I read Samuel Delany‘s memoir, Heavenly Breakfast on the plane coming home yesterday (thanks to Jed for the gift). It’s beautifully written, of course, as I’d expect, and I’m honestly a little surprised I haven’t read it before now, given how much I adored his memoir, The Motion of Light in Water. On a personal note, it made me a little sad. The book centers on a time in his life when Delany lived in a commune centered around musicians working together. It reminds me a little of the time I’ve spent at residencies like Ragdale, but with a lot more sex and drugs.
Drugs have never really been a part of my life, but there used to be much, much more sex, with many more people, than I manage to find time for these days. When I get back to my own memoir, that’s one of the things I’ll probably be trying to layer in — the way sex and physicality and communal affection functioned for me in my twenties, the ways in which sex with lots of different people was heart-warming and loving and glorious.
There doesn’t seem to be space / time for that in my life right now, and that’s mostly all right — there are other good things about pair-bonding, about child-rearing, about having a big, rambly house with empty rooms. I need a lot more time to myself now, than I needed or wanted in my twenties. I’m a different person.
But I hope that the person I was back then isn’t entirely gone. Eventually, the children will be grown, and time may be less tightly compressed, and there may be space for other possibilities again? We’ll see.