/ on loving
rayne, this was really beautiful to read. today i spent hours in the sun with someone i haven't learned to live without yet. our relationship was bookended by two augusts and when i spoke to them today, about their new apartment and their impending relocation across the country from me, and about other things, like shoes we've bought since we parted, it sunk in that for the first time in my life i am entirely devoted to another person. i have never felt boundless, all-consuming love before, love that doesn't fade with distance. we met through so many magical coincidences that our entire relationship always felt a bit like a mirage. in the end i realized i barely knew them. they were always just light on water and although i knew so many things about them - the way they squint when they smile and the nerve damage in their wrist and the reason why they don't dogear books - i'd never taken the time to sum the parts, to figure out the whole of them. today i noticed a birthmark on their arm that i never had before.
i appreciate this, i've been struggling with feeling like nothing brings me any joy anymore and thinking it was just me growing out of obsessive youthful tendencies, and it made me sad lol but i love the idea of spending more time with it.
the first thing i remember reallyyy loving so much that i wanted to bring it to heaven with me was a little tiny thing made from hardened dough i stole from my mom that i decorated with pink pearl like beads. it looked like a little cake and i was so obsessed with it because it came out so beautiful, i loved how i managed to hide all the holes in the beads and the shapes of them were really pretty and it came out very symmetrical and smooth. i was probably like 7 and playing with clay and dough a lot at the time but that was my absolute favorite thing. when theyd say u dont get to take anything to the grave with u i decided i wanted a replica of it in heaven.
i love the idea of associating eras of your life with obsessions and loves of that time. i’m autistic, and the most memorable moments of my life are coloured by the sense of purpose and fulfilment i get from my special interests.
i’ve had a period of lethargy for the past 6ish months, and i think the internet culture of constant, instant dopamine hits has had a part to play in that. i’ve haven’t been letting myself get invested in one specific thing, because there’s so much to choose from, but i only ever get a quick dissatisfying taste of anything.
i really believe that for me at least, being obsessed with something is good for my mental health. i’m still trying to recapture the feeling of the all encompassing, years long special interest i had at the ages of 14-16. it was really special, and i’ve genuinely had to mourn it.
but!! i know that it’s possible for me to have something like that again. i think my identity is tied to how i love things - stories, music, characters, movies. being in love with those things is so natural and beautiful and i know that i will find something to give my love to again <3
your essay really resonated with me, so thank you x
this was beautiful and exactly what i needed to hear going into fall- i've been feeling SO similarly because at some point i became that person that consumes so much and then barely remembers what happened after its over and i don't want it to be like that anymore. i also was inspired after finding this woman's youtube account where she fully immerses herself in what she's reading (she mentioned only reading after dark by haruki murakami at night, & making a playlist of all the songs referenced) and i thought it was sooo sweet that she did that. my two hands holding her account and this essay and spiritually sending all my love and appreciation <33 my newest passion is a return to an old one: film photography. my aunt is sending me a camera of hers she doesn't use anymore with a bunch of film and different lenses and i'm signing up for a night class at our local library where i work. i want more physical photos in my life of my friends and of cute places i go and nature and i want to be able to look back at them when i'm old. i also think it would be really fun to learn how to develop them myself :o) the first thing i can remember really loving was competitive irish dancing. i was in classes and competitions 24/7 from ages 8 to about 16 and from the moment i saw it as a kid i fell in love with everything about it and my entire life was about perfecting my movements and sharing class experiences with my friends and admiring everyone's costumes and it was something my mom and grandma and i did together. and NO i didn't go to Europe this summer but i was wondering the exact same thing lmao like damn i didn't get the memo i guess
i really resonate with what you said about different passions tinting a certain period of time. i love it because it’s one of the only things left in this culture and my life that feels like it comes organically-- i can’t control it or make it happen but suddenly it just happens and then it’s so beautiful. like whenever i watch a french new wave film i’m reminded of the autumn i first discovered godard and varda and i’m taken back to that time in a really cozy way. i also love how you talked about the way that the language of understanding is seems to be lost. i feel and think about this constantly and you put it into words perfectly.
school has been kicking my ass so i seem to have very little time for passions lately. but i’ve been into jenny hvals music, sewing punk patches onto my clothes while watching movies, and allowing the last of the summer’s fruit to drip all over my face and fingers while eating it
My newest passion is understanding perfume. Not just how you make it, although that’s fascinating, but how you devote the time and energy and knowledge and curiosity to an art and science that has to be experienced in person. It’s not audio or visual. It can’t be streamed or downloaded. Much like the art of food and dining, its an in-person immersion, but instead of the tip of your tongue, it’s through the tip of your nose. I have a weak sense of smell, I’m told by many people, but certain smells put me so viscerally back in a place that I almost throw up from the sensation of being back in 2nd grade, in a corner of Mrs. Sydnore’s classroom avoiding bullies or cry from the joy I once felt sitting with my granny in her kitchen in Appalachia. A perfumer can control that visceral reaction by their very craft and never know what it is they summon for the individual. All that distilled to a tiny, exorbitantly priced pretty bottle and a few note descriptors. I imagine neuroticism runs deeply in the profession. I say that with narcissistic admiration as I too love obsession and I remember loving the concept of witches early as a little girl. That may be the fascination. The chemists crafting scent creations are the closet people to sorcerers and potion makers as I will probably ever know. Seasonal vibes, natural connections, cool aesthetic, power, mischief, madness, being apart from others. Even when they were the villain in the bedtime stories my mama read me, I begged to go back to the witches. I was a variation of a witch from every Halloween from the time I could choose my own costume to 16. I never became a practitioner but the love for community, the history, the magic of it, still holds. Alas, I could not study that in Europe, for example, this summer, as I did not have the money. But I would if I could.
This is just such beautiful writing. Autumn/Winter makes me so indescribably happy.
The part about passions marking a part of your life is something I just adore, both the writing about it and the act itself. Sometimes I play an album and I'm 15, it's the week I tried eyeliner again. Other times i open a book and the smell suddenly rockets me back to when I was 11 and this book was the most important thing in entire world to me.
My newest passion is organisation (out of necessity, I moved back out for college and I have to unpack stuff). The first thing I really loved was being outside, especially running so fast I couldn't breathe after. I grew up in the countryside. I'm also a bit asthmatic, go figure.
I don't have rich parents (we are on so much financial support my guy) I'm from Europe (Ireland) but I did go to Paris for a weekend which was lovely, it's a fair bit cheaper to go for us given it's quite close, and a load of tourist stuff is free to holders of EU passports between 18-25. Also I was living at home for the summer and didn't have to pay rent, luckily! But yeah we (my bestie and I) were able to do it on a fairly small budget.
my passion lately has been pink. i've always loved the colour but it's been something of an obsession lately. i enjoy buying things in the prettiest shades of pink and just being surrounded by it. the first thing i ever remember loving was this jack and the beanstalk book. it was the first book i read as a kid after i learned my alphabets and so i cherished it a lot. i did go to europe this summer! not in the cool kid with rich parents paying for the expenses way but the raggedy knows how to get around everywhere kinda way. i packed one bag with all my essentials and a backpack and booked a cheap flight to morocco. i then went into spain and just zigzagged around with cheap ryanair flights, train rides, and bus rides. it was on my bucket list and i finally fucking did it.
this was really lovely rayne, thank you. my newest passion has to be baking muffins on sunday nights, and i think the first thing i really loved was my first childhood dog. didn't go to europe but would also love to know how so many people ended up there! xo
i think the first thing i ever remember loving is my mom. this was before things got hard between us, before my family changed and before i ever even thought to find a flaw in her, or anyone really.
as a kid my most commonly used words were, “right, mama?” (always mama, never mommy. she thought it was creepy) i remember waiting and waiting until she would confirm what i said. arguing with my brother over the correct way to make chocolate milk? “less syrup is better, right mama?” and things like that. we would always go on what she called “nature walks”, and she always encouraged my climbing on rocks that felt really big at the time and would help me when i was too scared to jump back down. little habits of hers have become mine, like never grabbing the first item in a store, always the second because fewer people have touched it. permanent necklaces, an affinity for cool looking rocks, and a penchant for silver jewelry.
things got bitter as i grew up and i don’t know that i’ll ever be able to not be angry with her, but today i saw a childlike wonder in her that i’m sure she saw in little me and it reminds me to be patient
I have been making tomato sauce from scratch and exclusively using Cento tomato’s from the can. Been loving mascarpone lately. Baked a lemon meringue pie last night, took forever and was extremely worth it. Been rewatching ghibli movies and thinking about the 1000s of hours that went into animating the billions of plants and nature they put in those movies, and generally trying to make more art :) trying to destroy my phone also
“wouldn’t it be wonderful to one day taste a cake and remember how you felt in september?” i cried. simple and beautiful and heartfelt.
i’ve always been scared of growing up. but i think it used to be a fear of the future, whereas lately i’ve been feeling it more as if it’s happening right now and i can’t stop it. coincidentally, teenage obsession has been one of the “triggers”. more accurately, its dwindling. i used to get so obsessed with books and tv shows and people that my brain was constantly finding them everywhere and there wasn’t a moment when they weren’t somehow on my mind. and when one obsession ended another began. yet now, in the wake of the gradual loss of passion, no more obsessions arise. and i’ve always been told they were something weird or wrong or shameful, as if i was feeling too much. so maybe it’s a good thing. but i don’t know. your paragraph on teenage obsession just resonated w me. you always manage to do that.
i’m glad you’re back <3
love this so much.
my newest passion is reading, probably, although it's also the first thing I remember loving - I have finally got it back! lately I've also been passionate about thinking through, and sometimes writing about, everything I honestly think and feel about the things I consume, even when I'm full of contradictions. it's slow and laborious and it feels great and like the opposite of my typical lifestyle as a chronically online people pleaser. maybe a more specific answer regarding first love would be libraries. i did not go to europe this summer, I was in school full-time (a different thing rich parents can pay for).
despite having never tried key lime pie, i cobbled together a no-key-lime key lime pie recipe one night in july and i've made it and tweaked it once a week since then and i've now convinced myself that it's the best key lime pie recipe to ever exist! and now this summer has for me permanently become the summer i perfected my key lime pie recipe :) much love from a new subscriber rayne ! this was obsessively lovely to read
I wouldn’t call my love of trees new, but instead an interest that started in childhood and fully formed into a relationship when I lived in Japan. I moved from Tokyo back home to Vancouver so I could devote everything I have to understand what makes trees important to our collective wellbeing.
Here’s to more trees, please.
i went to Europe this summer! I might even go to Europe next summer as well. I’m staying in Europe over the winter too (this may all be because I live in Europe and am European).