Thursday, April 12, 2012

Letters of Note: Nothing good gets away

I read this a few weeks ago. I'm still thinking about it.

In November of 1958, John Steinbeck — the renowned author of, most notably, The Grapes of Wrath, East of Eden, and Of Mice and Men — received a letter from his eldest son, Thom, who was attending boarding school. In it, the teenager spoke of Susan, a young girl with whom he believed he had fallen in love.

Steinbeck replied the same day. His beautiful letter of advice can be enjoyed below.

New York
November 10, 1958

Dear Thom:

We had your letter this morning. I will answer it from my point of view and of course Elaine will from hers.

First—if you are in love—that’s a good thing—that’s about the best thing that can happen to anyone. Don’t let anyone make it small or light to you.

Second—There are several kinds of love. One is a selfish, mean, grasping, egotistical thing which uses love for self-importance. This is the ugly and crippling kind. The other is an outpouring of everything good in you—of kindness and consideration and respect—not only the social respect of manners but the greater respect which is recognition of another person as unique and valuable. The first kind can make you sick and small and weak but the second can release in you strength, and courage and goodness and even wisdom you didn’t know you had.

You say this is not puppy love. If you feel so deeply—of course it isn’t puppy love.

But I don’t think you were asking me what you feel. You know better than anyone. What you wanted me to help you with is what to do about it—and that I can tell you.

Glory in it for one thing and be very glad and grateful for it.

The object of love is the best and most beautiful. Try to live up to it.

If you love someone—there is no possible harm in saying so—only you must remember that some people are very shy and sometimes the saying must take that shyness into consideration.

Girls have a way of knowing or feeling what you feel, but they usually like to hear it also.

It sometimes happens that what you feel is not returned for one reason or another—but that does not make your feeling less valuable and good.

Lastly, I know your feeling because I have it and I’m glad you have it.

We will be glad to meet Susan. She will be very welcome. But Elaine will make all such arrangements because that is her province and she will be very glad to. She knows about love too and maybe she can give you more help than I can.

And don’t worry about losing. If it is right, it happens—The main thing is not to hurry. Nothing good gets away.




Friday, April 6, 2012


The weather forecast for tomorrow is supposed to be nice for spring in Seattle. Nearly 60 and sunny. A perfect day for a hike or to go on a ferry ride. It's also Easter weekend but with no family nearby I usually don't do much to celebrate. Maybe I'll cook brunch.

A few things from around the web:

This looks like a good movie.

I ordered a tiny washing machine from Amazon because I hate using the shared laundry room in my apartment building. I'll report back once I get it!

The small cool contest on Apartment Therapy. Good ideas for small apartments.

This pool.

Have a happy weekend.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Nada Mucho

What's up, people. A little more than a little has happened since my last post, but I'm too lazy to write about it.

Instead I'm just going to write about some other things, and nothing in particular.

I am still working at my part-time job. It's going ok for the most part and I've gotten used to being pretty busy during the week, although it's made any request for my time to do things that I don't absolutely want to spend it doing, feel absolutely daunting.

Some days I wish I could be a shut-in. Is that totally depressing? I'm not depressed. I just realized recently that it's hard for me at times to interact with people every single day. I need a day off. A day of talking to no one. Not constantly seeing where everyone is or what they're up to. (I'm looking at you fb/twitter/et al.). What will I do if I ever get married or have kids? I've never considered myself to be an introvert, but the older I get the less I want to be around people all the time. I'd take a quiet night at home most of the time these days over going out to some loud bar or restaurant to meet friends. They've stopped inviting me in large part, and in that I found some relief.

I tweeted this the other day: The sharing/pinning/checking in/uploading/ filtering/fbing/tweeting/commenting on/ and broadcasting everything you do in life is__________.

A friend replied: navel gazing.
n. Slang
Excessive introspection, self-absorption, or concentration on a single issue:

I replied back that navel gazing was too kind.

I'm looking forward to booking a flight to London for the first week in Sept. I've decided to go for my 30th birthday this year. A friend I've known for a very long time is supposed to come with. She's also turning 30 and our birthdays are are five days apart.

About that birthday. That number. 30. Some days I don't feel 30, then other days I feel like I've been 30 for the past 5 years. It's a weird feeling.

I'm seeing Radiohead and Coldplay this month. That should be fun.