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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