Something Good

Snail, image by Eric

1. As I’ve mentioned before, I have awesome friends. Two of them have offerings I wanted you to know about. My friend Carrie is offering writing coaching, and my friend Kerilyn is offering a program called Trust. They are both are super smart, creative, kind, funny, brave, and have big hearts.

2. Good stuff from Lion’s Roar: No One Like Me by Lama Rod Owens (“Lama Rod Owens on taking care of your own needs when you don’t see yourself represented in those around you”), and Thai boys rescued from cave ordain as Buddhist monks (“After being trapped in a flooded cave for more than two weeks, the boys have ordained as monks in memory of the rescue worker who died trying to save them”), and Pema Chödrön & k.d. lang talk Buddhism, creativity, and “gapaciousness,” which includes this wisdom in particular,

Tami Simon: What are the parallels between the meditative process and the creative process?

k.d. lang: That’s some heavy stuff right there. [Laughter]

I think it’s exactly the same thing. It’s about getting rid of the chatter. It’s the gap. Not The Gap. Maybe we could get a sponsorship from The Gap now. [Laughter, applause]

It’s the gap, because I think real creativity comes from getting the heck out of the way. Creativity is not about creating big conceptions and stirring the pot so much that you just gotta throw up on the canvas or write, write, write, write. I think it’s about being so bored and being so empty and being so… gapacious.

Tami Simon: Gapacious, yeah!

k.d. lang: That’s where I think creativity comes from. I’m not a great meditator but I think that’s probably what meditation is about. It’s about getting out of the way of your true nature, which is stillness I think.

Pema Chödrön: All spiritual teachings come from that place of not being caught up in yourself. When you get out of the way, that is the gap experience, the pause experience, the stillness experience. It’s the experience of strong, direct communication with the world, and that’s when all real communication happens. Otherwise, it’s just you laying your trip on other people.

When you kind of get over yourself, even briefly, that’s when creativity happens. That includes being able to speak in a way that communicates to the heart and minds of people. Something changes because of the basic goodness of people connecting with each other. So whether it’s you singing, or someone teaching the dharma, anything that stops your mind connects you with the best of yourself. When a ballet dancer leaps beautifully through the air, or a singer hits a note—I bet you’ve had this experience, k.d.— everybody stands up and applauds because of this universal experience of something touching you so deeply that it’s inexpressible—because it’s… gapacious! [Laughter] May I use that?

k.d. lang: Yup. It’s my offering to you.

My teacher always talked about the expansive nature—pulling yourself out of yourself and always looking with the widest possible view. It gives you a completely different perspective.

3. More White Feminists Should Be Using Their Privilege to Talk About Nia Wilson. In related news, Dear Anne Hathaway, Brene Brown, and Elizabeth Gilbert, and The Very American Killing of Nia Wilson on The New York Times, and How to Spend Your Privilege, and White Supremacist Takes the Life of Teen Nia Wilson + the Nation Grieves.

4. 5 Things Your Introverted Friends Want You to Know.

5. Sit, Walk, Write, an Upaya Institute and Zen Center Podcast with Natalie Goldberg.

6. This Is My “After” Body from Dances with Fat.

7. Journaling Prompts to Relieve Stress: 10 for Morning + 10 for Evening from Be More With Less.

8. I tried to reason with a racist on the internet, “and here’s what happened.”

9. Feng E taught himself to play the ukelele. He’s amazing. (video) He’s so little, but he makes such a big beautiful sound.

10. Freedom to Bash Heads, “You are cordially invited to have a civil discussion with the Proud Boys.”

11. ‘All I Did Was Be Black’: Police Called On Smith College Student Eating Lunch.

12. Trump Mocks LeBron James’s Intelligence and Calls Don Lemon ‘Dumbest Man’ on TV on The New York Times. In related news, Twitter Explodes Over Donald Trump’s ‘Disgusting’ Attack On LeBron James.

13. The tender, terrifying truth about what happened inside the Trader Joe’s hostage siege.

14. Virginia Family Calls for Hate Crime Investigation After White Man Calls Daughter N-Word and Hits Her With His Truck.

15. El Paso County Deputies Started a Fight Club to Reward Use of Force Against Prisoners.

16. Michael Bennett, Other Players Troll the MAGA Crowd With Social Justice Gear as They Suit Up for the Season.

17. The NRA Said It’s Losing So Much Money It Might Cease to Exist “Sending thoughts and prayers.” <– That tagline though. So petty, so perfect. In related news, The NRA Says It’s in Deep Financial Trouble, May Be ‘Unable to Exist’.

18. Youth Care Worker Accused of Sexually Molesting 8 Children at Government Immigrant Shelter in Mesa, Ariz.

19. Meet ‘Bob Smith,’ The Fake Facebook Profile Memphis Police Allegedly Used To Spy On Black Activists.

20. After their racist boss tried to threaten a group of Latino workers by firing just a few of them, THE WHOLE CREW marched out in protest. (video) Listen with the sound on. The commentary of the guy who is filming, his joy, is perfect.

21. ‘Brooklyn Becky’ called the cops on a black woman who was waiting for an Uber in the rain. (video)

22. I Was Harassed By My Students For Being Gay. (video) This is how it works – the person being harmed is treated as the problem, with those in power hoping they will just shut up and go away so the destruction and violence of the status quo can continue to benefit those in power. Total bullshit.

23. A black man who suffered a seizure was dragged off of a California train by a heartless white man who didn’t want his ride to be delayed. (video)

24. This woman’s husband served in the U.S. military 3 times and voted for President Trump — now she’s being deported and leaving behind her family. (video)

25. We spoke with activists who have been staging a multi-day protest at an ICE field office about #AbolishICE and why it’s vital that news outlets tell people about ICE’s abuses. (video)

26. Louisiana Cops Strangle Black Man to Death for Asking to See Arrest Warrant.

27. This suburb has been overtaken by an uprising of 118 goats. (video)

28. The ‘sexy, spiritual, successful woman’ ideal – why it hurts us.

29. Woman Shot and Killed Abusive Husband In Driveway, Now Faces Murder Charges Even Though Alabama is a ‘Stand Your Ground’ State.

30. Another racist woman about to call ICE on a poor mother trying to get money just to feed herself and her daughter. (video)

31. White Woman Snatches Protest Sign From Black Woman, Cries to Police When She Gets Punched in the Face.

32. Trump’s Response To Ivanka Saying The Press Aren’t The Enemy Of The People Is Unintentionally Revealing.

33. There are two types of people. (video) This is hilarious. Spoiler alert: the awkward kitty at the end is me.

34. Two women charged with inciting hatred after social media post called for “shoot an Indian day.”

35. Do’s and Don’ts for Bystander Intervention. “If you witness public instances of racist, anti-Black, anti-Muslim, anti-Trans, or any other form of oppressive interpersonal violence and harassment, use these tips on how to intervene while considering the safety of everyone involved.”

36. Trump approvingly tweets video of his rally crowd harassing a journalist. “Trump’s Tampa rally turned ugly. Trump tweeted to support the rallygoers.”

37. Ozzie Albies comforting Ronald Acuña Jr. is the perfect alternative to toxic masculinity.

38. Racism at American Pools Isn’t New: A Look at a Long History on The New York Times.

39. Lawsuits Remains A Firm Weapon of Whiteness. In related news, Roy Moore Files Defamation Lawsuit Alleging ‘Conspiracy’ Against His Campaign.

40. The ACLU is suing ICE for ‘inhumanely detaining immigrants in federal prisons.’ (video)

41. Black Man Wears A ‘Caucasians’ Shirt And Triggers Racists Who Prove His Point.

42. Cue the World’s Smallest Violin: White Driver Who Followed Black Man, Called Him Slurs, Now Whines About Life Being Ruined. Karma is a bitch, dude. In related news, Bigot Who Wanted Black Man To Know ‘How Much Of A N****r’ He Was Says His Life Is ‘Ruined.’

43. Black Woman Was Denied Ambulance Ride Because Medics Thought She Couldn’t Afford It. Here’s an idea: when we are able to help someone, let’s do it regardless of if they can afford to pay for that help or not. She was having a STROKE and they were thinking about if she could afford their help or not.

44. After Calf’s Death, Orca Mother Carries It For Days In ‘Tragic Tour Of Grief.’

45. This Republican candidate taught his daughter to build a wall and read “make America great again” in a bizarre campaign ad.

46. American white people really hate being called “white people.”

47. A siege. A bomb. 48 dogs. And the black commune that would not surrender. “Forty years ago, Philadelphia erupted in one of the most dramatic shoot-outs of the black liberation struggle. Ed Pilkington tells the surreal story of the Move 9 – and what happened to them next.”

48. PBS Announces Native America, New Four-Part Series Premiering Fall 2018.

49. Polite White People Are (Still) Useless.

50. After Boulder diversity officer’s unexplained exit, city seeks outside help on race and equity.

51. This artist fights neo-nazis with food. (video) Watch the video, it’s not what you think.

52. Gay couple forced to give up plane seat to straight couple.

53. Lawmakers Call For An Investigation Of Markeis McGlockton’s Death And His Shooter, Who Is Protected By The ‘Stand Your Ground’ Law.

54. Mama bears do whatever they can for their cubs—even if that means acting as a flotation device. (video)

55. Recipe I want to try: Eggplant “Bacon.”

I'd love to hear what you think, kind and gentle reader.

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