17 January 2020

“My responsibility is not to the ordinary, or the timely.”

This Week

I’m not a fan of Januaries. Nothing personal against the month. The depths of winter just never go all that easy for me. So I’m still more or less plodding though. Let’s keep going, everyone.


“Women ‘adjust’ their careers for family life, and we collectively build the trajectory to match our expectations. Women do, and women should, are tangled at the root.” Whatever happened to _____?

This is a stunningly beautiful essay about myths, identities and loss: “My Father and the Dragon King.”

“Aren’t we all woven through with stories? Isn’t that how we think of our lives, how we survive them? Now, when someone hurts me, I remember that they are only living the terms of their own fictions—sometimes desperately—so their selves don’t unravel.” Woven.

“It will be months until I call uncle and quit; it will take almost a year to realize I was gaslighting myself, that I was reading from someone else’s script.” Uncanny valley.

“Nothing is ever solved. Solving is an illusion. There are moments of spontaneous brightness, when the mind appears emancipated, but that is mere epiphany.” A graphical review of Patti Smith’s Year of the Monkey.


  • I finally got last year’s Haruki Murakami collection of stories, Men Without Women. I don’t tend to like his short stories as well as I do his novels, but this is a particularly cohesive and eloquent collection.

  • If you’re of the horror movie aficionado persuasion, there’s a gem of a film currently streaming on Shudder: The House of the Devil It’s an 70s/80s throwback in the best sense of the term, faithful to the style and feel of an old-school Satanic slasher but not cartoonishly self-aware.

  • Weirdo comedy Medical Police is now on Netflix. I find it absurd and delightful.

It’s okay to stay in and watch animal videos if you want. I just said so.




Substack archive: https://jenmyers.substack.com/archive

TinyLetter archive: http://tinyletter.com/jenmyers/archive

Essay archive: http://modernadventuress.com/

Website: http://jenmyers.net

Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/jenmyers

Email: hello@jenmyers.net

Post: P.O. Box 13114 Chicago, IL 60613

This week’s quote is from Mary Oliver:

“It is six A.M., and I am working. I am absentminded, reckless, heedless of social obligations, etc. It is as it must be. The tire goes flat, the tooth falls out, there will be a hundred meals without mustard. The poem gets written. I have wrestled with the angel and I am stained with light and I have no shame. Neither do I have guilt. My responsibility is not to the ordinary, or the timely. It does not include mustard, or teeth. It does not extend to the lost button, or the beans in the pot. My loyalty is to the inner vision, whenever and howsoever it may arrive. If I have a meeting with you at three o’clock, rejoice if I am late. Rejoice even more if I do not arrive at all.”