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Welcome to In an Auscape! What's an auscape? It's a word my friend Katie came up with that means "The sensation of a second stretching into a minute, a mile, or a year." Is that fresh or what? This newsletter is where I'll describe my (bi)weekly minutes, miles, and years. Thanks for coming along for the ride.
What I'm About
I forgot to write to you two weeks ago—my first forgotten newsletter in (exactly!) two years of writing. I just forgot. There was nothing considered about it, no remembering and then forgetting again, nothing at all but waking up on Sunday morning and thinking, whoops!

Over the last ten years, I've been dedicated in my unlearning of white supremacy culture in many parts of my life. Letting go of some of the concrete elements is hard—worship of the written word? I have an MFA! Perfectionism? I'm not a perfectionist, I just write a newsletter every few weeks and then obsessively check how it performed. Definitely not a perfectionist. 

But this newsletter has also been a practice in accepting typos and not really caring about them, in writing as much or as little as feels right, in writing it when I have time and not planning every sentence to the letter, like I did with drafts of things I eventually wanted to publish. 

I'm proud of this. I think it's a move in service to all that I continue to unlearn. But I'm also thinking today about what it means to have forgotten—where there is power and also pain in forgetting.

Today I'm writing to you from the single most uncomfortable sofabed in the land, on the panhandle of Florida, surrounded by the heads and bodies of animals who didn't deserve to lose their lives to guns and rods and arrows and other tools of violence. 

My step-grandfather has died—a man I barely knew, didn't much like, and won't particularly miss. He sowed violence for most of his life, estranged himself from three children, abused two who weren't his, seemed to prefer yelling and patent dismissal as forms of communication. 

I'm here on mother's day with my own mother, a person I have a complicated relationship with, but who I can serve on this day with spreadsheets and notes and thorough details that are perfect, that leave nothing out, that will likely be referenced for years to come. In the now-empty house, I think we are also taking care of something unspoken and beyond what I can name today. 

In the unlearning of old shapes and violent culture and the holding tight to all that brings me safety and joy, there are moments of forgetting. We forget ourselves and speak harshly, dismiss someone's feelings without realizing we've hurt them. We forget something important and then have to choose: kick ourselves forever or let it go? We even forget one another, slowly, over time. I hardly think about some people anymore, old roommates, people I have loved deeply, grandparents already departed, people I worked with whose faces I can see but names I can't place.

I'm thinking of all those people today, trying to unforget and name some of them even, weighing whether to get in touch, attempting to remember a moment or two together. We can choose to forget, and it benefits us, sometimes, but we can also choose what we hold onto, and let it give us comfort and joy, let the memories breathe, and inhabit them as we shape our days. 
Who I Followed
Black Cat Photo
"D.C. is installing 15,000 street surveillance cameras in response to gun violence and the potential for summer unrest, in case you were wondering what neoliberal “public safety” proposals lead to: an expansion of mass surveillance and the police state." 5/3
Photo of Gregory Mansfield
"“Special needs” is a description created by nondisabled people to characterize the needs of disabled people as “extra” and burdensome. Access and accommodation are not “extras.” Access and accommodation are not “burdens.” 5/7
Pleasure Fix
My last newsletter should have come your way as we were driving home from a family hiking trip in Ohio, 12 of us snug in a cabin nestled beside Cuyahoga Valley National Park. We did six glorious miles daily, with the 5-year-old as our fearless, energetic leader, and her 5 siblings and cousins singing their way through the miles. 
As you read this: I'm almost definitely looking at a spreadsheet, a bill, an old file to throw away, or scratching my head at a newly discovered closet. 
Into this newsletter? Support it! I’m on Venmo @sklar-face

Big ups to Ana Alvarez—writer, designer, cat enthusiast, and coffee whisperer—for my logo. Hire her!

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