Hi hi, I’m sorry updates have been so sporadic. Things got a little rough there. When I was in the weeds, I wanted to be a pipe rather than a vessel, so that life’s difficulties could run right through rather than collect in me. Life, you win! I wave a white flag.
But my big, great news is that my brother had a baby last Friday, my parents’ first grandchild! What a surprising and magical thing, to see your brother’s face on a wriggling
kitten. My parents are thrilled. I called my father “Grandfather” in Chinese and I could see him holding his smile in his mouth.
Speaking of, Pau’s on a new combination of drugs which has really helped him get rid of some of the excess fluid in his body. He’s breathing much better and doing a bit of walking around, even cooking. He’s even stopped using the oxygen machine for the most part. I can’t tell you how much this has improved my mood and my general outlook on life. I’m so grateful. (Knock wood, bite tongue.) I feel like I can plant this little sprout of hope.
I’ve also moved out of my parents’ house and moved into the tiniest studio in L.A., a 230 square foot efficiency in Eagle Rock. It’s up on a hill behind eucalyptus trees that seem to grow out of the pavement like the limbs of Giacometti elephants. I love the way it smells in my neighborhood, of eucalyptus and orange blossoms and jasmine. A flock of parrots has settled into the valley that stretches out from my window view, cawing as they take to the sky in a little vortex of brushstrokes. It’s a little piece of Australian heaven.
I find myself missing New York less and appreciating California more. I’m going to New York for work and to see friends today, and I’m less worried about being seduced back into its thrall. Given some distance, I’m able to see New York with a bit more of a critical eye. The privileged narcissists creating their own problems who seem to be populating the city now — I suppose it could have been me, but I just never thought that highly of my own art.
Right now, I can make the greatest positive impact on a few lives, those of my family and close friends. If that is the extent of my reach in this world, I have enough to be proud of. Maybe that’s why I feel such a kinship with my tiny apartment. My life feels a bit like this, a set of nesting bowls providing exponentially more space in a deceptively compact package. I’m anti-disruptive. I’m okay with that.
I have smaller wishes now — for health and love and kindness. Smiles from my growing gaggle of nieces. A pineapple that delivers on its promise. A milk crate to put my feet up on.