Coloring, laundry, bickering, comfort, fatigue, and friendship. Is there more to report on? I hope you are staying well and on top of your mental health as best as you can, dear friends. I’m breaking my “no pandemic journalism” pact because I have found a few reads that have been helpful (and none are from the Atlantic, whose dramatically grim headlines have given me anxiety flare-ups every time I see them, thank you very little, the Atlantic!):
- Sorrow Is Not My Name, Ross Gay. “there are, on this planet alone, something like two / million naturally occurring sweet things.” A new favorite line of poetry. The whole poem is hopeful, go read it!
- Why Its OK To Be Bored And Not Productive In Quarantine, Refinery 29. “It was the countless hours I spent dialing into my family’s broadband internet to meticulously build bad websites on Geocities — not the hours in front of a piano — that led to mine. Of course, the point of wuliao [a Chinese phrase that which translates to ‘the absence of conversation,’ and generally means ’too bored’] is not to think about the future. Any hobby, even the pointless ones, will immediately become poisoned if you approach it with the plans to eventually reap from it.” This article shows some cool and cute examples of people’s silly innovations and activities during self-isolation.
- Colorful Maps of a World in Coronavirus Lockdown, CityLab. I love this and am inspired by it. Might draw my own map, which would be of my beloved unremarkable hometown of Walkersville. A place I know almost every inch of, one that is incredibly special to me even in its unspecialness, its one-in-a-millionness. In the link, my favorite one is the fantasy-style map from a reader in PA.
- This Is Not the Apocalypse You Were Looking For, Laurie Penny. “In the end, it will not be butchery. Instead it will be bakery, as everyone has apparently decided that the best thing to do when the world lurches sideways is learn to make bread. Yeast is gone from the shops. Even I have been acting out in the kitchen, although my baked goods are legendarily dreadful. A friend and former roommate, who knows me well, called from Berlin to ask if I had “made the terrible, horrible biscuits yet.” These misfortune cookies tend to happen at moments of such extreme stress that those around me feel obliged to eat them. They say that if you can make a cake, you can make a bomb; if the whole thing implodes, my job will not be in munitions. My job will be the same as yours and everyone else’s: to be kind, to stay calm, and to take care of whoever happens to need taking care of in my immediate vicinity.” I am doing my darndest to not share pandemic journalism but the writing in this one is just irresistibly good. It makes me want to see what else she’s written. It makes me want to hug my friends. Someone should invent a way to make a virtual hug that actually feels like a physical hug.
- Dr. Seuss’s Fox in Socks Rapped Over Dr. Dre’s Beats – Surprisingly good for kids and grown-ups!
Bonus features aka my favorite section these days:
- Dog running away with a camera attached to a frisbee, Twitter video
- Settings.exe = W I G G L E, Reddit cat gif
- Old Hollywood bloopers, Twitter video selected by my housemate Elise!
- Mom & kid ping-pong trick, Tiktok video. Hard to describe this premise but it’s WORTH THE WAIT