December 14, 2018

Joy is not made to be a crumb

As we approach the end of the year, I’ve been thinking a lot about kindness. The mantra of be kind” was my word of the year, and I have been taking time to ask myself if I have, in fact, been kind this year. Have I been kind to others? Have I been kind to myself?

I’ll share more of those reflections in the next couple of weeks, but for now, this rumination reminded me of a verse from Mary Oliver’s Don’t Hesitate” that reads: we are not wise, and not very often kind.” There’s a solace in reminding ourselves that no matter how many times we slip up, everyone else around struggles with wisdom and kindness, as well. In so many things in life, all we can do is try—and try is what I will continue to do.

Don’t Hesitate

If you suddenly and unexpectedly feel joy,
don’t hesitate. Give in to it. There are plenty
of lives and whole towns destroyed or about
to be. We are not wise, and not very often
kind. And much can never be redeemed.
Still, life has some possibility left. Perhaps this
is its way of fighting back, that sometimes
something happens better than all the riches
or power in the world. It could be anything,
but very likely you notice it in the instant
when love begins. Anyway, that’s often the
case. Anyway, whatever it is, don’t be afraid
of its plenty. Joy is not made to be a crumb.

Mary Oliver

In case you missed it:

I posted my year in reading” review for 2018, where I not only highlighted what I read and what my favorite books of the year were, but also shared a rumination on being okay with leaving books unread on my nightstand. You should check it out.

A few things to read and explore:

The new Tiny Love Stories feature in the New York Times is all kinds of delightful. This submission from Sarah Morris is particularly good:

Some things Tinder dates offered me (that are not sex): jars of jam, help hanging shelves, a ride to the airport, hangover sundae with peanuts, shortcuts across Durham, Costco visits, a planning commissioner’s phone number, a medical consultation, a visit to a Georgia O’Keeffe exhibit, sympathy, homemade pumpkin bread, stories about their mothers, the best swimming holes, long hugs that stay hugs. I thought online dating would be about physical need, but instead I’ve experienced so many small intimacies. Still about need. Almost about love.

I was always ambivalent about ticks until I found out that you can get an allergy to meat from a bite from a lone star tick.

I know that it is possible to be lonely even when surrounded by people we love.

I’m a devotee of my espresso machine, but this history of the Moka Pot made me nostalgic for stovetop coffee-making.

How do we make the creative internet easy to navigate? Today you have to choke your way through the money-making miasma to find the joy.”

I’m not quite sure why I love this so much, but spending a few minutes playing with Choir is sure to bring a smile to my face.

Watching You’ve Got Mail today lets us pretend as if the internet was once a warm, comforting place full of glorious potential. But the internet was never pure; it was merely new.

Thank you to Anne Thériault for sharing this lovely poem that is perfect to read on a cold winter’s night.

Pixar just released Bao, a beautiful short film by Domee Shi about parent-child relationships, for free online. It is well worth watching, definitely more than once.

All of the winners of the 2018 National Geographic Photo Contest are stunning, but this photo of Japan’s Blue Pond in Hokkaido by Rucca Y Ito is probably my favorite.

Photo of Japan’s Blue Pond in Hokkaido by Rucca Y Ito

Every morning, I am the ready for anything” bird from this comic strip; by the afternoon, I’m always overwhelmed that there are more than two things.

Comic strip from Poorly Drawn Lines

Have a lovely weekend where you are ready for everything—or at least, ready for two things—my friends.

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