1. The Thing Is, a gorgeous poem by Ellen Bass. It’s not new and I have shared it before, but Sharon Salzberg posted it on Facebook and it reminded me how much I love it. It also seems to be a poem that gets more and more relevant the more time passes.
“to love life, to love it even
when you have no stomach for it
and everything you’ve held dear
crumbles like burnt paper in your hands,
your throat filled with the silt of it.
When grief sits with you, its tropical heat
thickening the air, heavy as water
more fit for gills than lungs;
when grief weights you down like your own flesh
only more of it, an obesity of grief,
you think, How can a body withstand this?
Then you hold life like a face
between your palms, a plain face,
no charming smile, no violet eyes,
and you say, yes, I will take you
I will love you, again.”
2. This sauna that Theron Humphrey built. (Instagram reel). The view!!! It is so beautiful, I want to cry. And the cabin you can rent that he built is also so gorgeous. The setting, the view… I want to go to there. I love the main house too, but it is out of my price range.
3. For a Longer Peony Season, Think Beyond the Typical Pink and White on The New York Times. *swoon*
4. These Weird X-Ray Images [of animals] Are Both Creepy And Beautiful. Hammerhead shark = what I’d look like if I had to wear my pelvis on my head.
5. 99 Animal Group Names: A List From A to Z. “From a shrewdness of apes to a zeal of zebras, many animals have strange names when they gather in groups.”
7. Here’s What Extinction Looks Like. “Photos show extinct and endangered species in Field Museum’s collection.”
8. Reading Pathway: Kelly Link’s Short Stories. “If you’re a fan of the weird and strange, the melding of genres and the meddling with reality; if you cite Karen Russell, George Saunders, Aimee Bender, Donald Barthelme as a favorite writer; if you love fairy tales, sci-fi, and fantasy whipped into your reality and baked into an unrecognizable, totally fresh dish: read on. There is a Kelly Link story for everyone; I’ve highlighted a few favorites and categorized by genre appeal. Bonus: most of them are available for free online.”
9. Dear Ani Trailer, (video). “More than 20 years ago, an aspiring songwriter began a creatively obsessive correspondence with music icon Ani DiFranco, believing the replies were encoded in her song lyrics. Dear Ani is an odyssey of music, art, and mania.”
11. When Weird Al Yankovic Met Daniel Radcliffe, Things Got … Well, You Know on the New York Times. “For their decidedly nonfactual rock biopic, the pop-music parodist and the ‘Harry Potter’ star found themselves on the same wavelength.”
12. AOC’s Fight for the Future. “Almost four years after her improbable arrival in Washington, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has become the political voice of a generation—and a cultural star whose power transcends politics. Now, as the country hurtles toward the midterm elections, AOC opens up about the battle over abortion, her own shot at the presidency, and why it’s critical that men step up now.”
13. Interview: ‘Spirit Rangers’ Creator Karissa Valencia. “After nearly a year and a half in development, Netflix’s new Native-themed animated children’s program Spirit Rangers will debut on Oct. 10. The show is part of Netflix’s Representation Matters Collection, which consists of movies and tv series focusing on storylines about and by people of color. The show follows three Indigenous siblings (Kodi, Summer, and Eddy) who are secret Spirit Rangers and protect the national park they call home. The premise is influenced by showrunner Karissa Valencia’s childhood experiences exploring her tribal territory with her sister.”
14. Project 562. “Created by Matika Wilbur, Project 562 is a multi-year national photography project dedicated to photographing over 562 federally recognized Tribes, urban Native communities, Tribes fighting for federal recognition and Indigenous role models in what is currently-known-as the United States, resulting in an unprecedented repository of imagery and oral histories that accurately portrays contemporary Native Americans.” She also is releasing a book based on the project.
16. Myth Translated Into Action: A Plea for Practical Commitment to Our Planet. “Karen Armstrong Considers Mythos, Logos, and Ritual.”
17. Meet South Dakota’s new corn-bassador, a boy who recently found out that corn is real. “Tariq’s profession of love for his favorite vegetable earned him the nickname the ‘Corn Kid’ after his interview racked up millions of views and was made into a song.”
19. The Long Fight of Barbara Ehrenreich. “Remembering the champion of the working class, scourge of the self-important, and my friend of 50 years.”
20. All 75 Stephen King Books, Ranked. “We’re sorting through the exhilarating highs, bewildering lows, and many unexpected diversions.”
21. How To Survive Suicidal Thoughts, From People Who Have Been There. “Read this mental health advice, which may help you navigate feelings of hopelessness, depression and more.”
23. Javier Zamora Carried a Heavy Load. He Laid It to Rest on the Page. on the New York Times. “Decades after traveling without his parents from El Salvador to the U.S. as a 9-year-old — a journey that almost killed him — Zamora describes the experience in a memoir.”
24. New ‘Blame Wall Street’ Campaign Launched as Climate Emergency Grips Planet. “‘These companies could stop the flow of money to fossil fuels today, but they are choosing greed instead,’ said organizers with the Stop the Money Pipeline coalition.”
25. Inside the lucrative world of pet influencers. Speaking of, my favorite internet pet is Simon: Shelter Dog With Unusual Ears Wasn’t Getting Adopted. Then He Met His New Best Friend!
26. 20 Familiar Products That Have Become Smaller Without Us Noticing This. I wouldn’t be so bothered by this if the increased profit was passed on to the employees.
29. Is it possible to hold this much grief without shattering? (podcast) “How do we metabolize the grief of another senseless loss of life? By honoring it, by feeling it, by transmuting it into power.”
30. Family Builds Twin Underground Homes on Ancient Farm. (video)
31. How to Meditate Every Day on Lion’s Roar. “Diana Winston on committing to meditation practice. Featuring her ‘Ten Suggestions for Having a Regular Daily Practice Even if You Would Rather Be Thrown into a Shark-Infested Ocean.'”
33. Deep Adaptation, “a concept, agenda, and international social movement. It presumes that extreme weather events and other effects of climate change will increasingly disrupt food, water, shelter, power, and social and governmental systems. These disruptions would likely or inevitably cause uneven societal collapse in the next few decades. The word ‘deep’ indicates that strong measures are required to adapt to an unraveling of western industrial lifestyles. The agenda includes values of nonviolence, compassion, curiosity and respect, with a framework for constructive action.”
34. Inside Out: Sitting, Writing, and Being Fully in this World an Upaya Podcast offering, a series in nine parts.
36. The Unexpected Power of Random Acts of Kindness on The New York Times. “New research shows small gestures matter even more than we may think.”
37. America Is a Rich Death Trap. “It’s not just the pandemic. For citizens of a wealthy country, Americans of every age, at every income level, are unusually likely to die, from guns, drugs, cars, and disease.”
38. You — yes, you! — can help the planet. Start in your backyard. “This column will give you some tools to help mitigate the damage we’re causing to the planet.”
39. Reflections on dying, a video series from the BBC, a “look at how we approach and come to terms with dying, death and grief.”
40. Calm In the Midst of Chaos on Lion’s Roar. “Sharon Salzberg on the power of equanimity.”
41. Ambient playlist. 23 hours of music, “It is the music of the ether, the sound of dust that lingers in the air. Or it’s super boring. You choose. Ambient music, or whatever variant name you want to dub it has risen from the backwaters of academia and the curiosities of wayward pop savants to a global theme, interacting with the way we live in everything from ‘elevator music’ to ASMR.”
42. How to Have Fun Again on The New York Times.