[Hits snooze on alarm clock, rolls over] OH HI! July’s theme is SLOW MOTION: When the thrill of summer has given way to boredom and introspection creeps in. If last July, THE GREAT UNKNOWN, was about feeling like you don’t know who you are, Slow Motion is when you find parts of yourself that feel real, sustainable; when the identity pendulum (also a prop from 2002’s The Master of Disguise) stops swinging so far in opposite directions and slowly moves toward a natural center. This can be a destabilizing process, because constantly forming new beliefs can also make you feel like you are constantly wrong about life, so maybe a better visual than a pendulum would be a set of monkey bars where you swing from catharsis to catharsis, each fleeting realization getting you exactly where you need to go.
Slow Motion is also the tension between wanting to preserve the past and jump into the future, which is heightened on summer break. There’s the gift of having time to enjoy the stuff you like to do without it necessarily being your college major or job, and how, when you don’t have to adhere to rules, you get to learn what YOUR gifts are, before fucking too much with what I guess people call craft. There’s the danger of entertaining abstract fears about the future, and the futility of reliving horrible awkward interactions of the past that, in fact, never have to happen again! There’s the frustration of boredom, that because “nothing” has “happened” in your life, you have no stories to tell, when in fact, it’s your point of view that will saturate even the most mundane and allow you to glean insight from seeming micro-events. Slow Motion means you have time to pay attention and uncover layers. It means Cat Power’s “Nothin But Time”:
I see you, kid, alone in your room
You got the weight on your mind
And you’re just trying to get by
Your world is just beginning
And I know this life seems never-ending
But you got nothing but time
And it ain’t got nothing on you
And E.L. Doctorow on writing, but also life: “It’s like driving a car at night. You never see further than your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.”
And what Rookie writer Lola wrote me in the same email where she also sent me a Lester Bangs quotation that I used in my December 2012 Editor’s Letter (I still go back to this email all the time):
“sometimes i think about how when he was older carl jung couldn’t figure out how to conceptualize the psyche, even though at that point he was pretty old and clearly good at that stuff. he had used everything he had, all the skills he knew. so he was like, “hmm, can’t figure out the psyche. guess i’ll go build a house about it.” he went out alone to the woods and built a crazy stone castle and when he was done, he was able to write the book on how the psyche is structured. you solve a problem and then it comes back and you have to fight it off again. or you use up all your problem-solving tools and you have no idea what to do next. each problem you solve helps you solve other problems in the future, except with a bigger, cooler sword.”
Let us use this in-between space to sharpen our swords…for a LARPing tournament!!!! But also for life’s curveballs. (Which I will still combat with a sword, because my preferred way of playing baseball is to hack stuff up with a giant knife.)
AND NOW! On this very day, we are sending Rookie Yearbook Four to print. I’M SO EXCITED. It is always impossible to compare them, since they all contain such different stuff, but dare I say this one is my favorite? It has so many extra-special, no-pixel gems that you can’t get on our site, from the likes of Lorde, Solange, Shamir, Charli XCX, DeJ Loaf, Willow Smith, Ariana Grande, Rashida Jones, Tracee Ellis Ross, Donna Tartt, Jazz Jennings, Amandla Stenberg, Kiernan Shipka, Emma Roberts, Sarah Paulson, Joy Williams, Hayley Williams of Paramore, Devonté Hynes of Blood Orange, Florence Welch of Florence and the Machine, Ezra Koenig of Vampire Weekend, Ed Droste of Grizzly Bear, and Chloe Chaidez of Kitten. WHEW. The DIY zone is also an utter delight: a collage kit by Emma D., a teen bedroom diorama by Leanna, a banner by Allegra of pizza slice-shaped inspirational quotes, a stunning paper fan and jewelry box by Kendra, and, of course, stickers. You can pre-order it right here or on Amazon, where they sometimes offer PACKAGE DEALZ if you also buy our other books!
It comes out October 20, and we’ll do a book tour to exchange hugs and adorn our faces in aforementioned stickers. I hope you love it! It is our very last Yearbook—senior year, GET IT?—but we hope not the last of Rookie in print. (Thunderous crash, lightning strikes, a city of people who hate stickers run and scream.)
Now, I’ll go queue up the smooth jazz to accompany this month of Slow Motion.