Rookie On Love
It's the answer to what my once teenage self needed, and the best digital magazine for young women. The voice of Rookie is one of a friend articulated in pixels and print. It’s teenagers writing for teenagers. Women writing for women. When I learnt of their newest collection, Rookie On Love, I was giddy with anticipation. Unlike Rookie’s first four books – huge multimedia ‘yearbooks’ that compiled the best art and writing from their site – Rookie on Love is an easy paperback of original essays, interviews, stories, poetry, and comics on the heart's most powerful emotion, love.
What does it mean to write ‘on love’. A brief that is, all at once, simple and simply terrifying. Singer-songwriter Mitski Miyawaki wrote about her love for music. Actress Marlo Thomas wrote on finding love in all facets of her life. Durga Chew-Bose wrote about her love for her dog.
Britney Franco’s essay ‘Only Shallow’ chronicles a relationship and questions what it means to truly know someone else. She writes in the second person, so every ‘you’ she spoke of made me feel like it was a version of myself who was falling in love the way that teenagers do. Not in the way we see in movies or on television, but in small and mundane ways – watching one another in physics class, skateboarding, sitting in adolescent bedrooms (posters on the walls, crumbs in the sheets) listening to music. The kind of love that spans the era of high school – defined by hours, days, weeks, semesters, years.
I found my mind mostly musing on the poetry that peppers the collection. ‘Astaghfirullah: A Kiss Before Dying’ by Bassey Ikpi is an ode to sex and sexuality, Florence Welch’s simple yet startling poem ‘Monster’ speaks of the nature of creativity, and how we take intimate moments, late night conversations and articulate them in art. And Marina Sage Carlstroem’s poem ‘2am at the Ramen Shop and I’m Trying to Say I Love You’ is a reminder of how intimacy finds us in unlikely places.
If I was to write on love, maybe I’d find myself sifting through my journals seeing what I wrote about again and again and again. My love of reading, of writing, my love for my best friend, my husband, the love that lies in the banter and bicker of time spent with my siblings. Maybe my love for teaching, for coffee in the mornings. Or my love for riding my bike home in the middle of a summer’s night, drunk and wild and free. I don’t know what I would write about if I was to write on love, but Rookie On Love reminded me of the love that leaks like light into my life.