Something Good

Heron in flight, searching for breakfast

1. The World’s Happiest Country Is All About Reading, Coffee, and Saunas. Yes, please.

2. Best Books 2022In related news, The Best Films of 2022, So Far and 6 Podcasts to Make You Feel Good — both on The New York Times.

3. What to Do When the World Is Ending. I think I shared this when it was first published a few months ago, but it really is worth multiple reads.

4. A Radical Vision for the Future“‘A Message From the Future II: The Years of Repair'” is an animated short film that illustrates a radical vision of a future created when 2020 forced us to abandon oppressive systems. It launched us into a new paradigm to center the well-being of all people and the planet. With beautiful illustrations and poignant storytelling, the video reminds us that a better world is possible, and we can all be agents of change in its creation.”

5. What to Do When Your Highly Sensitive Soul Is in Overdrive.

6. Triptych for Hard Times from Jena Schwartz. “You are still here. You are breathing. You are alive. You have the strength, and you have the capacity. So tell me: Do you have the will? What will you do? Who will you be?”

7. The Romantic, Failed Experiments of American Utopias“The history of American communes is one of imperfect people trying to make a perfect place.”

8. How to Write Personal Essays Through Who You Are“This exercise is meant to let you use a part of your identity as a perspective, rather than just a subject that you’re putting under pressure and scrutiny.”

9. Memoir Monday“The best first-person writing from across the web, all in one place.”

10. Good stuff from Chuck Wendig on Terrible Minds: “Don’t Complain” Is Not A Winning Political Message, and Things Are Fucked, And Our Leaders Lack The Will To Unfuck Them, and Sometimes Writing Is Finding A Place To Put All Your Rage, Sorrow, And Even Joy.

11. From The People: Your Indigenous Marketplace and Community. Support indigenous creators. In related news, Haipažaža Pȟežuta has some really great products.

12. Art on Instagram: Jake Annetts: Free-hand embroidery art and Phyllis Gorsen: Painter and collage artist based in Philadelphia.

13. Advocacy on Instagram: Alok Vaid-Menon on the dangerous rise in legislation around gender and sex and Belle Kurve on the importance of voting.

14. Wisdom from Mindy Tsonas Choi’s recent newsletter“What I know about our world today, and my place in it, is that we need so much more slowness, softness, and spaces for collective regeneration, trust and capacity building, imagination, and connection (not bypass) – and I really want to be a part of helping to holding this energy.” Check out her beautiful new website: Collective Belonging Ecologies.

15. The Cost of Call-Out Culture from Andrea Gibson. In related news, That time I accidentally cancelled someone (kind of) from Caroline Dooner. Side note: you do all realize that I don’t always 100% agree with the things I post, right? Some I do, some I don’t, and some I’m not sure — and, I’m constantly considering new information and perspectives, and changing my mind. On this particular subject, the jury is still out for me.

16. Q&A about Readers Write With Sun Associate Editor Derek AskeyWhen I get my new issue each month, I go straight to Readers Write.

17. Feeling afraid of showing your true self? “LGBTQ+ people have given us a unique and priceless gift.”

18. A Big Shitty Party: Six Parables of Writing about Other People“I’ve narrowed my own stories down to the six episodes that have most shaped my own ethical code for implicating others in my work. If I could write worthwhile books in such a way that it wouldn’t upset anyone, I would. Unfortunately, that kind of writing has mostly proved not worthwhile. I often write about the things I can’t speak of, and one of the most common reasons that I can’t speak of them is because it would upset people. So, for better and worse, I have faced the consequences, sometimes with more grace than other times. If I could, I would change some of my choices, but not many.”

19. earth.fm, whose tagline is: “like Spotify, but for natural soundscapes.” Earth FM is “a non-profit, free repository of pure, immersive natural soundscapes as a fundraising platform for local, grassroots charities that support the restoration of our natural world.”

20. Demand responsibility by Seth Godin.

21. This Is What a Real Apology Looks Like (And Why They’re So Hard to Get). “Saying, ‘I’m sorry’ is about much more than the words — it’s about the empathy, actions, and intent behind the words, too.”

22. 3 Simple Ways to Reject Productivity Culture from Courtney Carver on Be More With Less.

23. Country diary: Why I let nature take its course in my ever-changing gardenI love a garden that is full and wild.

24. Interview with Daisy Haggard: ‘Forget work. Let’s just talk about Wotsits.’ “After a string of hits including Back to Life and Breeders, the actor and writer is hot property. So why does she only want to discuss crisps?”

25. Remarkable friendships from the animal world on CBS Sunday Morning. “In the leafy Pine Barrens of southern New Jersey lies a very different kind of farm: the astonishing Funny Farm, a not-for-profit animal sanctuary open to the public two days a week, created by New Jersey’s own Doctor Doolittle, Laurie Zaleski. Every animal here is a rescue – abused, abandoned, disabled – and Zaleski has healed and protected more than 600 animals over the last 20 years, from retired racehorses to raucous roosters.”

26. Clusters of Diaphanous Textile Sculptures by Mariko Kusumoto Evoke the Ocean Floor.

27. Flora and Fauna Converge as Fantastic Hybrid Creatures in Jon Ching’s Oil Paintings.

28. In ‘Extinct and Endangered,’ Photographer Levon Biss Magnifies the Potential Loss of Insects Around the Globe.

29. A New National Anthem, a poem by Ada Limón. In related news, I,Too by Langston Hughes, and “What to the Slave Is the 4th of July?”: James Earl Jones Reads Frederick Douglass’s Historic Speech.

Gratitude

Disclaimer: three weeks away means A LOT of pictures 🙂

1. Oregon. In particular the Willamette Valley and the Central Oregon Coast. We’ve lived in Colorado for about 25 years now, in this tiny house for the last 20, and love it here, have no intention of leaving, AND I lived the first years of my life in Oregon and love it there. Luckily even though Eric didn’t live in Oregon his whole life (his Mom grew up there and he finished high school there and eventually met me there in our early 20s, but they were also a military family who lived all over while he was growing up), he spent enough of his life there to know it, his family eventually all settled there too, and he loves the ocean as much as I do — which is A LOT. When we visit, typically in the summer, we can see most of our family AND get to spend time at the beach. Ringo did so good on this trip. Even though we were in the car for three days each direction and we “lived” in five different locations, as long as we set up his crate and there was a deck or yard for him lounge in and a good place to walk, he was fine. He also did his very best to break the “no pets on the furniture” rule every singe place we stayed.

2. Coming home. As much as we love Oregon, the beach and our people and the food and the ease of vacation, it’s good to be home. And even though I missed my peonies, Jen and Nora sent me lots of pictures.

3. Morning walks. Ringo has been doing so good, can go four miles without wrecking himself, and that makes me so happy. I also love that this time of year when I walk with Ringo, Eric usually comes with us. It’s still weird to have only one dog, especially when we walk together so only one of us is technically walking the dog, but there’s also a particular ease to it that I’m enjoying.

4. Reading. Books are my best friends, my greatest teachers. Part of my morning practice is to read a chapter from a dharma book and a chapter from a creativity book. The most recent collection (pictured below) of what I’ve been reading is SO GOOD, highly recommended. I’ll also add Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teachings of Plants to the list, no picture because I passed it along once I read it. Next up and just delivered are Body Work: The Radical Power of Personal Narrative and Heart Medicine: How to Stop Painful Patterns and Find Peace and Freedom.

5. My tiny family, my tiny home, my tiny life. Vacation, being away from your normal space, stuff, and routine, gives you a different perspective on your “regular” life. And it doesn’t really matter where or how far you go, just that it’s “someplace else.” For me, I can see my experience more clearly from this different perspective, consider it with compassion and wisdom, and see the things I may not have been aware of because they were too close, too familiar. I can more easily connect to my experience with a sense of gratitude and discernment. 

Bonus joy: Luna Sea Fish House halibut fish & chips, LeRoys’ Blue Whale pancakes, baked goodies from Depoe Baykery, Mo’s clam chowder, a big salad, sour gummy worms, hybrid and electric cars, the sound of the ocean, wildflowers, all the birds, coyotes and beavers, herons, washers and dryers, air conditioning, fans, trees, honey bees, recipes, bread, the little ones in our families, vaccines, clean sheets, a warm shower, houseplants, grapefruit bubbly sparkling water, streaming TV and movies (in Oregon, we had to watch commercials and IT WAS AWFUL), listening to podcasts, reading in bed at night while Ringo and Eric sleep.