Here’s a recreation for the inevitable day that Instagram stops working or breaks.
This is my proof that I have an excellent husband. Go with me here for a minute. Every night I close the blinds on this window, but not the curtain. Last night was no different.
Today I woke up around 10:30 (quarantine life) and went to the bathroom. I went right back into bed, and @carlholscher came in from his home office to say good morning.
I told him I felt a little dizzy when I got up, so I’m just going to rest again for a bit. And that man, without me noticing, closed the curtains in the bedroom so that the light wouldn’t bother me. So that I could sleep til 11:30 or noon after he got up at 7:30 or 8 or whatever time employed people wake up.
I didn’t even notice it until noon when I went to open the blinds so my plants get enough light.
“Once I was a scuba diver in the sea of words. Now I zip along the surface like a guy on a Jet Ski.”
When asked about his secret to success, Warren Buffett pointed to a stack of books and said, “Read 500 pages like this every day. That’s how knowledge works. It builds up, like compound interest. All of you can do it, but I guarantee not many of you will…”
Modern culture presents formidable obstacles to the nurture of both spirituality and creativity. As a writer of faith in the age of social media, I host a Facebook page and a website and write an occasional blog. Thirty years ago I got a lot of letters from readers, and they did not expect an answer for a week or more. Now I get emails, and if they don’t hear back in two days they write again, “Did you get my email?” The tyranny of the urgent crowds in around me.
I’m still working on that fortress of habit, trying to resurrect the rich nourishment that reading has long provided for me. If only I can resist clicking on the link 30 Amish Facts That’ll Make Your Skin Crawl…
Much of the planet’s human population, today, lives in conditions that many inhabitants of North America would regard as dystopian. Quite a few citizens of the United States live under conditions that many people would regard as dystopian. Dystopia is not very evenly distributed. Fantasy is fun, but naturalism is the necessary balance — realism, to be less precise. Naturalistic fiction written today is necessarily fairly pessimistic — otherwise, it wouldn’t be a realistic depiction of the present. If you were, say, a tiger, and you knew what’s about to happen to your species (extinction, almost certainly), wouldn’t it be realistic to have a pessimistic view of things? I think it’s realistic, as a human, to have a pessimistic view of a world minus tigers.
Q: How do you maintain hope in these dark times?
A: One day at a time, and treasuring those who retain an active sense of humor.
In time, my office looked like it had been hit by a blizzard of 20-pound bond. There were piles of paper on every flat surface, and on the floor around me, all of them tagged with colorful Post-it Notes, some of the piles reaching several feet in height—a miniature cityscape at my feet: Transcribed interviews, notes, court documents and legal transcripts of testimony and deposition hearings, newspaper clippings, non-fiction books and research papers on the subjects of AIDS and the Reagan Administration’s war on pornography (a period during which porn consumption by the public rose exponentially, I would learn). Not to mention my collection of VHS films—black plastic rectangles, clad in colorful cardboard slip covers, stacked in rickety piles like so many skyscrapers populating my urban jungle of research materials.
The blizzard of 20-pound bond is a beautiful bit of writing. Reading that line made my old soul smile. I can also relate to being surrounded by paper and Post-It Notes.
As I’ve grown up, I’ve stayed angry — but my anger has grown up, too. It has boiled down and condensed into something strong and subtle, something that I can control. Writing out my rage is cathartic — and useful, too. I’m lucky that my coping mechanism is also my career. Plenty of women are angry, and why wouldn’t they be? It’s bad enough that women and girls are still being attacked and undermined, as individuals and as a group — when our basic rights to health care are stripped away, when we are blamed for the violence that is done to us and shamed for our sexuality, when we have to get up every day and deal with racism and homophobia and class prejudice. It’s bad enough that we still have to fight to be treated as full, equal human beings without also being shamed and silenced if the whole situation makes us furious. Yes, we’re angry. Why shouldn’t we be? Why aren’t you?
Every woman is The Incredible Hulk. Their secret is their always angry and that anger needs some place to go.
You anger is a gift.
Have you tried turning it off and on? It may fix some problems, but customer service and tech support is more than learning how computers work. Learning how people work is just as important.
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