Things I Love Lately

A Teacup in a Leotard – I love all of Annie Flavin’s work, but this piece really took my breath away.  It exhorts us to put our technology away, to listen to our children, and to recognize all the ways that “prayer” can look in the world.  “People may find a bright side, and there may be an actual bright side, but that does not eliminate the dark side. It is still not easy. It is still not fun. It can be lonely.”  Amen to this.

Limiting All – Amanda Magee is another writer whose work I love, always, every single word.  Sometimes I think she and I are the same soul living in different bodies.  This post resonated even more than many.  This paragraph right here took my breath away: “We can’t keep every single thing that we collect or sustain an impenetrable awareness of value. I cannot be entirely childlike or perfectly adult; it’s why each chunk of life is so beautiful and maddening. Time softens what we remember, yearning polishes what we don’t yet have, but in between, if we allow it, we can let the corners touch.”

I read My Own Country: A Doctor’s Story by Abraham Verghese (based on Brettne’s excellent advice) and loved it.  I’ve long been extremely drawn to doctor-writers (Oliver Sacks, of course, and Atul Gawande are among my favorites).  In my childhood dreams of my life I was always a doctor.  Verghese’s memoir of being a small town doctor as the AIDS epidemic arrives in America is compelling and, of course, beautifully told.

I’m about to finish Rebecca Stead’s wonderful Goodbye Stranger and am looking forward to Grace reading it too.  I love the middle school voices in Stead’s book and was impressed with how delicately she handles the complicated issues of self esteem, friendship, and social media.  I really can’t wait to hear what Grace thinks.

In August, Matt and I started watching Orange is the New Black.  I’m not sure why I resisted so long.  We’re now midway through season 2 (no spoilers please!) and I really like it.  Terrifically smart writing.  Funny and wise with a deep undercurrent of melancholy about the state of race in America and the prison system.

The soundtrack of right now is mostly Top 40 – a lot of Taylor Swift, Cheerleader, Renegades, and Stitches.  Just a couple of weeks ago I was driving three 7th grade girls and one 5th grade boy from hockey practice in the evening and we spent the entire 20 minute drive belting out songs along with the radio.  They were unself-conscious and joyful and so was I.  I’ll never forget it.

What are you reading, watching, listening to, and thinking about these days? 

I write these Things I Love Lately posts approximately monthly.  You can find the others all here.

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  1. Posted September 23, 2015 at 6:16 am | Permalink

    Xoxo, Lindsey. And now we are going to start OITNB per your rec. Always need a new show on the docket!

    admin Reply:

    Let me know what you think! xo

  2. Posted September 23, 2015 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    Love these. I don’t know why I am resistant to OITNB, but if you like it…then maybe. 🙂

    I am listening to Willie Nelson’s new song with his son, Just Breathe, over and over. And yes, lots of TS and Katy Perry in my car, with some Uptown Funk scattered in.

    I have a stack of books from the library I am trying to get through. Next up is Circling The Sun, which I am really excited about. The last book that really struck me was A Little Life.

    In a bit of a lull with the TV- my favorites Orphan Black and Sherlock aren’t on right now. Love So You Think You Can Dance and The Voice- something about seeing people go after their dreams really moves me. Trying to pick a new series- maybe Homeland or Friday Night Lights (finally).

    And I just read that Amanda Magee post yesterday- really resonated with me. She is a true find.

    admin Reply:

    I LOVE that Willie Nelson version of Just Breathe. Adore it. xoxox

  3. Posted September 23, 2015 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    Can’t wait until I’m in your shoes and able to read middle grade books alongside my girl. I get excited by all the YA displays in bookstores, looking forward to that time. As far as listening goes, I find myself drawn very much to the 90s satellite radio station lately. Something about this time of year and wanting to hear the songs from my college days, I think.

    admin Reply:

    I promise that day will come before you know it!

  4. Posted September 23, 2015 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

    If you love those doctor books: My father-in-law is a doctor (Abraham Varghese was his resident!) and he wrote a memoir combining his medical experiences as a doctor with his life experience being kidnapped as an adult. Here is the link if you’re interested (not a promotional plug I promise!!)

    admin Reply:

    I will check it out! Thank you! xox

  5. Posted September 23, 2015 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

    Hi! I finished Amy Poehler’s “Yes Please” in just a few days and loved it, just like you said. Now I’m re-watching the first two seasons of “Parks & Rec” (since we didn’t pick it up until the 3rd season) and loving them.
    I am of course still into podcasts as well: lately loving Liz Gilbert’s “Big Magic,” Longform, Fugitive Waves, The Allusionist, & Happier with Gretchen Rubin is probably my favorite while I’m still unpacking and trying to pare down.
    Just returning to the world of blogs again and so happy to find you still here. Thank you for writing, friend.

    admin Reply:

    I really liked Yes Please! So glad you’re coming back. xox

  6. Amy
    Posted September 23, 2015 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

    Just finished A Window Opens and A Little Life. Very different but both really touched me as I struggke with being at a crossroad and making some real changes in my career.

    admin Reply:

    I haven’t read A little Life but think I need to. Good luck with what sounds like changes ahead… xox

  7. Posted September 23, 2015 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

    A Teacup in a Leotard was brilliant. I love MG so will check out Goodbye Stranger. Thanks for sharing these — and all that you share in your ‘things I love lately’ posts. Happy Autumn.

    admin Reply:

    Thank you so much. xox

  8. Posted September 23, 2015 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

    Thank you for these links.. I find you to be very inspiring, grounding, and also understand all those things that “everybody else” seems to skip over (life transitions, deep feelings, poetry in the simple, etc)

    admin Reply:

    Thank you so, so much. What a kind thing to say. xox

  9. Posted September 24, 2015 at 5:54 am | Permalink

    I loved all of Orange is the New Black. So glad you’re into it. I agree it’s smart. Dark, but smart.

    admin Reply:

    Really good!

  10. Posted September 24, 2015 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    I love thinking of you slipping from the weight of obligations, genuine and perceived, and belting songs in the car.

    admin Reply:

    That is definitely what happened! xox

  11. Posted September 24, 2015 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

    So much goodness here; I can’t wait to dive in. And the image of you reading the same books as Grace and belting out songs alongside your kids is one of the happiest visions of my future that I can imagine. Thanks for painting that picture.