Freshly Pressed: Friday Faves

An ode to a father, a story of growing up with two mothers, a request for a cloak of visibility, and a reflection on goodbyes. Here are four Freshly Pressed standouts from this week — all quite personal pieces that have resonated with many readers. Go ahead and dive in:

Why I Don’t Diet — An Ode to My Father

My father spent his years fighting his size, wishing he was smaller, weaker, less of a giant. He was taught to hate his body, and he was ashamed of the amount of space he took up. But he passed his strength to me, and I won’t squander my inheritance. I will not let myself be diminished.

Image from More Cabaret.com

Image from More Cabaret.com

Tiffany Kell, a contributor and dancer at More Cabaretreflects on her father’s recent passing, and his long struggle with his weight and health. She describes him vividly — “born larger than life” and of a family made of “Viking stock” — and creates a strong, invincible man in our minds.

“But he didn’t want to be a giant,” she writes. “He wanted to be thin.”

She recounts the experimental diet programs he tried, his obsession with calorie counting, his celiac disease, and — finally — his last year: wasting away, becoming a shadow of himself. This post isn’t simply an ode to her father, but an intimate, powerful piece about who she is and where she comes from — and ultimately becoming comfortable in one’s own skin.

“Aunt”s and Other-Mothering in a Queer Household

As Queer Black women, we don’t have many role models. The connection and communication with our elders is rare. It’s important to recognize and honor the LGBTQ women in our lives who have come before us, blazing trails that we may not have ever known we’d walk.

This week, we read a number of posts celebrating Mother’s Day, from reflections on motherhood to interpretations on “mother.” Nitra at Wise Edits tells a bold and moving story about growing up in an unstable household of drugs and abuse — and finding happiness and a haven through her Aunt Dee. But this woman disappears from her life, and it’s not until Nitra is older, and comes out to her family, that she learns who Aunt Dee really was, and is.

Beautifully told, Nitra’s piece celebrates the connection between mother and child, unbreakable bonds over time, and the queer household. We appreciate her warm, honest voice and tribute to the women in her life.

The Lip Pencil of Invisibility — And a Grown-up Woman’s Request for JK Rowling

Women of a certain age.

Something happens.

No need for an invisibility cloak.

We just vanish.

Ping.

The author at Memoirs of a husk muses on a number of issues in this poignant post: Beauty. Womanhood. Aging. She writes about what happens when you “fray around the edges”: when you need a lip pencil and clear mascara to get noticed, yet no matter what you do, you’re no longer you: “You start to see just that — a woman, nothing more,” she writes. “No past, no personality, no added dimensions.” At the end, she asks JK Rowling for assistance — to invent a cloak of visibility, “not for our fraying lips and bushy eyebrows, comfy midriffs or laughter lines, but for us. Whoever we are.” We like this blogger’s voice: it’s fresh and unique, and her style is quiet yet sharp — we’re curious to read what she tackles next.

On Goodbyes

Of course there are friendships that reside far beyond geography’s lethal grasp, laughing in the face of distance. “A friendship that can be ended didn’t ever start,” wrote the French poet Mellin de Saint-Gelais. Philia, or the platonic love between friends, is perhaps not as sexy as its cousin eros — romantic love, but it’s the purest of all the loves. No sex or jealousy to muddy the waters. No mandatory filial piety. No professional incentive. Just the pure joy of voluntarily shared company, of dipping into each other’s souls every once in a while.

Nick Ashdown, the blogger at Advokat Dyavola, has lived in Russia, Turkey, and Rwanda, so he knows a thing or two about goodbyes. Yet they never get any easier. Here, he discusses the word “goodbye” (which he finds absurd, as “nothing feels good about it at all”), and its euphemisms (“see you later” and “let’s stay in touch”). In his reflections, he describes the different connections we have in our lives: people we may never see again, but also those friendships that last, despite the distance.

In a time when some of us wander the world as nomads, and many of us communicate and maintain relationships online, Nick’s thoughts on goodbyes and friendships are at once timely and timeless — and relatable to others.

Did you read something in the Reader that you think should be Freshly Pressed l? Leave us a link, or tweet us @freshly_pressed.

For more inspiration, check out our writing challengesphoto challenges, and other blogging tips at The Daily Post; visit our Recommended Blogs; and browse the most popular topics in the Reader. For editorial guidelines for Freshly Pressed, read: So You Want To Be Freshly Pressed.


Missing out on the latest WordPress.com developments? Enter your email below to receive future announcements direct to your inbox. An email confirmation will be sent before you will start receiving notifications - please check your spam folder if you don't receive this.

Join 17,995,258 other followers

Cheri Lucas Rowlands

11 Comments

Comments are closed.

  1. HipsterApproved.net

    Yes…these are some good additions.
    Keep up the good work!
    Thanks!

    Like

  2. luciebluebird

    So glad to see the inclusion of “Why I don’t diet: An ode to my father.” This piece was brilliant, heartbreaking and so emotional.

    Like

  3. thenickster822

    Overall fantastic edition of “Freshly Pressed: Friday Faves.” Thank you, Cheri Lucas Rowlands and WordPress! Perhaps WordPress should consider upgrading its tagline to, “A great WordPress.com site.

    Like

  4. Bryan Hemming

    Excellent selection showing the wide diversity of talent available on WordPress. Congratulations to the selected and the selectors!

    Like

  5. Ginyar Aknoton Ejiofor

    Beautifully written…

    Like

  6. purpleperceptions

    Lovely selection. Each of these was a brilliant read.

    Like

  7. Weight Loss by Design

    Hi Cheri, I think you have hit the spot! I can empathise with everything you have said here, poignant and so true.

    Like

  8. hollydawnhewlett

    This collection of Friday faves is one of the best you have gathered!!!

    Like

  9. Karen

    This is the first time I’ve ever checked the Freshly Pressed Faves, and what a treat! Thank you for finding some wonderful reading for my morning. Every one of these blogposts is beautiful.

    Like

  10. Buppha

    I am happy I have found this. Very touching and clever.

    Like

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 17,995,258 other followers

%d bloggers like this: