When I was small, my mother used to ask us before bed, what was something you learned? something that made you laugh? and probably a few other questions in there as well. I’ve read since then that this asking for details results in a better memory but I find the act of taking note helpful in and of itself, and so I’ve continued the tradition for years, recording bits of gratitude and spots of beauty in my task list application – which means it gets archived at the end of the day and I never go back to look at it. I haven’t blogged here in such a long time but I’ve been reading and doing some interesting things and want to put them somewhere more accessible. So:
What was Beautiful:
Hummingbirds buzzing around the feeder, fire in the hearth – with dogs luxuriating around it, rainy days, the maple tree shedding its leaves like flames, the phenomenal Casa Patas flamenco show, luminescent anemones covering underwater structures.
What I’m Grateful for:
Yoga, dog snuggles, cats in boxes, my Rainier Ravens, this crisp fall weather, legwarmers & wellies, Matt’s help sorting out my dive camera and gear, new fences.
What made me Laugh:
Buying dog coats. Picture this: wrestling one huge into trying on coat after coat while he was trying to kiss everyone in the shop, play with the dogs and steal some of the bulk treats while I wasn’t looking then swapping him out for the even bigger dog who is terrified of everyone and trying to back into me and rack while staff were trying to give her treats. By the end of it, I had broken a sweat and my gut hurt from laughing so much but we are now all outfitted for the rain.
What I’m creating and doing:
A new blog – https://www.asgoodasarest.com (still very much in progress)
A lot of dancing of various sorts, diving with my camera and dog training. Next week I start a new job, try out Capoeira and head to the Oregon Coast for the holiday.
What I’m reading this week:
Rebecca Solnit: if I were a man at the Guardian. If I were I man it’s not the direction I’d go in but I still found this snippet appalling, “But success was available to them, and that was an advantage – and still is. We still have wild disproportions on those fronts; the New York Times reported in 2015 that ‘Fewer large companies are run by women than by men named John’.”
Rebecca Solnit: The Loneliness of Donald Trump at the Literary Hub.
And re-reading her old but always good “Men Explain Things to Me”
This all came about because I have been struggling to get through The Mother of All Questions before it needs to go back to the library because in spite of being amazing it is also a paper book and I just don’t have as much time for sitting and reading as I would like.
Various posts about the #metoo movement – here and here and here. I’m glad this has not gone completely quiet. I have been thinking about it quite a lot still and probably need to do some writing there myself.
“Dangerous Life,” an arresting poem by Lucia Perillo.
Why People Can’t Stop Touching Museum Exhibits. I suppose it’s helpful to know why, but I just wish they’d stop.
The Story of Self at the Guardian, which talks about how memories are constructed by the brain, the unreliability of memory and how that plays into our sense of self. I am fascinated by the overlapping and editing that happens here. For instance, this is my earliest memory but I am also sure that my memory is largely (if not entirely) informed by that photograph. “And yet these untrustworthy memories are among the most cherished we have. Memories of childhood are often made out to have a particular kind of authenticity; we think they must be pure because we were cognitively so simple back then. We don’t associate the slipperiness of memory with the guilelessness of youth. When you read descriptions of people’s very early memories, you see that they often function as myths of creation. Your first memory is special because it represents the point when you started being who you are.”
4 Unconscious Questions that we are all asking ourselves.
Other bits of inspiration:
Looking Past Limits by Caroline Casey via Mel Robbins‘ newsletter