“Water has three states, but you know, not really only three—clouds, fogs, mist, rain, and many others. A rainbow is related to water. Our bodies are 70% water, and our planet is also 70% water on the surface. We’re almost like a puddle of water. As you know, those different states of water can look very beautiful, but sometimes they can be very violent, like a tsunami.”
– Ryuichi Sakamoto
That means reckoning with what’s called ambiguous loss: any loss that’s unclear and lacks a resolution. It can be physical, such as a missing person or the loss of a limb or organ, or psychological, such as a family member with dementia or a serious addiction.
“In this case, it is a loss of a way of life, of the ability to meet up with your friends and extended family,” Boss says. “It is perhaps a loss of trust in our government. It’s the loss of our freedom to move about in our daily life as we used to.” It’s also the loss of high-quality education, or the overall educational experience we’re used to, given school closures, modified openings and virtual schooling. It’s the loss of rituals, such weddings, graduations, and funerals, and even lesser “rituals,” such as going to gym. One of the toughest losses for me to adapt to is no longer doing my research and writing in coffee shops as I’ve done for most of my life, dating back to junior high.
“These were all things we were attached to and fond of, and they’re gone right now, so the loss is ambiguous. It’s not a death, but it’s a major, major loss,” says Boss. “What we used to have has been taken away from us.”
Your ‘Surge Capacity’ Is Depleted — It’s Why You Feel Awful, by Tara Haelle
“Do not get lost in a sea of despair. Be hopeful, be optimistic. Our struggle is not the struggle of a day, a week, a month, or a year, it is the struggle of a lifetime. Never, ever be afraid to make some noise and get in good trouble, necessary trouble.”
– John Lewis
“You don’t get to pick your family of origin or the place you grow up. But you do get to choose your friends, and those choices say something about the kind of world you want for yourself. This is one of the many ways friendship is political. We’re not just talking about whether you have people in your life who voted for the opposite party or whether you’re carpooling to the protest march with your friends. We’re talking about small-p politics, or “the total complex of relations between people living in society,” as the dictionary puts it. White people can’t be surprised that white supremacists are marching in the streets if their own lives are racially segregated. The choices that each of us makes every day about who we include in our lives end up shaping the larger world we live in.”
There’s a Divide in Even the Closest Interracial Friendships Including ours, By Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman
“Of course I knew I was white, just like you do. I just didn’t consciously identify myself that way. Maybe it’s because it felt like it was unnecessary to acknowledge, or because it felt like the default, or because it felt embarrassing for reasons I could not yet articulate. But before that day, “white” was in the silent backdrop of how I defined myself, and then, the day I went viral, something shifted. I suddenly saw my own race as important, as having meaning, meaning that I had yet to fully understand.”
A Love Letter to All the Overwhelmed White People Who Are Trying, by Melissa DePino
Call-outs make people fearful of being targeted. People avoid meaningful conversations when hypervigilant perfectionists point out apparent mistakes, feeding the cannibalistic maw of the cancel culture. Shaming people for when they “woke up” presupposes rigid political standards for acceptable discourse and enlists others to pile on. Sometimes it’s just ruthless hazing.
We can change this culture. Calling-in is simply a call-out done with love. Some corrections can be made privately. Others will necessarily be public, but done with respect. It is not tone policing, protecting white fragility or covering up abuse. It helps avoid the weaponization of suffering that prevents constructive healing.
Calling-in engages in debates with words and actions of healing and restoration, and without the self-indulgence of drama. And we can make productive choices about the terms of the debate: Conflicts about coalition-building, supporting candidates or policies are a routine and desirable feature of a pluralistic democracy.
I Think Call-Out Culture Is Toxic, by Loretta Ross
“Life is sometimes hard. Things go wrong, in life and in love and in business and in friendship and in health and in all the other ways that life can go wrong. And when things get tough, this is what you should do.
Make good art.
I’m serious. Husband runs off with a politician? Make good art. Leg crushed and then eaten by mutated boa constrictor? Make good art. IRS on your trail? Make good art. Cat exploded? Make good art. Somebody on the Internet thinks what you do is stupid or evil or it’s all been done before? Make good art. Probably things will work out somehow, and eventually time will take the sting away, but that doesn’t matter. Do what only you do best. Make good art.”
“Make Good Art”, by Neil Gaiman
Next time you buy anything, ask yourself these questions:
1. Can I work around the problem with a repair, modification, or change in use?
2. If I buy this, what else am I not buying?
3. Can I afford this?
4. Will this item help me do things I can’t do now?
5. Will buying this item significantly increase my enjoyment of X?
6. How often will I use this in the next year? In the next five years?
7.Will this item become obsolete in the near term?
8. Is this item repairable?
9,Do I really need ‘the best’? What is a good second choice?
10. Can I buy something used that will do the job?
11. Am I supporting a business I know and like? Do our values align?
From this article: Buy less, do more with good enough gear.
(via Dense Discovery, currently hands-down my favorite newsletter)
“We talk about this lockdown as a period of hibernation, as being dormant. But perhaps we’ve never been more woke than right now, more cognizant of a system that normally keeps us too busy to demand better.”
“I have a theory—based on my experience interviewing thousands of people—that we humans are able to achieve wholeness and well-being in direct proportion to how we receive love. Not how the love is given, but how we are able to process and accept it.”
“I believe love when it comes in. It’s one of the most profound revelations I’ve ever heard. Love is all around, showing up in small offerings and dramatic encounters and everyday gestures. But we can’t receive it if we’re fixated on finding it in a package called “parent” or “husband” or “lover”—whatever label fits the story you’ve told yourself.”
911 OPERATOR: 911—what’s your emergency?
ROBERT: Hi, I . . . uh . . . I work from home.
Read the full New Yorker post, I work from home, by Colin Nissan. Funny.
“One of the most useful bits of advice I ever got, came from the writer Anne Herbert who said that whenever she got an invitation to do something months away or even a week away, she asked herself whether she would accept the gig/meeting/task if it was tomorrow. The answer was often no. I use that immediacy trick all the time, and it has served me very well.”
“How we spend our time is how we spend our days. How we spend our days is how our life goes. How our life goes determines whether we thought it was worth living.”
— Keith Yamashita
Keith reflecting on his relationship to time. Wonderful.
“Much of what ruins the present is sheer anxiety. The present always contains an enormous number of possibilities, some hugely gruesome, which we are constantly aware of in the background. Anything could theoretically happen, an earthquake, an aneurysm, a rejection – which gives rise to the non-specific anxiety that trails most of us around all the time; the simple dread at the unknownness of what is to come.”
“The basement of your soul is much deeper than you knew. Some people look into the hidden depths of themselves and they realize that success won’t fill those spaces. Only a spiritual life and unconditional love from family and friends will do. They realize how lucky they are. They are down in the valley, but their health is O.K.; they’re not financially destroyed; they’re about to be dragged on an adventure that will leave them transformed.”
— David Brooks
“According to numerous studies, emotion is a basic currency for remembering content. A listener must connect emotionally to what they hear in order to remember what the speaker says. Simply, we remember most vividly the events in our lives in which we were most emotionally impacted.”
Do You Need Charisma to Be a Great Public Speaker?, by Sarah Gershman
I have been on a journey of cutting down on alcohol for a good year now and Kava tea has really helped me substitute that glass of wine at night.
I also started tracking days where I didn’t drink any alcohol at all to have a visual reminder of how I am shifting my habits. I use an app called DONE for that. Besides ‘not drinking’ I track when I meditate, do something physical, dance, didn’t eat sugar.
My goal is not to cut drinking alcohol all together but to be more aware why I am drinking. When I am with friends and I am having a good time, I totally want to enjoy a glass of wine. When I am home alone and want to “numb” with alcohol, I now stop myself. I replace that glass of wine with tea, meditation, a bath, etc. Small steps.
“I hold this to be the highest task of a bond between two people: that each should stand guard over the solitude of the other.”
— Rainer Maria Rilke
“It’s so very hard, receiving. When you give something, you’re in much greater control. But when you receive something, you’re so vulnerable.”
The Mister Rogers No One Saw, By Jeanne Marie Laskas
“It’s a verb. It’s an active engagement with all kinds of feelings—positive ones and primitive ones and loathsome ones. But it’s a very active verb. And it’s often surprising how it can kind of ebb and flow. It’s like the moon. We think it’s disappeared, and suddenly it shows up again. It’s not a permanent state of enthusiasm.”
Full article: Love is not a permanent state of enthusiasm
“Marriage is an aggregate of multiple narratives. It belongs to the people who are in it, but it also belongs to the people who are supporting it and living around it: family, friends, community. As I once said, and it became a kind of a saying for me, when you pick a partner, you pick a story, and then you find yourself in a play you never auditioned for. And that is when the narratives clash.”
— Esther Perel
Full article: Love is not a permanent state of enthusiasm
“In any bond of depth and significance, forgive, forgive, forgive. And then forgive again. The richest relationships are lifeboats, but they are also submarines that descend to the darkest and most disquieting places, to the unfathomed trenches of the soul where our deepest shames and foibles and vulnerabilities live, where we are less than we would like to be. Forgiveness is the alchemy by which the shame transforms into the honor and privilege of being invited into another’s darkness and having them witness your own with the undimmed light of love, of sympathy, of nonjudgmental understanding. Forgiveness is the engine of buoyancy that keeps the submarine rising again and again toward the light, so that it may become a lifeboat once more.”
13 Life-Learnings from 13 Years of Brain Pickings. Happy blog-birthday Maria!