Day One: Ten things you want to say to ten different people right now.
Day Two: Nine things about yourself.
Day Three: Eight ways to win your heart.
I've been stalled with a cold but also with a deep discomfort with the whole idea of anybody winning my heart. It's not a trophy, There are no detailed instructions; if there were, anybody who could follow the rules would be able to lay claim to it, and I don't hand it out like that.
So instead: eight qualities that are often found in people I like and/or love:
1. Passion or intensity. That's probably my most salient quality, and I respond to it in others.
2. Unslakable curiosity. If you want to learn things, and have interesting information to impart, we're likely to get along.
3. A feeling heart. Whether you call it kindness, compassion, or empathy, that core warmth is very precious to me.
4. A sense of humor. We have to be able to laugh together. My humor can be playful, snarky, or the trenchant black humor of a cop or doctor or soldier under fire. Also, I love LOLcats, but not all my friends have to.
5. A love of books and poetry and language.
6. Shared values: the pursuit of ideas, not status; social justice, not Social Darwinism.
7. A core strength and honesty that lets you face your own flaws and failings as well as tough times. Also, *my* flaws and failings. I'd so much rather have a friend or partner who can and will call me on my bullshit (gently but clearly) than someone who pretends everything is fine, especially if they accompany that pretense with a lot of passive-aggressive comments or glowering, or my ex-husband's strategy of saying the exact opposite of what he meant: "Have you lost weight?" when I'd gained it, "Boy, I really love you," said in a sarcastic and angry tone when he was furious with me.
8. Willingness to let me in to know you. As Charlotte Bronte says in Jane Eyre, "I could never rest in communication with strong, discreet, and refined minds, whether male or female, till I had passed the outworks of conventional reserve, and crossed the threshold of confidence, and won a place by their heart's very hearthstone." Not an invariable rule: I do have some friendships I greatly value that have stayed on an intellectual plane.
Day Four: Seven things that cross your mind a lot.
"Mind" is a fairly elastic concept, and some of these are not exactly ideas but emotions. In face, I'm going to split these, as gramina did.
Thoughts expressible in words:
1. Oh, how gorgeous/It's like sex! (appreciation of various kinds of beauty or pleasure)
2. I'd better plug in the laptop.
3. "Naked ladies, we adore thee...." (sung to the tune of the Ode to Joy)
4. I wonder ... [often but not exclusively about current intellectual obsession]. Let me look that up
5. What should I make for dinner?
6. What does that mean? [cool analysis of the current behavior and emotional state of myself or friends or politics or someone on the internet, with discussion of the past, and implications for possible future plans]
7. [Current writing or editing project]
The emotions that occupy me:
Gimme! [AKA sex drive AKA my response to my sweeties]
Oh God YES [a sense of fulfillment ranging from satisfaction at writing something wood or getting a tough job done, all the way to a blissful transcendant awareness of the sacred and the beauty of God and the universe]
Thank You! [sheer gratitude toward God, friends, family, books, music, my cat]
[guilt, shame, horror, the sense of myself as a monster probably deserving death]
[raw unspeakable terror -- these days, often about money]
[wordless surge of feeling accompanying thought or presence of one of my people]
How cool! [interest and delight, felt in response to ideas, facts, sights, writing, etc.]
Day Five: Six things you wish you'd never done.
Day Six: Five people who mean a lot (in no order whatsoever).
Day Seven: Four turn offs.
Day Eight: Three turn ons.
Day Nine: Two words that describe your life right now.
Day Ten: One confession.