We do have a say in whether we want to keep these egoic demons company or send them off to the next dimension. The lesson I learned from this self-inflicted hell was if we are able to drop our weapons and honestly answer: what's really driving our unhappiness and inability to move on? Is it that we're unable to accept the present or unable to accept ourselves? Or, perhaps both? Either way, we can gain a multitude of self-awareness and in turn self-love by doing whatever it takes (even if it means deactivating your social media accounts for a while) to grant ourselves the necessary freedom and happiness we all so deserve.
This resignation is not the same as messiness or moral ambiguity. It is, in fact, its opposite. Ambiguity wants desperately to know, and not just to know but to know in spades. A writer like Chew-Bose pursues multiple interpretations for why people do what they do and what it means about who they are, leaving in her wake a trail of confused feelings, theories, and metaphors; evidence that she has circled the truth like a dog has stalked its dinner—from all angles. Gaitskill never even makes the attempt. For her, there exists no obvious relationship between the complexity of human experience and the profusion of prose; no need for qualification or subordination, the pile-up of pretty phrases to approximate an awful truth that will only recede before us. For Gaitskill, part of growing up as a writer has been learning to accept “my own stringent limitations when it comes to giving form to impossible complexity.” For her reader, it feels refreshing to finally have a grownup in the room, laying down the law but not really caring whether you follow it or not.
Elliott Lacey, 10, is playing on the helter-skelter with a group of boys. He says: “I’ve been coming here since I was two. The helter-skelter is really fun and it brings back lots of memories. When we arrive each year I look for all my friends and then this is the first place we always come to. We play tig on it mostly and we’ve had lots of water fights. We fill balloons from the outdoor tap and then chase each other. There’s good views from the top. You can see the beach one way and then all the tents over the other way. I can see my caravan from here too … and they can see me.”