Gratitude Friday

1. Morning walks. I’m realizing that walks with Ringo may just be the only thing that has stayed the same (minus Sam), even with a global pandemic, climate crisis, downfall of civilization. Amidst all the nonsense and chaos, here at the end of the world, in the middle of nowhere, there’s still the dog and the walk and the river.

2. Practice, alone and together. It sustains me, supports me, saves me. On a practical level, it gives me something to do, every single day, is constant and consistent, something I know and can trust.

3. Vaccines. In particular for the one for COVID-19, and that people I love and those who have worked so hard to care for the rest of us through this will be protected, as much as they can be.

4. Comfort. Blooms inside, art card mail, tiny marshmallows in my coffee in my favorite mug, kitchen counter love notes — all proof that people love me, that I’m not alone.

5. My tiny family, my tiny house, my tiny life. They are my favorite.

Bonus joy: naps, cookies, clementines, drive through pharmacy, pay day, laundry, clean sheets, a warm shower, a big glass of cold clean water, down blankets and pillows, snow, birds at the feeder and singing in the nearby trees, deer tracks in the fresh snow (I don’t know why but it makes me ridiculously happy that they are out there in the dark just walking down the sidewalk), sleepy Ringo, “singing” with Ringo, Parkour Ringo, the pool, sitting in the sauna with Eric, my masseuse Dana, snow shovels, the four dogs that live across the street, texting with my mom and brother and Chloe’, writing and hanging out with Mikalina, Wild Writing and my Friday morning writing sangha, comedy shows, streaming online yoga classes, having all the props so I can take a restorative class with one of my favorite teachers online from home.

Something Good

Image by Eric

1. How to help Texas during winter storm blackouts. In related news, How to Help Texans Recover From the Winter Disaster, and How to help, and what to do if you need it, during Texas’ historic freeze, and When a busy H-E-B lost power, store told Texans gathering supplies to ‘go ahead’ without paying.

2. The ‘Heart’ of Heart Mountain: Japanese American Internment Through The Eyes Of A Child And His Unlikely Friend.

3. This 108-year-old artist proves that age is just a number! (video)

4. When Death Comes: An Oncology Nurse Finds Solace in Mary Oliver.

5. Recipe I want to try: Snowball Cookies.

6. What you’re feeling is grief. “The layers of cultural trauma we experience on top of our personal losses can feel all-consuming. We are isolated. We are lonely. And we are all, in some way, grieving.” 🥺

7. Inseparable gay penguin couple hatch new egg to become dads for a second time.

8. We’ll Have Herd Immunity by April. “Covid cases have dropped 77% in six weeks. Experts should level with the public about the good news.” Look, I realize that no one really knows what’s going to happen until it happens, and this is just another opinion in a vast ocean of opinions, and I can’t do anything more than I’m already doing to change the outcome, but this is the kind of opinion piece I need in my life right now.

9. What to do when you want to keep the slower pace of quarantine.

10. 21 Day Anti-Anxiety Challenge. “Here are twenty-one simple things you can do to help you cultivate a calmer, stronger, healthier mental state.” In my humble opinion, one step got overlooked: don’t call it a “challenge,” it’s too stressful.

11. More Creating, Less Hamster Wheel from Jena Schwartz.

12. Why “Gentle Writing Advice,” Exactly? from Chuck Wendig on Terrible Minds.

13. There can be no more waiting. “For almost the entire time that I’ve been self-employed I told myself that I would rest…later.”

14. The 7 types of rest that every person needs.

15. Fire and Ice from Rita’s Notebook.

16. This Is What It’s Like For Men With Eating Disorders. Diet culture sucks for EVERY BODY.

17. 5 Tips for Spiritual Activists on Lion’s Roar. “Bill Aiken offers five Buddhist insights to be a more effective agent of change.”

18. Austin Kleon interview by Rob Spillman. “The author of Steal Like an Artist talks about his popular, eclectic weekly newsletter where he shares 10 ‘things’ which can include music, TV, movies, poems, and even update s on Coconut the Owl, who has taken up residence in his backyard.” In related news, David Eagleman’s Sum: Forty Tales from the Afterlives and A house for Coconut.

19. ‘Somatic Exercises’ Stretch the Stress Right Out of Your Poor, Aching Body.

20. The Story of ‘Team Molly’ on The New York Times. “While her daughter was hospitalized, one mother built more room for our national grief.”

21. Beautiful Embroidery Captures Stunning Star Trails With Shimmering Beads.

22. Third graders write letters to God with some very important questions and they’re adorably innocent.

23. Is That the Cosmos or India on Diwali? NASA’s Image of Human Cell Leaves Twitter Bewildered. Our tiny insides are so beautiful.