Happy weekending friends.
This weeks reads have had me thinking about the things I’m teaching my children, the food I grew up eating (I still attribute my immune system to a seemingly endless supply of fresh oranges from a local orchard), and my lack of worldly travels yet my obsession with maps and people and places continues. Its been quite the ride. Climb aboard below.
And after another week of unimaginable things, I hope this weekend you take time to do what’s in your heart to do and to celebrate life in simple ways. As always I hope these few words and reads will be fresh air and kind company to you also xx
A Good Word
A Good Look
“Leaving the comfort and safety of my bed never gets easier”. Unknown
See more gorgeousness from the home of Inge Watrobski HERE
A Good Idea
From Kimberly Coyle
I can’t write.
The words simply won’t come, or they won’t come in the way I want them to appear—like a bell rung—offering a clear and bright sound across open spaces.
I’ve lost the energy to chase words into thick woods or crowded spaces, but there remains this urge to make, to create something.
In church a few weeks ago, we sang and asked God to “break open our imagination” and I felt a deep stirring.
Those words have been a bell of their own, ringing in my heart for weeks now.
I wonder what it would be like to have an imagination broken open in a way that leads to acts of holy creation.
I tried my hand at watercolors last week after a mini nature walk around my back yard.
I found myself lost in the slow process of making something appear where before there was nothing. I found myself paying attention.
It seems that our imaginations are collectively broken right now—we can’t seem to find our way to solutions or middle ground or beauty or seeing with the eyes of the spirit the sacredness of our fellow human beings.
I wonder if we can gather the bits of beauty we find, if we sit with the potential, if we see and pay attention—will it break open our imaginations?
Can we live within the constraints of lost words or lost connection or lost vision and believe there is still something good waiting to be created?
A Few Good Reads
I first started going back to Moscow, the city where I was born and which I left as a child, in the summer of 1995, when I was in college. I had never seen anything like it. There were guys on the street wearing leather jackets over tracksuits. There were old ladies on the street selling their socks. My grandmother’s courtyard had become an open-air brothel—young women would line up at night and cars would come in and shine their lights on them and choose. And the people that my parents had known—academics, engineers, literary critics—had been thrown out of work and were living, many of them, in desperate poverty.
I was young and carefree (though very serious), and I traveled around the country by train. I went south, to the Caucasus, then to Crimea, through Ukraine. Almost everywhere I went, I met young people, like me, who took me in. In Pyatigorsk, an old resort town at the foothills of the Caucasus, where the great Romantic poet Lermontov had been killed in a duel, I learned what it meant to start drinking in the morning after you’d been drinking at night. I also met a young man who was back from his military unit for the weekend. There was a war then, too, with Chechnya. This young man, my age, 20, had been part of the attempted capture of Chechen rebels who had taken over a hospital in the Russian city of Budyonnovsk. The Russian army decided to send tanks to liberate the hospital. The Chechen fighters, experienced men, had trapped the tanks in the city streets and then proceeded to light them up. The young man said he was in a tank when flames came through the top of it, and then his commanding officer was on fire. He scrambled out of the tank, he said, and ran.
In the fall I returned to Moscow and started a semester-abroad program at a college near the Novoslobodskaya metro. Moscow at the time was a place you could buy anything—except a place to sit down and eat. There were a few old and elaborate Soviet restaurants, and there were food stands on the street, but that was it. In the Soviet era, which had carried over to the present, people ate at the often very delicious cafeterias in their workplaces. Our college had such a cafeteria. But if you left the confines of the institution and wandered into the big city, you were out of luck.
From Awesome Jelly
1. Never shake a person’s hand sitting down.
2. Don’t ever enter a pool using the stairs.
3. Always be honest, even if the truth hurts.
4. During a negotiation – never make the first offer.
5. Always request the late check-out.
Dinner in my household in the late ‘80s and early ‘90s looked like this: well-done hamburgers with creamed spinach and mashed potatoes. Noodle casserole with cottage cheese and a side of canned peaches. Spaghetti (served on the stove in the pasta water) and meatballs in Progresso sauce with Kraft Parmesan in the green shaker on the side. Endless iterations of chicken cutlets and pork chops with Stove Top. Fruit cocktail for dessert, and a tall glass of milk to wash it all down.
My mother made dinner every night, always in the hour between when she got home from work (and picked my sister and me up from after school) and when my father walked through the door. I never thought much of her cooking or the effort it took at the time. I loved her lasagna, disliked her cabbage, and, like most kids, would always rather be at Pizza Hut.
Later, when I started getting into food writing and restaurants after college, I regarded her repertoire of simple American meals, heavily dependent on frozen vegetables and boxed and canned ingredients, as unsophisticated and (I’m ashamed to admit) lazy
That’s all for now friends. Have a beautiful weekend. Rest up. Do something you love xx