Last Friday I took myself on an amazing date.
I saw Mark Z. Danielewski at Vroman's, Pasadena. I don't go out much alone and I don't like to drive the freeways at night but I managed to make it to the event. I adore his novel House of Leaves. It's poetic and experimental but its also a perfectly constructed love story and ghost/horror story.
Earlier that afternoon I went to see my beloved therapist. She is in Pasadena so I usually just talk to her on the phone. Seeing her in person was such a relief. After my mom died I've become increasingly close to my therapist and I feel so lucky to get to share my life with her every week. Even if I became completely neurosis-free I would go see her! She's a visual artist as well as a therapist, specializing in attachment theory and Jungian psychology, and raised three children as a single mom.
After seeing her I had my nails done (pink sparkle toes) and ate at Sage, Pasadena. It's not as nice as Sage, Culver City but it felt comforting to be able to order my carrot juice and tempeh burger with pesto.
I arrived early at Vroman's and got a good seat. Mark came out wearing his signature straw hat and a T-shirt in the perfect shade of pink with one of his cat drawings on it, and read from his latest book The Familiar II. Then he spoke and took questions. I tried to catch his quotes but I might have missed something so, Mark, if you read this and I've made any errors, please let me know!
"It's important to plan but you can't fall in love with your plans. You have to fall in love with the people you're with when you make those plans."
"Write what you love because you want to learn more about it." (Among many other things, he loves cats. And stars. They are all over his social media as well as in his books.)
On Breaking Rules:
"[As a kid I realized] I could change so many things. When a teacher said you really can't have pictures or write in the margins, I did it because I loved it."
On Getting Out There:
"Open the windows and open the doors...I'm constantly going out there into places I feel uncomfortable. Open yourself to things you don't know about, that are strange."
"I'm contrary to the monolithic voice. That's not how we experience the world."
On Tuning In:
"[With all the noise around us, the question is:] how do we hear what matters?"
"Invest in loss."
"It was through that hole [caused by loss and pain] that I could see the world better."
On Commitment: "When you commit yourself to something...things arrive [from your subconscious] that you think are completely different from what you're doing [but it's actually all related]"
On Fear: "A lot of people derail their creative projects because they want to do something else but really the something else is part of what you're doing, and it's just fear that keeps you from it."
On Reading: "Books are an opportuinty to become yourself and more than yourself."
To Reiterate: "Open the windows and open the doors."
There's a reference to Weetzie Bat in one of the footnotes!
He recognized me and signed my book!
My claim to fame!
The rose-covered sidewalks in Pasadena.