

To be clear, it’s not that I don’t appreciate the ease of emojis. I even use them sometimes, but I find that curtailing my impulse to do so forces me to be more deliberate about engagement. I tell myself: If you don’t have something real to say, don’t say anything.  Continue Reading →


felinuiI woke four hours later than I normally do, and strains of the Beatles song “Yesterday” were already ringing in my earsI’ve been trying to write for five hours and thus far my greatest achievement has been to kill a fly with my bare hands. Even permakitten Grace has given up supporting my desultory stabs at productivity–felinnui is real, man–and the four shots of espresso I’ve swilled have failed to lift the fog of my alleged brain. New moon and solar eclipse be damned. Nothing transcends the gloom of the last unofficial week of summer.

"All, everything I understand, I understand only because I love."
― Leo Tolstoy