At Granta, Amy Key recounts intentionally avoiding romantic love, thinking it the best way to avoid getting hurt. She concludes that depriving herself of intimate relationships has caused its own form of harm.
Absence of romantic love in my life has created its own awkward space in me. Like a corner of a room you cannot find a comfortable use for, a deficient space, grasping for its own utility. And I sense other people can see this and that it makes them uncomfortable… The frying pan has an altogether different intimate energy. Perhaps it’s because people so often fry eggs for someone they love. And to eat eggs together suggests a synchronised hunger, suggests sleeping and waking together, and says please linger, please stay. Perhaps it’s the sweet balance of ‘you cook and I’ll wash up’, how the pan moves from one person’s job to another, and the ordinariness of that joint endeavour.
Marina Benjamin recalls not wanting to eat much as a child, and suffering for it.
I can’t explain it, or not in any way that will satisfy my parents, but the feel of food in my mouth causes me to recoil as though I’ve ingested something living: warm, wet, slimy, too hot, too cold, not resistant enough to the tooth or else too resistant.
“Here whales have been homes. A practical space, shelter and host to meals and births and deaths. Host to the least abstract kinds of love. Familial, romantic, parental. Here whales have made those intimacies, by giving people the capacity to live.”
“Ariel Saramandi on the sinking of the MV Wakashio off the coast of Mauritius.”
“What does it say about capitalism that we have money and want to spend it but we can’t find anything worth buying?”
“Everyone benefits from a frozen Arctic. The future of the Arctic environment, and the Inuit it supports, is inextricably tied to the future of the planet.”
“In his suit, with his pigtail and his montera, he was pure potential: he could be masculine vanquisher or gold-embroidered fairy. He was both, actually, at all times, and nobody who came to see him fight thought any less of him for it.”
“That violent heteronormative cultures of sex and reproduction among humans are attributed to ‘nature’ feels astonishing after spending time on the allotment. The slutty ingenuity of vegetables when it comes to desire and reproductive methods is a marvel that makes a mockery of conservative ideas of the natural.”
“Anna Badkhen was researching Eden – the origins of humanity in the Afar Triangle of East Africa – when coronavirus broke out across the world.”
One upstate New York resident discovers the violent local history of the farmland she bought. Known as the Anti-Rent War, this history is closely tied with America’s complicated ideal about land ownership and dominion, and resonates far wider than its location suggests.