The Rumpus announced that Chloe Caldwell is writing the next Letter in the Mail, which is funny because this week’s Links I Like celebrates Chloe Caldwell. By funny, I mean synchronous.
I wrote the first draft of today’s Links I Like in a journal that my mother bought me. On the cover of the journal are the words “With Love” stitched in brightly colored thread. An alternate title of this entry could be: To Chloe, With Love.
I should start at the beginning.
I know Chloe Caldwell because she reached out to me twice. First to tell me that she liked my writing, specifically my Cat Power essay. Second to ask if she could quote me in her essay Behind the Scenes of a Regular Sugar Reader. She wanted to quote an excerpt of my essay about Amy Fusselman’s 8, and of course I said yes, and of course I was touched. Chloe reached out to me when my writing was in winter, which means I wasn’t writing.
Around this time I was taking a 200-hour yoga teaching training and watched an interview with Seane Corne, a well-known yoga instructor. I felt I should send the link to Chloe but hesitated. My intuition told me to send it another time. About six months later, I bought Legs Get Led Astray because I intuited Chloe’s essays would inspire me to write and I was right. Her writing sparked my writing.
I base a lot of my decisions on intuition, and intuition is an aspect of emotional intelligence. In The Rumpus Interview with Tirza True Latimer, Adrienne Skye-Roberts said that in a feminist classroom “more ‘feminine’ concerns like ancestors, emotional intelligence, magic are considered foundational and important to who we are and to education.” I want to hear Adrienne’s thoughts on why she thinks these subjects are not invited into the classroom, ways in which a teacher can invite those subjects into an academic space, and why she thinks our culture devalues emotional intelligence, ancestors, and magic.
A couple of weeks ago, I finally shared this Seane Corne interview with Chloe Caldwell and then she wrote the blog Flowers In Her Hair. Chloe is training to be a yoga teacher. I took a yoga teacher training, as did Neal Pollack, Aisha Sloan and Jennifer Pastiloff, who wrote last week’s Rumpus Sunday essay in honor of Emily Rapp and Ronan. I dedicated my Sunday restorative yoga class to Emily and Ronan. I used to think I would have to choose between being a yoga instructor and being a writer but now I’m not so sure.
I right now want to tell Chloe that she is a warrior and to dance that warrior dance. I want to tell her what she probably already knows, which is that one of the most rewarding things about healing is you learn a metal heart isn’t worth a thing. And the healing, it ruins the metal. The thing about me when it comes to Chloe is I see her as a fellow warrior and writer and maybe most importantly as a sister.
Now, spend the rest of your Saturday reading all her essays, hell yes.