1. Instructions to a Self: A Diary of Becoming, Jen Lee’s new book. “A pandemic memoir in diary form. This new collection from Jen Lee delivers reflections in small bites, ranging from the personal to the poetic. In a time where no person’s experience exactly mirrors another, this daily accounting of the ebbs and flows offers comfort and company as we collectively experience grief, loss, and the uncertainty of what’s to come.”
3. My Pandemic Cat Had a Secret on The New York Times.
This is the premise from which journalism begins: the assumption that well-trained reporters can go out into the world, gather up the facts, and shape that material into narrative and argument. Indigenous stories test the limits of this enterprise. They require journalists to draw upon centuries of history, elucidate structures of annihilation, and build trust with people who have learned to be wary of misrepresentation. The task feels almost ludicrous, like balancing a skyscraper atop a tiny plinth. When you consider a news market in which few consumers are seeking Indigenous media and would rather spend their leisure hours with the New York Times or HBO, it feels nearly impossible.
5. Is American Dietetics a White-Bread World? These Dietitians Think So on The New York Times. “A new generation of practitioners says the profession pays inadequate attention to different kinds of diets, body types and lives.”
This year, it seemed like no matter who you are, whatever you posted, you had a high chance of getting it wrong in some way, because many of the values we’ve come to expect (and enjoy) on Instagram feel incorrect for this moment: Narcissism, flexing, even the forgivable human cry for validation seem crass in the face of so much social discord. Being so flagrantly, publicly self-involved just feels extra-weird and inappropriate right now. There’s no way around that. The alternative, using Instagram to constantly blast out political messages (especially if you’d never posted that kind of material before), can also feel disingenuous, however well intentioned. This kind of tension could spell doom for a social network built on projections of pleasure and success.
7. Long Distance Love: Celebration and Connection in the Midst of a Pandemic from Sherry Richert Belul. Sherry is an absolute master of making you feel loved, even from a distance. If you don’t believe me, go listen to some of her Sunday Audio LoveGrams.
8. Begin again On Rita’s Notebook. “This week, I have understood in some new way that I am powerless to change whatever it is that makes me the way I am, and accepting that gives me space to create a new idea about who I am and what I can be – and that is freeing. Instead of seeing my difficulty to manage as failure, I can see my ability to function as well as I have as, instead, a kind of strength. Instead of focusing on all the things I haven’t done or have failed at, I can marvel at all that I have done in spite of who I am.”
9. A Black History of Art on Instagram. “Highlighting the overlooked Black artists, sitters, curators and thinkers from Art History and the present day.”
10. Breathe: A 30 Day of Yoga Journey with Yoga with Adriene. “With focus on awareness of breath, this [FREE] program invites a ripple effect of benefits ranging from boosting immune function to removing emotional blockages. With repetition of intuitive gestures, pranayama, and traditional yoga poses, set at a pace to prioritize connection with breath, this series is designed to help you build muscle tone, improve spinal alignment, and optimize body function.”
11. This Grievous Wound on Terrible Minds from Chuck Wendig. “The way we push back on this is by being a community, as good to each other as we can. We must refuse to let the injury define us. We must hobble on in the hopes of healing.”
12. Live from Snacktime on Instagram, “Hilarious & wholesome kids quotes.”
13. COVID news: What seven ICU nurses want you to know about the battle against covid-19, and First COVID Vaccine In U.S. Goes To NYC Critical Care Nurse, and ‘Level of suffering is unlike anything we’ve ever seen before’, and You can survive winter and not spread Covid-19. Here’s how., and What You Need To Know As The First COVID-19 Vaccine Heads Your Way, and Remembering some of those lost to COVID-19, and Trump Administration Passed on Chance to Secure More of Pfizer Vaccine on The New York Times, and FDA Analysis Of Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine Finds It Effective And Safe, and Here’s Why Vaccinated People Still Need to Wear a Mask on The New York Times, and I Wrote a Tragic Novel About the 1918 Flu. 14 Years Later, My Family Got COVID.
14. Good stuff from Austin Kleon: Morning pages (and variations) and Quantity leads to quality (the origin of a parable).
16. can kind win? on Chookooloonks. “‘Those who I’m fighting against want me to engage with anger,’ she [Asha Dornfest] said. ‘And I refuse to do it. I refuse to succumb to fury. Kindness is my act of resistance.'”
17. Good stuff from Lion’s Roar: How to Become a Bodhisattva (“Pilar Jennings on how to overcome two common roadblocks to compassion. The key is facing the truth of suffering — your own and others”) and On the Trail of Birth and Death (“‘How many times have I felt that I couldn’t bear the heartbreak,’ says Barbara Gates. ‘But here I am still hiking strong.'”).
19. A place to write.
22. Police officers are prosecuted for murder in less than 2 percent of fatal shootings. “As all of these problems and solutions indicate, this won’t be an easy issue to solve. It requires a truly systemic shift, from America’s culture around policing to how the criminal justice system functions at every level.”
24. The true practice of yoga a poem from Samantha Reynolds.
25. NOMADLAND | Official Trailer. (video) “Following the economic collapse of a company town in rural Nevada, Fern (Frances McDormand) packs her van and sets off on the road exploring a life outside of conventional society as a modern-day nomad. The third feature film from director Chloé Zhao, NOMADLAND features real nomads Linda May, Swankie and Bob Wells as Fern’s mentors and comrades in her exploration through the vast landscape of the American West.”
26. crumbs in the toaster by Karen Maezen Miller. “What remains of faith in these disappearing days? Oh yes, life. The fact of life.”
27. Notable Online on The Rumpus, “Our Notable Online column runs every Sunday morning, and features literary readings and events you can participate in from your home!”
30. American Masters – Charley Pride: I’m Just Me (video) “traces the improbable journey of Charley Pride, from his humble beginnings as a sharecropper’s son on a cotton farm in segregated Sledge, Mississippi to his career as a Negro American League baseball player and his meteoric rise as a trailblazing country music superstar.”
31. Dear Joseph Epstein, BA – Your Time is Done. “Today the Wall Street Journal published an op-ed by essayist Joseph Epstein, calling for future FLOTUS, Dr. Jill Biden, to drop the ‘Dr.’ title from her name.”
33. The Gift of Death. “Pathological consumption has become so normalised that we scarcely notice it.” This is an older piece from 2012, but still relevant and worth a read.
36. 8 Ways to Encourage a Meaningful New Year by Courtney Carver.
38. Leslie Odom Jr. Performs ‘Last Christmas’. (video)