I fell down the stairs

The last few months I’ve been going through a real rite of passage as a new Mother, which is of course the Brandi Carlile Phase, in which all you do is listen to Brandi Carlile and think about Brandi Carlile and read her Memoir and wander around the house saying things like, you know, it’s kind of like Brandi said. I want to go fishing with her, I want to make her a sandwich, I want her haircut, I want to get her music surgically implanted into my brain. Mostly I just feel a creative kinship to her, as an artist and a human. Specifically, when she was a kid, she got very sick and nearly died, but was kept alive — as her parents and grandparents told her, as she then internalized — by God. And she was kept alive for a purpose. This solidified not just her faith in God, but her path to fame. Similarly, when I was a baby, I took a scary trip down a flight of cement stairs in my walker, and lived to tell the tale. Growing up, my Mom always told me that a guardian angel had kept me alive. This made me feel special, and I returned to that big, tiny feeling, many times. That I’d survived something that could’ve killed me, and also that I was the only girl amongst my brothers, these things made me feel special. That I had a purpose, that my thoughts were worth writing down. I think that sense of specialness — a tingling, whimsical narcissism, cut with a deep insecurity — is the makeup of a lot of Creative people. Look at me, don’t look at me. Are you looking? Don’t. But why aren’t you? Take my picture, but don’t show it to me. Throw it away. I’ll dig it out of the trash, later, and keep it for many, many years.

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