The Art of Wabi-Sabi (or Things You Will Learn Later in your Life)

been dumped

Black coffee and cigarettes

wabi sabi small_Fotor

You are 37 when you first fall in love – properly, passionately, the way you dreamed of when you scribbled furiously in your teenage notebooks and that has eluded you until precisely this moment in a dusty Cairo hotel. It is not love at first sight and there is no Hollywood meet-cute, but there is a touching of souls, as Joni Mitchell once sang, that reverberates long after you meet him.

Months later, you leave everything you know and traverse continents to go back to him and a new life in the city he has bequeathed you. Over the next three years, you learn that Great Loves can be irrational and painful, full of terrible highs and soaring lows, that passion is overrated, and it is never good, as someone once told you, to love another person more than you love yourself. One day, you wake up and realise that…

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WHY I STAND BY PLANNED PARENTHOOD

planned

Libba Bray

I was sixteen and in love for the first time.

After months of heated groping, my high school boyfriend and I wanted to go all the way. If there was anything I was sure about at sixteen, it was that I had no desire to be a high school mom. That meant birth control. That meant the most effective birth control I could imagine, something so effective it seemed made of unicorn tears and elf magic, forged in the fires of Mordor, and brought to me on the back of an armored Griffin who also happened to know a lot about prophylactics. That meant the Holy Hand Grenade: The Pill.

But getting my teenaged hands on The Pill felt like a fantastical quest of Tolkien-like proportions: Where? How? With what magical aid?

Growing up in a small, conservative, Texas town, my options for sex education were limited. I sure as…

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Love and Other Experiments

loved

BILLY-RAY BELCOURT

cold-air2

By Billy-Ray Belcourt

1. He told me he was into natives, but he couldn’t love the traumas hidden in my breathing.

2. How do you tell a ghost that it’s already dead, that its body is a fairy tale you stopped reading a long time ago?

3. What happens when wounds start to work like bandages?

4. One time I slept with a man who looked like he was dying. Each time his body found mine it felt like he was collecting fragments of it. It was as if I were an elixir, a potion that could extend his life if he just took me long enough.

5. Sometimes love feels like vanishing, like taking apart pieces of yourself and giving them to someone who can’t use them.

6. He was native, too, so I slept with him. I wanted to taste the same histories of violence that I couldn’t get rid…

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