Life is such a precious thing. Even though I hear and experience the grief in our midst, and sense the overwhelming fatigue that’s set in after so many weeks of anxiety, I am amazed and inspired every day as I watch people show up. For their families, partners, neighbors, churches, jobs. For friends and children and strangers. It’s not a fairytale (more about fairytales later), but it’s not all bad either. I’ve received much grace and inspiration from this community and others over the past week, and I am grateful. Now here are some bits of salient, interesting, and sparkling news to keep our brains engaged in these changes and our hearts full:
*This relatively short read from VICE describes the science behind what many of us experience as general fatigue and challenge concentrating. It’s a fast, fun, informative read
*Less fast and fun, but still important, is this piece from the “Well” department at The New York Times. It’s one to consider and perhaps even file away, as it details some solid care and observational practices to employ in the event you or someone you love is dealing directly with COVID. If you’re super anxious, it might not be worth the read, but if you prefer to have all the information, all the time (that’s me), you will appreciate it.
*And extremely important, but not covered enough right now, are all the changes (sudden and otherwise) affecting our border and immigration policies in the midst of this culturally and politically unprecedented time. Read about the recent change to the Migrant Children Protection Plan here.
*Recent thoughts and conversations about what it means to frame-up a “successful” day during this pandemic got me thinking about this not-so-recent but excellent TED RADIO Hour podcast about how we define success, definitely worth a listen if and when you can. It’s great food for thought during a time when we are forced to scale back and yet many facets of our lives are overlapping. Alain de Boton makes a wonderful point in his segment, reminding us that we can’t be good at everything all the time, and this is painfully true for many parents working from home as previously space-bound environments overlap. This format of the TED Radio Hour allows you to listen to an entire podcast or break it up in segments, so if you don’t have sustained time to listen, you can take in the topic over shorter intervals. You may also want to consider checking out their most recent episode which explores “What We Value” in light of the pandemic. We’ve had lots of Tuesday conversations around how the economy will re-shape itself in the wake of COVID, and this episode looks like a fascinating exploration of the topic.
*I attended a front yard concert a few weeks back and it did wonders for my spirit. KUT highlights the evolving practice of socially-distanced front yard concerts in our music-loving hometown here.
*It’s never too late to learn from history and I loved this odd but fascinating read that dives into a young nurse’s commentary on the 1918 flu epidemic. They use the term “cognitive whiplash” to dissect the fascinating range of emotions that the nurse reveals in a letter to a close friend (the letter was part of an on-line exhibit last year from the National Archive about the impact of the 1918 flu). It named something I often feel, a sense of trying to maintain normalcy while actually wrapping my head around how big and impactful this crisis is for our world. And her life and pluck and courage are pretty fantastic.
*On a similar note, this CNN article highlights compelling voices and stories from the Great Depression originally published in Hard Times: An Oral History of the Great Depression by Studs Terkel. Remembering Americans who persevered through hardship and the ways it changed them was both uplifting and inspiring.
*The super moon, as long as we can.
*This four minute story from PBS about a New York dance troupe that totally reconfigures how they make work, but keeps making work to explore the spiritual and creative side of quarantine. And they cite Proverbs!
*And last but absolutely not least, this short video developed by a 26 yr old in New Zealand and his younger brother and sister. It is a quarantine fairytale, and a good one to send ourselves off to sleep with any night. The young adult composed the poetic tale, then produced this video to share it.
I’ll leave you with this poem by Wendell Berry that a friend shared with me when I really needed it-
May you go with the peace of wild things,