On rock climbing, relationships and love the second time around — plus, to mark a year on Substack, the dubious merit of relentless honesty.
SUCH a great read! Thank you so much for sharing your fabulous words, Jill. ♥️
“Don’t be ridiculous, the mafia don’t steal AirPods.” Laugh out loud moment 😂. Really enjoyed reading this !
I love the notebook style. Much modern work is too self-conscious to pull it off. You can. You have a real ear for dialogue, too. That cannot be taught.
"Every love leaves us a little wounded." Not to gush... but that line reminded me of Truman Capote.
Love your writing, Jill ... very much.
I adore the "tavolo trente-cuatro" story ... I HUGELY respect and applaud the 'couldn't be arsed to fill in the questionnaire' moment ... love, love, LOVE the book review - sounds like a book for me ...
Also, your Note - I missed it when it was all 'live' but I couldn't agree more - I had (have) high hopes that some of the little folk (saying it for a me) could be on a level playing field when it comes to sharing our love of words and writing and our own words and writing. I immediately get turned off by the '5 ways to scale fast', "I've got 20,000 followers and this much I know' stuff. Which is good, because it leaves me with capacity to read words I admire and stories that touch me. Oh, like yours. Magical storytelling ... thanks for letting us peek in. Barrie
Great one, again. Sounds like a fun/interesting festival. We saw the Yeah Yeah Yeah's this summer- my wife (Robin) has a Karen O obsession too! Also, I very much get the many children, lot's of chaos feelings.
Sometimes it takes a trip, or two. Thank you. Love how and what you connect and cluster! Including Proulx, wch you've helped me re-live. You have a gorgeous, brave proof-reader, long before his outcroppings to scale. You artfully provoke. You raise mirrors. You make me think. Since there are second chances, second starts, relationships, families other paths, there must be more, too, within us. All about us. Happening and not happening. Not as necessarily linked to, or phrased in terms of partners, relationships, children....
You can be outspoken and kind! In fact You are!!
I can feel my vertigo kicking in reading your climbing and driving adventures!
Oh, this is such a great piece. I loved it, and was with you all the way - on those Italian roads, up the rock climb, with the pooey children. It was funny, and fierce, and vulnerable, and Great Writing. Oh, and tell Joel I love him.
You’re welcome Jill; yours is better of course. Someone told me those words long ago; good to share them
This whole piece is gold, I don't even know which quote I want to share becuase it's all of them. "Telling someone to be kind is a way of telling them to pipe down, to conform, to avoid causing trouble. It’s what people above tell people below to keep them in line, to maintain their perch, to quell criticism." As someone with "be kind" tattooed on their arm, I strongly agree with this point. That tattoo isn't there to remind me to please other people or to tell other people how to live, it's to remind me that if I don't take care of myself everything essentially goes to shit. Love this piece and seeing your inside your memories here, like pages from your travel journal so beautifully told. Also agree about Italian roads - saw two accidents in the taxi from the airport to the hotel in Rome. Wild times. Love that you've said here about the complexity of moving through our lives with other people - big and small - and how we need to be sure not to lose ourselves along the way. I've been wondering how to articulate some thoughts aroubd why I'm here, why I'm writing, and who it's for - this post really helped me form some of those thoughts into something more coherent. And it reminded me, once again, that the real skill is being able to share our actual voice not the one we've been told is most palatable whatever the story. Appreciate you and your wisdom, friend. ❤️
Always a pleasure lovely 🥰
Now that Part Growth hacker / part editor will be bidding on the rights to that AirPod story, which honestly could be the cornerstone of a major motion picture (crime suspense thriller or slapstick comedy).
Brilliant, Jill. Ever so rarely do I come across an article that reminds me of my love for reading over finding the best trade route in a strategy game (after a long day at work.) But, I am also reminded of my inability to focus on non-technical writings. I finished reading your climbing ordeal and a voice in my head asked “Where are the kids? Did I miss that part? Or did she just leave them behind? She did complain about their count in the previous part.” :p
I wish I could scream this from the top of the world’s tallest tower—“Telling someone to be kind is a way of telling them to pipe down, to conform, to avoid causing trouble.” I’ve often found that people who are staunch advocates for kindness are often the most unkind. They hold on to grudges, make a commotion over trivialities (often indulging in criticizing those they disapprove), and often pressurize others to follow their agenda. This is not to say I’d want people to put brutality into honesty. But given enough information about something, we should fill in the gaps based on how it works elsewhere in the world. Most of us aren’t journalists to investigate the minutiae of every happening. If we see something that smells wrong, there’s nothing unkind about pointing it out, until clarified otherwise (at which point we would take down our voice, and instead write about how we changed our view on it, further enforcing our support for the person/event.)
Finally, I know you know this, but I’d say it anyway—you’d one day warm up to smelly poo and slimy vomits. I know I did. I have seen my fair share of blood, dried and runny potty, splatter of vomit, and my parents tending to all of them with me as a backup assistant. I know nothing about parenthood, and I won’t pretend. But I have a template of body effluences, and as long as that person’s life is important to me (directly or indirectly,) I believe that our life’s purpose is in enabling that being to sustain or evolve. Gauging from what you write, I thank you for being honest. It will help people like me to see the world as being bigger than our vantage, while allowing us to relate to something when shit would hit the roof, quite literally. I’ve seen my parents handle 2 kids and take care of countless others, some aged less than 10, and others over 70. Most of them aren’t in touch, either due to distance, time, choice, or being six foot under. But at this age when they are tired, retired, and ailing, they remember the past that took up all their time in the world. It gives them something nostalgic to hang on to when everything else in the future seems meaningless. Im sure it would for you as well.
Here’s to hoping the kids stop fighting, and start getting into solving complex problems in number theory with a side love interest in using pointers in their software programs.
Thank you for saying all the things. The grief of lives unlived, the intricate choreography of committed relationship, the bizarre notion that honesty and kindness cannot coexist, and that brevity and a smile is *still* what is preferable for women to offer.
Bless you and Joel and the ways in which you are ready to brace for one another (did that metaphor work? I’m not a climber!). I do so love your words, and your voice ♥️
Wonderful as always. Your posts are completely brilliant every time 💕❤️💗
Great you remembered that sentence after crazily driving on Italian roads. Thanks for your mention, and good you did a sharp translation into English