OUTSIDE MY WINDOW - It's the first week of April, and the tall Red Maple is in full bloom.
LISTENING - NPR! All the time & all day long. NPR is like lentil soup to me - it's warming and filling. It is an eternally nourishing servings of humor, insight and news. I listened to the Bullseye for the first time last week. Before ending the episode Jesse Thorn played a marvelous tune by Jimmy Witherspoon, describing it as "the kind of thing you want to put on when its night time, and you are melancholy and you're thinking about things." He is right. "Ain't Nobody's Business" is both melancholy and thoughtful - a type of song that lingers in the air and stays with you for days.
The Watkins Family Hour is another band that I have been really enjoying lately. One of my favorites is their cover of a Fleetwood Mac song "Steal Your Heart Away."
DRiNKING - Homemade coffee. My favorite beans right now is the AntiThesis Blend from Ceremony. Here is how its maker's describe it - "Light smoke and roasted nut aromatics. Syrupy body with cocoa finish."
WANTS - Lien.Do by Seychelles Miramar Sandals
LAST CRY - While listening to Radiolab! It was an episode exploring the companionship between parrots and veterans sufferings from PTSD and whether this bond could lead to healing.
MAKING - I have been making a lot of smoothies lately. My favorite involves kale, raspberry kefir, banana, frozen strawberries and orange juice.
WISHING - I am hoping to fly south in July to join my uncle in Florida Keys for the annual lobster festival. One of my best memories from living in Miami includes the weekends spend snorkeling with my uncle. We would snorkel at South Beach looking for deep wholes and then dive for lobsters. Days full of sea, salt and sweet lobster meat.
RUMINATING ON - I have been thinking a lot about hope. Especially since reading the following Rebecca Solnit piece in the Brainpickings blog:
It’s important to say what hope is not: it is not the belief that everything was, is, or will be fine. The evidence is all around us of tremendous suffering and tremendous destruction. The hope I’m interested in is about broad perspectives with specific possibilities, ones that invite or demand that we act. It’s also not a sunny everything-is-getting-better narrative, though it may be a counter to the everything-is-getting-worse narrative. You could call it an account of complexities and uncertainties, with openings.
From Hope in the Dark: Untold Histories, Wild Possibilities
READING - Another blog that I have been lovingly lately is Brainpickings. Maria Popova writes about what matters in the world and why. She describes her blog as "an inquiry into how to live and what it means to lead a good life." Do read her posts, and get lost in them: They will amaze and move you.
One of my favorites pieces is about Susan Sontag and about what it means to be a moral human being:
To tell a story is to say: this is the important story. It is to reduce the spread and simultaneity of everything to something linear, a path. To be a moral human being is to pay, be obliged to pay, certain kinds of attention. When we make moral judgments, we are not just saying that this is better than that. Even more fundamentally, we are saying that this is more important than that. It is to order the overwhelming spread and simultaneity of everything, at the price of ignoring or turning our backs on most of what is happening in the world.
The nature of moral judgments depends on our capacity for paying attention — a capacity that, inevitably, has its limits but whose limits can be stretched.
But perhaps the beginning of wisdom, and humility, is to acknowledge, and bow one’s head, before the thought, the devastating thought, of the simultaneity of everything, and the incapacity of our moral understanding — which is also the understanding of the novelist — to take this in.