Monthly Archives: September 2021

Something Good

This is my 500th Something Good list. FIVE HUNDREDTH. Five hundred weeks, about 9.5 years, I’ve spent scouring the internet for things to share with you here, things I didn’t want you to miss. When I post the link to my Facebook page each week, I caption it: “this week’s list of things worth reading, watching, listening to, contemplating, and sharing.”

Over the years, the content of my lists has shifted. At first, I needed cheering up, so I posted things that made me grateful, reminded me that there are good things and good people. In fact, when I look back at my very first list, I realize that where I started was actually a lot more like my Gratitude Friday posts. When the world started to get more complicated (#BLM, ICE, the climate crisis, the Trump years — i.e. “people behaving badly”), I got very sad and very angry, trying so hard to understand what was happening and what to do about it, and I think my lists reflected that.

Lately, even though the world has gotten even more terrifying and chaotic, the content has balanced out. Things like recipes I want to try, reading lists, amazing art and nature, cute animals and kids, and stuff about grief, mindfulness, and practice continue to be some of my favorite things to include. I post all the good stuff plus some hard stuff that’s worth knowing, but no longer share stuff that’s bad just because it’s bad.

I’m glad you are still here, kind and gentle reader. It makes me so happy to share these things with you. So here we go again, for the 500th time…

1. Perfectly Round Tattoos by Eva Encompass Miniature Worlds Inspired by Art History.

2. ‘America’s Oldest Park Ranger’ Is Only Her Latest Chapter on The New York Times. “Betty Reid Soskin has fought to ensure that American history includes the stories that get overlooked. As she turns 100, few stories have been more remarkable than hers.”

3. “The Writer You Are is Enough.” Ruth Ozeki on Process and Acceptance. “Ruth Ozeki’s A Book of Form and Emptiness is out today, so we spoke to her about professors she fell in love with, accessing the liminal fictional space in the early hours of the morning, and the best advice she’s ever received.”

4. Gardening can help save the planet. How? Start with your soil. In related news, Wildlife Garden Additions That Really Work: These small changes are guaranteed to attract wildlife to your yard.

5. Interview: The transformation of Greta Thunberg. “I didn’t have the courage to get friends. Now I have many, I really see the value of friendship. Apart from the climate, almost nothing else matters.”

6. Open Letter to Elena Brower. “The hardest part about this wasn’t never talking to you again, it was losing the community I thought I had while following you. When I shared my experience with others, I was uninvited to the club, friendships ended, people went silent. A few people even came to your defense, claiming you weren’t perfect and told me to accept it or move on. Others said, ‘She’s never been like that to me,’ and went on assisting your classes and supporting your work. I want to remind those of you who are reading this that just because you weren’t harmed doesn’t mean she isn’t capable of harm and shouldn’t be held accountable.”

7. How Not to Be an Invasive Species. “The descendants of settlers and immigrants can’t become Indigenous to the land where we live. But we can follow the models of coexistence.”

8. Does Good Taste Run in the Family? “David Sedaris on eye color, cholesterol, and an appreciation of taxidermy.”

9. The Man Behind Those Annual ‘Sept. 21’ Videos Has Made His Last Masterpiece.

10. Recipes I want to try: Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies and Apple Cheddar Scones.

11. I Got A ‘Mild’ Breakthrough Case. Here’s What I Wish I’d Known. In related news, Readers Respond: What To Say If Someone Asks Why You’re Wearing A Mask. My response will always and forever be “worry about yourself.”

12. Don’t Tell Me to Despair About the Climate: Hope Is a Right We Must Protect.

13. What About the Heroine’s Journey? on The New York Times. “The Harvard scholar Maria Tatar has made a career of studying fairy tales and folklore. Now she is taking aim at Joseph Campbell and showing us the women he left out of the story.”

14. Tens Of Thousands Of Black Women Vanish Each Year. This Website Tells Their Stories.

15. The Famed ʻStairway to Heaven’ on Oʻahu Will Soon Be Gone.

16. Weight Training Isn’t Such A Heavy Lift. Here Are 7 Reasons Why You Should Try It.

17. Big Signs You’re BURNT OUT & How To FIX IT. (video) Lewis Howes interviews Jonathan Fields.

18. What is Revealed by the Family Stories That Go Untold? “Kei Miller: ‘I know how to tell stories, but how does one begin to tell silence?'”

19. 32 Books About Grief. In related news, 32 (More) Books About Grief.

20. Last Writes by Chris Bursk. “I am helping clean out my friend Sandy’s apartment after her suicide when I open an envelope addressed to me. There are five poems inside.”

21. Four Days of Wild Writing with Laurie Wagner. One of my central practices with one of my core teachers — FREE.

22. Wisdom from Mindy Tsonas Choi, “Trying to heal, while trying to grieve, while trying to live, while trying to dream, while trying to create, while trying to love, while trying to be love, while trying not to try so hard.” *sigh* #same

23. Wisdom from Pema Chödrön, “Instead of asking ourselves, ‘How can I find security and happiness?’ we could ask ourselves, ‘Can I touch the center of my pain? Can I sit with suffering, both yours and mine, without trying to make it go away? Can I stay present to the ache of loss or disgrace—disappointment in all its many forms—and let it open me?'”

24. I am so fucking tired. “Parents like me passed their breaking point a long time ago. How will we ever return to normal?”

25. Beyond performative activism: What risks will you take?

26. Don’t be afraid to disappear from Austin Kleon.

27. For You by Jena Schwartz.

28. Revenge Bedtime Procrastination. “This is what happens when you don’t have anywhere to put your rage, your dissatisfaction, your deep sadness that this [waves hands wildly] might be every day, every week, every year for the rest of your life. “

29. That Time I Had to Do Stand-Up on a Cruise Ship After a Passenger Went Overboard.

30. Blues, a Beautiful Thing on River Teeth Journal. “He taught the dog to howl when it was just a puppy.”



Gratitude Friday (on a Saturday)

Oops, I did it again! At one point yesterday, I thought “oh yeah, it’s Friday, I need to write a blog post” and then I went about the rest of my day and totally forgot!

1. Morning walks. On one this week, it was only 37 degrees! It’s definitely cooler in the morning. I was making a list the other day of all the things we’ve seen on our walks, at places that are only a mile or so from our house: ducks, geese, herons, hawks, osprey, bald eagles, skunks, raccoons, foxes, deer, beavers, mink, muskrats, wild turkey, coyote, snapping turtles, owls, snakes, rabbits, bears, a bobcat, and one time there was even a moose (although I only saw pictures).

2. Wild writing. My Friday morning group led by the lovely Laurie Wagner started up again this week after the summer off. I missed the practice and the people and am so grateful to be back at it.

3. Being my own advocate, especially when it comes to my overall health and well-being. There have been a few times recently where I had to speak up for myself, make specific requests and set boundaries — things I honestly didn’t used to be able to do — and I’m very proud of myself for it, grateful for all those who’ve supported me and taught me that I’m worthy of care.

4. Good neighbors, good friends. Sharing the joy of our gardens, doing each other favors, saying hello to each other’s dogs.

5. My tiny family. Now that it’s not so dang hot all the dang time, we’ve been able to hang out in the yard together more often, (it was never too hot for Eric, but Ringo and I didn’t agree), one of our favorite things to do.

Bonus joy: catching up with Calyx, pictures of baby boy from Chloe’, how soft Franny is, laundry, clean sheets, my favorite sweatshirt, chrysanthemums, pumpkins, honey, taco salad, pancakes, how much Ringo makes me laugh, citrus, Dave’s berry bagels, Dot’s honey mustard pretzels, vaccines (got my flu shot today), reading, podcasts, TV, naps, getting in the pool, sitting in the sauna with Eric, reading in bed while Ringo and Eric sleep.