Gratitude Friday

1. Morning walks. I miss the river, but I also like walking through the neighborhoods, and am so grateful we live where we do, one mile from Lee Martinez Park and one mile from City Park, one by the river and one by a lake.

2. The pool. It feels so good to be in the water, and such a surprise to have found this joy later in my life, after years of being afraid and avoiding it.

3. Practice. We are on “summer break” from our Friday morning Wild Writing, so I’m grateful that Calyx and I practice together every Tuesday, summer or not. I miss not having the ocean view when I meditate, but there’s something so cozy about my practice room at home. And even though I could go back to the studio, I’m still enjoying taking Jamie’s Sunday morning class in my pjs in my own living room.

4. Our garden. It’s especially wild this year, and I love it. Other than the flowers, fruit, and vegetables it gives us, I’m so happy it’s a habitat for birds and bugs too, that it feeds more than just us.

5. My tiny family, my tiny house, my tiny life. I am especially enjoying the quiet and ease of my life right now. I have everything I ever wanted and I know how lucky I am.

Bonus joy: Dot’s Honey Mustard Pretzels, daisies, videos of Sam, marionberry jam, lettuce and cucumbers and zucchini from our garden, sitting in the sauna with Eric, soft green grass, butterflies, hummingbirds, reading books, watching TV, listening to podcasts, clean sheets, roasted sweet potatoes, taking naps, hanging out with Calyx, texting with Chloe’ and my mom and brother, the way Ringo goes outside and lounges in the sun until he’s too hot and then comes inside to lounge until he cools off and then goes back outside until he gets too hot and so on and so on all day long, working out with Eric and Shelby, reading in bed at night while Ringo and Eric sleep.

Something Good

1. Quarantine Public Library, “a repository of books made by artists. The works published here are for anyone to freely download, print and assemble—to keep or give away.”

2. Collaborative Alchemy Podcast / Mindy Tsonas Choi: Creativity, Identity, Belonging, and Social Justice.

3. The Phone of the Wind: Whispers to Lost Families, “A phonebooth in a field gives people a chance to connect with loved ones lost during the 2011 earthquake.” (video)

4. The focus on the last thing from Seth Godin.

5. Welcome to Barn-Quilt Country on The New York Times. “Barn quilts are a homegrown art form that combines a few aspects of traditional Americana: barns, quilts and road trips. Over the past 20 years, creators from Ohio to Canada have painted wood squares that are reminiscent of quilt designs and put them on the sides of barns and other buildings. Some communities, including Fairbanks, Alaska, and Bowling Green, Ky., have created ‘quilt trails’ of multiple pieces to entice travelers to drive through (and spend money in) their country towns to see the art.”

6. The most important thing you do from Austin Kleon.

7. The private Anthony Bourdain on CBS Sunday Morning. (video)

8. There’s a Specific Kind of Joy We’ve Been Missing on The New York Times. “Psychologists find that in cultures where people pursue happiness individually, they may actually become lonelier. But in cultures where they pursue happiness socially — through connecting, caring and contributing — people appear to be more likely to gain well-being.”

9. “Cat Person” and Me. “Kristen Roupenian’s viral story draws specific details from my own life. I’ve spent the years since it published wondering: How did she know?”

10. Good Life Project Podcast / Ocean Vuong: On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous.

11. “Catfish” Still Has Lessons To Teach Us. “In Season 8, Kamie Crawford hopped in the show’s cohosting saddle, bringing fresh energy. She pulls no punches as she tries to help guests remove their rose-colored glasses and see the truth about the people they’ve fallen in love with online. She also confronts catfishes, refusing to back down even as they attempt to insult her. Bitch spoke with Crawford about navigating the show during a pandemic, building a trusting relationship with guests, and making peace with the catfishes who’ve tested her patience.”

12. We need to have a conversation about wombats – The Oatmeal.