By the end of last year, when Mom was really sick, I had stopped paying attention to politics. I haven’t really gotten back into it, which at times can make me feel I’m not “doing enough” to be a good citizen. (Yes, we’re working on that in therapy. Yay therapy!)
This article published on Man Repeller made me feel a little better about being out of politics:
When we live our lives online, inundated with new developments and challenges to debate with people we ideologically agree or disagree with, rushing to have a hot take on every last thing isn’t always productive. It’s perfectly okay to say “I don’t know” or “I don’t have an opinion on that” to those who are desperate to engage in some bad faith discourse on the wild headline of the day. Because tomorrow that wild headline will be gone, and all you’ll be left with is your own exhaustion.
Just get these iron-on letters and pick your favorite disco lyric. Sure, I could copy the exact phrase from “Le Freak,” but why not go even more niche and do “Macho Woman,” as worn by Valerie Perrine in the YMCA scene in the 1980 Village People movie, Can’t Stop The Music?
Never would there be a more Karen sweatshirt in the history of sweatshirts.
What’s that? You’d like to watch the entire music video of that YMCA scene? Yes, yes you would:
My family has always visited the cemetery for Memorial Day. This year was the first year visiting Mom’s grave there and it was hard.
I’m not sure this Mark Doty passage is 100% reflective of my state of mind–my sorrow has a lot of rage in it these days–but it does sum up how you can go about your days within it:
Sorrow feels right , for now. Sorrow seems large and inhabitable, an interior season whose vaulted sky’s a suitable match for the gray and white tumult arched over these headlands. A sorrow is not to be gotten over or moved through in quite the way that sadness is, yet sorrow is also not as frozen and monochromatic as mourning. Sadness exists inside my sorrow, but it’s not as large as sorrow’s realm. This sorrow is capacious; there’s room inside it for the everyday, for going about the workaday stuff of life. And for loveliness, for whatever we’re to be given by the daily walk.
(From Heaven’s Coast)
1. Here’s an interview with a “professional brand namer” on how the best brand/product names happen. I have to admire her hustle to break into the industry:
I have a degree in linguistics and classical languages, and I wanted to move to New York and started working retail until I could figure it out. I was working at the JCrew in Rockefeller Center and any time a woman that looked remotely successful came in, I would ask them “What do you do? Do you like it? Do you think I might like it?”
2. Nobody does satire like Kimberly Harrington: “We heard you. And decided to do something else instead.”
What we heard: You would like a woman and/or person of color as the Democratic candidate for President.
Here’s what we’ve done: Given you no fewer than eleven white guys as candidates and two of them are front runners. While we know this isn’t specifically what you requested, we want you to know we did hear you. We listened for sure. And all we ask is that you give these white guys a chance. FYI, it is customary to give them infinite chances. After their infinite chances have run out then we’ll see who else we can dig up for you. Thank you for your patience, which must be super fine-tuned at this point.
From The Atlantic recently, here’s a short essay appreciating Mary Oliver and the art of noticing:
The piece concludes with a sentence that implants itself in the brain, because it is, in fact, so far upstream from the way we live: “Attention is the beginning of devotion.” And, of course, this is so. The unnoticed can’t possibly be loved. Certain critics liked to trash Oliver as unsophisticated. But her simplicity was naked display of the elemental: Dilate, she insisted, because a world worthy of attachment exists outside ourselves, and the alternative is numbness and narcissism.
From Mary Oliver, who we can always count on:
I worried a lot. Will the garden grow, will the rivers
flow in the right direction, will the earth turn
as it was taught, and if not how shall
I correct it?
Was I right, was I wrong, will I be forgiven,
can I do better?
Will I ever be able to sing, even the sparrows
can do it and I am, well,
Is my eyesight fading or am I just imagining it,
am I going to get rheumatism,
Finally I saw that worrying had come to nothing.
And gave it up. And took my old body
and went out into the morning,
(From Swan: Poems and Prose Poems)
I finally finished the hems on this Nikko top that had been languishing while I sewed all the gym clothes for two months. Now I’ll be ahead of the game for October, when it’s cool enough to wear it.
There’s nothing too fancy about it–I made a size 8 in the Nikko pattern with no adjustments, using a very very soft and drapey “modal rib” from Stonemountain (now sold out). It’s cat hair magnet because it is so soft and brushed, but I kind of expect that with black clothes. (I had a conductor in college who said that he wasn’t bothered by pet hair on black clothes because he was “carrying a memento of things he loved,” and I’ve adopted that.)
1. Did you want to read more about Dr. Bronner’s soap? You can, at Vox. It seems like a good company.
2. How about something written by the Swole Woman (in her day job as a reporter) about Muscle Milk and the rise of protein drinks?
3. I was letting my sleep slip from 8 hours to 7 or even 6.5 the last couple weeks, and wow could I tell a difference (everything was so hard! I was so cranky!). I got 8.5 last night and suddenly the world is a better place. Go to bed early tonight, friends.