Luisana Reyes Madera




To be intimate with everything in my life, to master the things I consume, to be comfortable, to repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat...

January 7th, 2023.

The past few weeks I have caught myself living in patterns.

Not suggesting this is something new, as I am constantly living in comfortable loops. They soothe me (and I know for a fact a lot of people can agree with this.)

Funny enough, considering the definition of pattern, repetition is the latest pattern. Not simply adjusting to a routine, but giving certain experiences a second chance.

For instance, I have been rewatching lots of films lately. Some that I have not watched in years and some that I saw just a few days back. Rewatching opens up a novel offering. It feels powerful because I have some sort of control over what is going to happen. If the utterly sad scene is coming up, I can either get up and walk away, or decide to sit through it and weep again. I can also catch things earlier and quicker, naturally. I am invited into the creator’s mind. I can understand why they chose a certain tone, pace, and setting, considering the outcome. It is sort of like when you tell something to a long-time friend and you can already tell what they are thinking — be it from a frown of an eyebrow or the raise in their ears. You can predict these things because they’re familiar to you. You’ve seen them before. And while someone can, arguably, break out of predictability, there is a big chance you’ll be right. Because your relationship’s intimacy has provided you with the ability to read them before they present any sentences, words, or even mutters.

Sitting down to rewatch a film allows you to exercise this same intimacy. Looking at the ‘small picture.’ The little things. Books on the table that open a door into the protagonist's world. Realizing beforehand what could have been missed on first viewing.

Donna Tartt wrote, I believe under Henry Winter’s character in The Secret History:

“It is better to know one book intimately than a hundred superficially.”

This statement lives inside me now. Resonating with my current repetition binge and explaining the comfort of endless loops. It got me thinking of the many instances in my life where I would rather fixate upon one thing and one thing only than the new and distinct. Those which belong most to someone else. I do not want to know more things, I want to know things better.

Multiple films, books, articles, interviews, videos, historical events, people

I cherish the moments where someone talks endlessly about their intimate subjects.

The act of dressing comes to mind. A lot of people are shy about repeating an outfit. Rapid connectivity and over-exposure to trends, I believe, has imposed an almost unbearable and unattainable idea of uniqueness.

In the past years, I have felt at ease with the idea of having a uniform. Maybe not as strict as Steve Jobs (this reference is ever-present in my mind because of two loved ones that cannot go 20 minutes without mentioning ‘Steve’), but having a layer piece and/or a silhouette that people recognize me by. That feels ‘very me.’ Repeating an outfit shows how sure I am of my decisions. Yes, I wore this when I saw you last. I stand by it. I am also giving this combination a second chance. I am unveiling news things about it. I see it in my reflection on storefronts, in my bedroom mirror, and in my friend's photo. I realize that this jacket has a secret pocket in its inner lining and that this bag’s strap is extendable. It is here for a reason, and I wasn’t meant to know this before. It was designed to be slowly discovered. Un-layered. Like when you know your lover’s favourite song from the first date, but then you come to understand why that is on the third year together. My familiarity with these objects will serve me when I need them most. When I have to coat check my bag at a museum and need a place to keep my credit card, or when I am off to a concert and need my belongings as close to my heart as possible.

I am intimate with Joan Didion’s words because I have read them a hundred times and will look for them exactly when they will serve me. They’ll meet me where I am. I am intimate with Eric Rohmer’s Moral Tales because they’ll be there to make me feel some type of way, let it be to scold me or keep me company in this strange world. I am intimate with

I am intimate with my green army liner, my loafers, the two braids falling down my shoulders, Sade’s Love Deluxe, my espresso machine, Helen Frankenthaler’s paintings, that place that makes my favourite cocktails.

I am relieved to know I have a whole life ahead of me, and that I will keep my intimacies inside me, forever.

This was written on December 30th, 2022.