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August 2020

Here We Are Again

. . . another Monday morning. Time to . . . 

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On Mondays I share a few tidbits and miscellaneous things I discovered over the weekend. A little of this, some of that. Things to amuse, amaze, entertain, or inform. Maybe even something to rev you up!

So. Let's get to it.

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"It will not always be summer; build barns."
        --- Hesiod

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Wonder who Hesiod is? I did. He was an ancient Greek poet, active around the same time as Homer. (I've taken to Googling any quote authors I don't already know. Just to check. Y'know. To make sure they're not creepy.)

(And why does this quote resonate with me? Well. Because this week, I've been fixated on . . . preparing myself. For fall. For an election that goes to shit. For hunkering down in my house for another several months. Y'know. That.)

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Was last week . . . really hard for you? It was for me. And for most of the people I talked to last week. Things just seemed to reach a kind of breaking point for many of us. The All Of It became the Too Much Of It. 

I read this article about our now-depleted "surge capacity" that might just explain some of what's happening to us. (Fireworks spelling out a certain person's name on the White House lawn probably has something to do with it, too, I realize.)

Anyway.

"Surge capacity" is defined as a "collection of adaptive systems -- mental and physical -- that humans draw on for short-term survival in actutely stressful situations, such as natural disasters." The article then goes on to explain that the pandemic is not a natural disaster, which tend to play out over short - but intense - periods of time. Pandemics, by contrast, stretch out over a long period of time. With no known end-point. Thus . . . we deplete our surge capacity.

It's a really good article, and I recommend taking the time to read it. Especially if you're feeling rather depleted right about now.

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If you like to read, September is always a great month. Many of the year's most-anticipated book releases happen in September (y'know . . . to maximize that pre-holiday "buzz"), and there is much action on the book awards scene, too. 

Here are some links to help you follow the "hot books" as they're released this month (and pad your to-read lists, as well).

From the New York Times: 15 Books to Watch for in September

From Book Marks: The Best Reviewed Books of the Week (August 28)

And if you like audiobooks, here's a list from AudioFile of the best audiobooks (from August) for listening. 

When it comes to book awards, watch for these announcements coming out in September:

The Women's Prize for Fiction winner will be announced September 9. (Go, Hamnet!)

The Booker Prize short list will be announced on September 15. (You can find the long list here.)

And the National Book Award long list will be announced the very next day, September 16.

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Have you been thinking about moving your body more?
Looking to build up your "surge capacity" again?
Wanting to do something just for you?

Well. Now that September is on our doorstep (new month, new season, new chance to begin), maybe you want to try . . . yoga?

I highly recommend Yoga With Adriene (as I've already mentioned in other posts). Her yoga is accessible, not "weird" (and if you've ever experienced a kooky yoga instructor, you'll know exactly what I mean), and very . . . habit-forming. She has an incredible catalog of classes available on YouTube, so whether you're looking for a gentle stretch or an energetic flow you'll find a class that suits you. She offers many series of classes -- including for those just looking to begin a yoga practice. Best of all, she offers these classes . . . free. (There is also a membership version available with even more classes.)

Each month, Adriene curates her classes around a theme, and publishes an interactive calendar (load the PDF file calendar on your  your computer or device, and then click through to each daily workout all month long). The September theme? BUILD. As she says in her latest newsletter . . . "Build new systems and rituals that serve. Build awareness. Build up stamina. Build relationships. Build coonfidence. Re-build up your well of self love and pour, generously."

Maybe some yoga . . . is just what you need! (Click here for the September calendar.)

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Looking for something fun in your Instagram feed? Check out @blcksmth for inspiration, color, and a smile!

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And . . . that's it for me on this Monday morning.

Here's to a good week for all of us.
(We'll get through this.)
Let's build our "surge capacity" . . . together!

 

 


Planting Hope

This week has seemed to be a particularly . . . ugly one. Fires and hurricanes and plague. Politicians encouraging the worst in us. I don't need to go on. You all know this. You all feel this. These are wearying days.

So I encourage you to dig deep, my friends. To turn off the news. To put down your phones. To stop scrolling. Go outside and see what's happening there. Renew your soul.

"Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature - the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter."
            --- Rachel Carson, Silent Spring

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Last night, as the sun was going down, I went out in my garden with the dogs . . . and I noticed these incredible rays shining through the trees. It made me forget the troubles of the world for a few minutes. It reminded me that there is more happening out there than what we see on our screens; what we hear in the news.

And then I turned around.
And saw this . . . 

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Among the weeds and plants dying back in my late summer garden, there was my little pond frog . . . nestled in the arms of Garden Buddha, basking in the sun's last rays for the day!

Could there be any better reminder . . . that we have a place in the world beyond the despair?

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And, because it is Friday and Fridays still seem to be for poetry around here, here is a poem from you by another of my favorite poets, David Whyte. 

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The Journey
David Whyte

Above the mountains
   the geese turn into 
      the light again

Painting their
   black silhouettes
      on an open sky.

Sometimes everything
   has to be
      inscribed across 
         the heavens

so you can find
   the one line
      already written
         inside you.

Sometimes it takes
   a great sky
      to find that

first, bright
   and indescribable
      wedge of freedom
         in your own heart.

Sometimes with
   the bones of the black
      sticks left when the fire
         has gone out

someone has written
   something new
      in the ashes of your life.

You are not leaving.
   Even as the light fades quickly now,
      you are arriving.

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It's especially important for us to remember that . . . we are not leaving right now (even as the light fades quickly); we are arriving. Dig deep, my friends. Keep looking for hope in the dark spaces.

My best wishes to all of you . . . for a weekend filled with peace and solace, time to rest -- and things that bring you joy. (And maybe some poetry, too.) 

Don't forget to look for hope.

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Today's poem was published in David Whyte: Essentials, edited by Gayle Karen Young Whyte, Many Rivers Press, 2020.  Information about the poet can be found here

 


Juggling: An Unraveled Post

It's always a good idea to have at least 2 knitting projects going at any one time:

One that is soothing to work on. Simple. MindFUL. Conversational. (Preferably one that pairs well with wine, if you know what I mean.)

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And one that . . . isn't.

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Finishing up knitting projects? 
It's all about juggling!

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What are you working on this week?

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Be sure to head over to Kat's today for more Unraveled posts.


Word Play

On the last Tuesday of the month, many of us in Bloglandia share updates about our "words" for the year. (Honoré hosts, check it out.) It's a really helpful way to reflect back on the month-nearly-ended . . . to see how our "words" have popped up in our worlds. It's especially fascinating to me to see how these words connect - all year - for so many of us. There is some mysterious power in having a word, that's for sure.

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When I first chose my word - flow - this year, one of the first things that popped up in my head was . . . yoga flow.

I've been doing yoga for a very long time. The first yoga class I can remember taking (although I'm pretty sure I took a class or two before this one) was when I was pregnant with Erin, and she turned 31 earlier this summer. Since then, for the most part, I've practiced yoga in some form or another. In more recent times (the past 15 years), I've taken a weekly studio class -- with daily sun salutations at home to stretch things out every morning.

The pandemic, of course, has changed my yoga practice in a big way. Actually, this is probably one of the best changes I've experienced in PandemicLife -- because now . . . I do yoga every day . . . with Adriene! (I highly recommend Yoga With Adriene, by the way, if you're looking for a good, solid yoga-anywhere practice. Her videos are available for free, although the for-pay option offers much more -- and at $10/month, it's less than most one-session studio yoga classes, so a good deal, too.)

I get so much benefit from my regular yoga practice. There's the physical stuff -- flexibility, improved balance, and strength (I feel like such a badass whenever I do a full chaturanga!). But there's also the mental stuff -- mindfulness, improved focus, and a sense of calm. (And who doesn't need that these days?)

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This month, I decided to learn a bit more about my favorite type of yoga: vinyasa, or . . . flow.

"Vinyasa" is a Sanskrit word, and like many Sanskrit words, it has multiple meanings on multiple levels. But if we break down the word, we get this translation:

Vin means to place.
Yasa means in a special way.

So . . . Vinyasa . . . means to place in a special way. Or, as Adriene explains it, to move with intention -- a systematic approach to moving from one point to the next . . . with the breath.

In the yoga studio, vinyasa classes tend to focus on "flowing" from one pose to another rather quickly -- always with a focus on the breath. (As opposed to hatha style classes, which tend to take a more slow approach -- holding the poses longer, but still with a focus on the breath.) And in most classes, there are many chances to "take your vinyasa" (yoga teacher speak) referring to that flow sequence between downward dogs that traditionally includes the chaturanga.

It's complicated (multiple meanings on multiple levels). And kind of technical. I hope you'll pardon this yoga-digression, but for me this month, it's been all about thinking of flow in a bigger "life" sense by examining flow in a more direct "yoga" sense.

My one little word lesson this month? Focus on vinyasa!

to place . . . in a special way
to move with intention
to flow

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How about you? What did you learn from your word this month?

 


Monday Again

Time to . . . 

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On Mondays I share a few tidbits and miscellaneous things I discovered over the weekend. A little of this, some of that. Things to amuse, amaze, entertain, or inform. Maybe even something to rev you up!

So. Let's get to it.

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"I am only one; but still I am one. I cannot do everything, but still I can do something. I will not refuse to do the something I can do."
        --- Helen Keller

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I'm going to admit . . . that this weekend was a hard one for me. Every once in a while, the All Of It just rolls over me, y'know? The  pandemic, the political "scene," the fires in California (right in my daughter's back yard), the fact that I should have been packing to leave for Italy right about now, the end of summer. All. Of. It.

So today? I'll be starting your engines with nothing but lighthearted fun.

Here we go!

First up . . . 

You may have heard over the weekend that a new Giant Panda cub was born in the Smithsonian's National Zoo, always a joyous event in the world since the Giant Panda is so close to extinction. So far, both Mei Xiang (the mother) and her cub are doing well, although it's too early for the keepers to get a close look at the cub. 

You can check it all out for yourself using the Panda Cam! Yes, there is a Panda Cam, and it's available here. You can also find out all about Giant Pandas, learn how you can help save Giant Pandas from extinction, and just . . . generally escape from the Other News by visiting.

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I know how much all of you enjoy a good, old "factoid." Here's one for you . . .

The Mobile Phone Throwing World Championships are held in Finland. A recent winner said he prepared for the event by “mainly drinking.”

Who knew???

That amazing fact came from the Amazing Fact Generator from Mental Floss. Go ahead . . . click in and generate some amazing facts for yourself! Then you'll be able to WOW your family and friends with such amazing facts as . . .

Jim Henson made his first Kermit puppet using his mother's old coat and two halves of a ping pong ball.

See? Just for fun!

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Have you had a chance to see the new Time magazine cover this week? It's pretty incredible . . . 

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That image? Hand embroidered! 

Hand embroidered, I need to add, in 24 hours by Nneka Jones, a 23-year-old artist who specializes in contemporary embroidery and wields her needle like a paintbrush. (Absolutely amazing pieces. I can't even describe how incredible her work is.) Read the story behind the cover here. And then read the articles here.

And while you're at it, follow Nneka Jones on Instagram to see more of her work.

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When I'm feeling . . . off . . . making something new always seems to help. Here are a couple of tutorials (free!) I found over the weekend that sound interesting and fun to me. I haven't tried either project myself . . . yet.

(But I will!)

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First up, Project #1:

Tilly (of Tilly and the Buttons) (a British sewing pattern designer) shares a video tutorial showing how to make a super handy (and really charming) magnetic pin holder. Not only would this be great to have near my sewing machine, but it would make a perfect gift for crafty friends, too.

I would've already made one of these (I was ready to dive right in as soon as I saw the video) but I don't have the materials on hand. . . But for this next project? I have ALL the materials at the ready!

Which brings us to Project #2:

Ann Wood (of Ann Wood Handmade) (a US-based sewing and crafting artist) shares a tutorial on her blog . . . for making charming, hand stitched flower garlands from your scrap fabrics. (Like . . . y'know. From all your mask-making.) These look like so much fun! I just love the whimsy of all Ann's projects. 

And . . . if you don't like the idea of a scrap flower garland, maybe you could use the sweet little flowers to decorate a needle book! (Here is Ann's free pattern/instructions for making one of those.)

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If you're interested in following either Tilly (@tillybuttons) or Ann (@annwood) on Instagram (highly recommended . . . for some JOY in your IG feed), you can find them here and here.

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And, finally, in the Circling Back Department . . . 

Last week, I shared some links about the artist Ruth Asawa. Well. Vicki shared this link with me later in the week. Black Mountain College's Museum + Art Center is hosting a free virtual presentation -- Ruth Asawa's Radical Universalism -- on September 23, 2020. As part of the museum's Museum from Home Initiative, Jason Vartikar will be discussing how Ruth Asawa's wire sculptures are a form of activism for racial justice.

This sounds fascinating to me! Maybe to you, too? You can sign up to join the Zoom presentation here.

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And . . . that's it for me on this Monday morning.

Here's to a good week for all of us.
(We'll get through this.)

 

 


Fridays Are For Hope

You know how when you start thinking about something -- a specific brand of car when you're interested in a new car, for example -- you start seeing it everywhere?

Well. I'm thinking that might be the case for hope, too. Because now that I'm looking for it, I'm finding it (in little pieces, at least) more often.

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Just little bits of it. 
Here and there.

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I've been playing around with the word "hope" this week. The definition. The way we use it in everyday speech. That kind of thing.

Turns out, hope . . . is a Really Useful Word! Noun, verb, proper noun, adjective, adverb.  It shows up everywhere, all the time. A word with many uses.

I think, in my case - right now, I'm looking for a . . . thing.

Hope.
As a noun.
"A desire accompanied by expectation of or belief in fulfillment."
(Yep. That's it.)

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I've also been thinking about all the ways we talk about hope . . . without actually using the word hope.

Things are looking up . . . 
The light at the end of the tunnel . . . 
Seeing through rose-colored lenses . . . 
Keeping the faith . . . 
The cup is half-full . . . 
She's a real Pollyanna . . . 
Look on the bright side . . . 

It's everywhere in our language!

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It's an interesting word, that's for sure. Fun to play around with. Poets, of course, have a field day with hope. I've got a poem for you today that I'm sure you already know. But, when you're thinking about what hope IS . . . you need this poem in your toolbox.

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"Hope" is the thing with feathers -
That perches in the soul -
And sings the tune without the words -
and never stops - at all 

And sweetest - in the Gale - is heard -
And sore must be the storm -
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm -

I've heard it in the chillest land -
And on the strangest Sea -
Yet - never - in Extremity,
It asked a crumb - of me.

    --- Emily Dickinson

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Right now, hope feels elusive -- that "thing with feathers that perches in the soul."

But.

I felt some glimmers of hope now and again this week.
Did you?
Did you find any hope in the dark spaces this week?

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My best wishes to all of you . . . for a weekend filled with peace and solace, time to rest -- and things that bring you joy. (And maybe some poetry, too.) 

Don't forget to look for hope. (And let me know if you find some.)

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Today's poem was published in The Poems of Emily Dickinson, edited by R.W. Franklin, The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 1999.  Information about the poet can be found here

 

 


A Never Before

In all our years up north . . . 

In all this time of having a cabin . . . 

I have never, ever "gardened."

Not even a little bit. Mostly because . . . who needs to garden when you're in deep woods? The woods provide their own landscaping magic, after all. But there's also the practical and logistical side of things. Our up north schedule is erratic most years, with our time at the cabin competing with other summer plans.

This year, though? Not so much.

So back in May, I brought up a flat of impatiens and I planted them on our porch rail.

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We've been up here enough this year that they've done well. I can keep them watered so they thrive between our visits (although our neighbors helped once during a particularly dry/hot spell when we were back home).

The flowers add a nice, welcoming touch to our little cabin in the woods. A bright spot!

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The pandemic has brought me many opportunities to say "never before" . . .
but this one is a nice "never before!"

 


Something to Celebrate

With the current State of Things, it feels like there isn't much to celebrate. But today, my friends, we have something!

Because on this day . . .
100 years ago . . .
The State of Tennessee passed the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution, bringing the number of states passing the amendment to 36 and providing the necesary majority to ratify the amendment, which extended universal suffrage to women.

"The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation."
            --- 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution

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So.
Something to celebrate, indeed!
(But holy moly . . . check out the cords on that electric light chandelier . . . )

Today, in "Start Your Engines" fashion, I've got some ways we can celebrate this special day together. (Starting with a quote, of course.)

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"Any great change must expect opposition, because it shakes the very foundation of privilege."
                --- Lucretia Mott

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Telling the Whole Story

By now, I'm sure most of us are pretty familiar with the story of women's suffrage. Although I never learned the history as a child (there was never any time devoted to women's history when I was in school), I devoured biographies about the (white) movers and shakers of the women's suffrage movement and histories chronicling the process of passing the 19th amendment as I grew up. If you're interested in a quick overview, here's a quick refresher (from PBS). And here's a Women's Suffrage Timeline (from the National Women's History Museum) covering the years 1840 through 1920.

But.

That's not the whole story.

Because passing the 19th amendment . . . didn't actually guarantee or even mean suffrage for ALL women in the U.S. For years after 1920, many women, including Native Americans and Chinese immigrants, were not able to vote. And for many others, especially African-Americans, casting a ballot was extremely difficult. Until the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, all women in the US did not actually enjoy the right to vote.

And . . . the stories of the movement and the history most of us are familiar with didn't include the contributions of women of color and LGBTQ women at all. It's time we rectify that and make sure we understand and know the whole story.

Celebrate today by expanding your knowledge and challenging your understanding of the story of women's suffrage in the United States.

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"Suffragette"

This was my first introduction to a "suffragette" . . . 

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I'm sure many of you remember this scene from the Mary Poppins movie. (And, like me, you're probably already singing the song!)

Here's a little history on the term "suffragette" -- where it came from, how it evolved, and how the movement embraced the nickname. (Time Magazine)

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A Double-Whammy

Celebrate the 19th Amendment AND support the U.S. Postal Service by purchasing this new commemorative stamp . . . 

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The stamps will be available beginning August 22 at your local post office OR you can pre-order online here. (Please know . . . these stamps are extremely popular right now, and they may not be available at all post offices. I pre-ordered mine online.)

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Watch a Movie

Suffragette

Yeah, this movie is about the British women's suffrage movement, but it gets the point across. It's a hard to watch, but really gives a sense of the passion, commitment, and hardships of the movement. It's available to stream on Netflix, or to rent on Prime.

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A Final Note

You may have seen this a few years ago when it first came out, but enjoy Lady Gaga's parody of her own song, Bad Romance, now with a suffragette twist.

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Celebrate today.
Votes for women!
Votes for ALL women!

 


Vrooom!

It's Monday morning again. Here we go!
Time to . . . 

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On Mondays I share a few tidbits and miscellaneous things I discovered over the weekend. A little of this, some of that. Things to amuse, amaze, entertain, or inform. Maybe even something to rev you up!

So. Let's get to it.

==

"Everything that slows us down and forces patience, everything that sets us back into the slow circle of nature, is a help. Gardening is an instrument of grace."
        --- May Sarton

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It seems everywhere I look these days, I am seeing images of artist Ruth Asawa's incredible wire sculptures. I've had the great pleasure of seeing her work up-close-and-personal at two separate exhibits in Chicago over the last few years. Amazing stuff! 

There is a new(ish) biography out about Ruth Asawa, and I'm eager to get my hands on a copy. (Click here for an Amazon link.) In interviews about the book, biographer Marilyn Chase describes Asawa as someone who could, "create something beautiful out of any situation." Asawa faced many hardships in her life (including life in an internment camp during World War II) and Chase explains that “What inspired me the most was her ability to turn swords into plowshares. Every time life dealt her a blow, she turned it into something wonderful, something creative.” I think we can all use a little of that kind of inspiration right about now!

You can read more about Ruth Asawa here, and you can see some of her work in photographs here.

The US Postal Service recently released a special stamp collection commemorating Ruth Asawa. You can order the stamps online through the USPS here.

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Are you having a hard time concentrating on your reading these days? I know I was at the beginning of the pandemic stay-at-home phase last spring, although it seems to have gotten easier for me to focus on my reading lately. Apparently, this difficulty with concentration was/is fairly common. Here's an article that suggests rereading favorite childhood books can help get your reading habit back on track!

In an article from The Atlantic, columnist Emma Court touts the unexpected benefits of rereading your old favorites:

...revisiting [childhood favorites] as adults can also provide comfort, relaxation, and the pleasure of rediscovery. Not only do rereaders rediscover the story, but they may also rediscover themselves.

Rereading “reminds us that we can experience something intensely and not be seeing everything at the time. And going back, we see something different,” says Jill Campbell, an English professor at Yale. “It’s a way of thinking more about a book that’s had an impact on you, but it’s also a way of thinking about your own life, memories, and experiences. The continuities and the differences.”

If you're having a hard time concentrating on "grown-up books" right now, maybe try rereading some of your favorite childhood standbys. It's fun to revisit old "friends" -- and who knows? Maybe it will rekindle your enjoyment of reading. (Of course, rereading old favs is also just plain fun anytime!)

What are YOUR childhood favorites? What book would you grab first for a reread?

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Do you ever wonder . . . if animals are noticing the slower pace of things because of the pandemic? Well, here's an interesting story from NPR about the humpback whales in Alaska's Glacier Bay. They're definitely noticing that the ocean is a quieter place for them this year!

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Usually about this time of year, Tom and I are putting together and actively monitoring our "watch list" for all the movies with "Oscar-buzz" due to be released in the fall. This year? Oh, we're paying attention. But we won't be heading to the movies any time soon! (I don't think the movies will even be released in the usual way this year. . . )

Anyway. We just watched a movie from last year's list that we missed when it was (briefly) in our local theatre. It has an odd title, but is just delightful -- The Peanut Butter Falcon. It's charming and heartwarming and beautifully filmed, too -- just perfect for These Days. (You can stream it right now on Prime, Netflix, and Hulu.) Next time you're looking for something new to watch, give it a try -- and let me know what you think!

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And that's it for me this Monday.

I hope your week is off to a great start.
Keep smiling.
We'll get through this.
XO

 

 


Planting Some Hope

For many months now, Fridays have been for poetry. But I'm feeling the itch to switch things up a bit.

So, starting today . . . Fridays are for hope.
(Which will still likely include poetry sometimes. It's just, well, I'm more than a bit desperate for some hope these days.)

I've decided to go looking for it.
(Hope, that is.)

And when I find it, I'm going to plant it right here.
(On Fridays.)

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Let's start with a little story of hope.

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On Turning Things Around

In the days before the pandemic, I used to go on regular bike trail rides with a small group of friends. We had all met at the gym, and we didn't know each other well - but we all liked being active, and we had bikes, and our schedules lined up. (That's about it for simularities, though. Let's just say . . . we cover the spectrum when it comes to politics and religious beliefs and feelings about climate change.) Anyway. There were 4 of us, and on the trails we would often "pair up" and ride and chat . . . switching the "pairs" now and again. Eventually, we had one-on-one chats with everyone on a ride. And, because we generally liked riding together, we just silently agreed not to discuss certain things. Or we sidestepped entire topics.  Our chats were pretty superficial; day-to-day stuff. It worked.

Anyway . . . once, I was riding along with the most quiet and thoughtful woman in our group. She never said much about herself, and she tended to play things pretty close to the vest. Mostly she just chatted about her daughters and their families and "gym stuff." I knew she had some health issues, but I didn't have any idea what they were.

As we rode that day, she told me she'd been diagnosed with MS many years ago, and she explained how it had changed her life. It had meant ending her career, a slowing down, a turning inward. The diagnosis turned her into what she calls a "thoughtful planner." She's always thinking ahead now -- coming up with options for how she'll live each day (depending on how she's feeling), what she'll do to maintain her ability to move and stay active, how she wants the rest of her life to look.

Her outlook is so positive, so focused on movement, so . . . forward thinking.

I asked her . . . Were you always so accepting and gracious and wise about your diagnosis?

Oh, no! She told me. At first, she was in despair. She asked her husband . . . 
What will become of us?

And he told her to turn that statement around . . . 
What will we become?

I almost fell off my bike right then. Because YES. That's it.
Hope.
In the face of a dark and uncertain future.

The message in my story today? 
Sometimes when things look particularly bleak, we need to remember to . . .  turn it around.

What will become of us?  ==>  What will we become?

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And . . . because maybe you showed up here today for some poetry . . . here's a poem for you, too.

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Small Kindnesses
Danusha Laméris

I've been thinking about the way, when you walk
down a crowded aisle, people pull in their legs
to let you by. Or how strangers still say "bless you"
when someone sneezes, a leftover
from the Bubonic plague. "Don't die," we are saying.
And sometimes, when you spill lemons 
from your grocery bag, someone else will help you
pick them up. Mostly, we don't want to harm each other.
We want to be handed our cup of coffee hot,
and to say thank you to the person handing it. To smile
at them and for them to smile back. For the waitress 
to call us honey when she sets down the bowl of clam chowder,
and for the driver in the red pick-up truck to let us pass.
We have so little of each other, now. So far
from tribe and fire. Only these brief moments of exchange.
What if they are the true dwelling of the holy, these
fleeting temples we make together when we say, "Here,
have my seat," "Go ahead - you first," "I like your hat."

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My best wishes to all of you . . . for a weekend filled with peace and solace, time to rest -- and things that bring you joy. (And maybe some poetry, too.) 

Don't forget to look for hope. (Maybe it's planted right there in your garden!)

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Today's poem was published in Healing the Divide: Poems of Kindess & Connection, edited by James Crews, Green Writers Press, 2019.  Information about the poet can be found here