It was more than cool. We have been spoiled with gifts and have appreciated every single one, but this was the one we got misty over. We are so caught up in the moment sometimes that we forget the obvious: as our son grows up he'll be discovering everything for the first time. There is so much magic in this and an infinite potential for play. We have been so serious and busy at home that the letter was like a mini vacation offered by a fortuneteller. It also made us realize how lucky Zenas is to have so many people in his life (which inspired the previous blog entry), so many cool Aunties and Uncles who will be helping us teach him what we don't know. So far we have volunteers for lessons on how to ride a motorcycle, how to sing, how to dance, how to pick up dates, etc. But he's learning how to be loved first and foremost, thanks to everyone.
We wanted to share the letter with you - here is it below (with permission from the author):
You don't know me yet, but that'll change soon. I will hopefully become a (cool) aunt type person that pops in and out of your life to take you to bookshops, the cinema, rock concerts, and aquariums. I say "pop in and out" as I suffer from geographical neurosis, which means I can never stay in one place for very long (your dad has some personal experience with this). I'm stealing "geographical neurosis" from this Italian dude, Italo Calvino. He's written some classics with unusual slants. He's cool, but there's some more important people to read first. When the time comes, we'll go to the shop and pick out a Calvino that will be just right.
Even though we haven't met yet, I think it's important to tell you a few things right off the bat:
You're off to an amazing start. Your parents, pardon me for saying so, are hot. They also happen to be extremely loving and bright. With their two brains and two hearts, life is going to be really fun and beautiful. San Francisco is also one of the most fabulous cities in the world: fog, sour dough, Golden Gate, the Pacific Ocean, and truly exquisite mixology. If you like girls, there will be many beautiful ones with which to associate. If you like boys, the selection will be even larger. One way or another, SF is a man's town. This has something to do with its history: SF exploded during the Gold Rush - in 1848. Basically, a large quantity of a rare and valuable substance (gold) was discovered near the city and people - primarily men - came from all over to harvest it. Mining was considered a predominately male occupation as at the time it was believed that women were fragile creatures who could not withstand the stresses of the job, or even the journey to gold country. As a result, a female presence in SF was so rare that if one happened to stroll down the street all surrounding activity would cease in order to watch her pass (1). The main point: SF was, and always will be - in my eye's at least, a boy's town. However, the girls I know who live there now are seriously fierce - like the Kurashige sisters who will undoubtedly become your first cool aunt non-aunt people.
Another thing I want to share:
The world is a pretty awesome place, and if you can learn to see some value in everything, life is gonna pretty much rock. It already pretty much does. A few days ago, I was reading about something called the "yeti crab". A yeti is a cryptid (or a creature who may or may not exist), and looks like a human only much, much bigger - with tons of hair. The hair is to protect it from the cold as it is said to exist in the snowy hills of the Himalayas. A crab has eight legs and lives in the ocean (2). It also has an exo-skeleton. An exo-skeleton is kind of a weird thing. Exo means outside, and some animals, like crabs, have their skeletons (the really hard part of the body) on the outside of their flesh - unlike people. The yeti crab is a crab that has hair, or more specifically, hair-like structures on its two main limbs (the ones with the pinchers). This is pretty strange because creatures with exoskeletons don't typically have anything resembling hair... all I'm saying is that being curious about things like yeti crabs, marine life, genre fiction, and really, just about anything, will bring amazing things to your life. Curiosity is something worth developing.
Before this letter stretches too long, I want to tell you about what's included in this package. I'm not sure if you'll like this record; Belle and Sebastian isn't for everyone. Some consider their work annoying and others find it too light and sweet. The phrases "sad bastard music" and "twee as fuck" (3) have been used to describe it. I guess I shouldn't have said fuck right there. It's probably too harsh for your tiny ears, but really: fuck is just a word. Some words are supposed to be "bad" or "hurtful", but that's just bullshit. Words in themselves are not good or bad. They aren't anything on their own really. What matters is how they are meant and where they're coming from i.e. the heart. Fuck or fucker can actually be meant endearingly, especially when it's passed between emotionally underdeveloped men such as in television crime dramas (like "The Wire"(4)). Anyway, back to Belle and Sebastian:
This record is about love, and life is about love. This is hard for some people to understand, and some people will even try to convince you that love is stupid and doesn't matter. Life can be very difficult if you chose to live that way, but this music is made for people like me and your folks, it's for people who want to live by heart and who chose love. Every song on Write About Love contains an image or a lesson that will nourish you if you absorb it and let it. I can guarantee the older you get, the more these lyrics will mean - even if you don't like the sounds. If you don't dig the lyrics, that's cool too, but it's important to recognize the intention of them.
Also I want you to know that I am a person who will always listen to you. You can talk to me about anything at any time. Seriously. That being said, I may not have any answers for you, but I'll be around. Perhaps it should also be mentioned that I'm not very good with kids, so if I feel in over my head, I'll tell you, then search out a more appropriate brain for what you need. Once we get whatever needs to be settled, settled, I'll take you to the movies.
I'm so excited you're here.