The Sunday Post for April 15, 2018

Each week, the Sunday Post highlights a few articles we enjoyed this week, good for consumption over a cup of coffee (or tea, if that's your pleasure). Settle in for a while; we saved you a seat. You can also look through the archives.

I saw this on an OS map and couldn't not investigate

Knowing the names of things matters. In this charming thread by @gawanmac, naming strengthens and grounds a series of haunting images of the British woods, transforming the merely atmospheric into something much better. The result is what might happen if Instagram merged with Infocom; you wouldn’t think anything good could come of that, but here we are.

Maybe something

Tamuira Reid’s elegy for her dying father is crushing, but you should read it anyway, even if you have to take multiple runs at it like I did. Because it’s blazingly good writing. Because hard stories told well deserve it.

Because swim meets and tap recitals and science fair projects. Because popcorn in olive oil. Because walks by the ocean. Because you let me put my skates on. Because you didn't spank us even when she wanted you to. Because Neil Diamond said turn on your heartlight. Because what is heartlight? Because I am your daughter. Because you are so thirsty. Because the doctors say no water. Because fluid in your lungs. Because cancer.

(h/t Matt Muir of Imperica’s Web Curios newsletter)

How do we write now

Patricia Lockwood on writing in the time of Trump: halfway between poem and prose, acid and wry, hopeless and hopeful.

The first necessity is to claim the morning, which is mine. If I look at a phone first thing the phone becomes my brain for the day. If I don’t look out a window right away the day will be windowless, it will be like one of those dreams where you crawl into a series of smaller and smaller boxes, or like an escape room that contains everyone and that you’ll pay twelve hours of your life for. If I open up Twitter and the first thing I see is the president’s weird bunched ass above a sand dune as he swings a golf club I am doomed. The ass will take up residence in my mind. It will install a gold toilet there. It will turn on shark week as foreplay and then cheat on its wife.

English will come out of it wrong, and then English will come wrong out of me.

(Did you notice this line — “learn the names of trees”? If you skipped the first piece in today’s Post, go back to it now. That’s why.)

The Silence

Junot Díaz has in some sense been writing about being raped as a young boy since his first published story. But this widely shared New Yorker essay is his first open statement — an accounting and an apology, in an epistolary form that creates a private space on a very public page.

I know this is years too late, but I’m sorry I didn’t answer you. I’m sorry I didn’t tell you the truth. I’m sorry for you, and I’m sorry for me. We both could have used that truth, I’m thinking. It could have saved me (and maybe you) from so much. But I was afraid. I’m still afraid—my fear like continents and the ocean between—but I’m going to speak anyway, because, as Audre Lorde has taught us, my silence will not protect me.

X ⁠—

Yes, it happened to me.