Monthly Archives: September 2020

Something Good

1. This Twitter thread about the “six month slump” was very helpful to me and many others who shared it this week. The final tweet sums it up: “So, dear friends, do not despair of the 6 month wall. It’s not permanent, nor will it define you in this period of adversity. Trust that the magic that helped you through the first phase is still there. Take a breath & a pause. You’ll be on the other side in no time.” Don’t give up.

2. Holding Space is Not About Willful Blindness or Complacency in the Face of Injustice.

3. The Beauty of Imperfection on Lion’s Roar. “Lion’s Roar AV Producer Sandra Hannebohm looks at wabi-sabi and the perfection of imperfection.”

4. On hope from Lion’s Roar: Yes, We Can Have Hope (“Roshi Joan Halifax reflects on the idea of “wise hope” and why we should open ourselves to it”) and Ask the Teachers: What is the Buddhist view of hope? (“Oren Jay Sofer, Sister Clear Grace, and Ayya Yeshe look at the meaning of hope in Buddhism and what it means in today’s world”).

5. Richard, a chapter of Allie Brosh’s new book. If you’ve never read her blog or other book, go now.

6. It’s OK to Rest Your Voice from Jena Schwartz. Also from Jena:

May all who enter through the open gates be met with forgiveness. May old wounds heal and future wounds be wrapped in tapestries of light. May peace seep into the cracks that divide us. May the righteous be humbled and the wicked be righted. May we be held in a vast container of love. May the Days of Awe have mercy on all whose hearts are willing to return. May I be ready to walk through the doors tonight to sing and pray. May our gaze be steady and our path lined with jewels. May the travelers be watched over and the sick be comforted. May our fasting bring compassion where there was conflict and support where there was suffering, honesty where there was hiding and movement where there was stagnation. May the darkness deepen and give birth to light. May destruction only prepare us to shine more brightly. May we remember who we are and why we are here. May we ask for more than we think we deserve and receive with gratitude what comes into being. May fear be consumed by fire and bitterness dissolve in the void. May sweetness linger on our lips and coat our speech like the honey that will coat the sliced apples we’ll share. Shabbat Shalom, beautiful friends.

7. This beauty from Andrea Gibson:

What I know about living is the pain
is never just ours.
Every time I hurt I know
the wound is an echo, so I keep listening
for the moment when the grief
becomes a window,
when I can see what I couldn’t see before.
Through the glass of my most bartered dream
I watched a dandelion lose its mind
in the wind and when it did,
it scattered a thousand seeds.

8. Ms. Tanqueray Starring In 32-Part Humans Of New York Series To Raise Funds Amid Financial Hardship.

9. Because it’s fall, some recipes I want to try: Split Pea Soup with Ham (Instant Pot, Crock-Pot or Stovetop) and Apple Pull-Apart Bread. I made the bread yesterday. It was the first time I’ve ever made a bread that used yeast. I didn’t have the right size pan, so it got split in two. It’s basically a giant cinnamon roll with apples. Very yummy.

10. My Octopus Teacher, streaming on Netflix. “A filmmaker forges an unusual friendship with an octopus living in a South African kelp forest, learning as the animal shares the mysteries of her world.” I watched this earlier in the week, and it’s really beautiful.

11. Surviving the Pull of the Undertow by Sherry Richert Belul, “six tiny moments that can save you when you feel pulled under into dark waters.”

12. Mom shares warning after son, 9, dies of carbon monoxide poisoning on lake trip. I had never heard about this, and neither had his parents. It’s a very sad read, but if you boat with kids, it’s so important.

13. 7 Methods for Recovering From Internalized Capitalism. “Your self-worth is not connected to your productivity.”

14. If you haven’t already, Confirm You’re Registered to Vote.

15. Spoiler, a poem by Hala Alyan. Because this, “I’m here to tell you whatever you build will be ruined, so make it beautiful.”

16. Black Women Novelists You Should Be Reading.

17. Instead of hiding rips and tears, the visible mending movement turns them into art. “Born from the Japanese art of sashiko, visible mending enables crafters to eschew fast fashion and make mistakes beautiful.”

18. Black Lives Still Matter: How We Got Here and What Must Happen Next from Jen Lemen.

19. 27 Things You Do Because You’re a Highly Sensitive Person.

Gratitude Friday

1. Morning walks. Each day, the darkness lasts for a few more minutes than the day before. This week we saw deer, a beaver, a heron, and something coming towards us in the dark — two glowing eyes, about the height of a fox, cat, or even a coyote, coming fast until we stopped and I yelled and it turned off the path. This is the time of year we need to be really careful because there are bears, and with the wild fires, there have also been moose and cougars, not anything you want to run into in the dark, if at all. As much as I hate not having Sam, I am enjoying walking just one dog, which is so much easier.



2. Wild Writing with Laurie. We started a new season this morning. Some of my favorite people in the whole world were there. I still shake my head and smile when I think how ridiculous I was, thinking I could do without this practice, this teacher, these people.3. Practice. I can say with certainty that without it, I wouldn’t still be here. The foundation I cultivated over the past 12 years; in particular the trio of meditation, yoga asana, and writing; has saved me, again and again.4. Good food. One of my favorite things since retiring, and in particular during the lockdown of the pandemic, is cooking and eating good food. This week I made what’s most likely the last of this season’s pickles, because we probably won’t be getting many more cucumbers, and peanut butter cookies, (if you have a good recipe for chewy peanut butter cookies, post the link in the comments or send me an email). I braved meeting a friend for tacos at a place with a big open outdoor area this week, only the third time I’ve eaten food someone outside our house made and the first time I stayed and ate on site, and while I loved seeing her and the tacos were so good, it still felt so weird and risky.5. My tiny family. Eric left me kitchen counter love notes in two locations this week — one where I see it when I come out to get my phone, and a second bonus one with the coffee to surprise me later in the morning when I made a cup. Ringo got a new toy, a possum, and he loves it. It’s so weird how both Obi and Sam could have cared less about toys, but both Dexter and Ringo fell so in love with each new stuffed, squeaky baby. It’s both the sweetest and saddest thing ever how he keeps curling up on Sam’s couch. One of my favorite things to do with Ringo to remember Sam is to “sing,” which Sam did but wasn’t very good at and Ringo loves so much. Bonus joy: getting to see Mikalina THREE times this week, seeing Carrie in person, Chloe’ being back from her travels so I could finally give her the birthday present I bought her (and she loved it, just like I knew she would), texting with my mom and brother, Friday which weirdly still has that same end of the week feel even though I’m retired, fall because it’s my favorite season, black walnut ice cream, getting in the pool, sitting in the infrared sauna with Eric, grocery pick-up, finally deciding what to do with our third car that we don’t need anymore (we are donating it to Eric’s school so the students in the auto repair program can use it to learn stuff, to practice on — my dad’s a mechanic, so this makes me extra happy), falling golden leaves, long naps, reading in bed at night while Ringo and Eric sleep.