To be alive – is Power.—Emily Dickinson
Hello gentle reader—I haven’t sent out a new entry since the end of July even though I write all the time. It feels like it’s been a few days and many years since then. Has it for you?
Thank you for still being here.
I have finally decided to move this newsletter of over five years (!) to Substack. I have been reticent because I enjoy the quietude of tinyletter. It is unassuming, even in platform name; something I can’t figure out how to be. There are also thousands of newsletters now, with many voices that are more articulate, brilliant and friendly than mine, but I need courage in spite of all. What else are we doing if not the things we need to remember we are alive?
To be alive – is Power. —Emily Dickinson
Summer Brennan, from my favourite Substack, A Writer's Notebook, shares how she writes:
“I’m not sure how else to write a book except by indulging in [Deborah Levy’s idea of brute force]. Of ceding the rest of my personality to the brute in me. Of trying to muster a confidence and an ego that I don’t normally feel, or else disappear, egoless, into the desire to make the thing manifest, because otherwise it is impossible.”
Inspired by Charlotte Shane's Prostitute Laundry and Matthew Ogle's Pome, I started this newsletter as a way to find ~things/affects/pleasures/language/you~ during the isolation after giving birth to my son almost six years ago. I wanted to be vulnerable and clumsy in the experiences I was having—being a mother, desiring in ways I didn’t fully understand, making do with philosophy, the abandonment by my family, and feeling out of control with post-partum depression but not in any legible way I saw around me. I miss sharing the impressions on my skin, and your replies in my inbox.
Like Charo Shane wrote of her now defunct tinyletter: “I wanted a way to write about my private life for an audience of curious readers but judging from my previous experiences, a blog was far too public and invited bizarre correspondence. A subscription email list felt like just the right amount of private.”
Now, I am no longer depressed, and have a new baby who will soon be out in the world longer than she was inside mine. But there is always more I want to share with you.
While I want it easier to read me, I don’t want all my entries to be visible to the public, just like this archive is sparse, so I will make them for subscribers only. While I have to provide a price for subscribers, I want all my original readers to have access for free, so please reply here and I will be sure to comp you when I move the newsletter over.
I will transfer all of you over soon—so there's nothing involved on your end.
I hope you stay.