Good morning there, friend. It’s a little chilly here today, but the sun is shining and it’s like the serotonin in my brain finally remembered its purpose.
A few years ago, on a quiet New Year’s Eve, I remember looking back at the year and feeling that it was a complete blank—I could not recount one book I had read, one notable event. And to be honest, it scared me a little, to have a year of my life so thoroughly undocumented by memory.
This blog is its own sort of diary, documenting my week-to-week, but there is a lot that doesn’t make the pages here—especially things that feel steeped in mediocrity (but, which are poignant in their own way). So, this year I decided to keep a sort of list. The list includes books I’ve read, restaurants we tried, films I saw, people we met, and my travels, among other things.
The list is often a starting point. Adding the purchase of a new plant to the list becomes a quest to learn more about it. Adding a Broadway play to the list can send me down a rabbit hole of the late ’90s feminist punk rock we heard while waiting for the show to start (see below). And every time I pull up the list to add a notation, I am met with the earlier submissions, deepening their recognition in my memory, and generating little sparks of gratitude for these experiences.
This list reminds me that it’s only March, and 2019 was already a good year.
If you read one thing: The Tragedy of Baltimore
I mentioned last week that I am rediscovering poetry lately. And unfortunately, it’s often death that pushes me to better explore a particular poet’s oeuvre in an attempt to understand the fullness of their contribution (RIP David Bowie, Donald Hall, Mary Oliver). This week poet laureate W.S. Merwin died—lucky he for us he left much behind.
Have I been sleeping on Uniqlo?
Foot-binding has always struck me as perhaps the most cruel fashion statement ever inflicted on women—but is it really so far from the exacting beauty standards perpetuated by our own generation? An excerpt in Granta connects the dots between tenth century A.D foot binding and our own modern performance of gender and sexuality.
“…Book collections become a pantomime of erudition, or a flex, as I often think when walking past the lit windows of tony brownstones in Brooklyn and catch sight of a large built-in bookcase.” Mik Awake on the complicated practice of owning many books.
We’re going to go with “cute” on this, right?
Sesame Street stamps are coming!
Every single link in Laura Olin’s newsletter (particularly this week‘s edition) is worth your click.
Better than any Super Bowl ad I’ve seen.
This Tuscan tuna sandwich has a whiff of spring about it.
David and I went to see a Broadway play last night called What the Constitution Means to Me. The play was interesting and had potential, but the pre-show playlist was really special—Ariana Grande and Sleater-Kinney.