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Something Good

1. ‘Comfort Decorating’ Is All About Making Your Home A Sanctuary. “It’s called ‘comfort decorating,’ and it can provide a sense of normalcy even when everything around us feels, well, not very normal.”

2. How Sara Gruen Lost Her Life. “The Water for Elephants author’s six-year fight to free an incarcerated man left her absolutely broke and critically ill.”

3. You Can Now Download a Collection of Ancient Japanese Wave Illustrations for Free.

4. The Grief Crisis Is Coming on The New York Times. For each person who dies of Covid-19, experts say there are at least nine newly bereaved. We must begin to address the toll.”

5. Fear Of Flying | Stop Motion Animated Short Film. “It’s time to migrate south, but Dougal is afraid of flying. The tragicomic adventure of a bird and its phobias.”

6. The 31 Finalists Of 2021 Bird Photographer Of The Year Awards.

7. The first photo I ever took of my daughter, and the last.

8. Detox Your Mind: 5 Practices to Purify the 3 Poisons on Lion’s Roar. “Five Buddhist teachers share practices to clear away the poisons that cause suffering and obscure your natural enlightenment.”

9. Wisdom from Pema Chödrön:

There’s a common misunderstanding among all the human beings who have ever been born on the earth that the best way to live is to try to avoid pain and just try to get comfortable. You can see this even in insects and animals and birds. All of us are the same.

A much more interesting, kind, adventurous, and joyful approach to life is to begin to develop our curiosity, not caring whether the object of our inquisitiveness is bitter or sweet. To lead a life that goes beyond pettiness and prejudice and always wanting to make sure that everything turns out on our own terms, to lead a more passionate, full, and delightful life than that, we must realize that we can endure a lot of pain and pleasure for the sake of finding out who we are and what this world is, how we tick and how our world ticks, how the whole thing just is. 

10. Black Collagists on Instagram, “A digital archive and arts incubator highlighting the work of Black collage artists globally.”

11. For the introverts: Dreading Going Back to ‘Normal’? Reentry Fear Is Real and Why a Clutter-Free Environment Is Important for Introverts.

12. Return the National Parks to the Tribes from The Atlantic. “The jewels of America’s landscape should belong to America’s original peoples.”

13. I’ve had the same supper for 10 years. “I have lived in the Teifi valley, in west Wales, all my life: 72 years. I’m a farmer and look after 71 sheep. My boyhood was spent helping my family on the farm. I have never wanted to run away from it, even as a young lad. This valley is cut in the shape of my heart.” His is such a sweet, inspiring story, to live your life exactly as you want it, content with who you are and what you do, even if it might seem strange to everyone else.

14. A Pastor’s Son Becomes a Critic of Religion on TikTok on The New York Times. “John Piper is one of the most influential theologians in America. His son Abraham calls evangelicalism ‘a destructive, narrow-minded worldview.'”

15. The Ms. Q&A With Ani DiFranco: “You Have License To Be All the Aspects of Yourself and To Be Unashamed of Them.”

16. Ada Limón on Preparing the Body for a Reopened World: The Challenges of Emerging from Lockdown.


Gratitude Friday

1. SNOW! So much snow! 23 inches. Eric was out shoveling throughout the day the storm got here, probably close to six hours of shoveling heavy, wet snow that one friend called “cement.” It’s always sad to see all the limbs and whole trees that come down, the crocuses that just bloomed buried, but we truly do need the moisture and being “stuck” at home with nowhere we need to go, even after a full year of the pandemic, is still a lovely retreat.

2. Comfort. While Eric shoveled snow, I made a breakfast biscuit bake, Ringo approved. Eric has been home this week not working (spring break) and it’s been nice to have him around, again when there’s nowhere we need to go. Some people lost power during the storm, but ours only blinked a few times. Warm showers, clean sheets, toast, that corner of the couch, clean pjs, down blankets and pillows, podcasts, good TV (watched The One on Netflix, so good), reading, long naps.

3. Vaccine Phase 1B.4 in Colorado. To be more specific, that means we can get ours now. I’ve been refreshing my healthcare app all morning, waiting for them to catch up so I can make an appointment. I’m getting a mammogram today so I don’t have to put that off because of my shots, (turns out the immune response it causes in your lymph nodes can throw off the results, so if you’ve had the shot, you have to wait 4-6 weeks until you can get a mammogram).

4. BABIES! We’d already had a couple new ones join the family this past year, but two others just got here, a earlier than expected.

5. My tiny home, my tiny family, my little life. Ringo was pretty reserved about it the day of the storm, but in the days since, when it’s warm enough for us to go out in the backyard with him, he’s been loving all piles of snow and the attention and the play. It’s been lovely having lazy days, afternoons in particular, with Eric home this week. Sure, it would be nice if we could go see a movie or go out to eat, but that will happen again someday and for now, two introverts in love don’t mind this version of things.

Bonus joy: clementines, grocery pickup, stimulus checks, my writing sangha, hanging out and writing with Mikalina, snow tires, snow plows, sunshine, texting with my mom and my brother, naan, seeing patches of green under the snow, birds singing and at the feeder (sometimes simultaneously), a new notebook, so many good books and the time to read them, being retired, sitting in the sauna with Eric, getting all the laundry done and put away, masks, other people’s dogs, reading in bed at night while Ringo and Eric sleep.