Note: I dislike small talk, especially weather-related nuances and local government idiocy. I teach my kids not to spread gossip. Small character etchings, I guess. When in doubt, doodle.
Hello again. I've been spending much time (and money) in the coffee shop tour again this week. It's the perfect excuse to celebrate the local economy, taste adventurous teas, sip the perfect roasted beans, and pony up a nice tip to the baristas, too. Here's an outtake drawing from a tutoring session I had. (Was I the giver or taker of the tutoring? Um...fair question, but I tend to feel both from tutoring, in general. There's always something to learn about learning. Duh.)
Here are a few stories I had tagged and found interesting along my daily reading path....
>>I want to pass along this GREAT article with stunning, creative portrait photography in terms of modern-day literature. Consume one or all of the books. I will do my best and try!
>>And also, the roller coaster of Teen Vogue ("Who Will Mourn Teen Vogue?") has become an interesting content representation of present-day teen, I mean "young people," development. The print edition is gone, but the online content continues to thrive with its change in focus with the new let's-take-action editor, Phillip Picardi.
>> Who in your personal tribe can fix all your emotional pangs? Nobody, I suspect. This Wall Street Journal article, "Mental Health Takes a Village," discusses why you may need to find your "supportive allies." The other article linked to this WSJ article, "How Doctors Deal with Racist Patients," is jaw-dropping and filled with physicians' grace and class. Unfortunately, I can't find the article in its entirety online.
Happy Reading. Spread kindness.
I like to think about creative works coming into your life and taking residence. You hem and haw about how best to serve those ideas--what's your medium, how sound it look or sound? Here's an article about What Chooses You. Enjoy and think about how creative projects tend to take a life of their own once you've accepted their fellowship in your bones.
My hand oscillates between writing and sketching. What better way to take a break from editing a story than to sketch my view at the coffee shop. Quick take.
Some view change as a deep, dark secret or something to fear. Well, fear not, experts advise. Here is a short documentary from the New York Times on how changing one small habit can have a ripple effect. Have a happy new year and keep those resolutions.
Commute time means finding new podcasts. Here is a new favorite of mine from BBC Radio called The Verb (all things prose, prose, and language intensive). Enjoy the brilliance of Jorie Graham on the latest episode and Lorna Goodison (as of 12.21).
Years upon years ago I wanted to drop everything in my life and go study poetry at the University of Virginia under the tutelage of Rita Dove. Well, that did not happen, but her as an inspiration still exists. I'm so happy to have found this interview with her. Drop in and drop out of the interview as needed. It's 33 minutes long. I like her explanation of writing and writing in drafts around minutes 4:00 to 6:00-something. She's so brilliant, grounded, and lovable at the same time.
One non-violent option available to all. Choices.
Yes, Ms. Lamott, more of this from all. I go online to talk about living offline. Paradox?
First responders and photojournalists must stay neutral, in a space of non-judgment, to solve and witness. Here's a phenomenal ride-along in the opioid crisis from The New Yorker, and why it could become anyone. As the journalist said, "The needle does not discriminate."
Tucked away with a manuscript. When I get out, here are some image highlights. Hope this finds you well. Humanity always rises up in times of suffering.
I married a master tactician and analyst. He's brilliant; he's good at everything I am not. And I'm good at the skills or controls he lacks. We are yin and yang, a rare breed of a couple. He teaches me things he learns from reading Harvard Business Review, books written by M.I.T. professors, and living inside case studies. I teach him, well, you'd have to ask him. He'd say something smart ass, like how to burn toast or how to pick up dog poo.
I do like our walks and musings. What could a business analyst teach an artist? Something simple and easy to say. It goes like this: First Things First. I'll let you chew on that.
He and I move at different paces but we both come back to one place in the end....
9:30 am Monday. I've been calling this the great eclipse "apocalypse." We made lots of jokes about the world ending. The merchandise, the emergency response plans, and the hype had been unprecedented along the "path of totality" [cue awesome drama music].
We sat on chunks of obsidian and oscillated our naked eyes between watching the light fade to wearing our NASA-approved glasses. Humans made a balancing rock sculpture. Dogs scratched at the ground. The blue hour descended with the quickness like never before.
When the eclipse got closer to totality, outside house lights switched on: the sensor had been tricked into (phantom) dusk. The bats flew and darted above our heads. The night birds sang. And we stood in darkness. Stunned. I felt like I was living inside a time-lapse camera.
The hairs on my arms stood on guard. Chills down the spine.
From deep in the forest, cheering and clapping erupted. Meanwhile, a dog remained vigilant at a nearby rock, staring and waiting for a golden-mantled squirrel to reappear.
"Good job, pups, you made the squirrel miss the eclipse," said the huz. One dog, who has a great Arctic Fox hunting pounce, looked up at him and then went back the prey's arrival.
"Okay," he said. "Back to work. The world is still here." We all walked back to our daily life with the sun opening up to its full potential and the glasses tucked in our pockets. The house lights had turned back off.
New York Times story here: A Solar Eclipse's Journey Across America.
On a recent hike, my family and I discussed the types of intelligence. There are different variations of this theory. The theory we were working from included creativity, sexual, and sensual in its intelligence list. Howard Gardner's popular version, however, as illustrated below, doesn't include those categories. Harvard's Gardner includes naturalist and musical, Here's a quick recap of Gardner's work
We talked about each of our intelligence strengths. We first had to assess ourselves and then everyone else got to have their say on your "intelligence." (Cue random insults from a family of one-up out witting each other.) Result: none of us were the same. We're an eclectic bunch. They all agreed on my strongest intelligence as creativity (outside Gardner's intelligence, apparently). My daughter said, "It's because you're lovable and weird--I mean in a good way." Later that day, I'm not sure what I said, she said, "Mom, now you're being weird, and I mean that in a bad way." Intelligence is a spectrum.
And because I am the "creative" one in the family, they are used to me being armed with a load of graphic memoirs on long airplane trips or stacking them on the sofa table to read at night. Here is BookRiot's comprehensive list of some of the must-read graphic memoirs that I've adored.
And that's an abrupt ending to a blog post. Shazam.
I have hit a new speed with a creative project: the sliver of three, uninterrupted hours a day has made all the difference in the world. It's unleashed creative output at a speed that I haven't known before. Rest and attention are paramount to tapping into the images and stories in my mind. So fun.