1. Quote from Rabbi Yehuda HaChasid, “I will build an altar from the broken fragments of my heart,” (by way of Jena Schwartz‘s Dispatches from Daily Life.)
2. Wisdom from Francis Weller, “The task of a mature human being is to hold gratitude in one hand and grief in the other and to be stretched large by them,” by way of Erin Geesaman Rabke‘s newsletter. Erin also included a poem from Mark Nepo and these lines really touched me,
I guess, if you should ask, peace
is no more than the underside
of tired wings resting on the lake
while the heart in its feathers
pounds softer and softer.
3. The “New Age Thinking Will Make Me Thin” Diet. Been there, done that.
4. Is Fatphobia the Opposite of Skinny-Shaming? from Dances with Fat.
5. Black People Need Stronger White Allies — Here’s How You Can Be One. In related news, On Becoming Anti-Racist, and Anti-racism resources for white people, and How to help Black Lives Matter: 9 things you can do for the George Floyd protesters right now, and 26 ways to be in the strugglebeyond the streets, and For Our White Friends Desiring to Be Allies, and Save the Tears: White Woman’s Guide, and How to Fight for Justice for George Floyd, and 75 Things White People Can Do for Racial Justice, and For White People Only.
6. A Timeline of Events That Led to the 2020 ‘Fed Up’-rising. “To contextualize the anger, frustration and desperation that forced protesters to recreate the lawlessness and chaos that black people experience on a daily basis, The Root has created a timeline of some of the events that led up to black people across the country collectively saying: ‘Aight, den.'” In related news, George Floyd’s killing has opened the wounds of centuries of American racism, “George Floyd’s killing and the ensuing protests, explained.”
7. Mary Lambert – Not Ready To Die Yet. (video)
9. A message for graduates: Enjoy your obscurity while it lasts from Austin Kleon. Also from Austin, A tiny triumph and Work and learn in evil days, in which he says, “Feeling grateful for what art can do. How you can disappear into a tiny room and make your own world. How you sit down with a blank page and fill it with your hands and at the end there’s something in the world that wasn’t there before. That simple, basic thing.”
10. Wild Writing Family, a Wild Writing membership with Laurie Wagner. In all sincerity and seriousness, this practice with this teacher has had as much of an impact on my life as meditation, yoga, and my dogs, is as essential to me as air or water.
11. 25 Reasons to Write a Book from Alexandra Franzen.
12. Dear Amy Cooper, an open letter and some great resources from Jena Schwartz. In related news, It looks like Amy Cooper, the white woman in the viral Central Park video, is a liberal. That’s important, and White Woman Who Called Police On Black Bird-Watcher In Central Park Has Been Fired, and 5 Racist Anti-Racism Responses “Good” White Women Give to Viral Posts, and 10 Habits of Someone Who Doesn’t Know They’re Anti-Black, and Dear White People, This is What We Want You to Do and, Expressive Writing Prompts to Use If You’ve Been Accused of White Fragility Spiritual Bypass or White Privilege.
13. Justice and dignity, too often in short supply from Seth Godin.
14. Remember, No One Is Coming to Save Us by Roxane Gay on The New York Times, because this:
Eventually, doctors will find a coronavirus vaccine, but black people will continue to wait, despite the futility of hope, for a cure for racism. We will live with the knowledge that a hashtag is not a vaccine for white supremacy. We live with the knowledge that, still, no one is coming to save us. The rest of the world yearns to get back to normal. For black people, normal is the very thing from which we yearn to be free.
15. A Weekend of Pain and Protest from The Daily podcast on The New York Times. “Demonstrations have erupted in at least 140 cities across the United States in the days since George Floyd, a black man, died in police custody in Minneapolis. We were on the ground in some of them, chronicling 72 hours of pain and protest.”
16. In Some Cities, Police Officers Joined Protesters Marching Against Brutality. I appreciate the Flint officers who took off their helmets and put down their batons rather than spraying mace, shooting rubber bullets, etc., instead marching with the people, but I also think it was wrong of Genesee County Sheriff Chris Swanson to say, “let’s turn this protest into a parade” because it is dismissive of the ongoing pain, grief, rage, and harm. Nothing about this is fun. It’s not a party or celebration. There is something absolutely worth protesting, raging against. I also feel weird about the officers taking a knee. I think they intend to show (or rather perform) solidarity with Colin Kaepernick’s protest, but to take a knee when this current surge of protests was triggered by one of their own taking a knee on George Floyd’s neck, it’s tone deaf at best.
17. How to more safely protest in a pandemic. “Tips for reducing the risk of spreading the coronavirus in a mass gathering, from public health experts.” It’s been scary to watch some of the video, people shaking hands and hugging, so close together, many of them not wearing masks.
19. Coronavirus May Be a Blood Vessel Disease, Which Explains Everything. “Many of the infection’s bizarre symptoms have one thing in common.” In other COVID-19 news, You won’t likely catch coronavirus from a surface or an animal, the CDC reports, and It’s Not Whether You Were Exposed to the Virus. It’s How Much on The New York Times.
23. It Does Not Matter If You Are Good. “On Omar Jimenez, George Floyd, Christian Cooper and the myth of being non-threatening.”
24. White women form a human shield to protect black demonstrators protesting in Louisville. This is the way to do it. How can we mimic this sort of protection, engagement, care in our daily lives, I wonder?
25. Comic: Why You Should Turn Your Yard Into a Mini-Farm. “Take that lawn by the grass and grow something!”
26. After Trump encourages shooting of ‘thugs’ in Minneapolis, Twitter gives him ‘glorifying violence’ warning. In related news, Full Disclosure: An Interview with Noel Casler, “The former ‘Celebrity Apprentice’ talent handler on what he saw behind the scenes.” This article terrified me because it makes it very clear that it’s not just a rumor or speculation how really terrible our Fascist in Chief is, but rather it is a known fact, general knowledge, which means anyone who works with or near him and does nothing to stop him is culpable.
28. Interview with Dr. Jarvis Chen About Re-Opening Yoga Classes and Studios. I thought this passage was particularly helpful:
One of yoga’s central teachings is that everything changes. This material world of prakṛti is impermanent and always changing (pariṇāmavāda) and we suffer when we remain attached to the way things were. So, it is important for us as yoga practitioners to question our attachment to how we used to live our lives, our aversion to some of the things we may continue to have to do to mitigate the risk of coronavirus transmission, and our fear of the unknown.
30. Upaya Work Prayer from Joan Halifax:
May this work be done in a spirit of generosity
not driven by ego, greed, or delusion.
May kindness sustain us and prevail in conflict, and compassion guide us and lead us to understanding.
May we rejoice in the successes of others,
and remain unmoved by praise or blame.