This week's Five Star roundup is brought to you by mourning, the challenge and sea change of fatherhood, the complicated animal that is marriage and family, the power of fixed design, the presence of history, and Louisa May Alcott:
Grief is not a pink pillbox hat. It’s not a weeping woman reaching into a casket, a child standing perfectly still by his mother, a wrought-iron fence drowning in bouquets. Grief exists in its own continuum, a mosaic of eulogies and curses.
The echoes of history and the winds of change seem unending and limitless, overwhelming. I left with an unease as to how I could fit in the damn bigness of it all. And then I realized that perhaps my place, your place, everyone's really, is between the bigger ones.
Maybe the best way to advocate for fatherhood is between the moving speeches and underneath the earnest, worthy words.
Love cannot be quantified or defined. Marriage is not a one size-fits all proposition. And we still have a long ways to go as people, as a couple, as a family, but we're doing it. We're riding together in this stinky-ass van with Archer's musical theater soundtrack blasting and the sunroof open because Hal loves to drive with the sunroof open and my feet on the dashboard in all their cracked-nail glory and Fable having to go to the bathroom and Revi also having to go to the bathroom and Bo trying to unbuckle her seat belt because SHE DOES NOT WANT TO SIT DOWN RIGHT NOW THIS IS BORING.
And it's all happening right here.
Maybe this was the love part of the story: Two people collaborating on a solution to a problem occupying space often unnoticed but always felt.
Thoughtful decisions concerned with details marginal or marginalized conspire to affect greatness. (Hairline spacing after em dashes in online editing software — for example.) The creative process around these decisions being equal parts humility and diligence. The humility to try again and again, and the diligence to suffer your folly enough times to find the right solution.
He existed in this space, in this time, he dragged the shameful, shocking era of the Holocaust to the street in front of the cafe where I sat drinking coffee. He wasn’t behind glass in a museum, he was real, and I was completely rattled.
“I think he’s speaking Hungarian,” J said. “You should go talk to him.”
And because you are a fan of finding good, new writing on the internet: