Monthly Archives: January 2018

Something Good

The contents of my grocery cart this week, made fancy by Prisma and Eric

1. this is a love song, not an apology: in praise of quitting from Isabel Abbott. I’ve shared it before, but I needed to revisit it this week and thought maybe you might too.

2. Why Are Magazines Still Not Letting Plus Women Actively Participate In Fashion? In related news, This Fitness Brand Had the Perfect Response to Their Plus-size Model Getting Fat-shamed.

3. On Mo’Nique: Being Nice is Not A Requirement for Fair Pay. In related news, Fear of an Angry Black Woman: Why Mo’Nique Was Right.

4. List: Things That Begin a Sentence That Indicate You May Need to Refrain From Finishing That Sentence from McSweeney’s Internet Tendency.

5. Why our current political issues have everything to do with body positivity from The Militant Baker.

6. The Great Rat Rescue. “We are lucky to live and work in such a pet-friendly and compassionate community.”

7. A goat and a coyote play. (video) In related news, Cow who escaped in November found living with a herd of bison. (video)

8. Black Girl Booklist! 10 Must-Read Books by Black Women.

9. Deaf Dancer Finds His Way to Feel The Beat. (video)

10. Facebook Apologizes for Banning Paragraph From Black Woman’s Book. This is an ongoing issue, happens constantly to the WOC I follow on Facebook.

11. Margaret Atwood’s Books Taught Me to Listen to Women—Now She Needs to Learn the Same Thing.

Really listening requires full body presence. It requires you to soften and let go of the fear, the urge to argue, and the instinct to control the narrative. It takes a comfort with silence and a willingness to accept that your turn to talk may never come, that what’s happening might not be about you at all. This doesn’t mean internalizing every call-out on social media, but rather acknowledging how your voice carries and reaching out to those who have less power with compassion, respect, and openness. It requires you see them first as individual human beings with names, lives, and experiences you might not have imagined. We’ve assumed for too long that the onus for reaching out is on the less powerful. We must work to upend that imbalance and make space for women of color, Indigenous women, trans women, and others who have been left out of feminism in the past.

12. The Life Thief. “How diet culture steals your time, your energy, and your health—and how you can take them back.”

13. Dog Loves His Automatic Ball Launcher. (video)

14. Relaxing Into the Feeling of Being Alive from Zen Habits.

15. Do you feel a yearning for something you can’t explain? There’s a word for that.

16. 8 Contradictions you might experience if you’re an INFJ.

17. Ursula K. Le Guin On Writing:”Alas, There Are No Recipe” from Chuck Wendig.

18. Anthony Bourdain was a 44 year old cook who was slinging french fries and having little hope to ever get out of debt, or even pay his taxes. (video)

19. Company Hilariously Mocks Stupid Client Requests, Shows What Happens When You Do Everything They Ask.

20. Lucas the spider. (video) Reminds me of Marcel the Shell.

Gratitude Friday

1. My bed. After being gone over the weekend, it felt so good to sleep here again.

2. Flowers in the bathroom. It’s especially nice when they last a long time.

3. Food I can only get in Oregon. My aunt sent me two jars of marionberry jam for Christmas, and when I was in Oregon my cousin gave me four more, to which another aunt added a jar of gooseberry jam. I smuggled them all home in my suitcase, and they all got here safely. My mom also made a pineapple upside down cake while I was there and I had lunch at Burgerville in the airport before flying home. YUM.

4. Practice. Yoga, writing, meditation, and dog, all on the regular, saving my life every day.

5. My tiny family. I was only gone barely four days, but I missed them. They are my favorites, my normal.

Sam’s new bed is so big it almost makes him look tiny.

Bonus joy: aqua aerobics, Wild Writing, clean sheets, snow, morning walks, watching The Great British Baking Show with Eric (we watched all four seasons — what are we going to watch now? *sob*), two flights on which the planes didn’t fall out of the sky, good friends who will “go all mom on you” when you really need it.

Something Good

1. What Is White Feminism? Here Are 7 Sneaky Ways It Shows Up Into Your Life. In related news, Why This Black Girl Will Not Be Returning To The Women’s March, and The Second Lives of Pussy Hats on The New York Times, and You’re Not “Not Political,” You’re Complicit, and White centering, white fragility, and the pink pussy hat with Abigail Rose Clark (video), and I spent MLK day fighting with an “ally” about my Trump headline, and Ep012 Wild Mystic Woman Podcast: Desiree Adaway On Leading Difficult Conversations On Race, Class + Gender, and Stop Silencing Women of Color from Jena Schwartz, because this, “That is what the invisible powers that be will do with women of color who are sharing their everyday, lived experiences of racism. They are not making this shit up, but there are plenty of white people who feel ‘attacked’ by these ‘offensive’ posts. You know what’s offensive? Denial. Coddling. Defensiveness. And actively silencing those who are sharing their pain and anger and frustration and truth.”

2. Tips for Raising Kids with Disabilities from Zach Anner. (video)

3. Are You Supporting White Supremacy? A checklist for teachers.

4. How to Stop Passive Aggression from Ruining Your Relationship. “Learning to express anger in a healthy way will help couples resolve conflicts, instead of letting them simmer.”

5. Housemates with 68 year age gap. (video) “Florence, 95, was lonely. Alexandra, 27, needed an affordable home.”

6. Rescued Raccoon Loves His Dog Sister. (video)

7. Being an English Graduate Is Hard, Being a Female English Graduate Is Harder.

8. Man Pulls 5 1/2-Foot-Long Tapeworm Out Of His Body, Blames Sushi Habit. You might not know this about me but I’m currently working on a book about a women with a tapeworm.

9. These 30+ Photos Of Ingo The Dog And His Owl Friends Is The Only Thing You Need To See Today.

10. Chickens playing a xylophone. (video) “A Colorado woman installed a xylophone in her backyard and now her chickens spend their days playing music.”

11. Layla Saad is creating space to center the stories, art and magic of women of colour on Patreon.

12. Take the stairs. Your Fitbit commands it. (video) Hilarious.

13. This Art Exhibit About Rape Powerfully Answers The Question ‘What Were You Wearing?’

14. Abandoned Puppy Grows Up With 150 Rescued Animals. (video)

15. Immigration officials came into work on a national holiday to take Jorge away from his family. (video) I’m not gonna lie, this makes me feel a level of rage that isn’t healthy.

16. You can not just teach about slavery, these people had backgrounds. They came from Africa. (video)

17. Of Docks and Churches and Libraries and Love on Rita’s Notebook. Because this, “Love is not, as I’ve thought for most of my life, the dock. It is the water.”

18. A Guide to Moving Courageously Into a New Uncertain Space on Zen Habits.

19. Bitchreads: 25 Fiction Books You Must Read in 2018.

20. An Artist Has Corrected All Of Those Crap Sexual Harassment Non-Apologies.

21. The Complete Guide to Understanding and Dealing With Online Trolls.

22. The controversy around Babe.net’s Aziz Ansari story, explained.

23. White supremacy is insidious and pervasive everywhere, including at The New York Times and other liberal media.

24. White People Understand Exactly How Racism Works.

25. Writing As Protest and Therapy: Writing Can Save Us and the World.

26. Professional Black Girl (Season 2) New Orleans Baby! A Kickstarter project. You can watch Season 1 on YouTube.

27. The Black Woman’s Tale: Why Margaret Atwood’s Espousal of White Feminist Beliefs Shouldn’t Surprise You.

28. My body has always known the truth…I just wasn’t listening, wisdom from Melissa Toler.

29. Miniature Paintings on Tea Bags by Ruby Silvious.

30. 8 kick-ass coming-of-age movies directed by women.

31. Freedom, fairness and equality from Seth Godin.

32. Oprah’s Blind Spot from Rachel Cole.

33. Color Palette: Deep Greens. I need the couch in the last picture.

34. How to Establish a Daily Practice of Almost Anything, in Six Steps. A good reminder.

35. What’s Missing from #MeToo and #TimesUp: One Indigenous Woman’s Perspective.

36. 27 Ways To Tell a True Story from the amazing Laurie Wagner.

37. 75 Questions for Cultivating Self-Awareness.

38. America the Trumped: 10 ways the administration attacked civil rights in year one from the Southern Poverty Law Center.

39. 9 Ways We Can Make Social Justice Movements Less Elitist and More Accessible.

40. 3 quick thoughts about walking from Austin Kleon.

Day of Rest


I’m typing this on my phone. I just wanted to check in, let you know where I am, what’s going on. I didn’t post for Gratitude Friday this week and my Something Good list is postponed until Tuesday. My only explanation is this picture, my grandneice Lia. I had to come see her and everything else has to wait.

Something Good

Geese over the Poudre River, image by Eric

1. What does it mean to “make light”? from Karen Walrond.

2. Ava DuVernay’s Visionary Filmmaking Is Reshaping Hollywood.

3. My shadow son: A stranger insisted he was my child for more than a decade.

4. Mom Films Video For The Son She Put Up For Adoption So He’ll Always Know He Was Wanted. This article describes the heartbreak of giving a baby up for adoption so clearly.

5. Five ways to make a difference in 2018.

6. Outcry After Louisiana Teacher Arrested During School Board Meeting. Outrage is exactly the correct response to this.

7. 30+ Times Dogs Surprised Humans With Their Incredibly Heroic Acts.

8. My goofy online yoga teacher has indoctrinated me into her cult.“I had a near-pathological fear of public exercise and rarely went out for a run, but my daily morning date with Adriene’s YouTube channel has given me hope.”

9. What It’s Like Being a Highly Sensitive Person in a Caring Profession. This is always the dilemma for me — I need work that has meaning, but as such the same job wrecks me.

10. Introverts: 5 Practices to Make 2018 Your Best Year Yet.

11. Roxane Gay Defends Writer Sarah Hollowell Against Fatphobia at the Midwest Writers Workshop. In related news, Roxane Gay Exposed The Midwest Writers Workshop For Fatphobia On Twitter, and Roxane Gay, Midwest Writer’s Workshop, and Breaking the Silence of Fatphobia.

12. How this Black femme finds peace in Tarot as the world burns.

13. No One Is Coming to Save Us From Trump’s Racism by Roxane Gay on The New York Times.

14. Meshell Ndegeocello Unveils Heartbreaking Cover of Prince Classic, ‘Sometimes it Snows in April.’

15. Recipe I want to try: Roasted Garlic Butternut Squash Soup.

16. Pussy Hats: The Confederate Flag for White Feminists. “As cis and trans women of color enter 2018 with new plans of action, white feminists repeat their failures, complete with exclusion and pussy hats.”

17. Heiress Plotted 19 Grisly Crimes. Investigation Underway. “Frances Glessner Lee, the first lady of forensic science, was a cult curiosity. With her ‘Nutshell Studies’ at the Renwick Gallery, she rises to art star.”

18. These Photos Prove We Have No Idea How Food Grows. (video)

19. The Skeleton Key: Dismantle “is an offering to white women to begin to dismantle the white supremacy we carry in our own bones” from Abigail Rose Clark.

20. Couple with Down syndrome: ‘Love is love.’ (video)

21. Everyday, Frog The Rooster meets the kids at the school bus. (video)

22. Humanizing Trans People One Photo At A Time. (video)

23. Full of Sound and Fury: The Anger of Mediocre White Dudes.

24. Justice and dignity, the endless shortage from Seth Godin.

25. Feast is open for applications. Feast is a 3-month journey to becoming a Well-fed Woman, and it changed my life, continues to do so.

26. A few ideas for honoring Martin Luther King from Wall of Us.

27. How to manage ANY health condition…without dieting from Isabel Foxen Duke.

Day of Rest

Clearing by Martha Postlewaite

Do not try to save
the whole world
or do anything grandiose.
Instead, create
a clearing
in the dense forest
of your life
and wait there
patiently,
until the song
that is your life
falls into your own cupped hands
and you recognize and greet it.
Only then will you know
how to give yourself
to this world
so worth of rescue.

In my Wild Writing class on Friday morning, Laurie used this poem for our final prompt. It was exactly what I needed to hear at that particular moment in time. I knew I would need to find it, print it out, read it again and again, let the meaning sink in and stick. It’s an answer to a question I’ve been asking. A question I’ve asked myself, trying to connect with my own internal wisdom, and a question I’ve cast out into the universe to see what might come back.

Maybe you don’t know this about me, but I am trying to save the whole world. A bodhisattva who vowed to keep being reborn, to keep coming back until there is no one left suffering. I think I was born with this promise already in my heart. Maybe I made the vow in another lifetime, or maybe it formed in my mother’s womb along with my fingers and toes. It seems to have always been there, the longing to ease suffering, in myself and in the world.

The poem seems to answer the lingering, “How?” It’s an answer to my confusion about what to do next. It is a clarification of my bewilderment that time someone said, “think about what breaks your heart and you’ll know who you are here to serve,” and I responded, “but what if everything breaks your heart?”

“Don’t try to save the whole world or do anything grandiose. Instead, create a clearing in the dense forest of your life and wait there patiently, until the song that is your life falls into your own cupped hands and you recognize and greet it. Only then will you know how to give yourself to this world so worth of rescue.” So worth of rescue. All of us, all of it, all of me.

 

Gratitude Friday

1. Walking. Because of my knees, it causes me some discomfort for sure, but I’m so grateful I am still able to go, to make it work. Being out in the still quiet and sometimes dark of morning with my dogs is one of the things that keeps me sane.

2. Practice. All of the ones I do, (writing, yoga, meditation, and dog), invite me to show up, not give up but rather let go and surrender, keep my heart soft and open, be with whatever arises, and be vulnerable, willing to be hurt. That’s the good news and the bad.

3. Morning skies. Especially in the winter in Colorado, the sky does some amazing things.

4. Wild Writing. We started a new session today, and I’m so glad to be back at it.

5. My tiny family. I don’t have any pictures from this week, but trust me — they are as cute as ever. To make up for it, here’s a picture of my favorite neighbor, who just turned 14 years old.

Bonus joy: the weekend, good books (I just finished The Burning Girl: A Novel by Claire Messud), good TV (Eric and I are still watching and loving The Great British Baking Show), good podcasts that I never seem to have time to listen to, Emergen-C, oranges, Meyer lemons, clementines, sweet potatoes, marionberry jam, getting all the laundry done on Friday, working from home, soft clothes, wool socks, down blankets and pillows, our new fence, texting, the internet, libraries, a working furnace, a washer and dryer in my house, health insurance, clean water, clean sheets, sleeping in.