Summer in St. Petersburg is thick and heavy and the air practically shimmers with the water vapor it holds.
My entire last week could probably be distilled into a slideshow featuring black bean quesadillas, column rewrites, swimming in the Gulf, stacks of books and late-night popsicles in bed.
Here are some things I’ve been reading and thinking about.
“If a baby is born after the 22nd week of pregnancy but before the 25th, not even the smartest doctors in the world can say what will happen to it… About one in 750 babies arrives in that awful window of time, suspended between what is medically possible and what is morally right. One of them was born on April 12, 2011, at Bayfront Medical Center. My daughter.”
How we spend our days is how we spend our lives.
A wonderful commencement speech: “He showed me that to read means to become vulnerable to the text, that, with humility and honesty, you have to lay bare not just your ideas but also your deepest convictions, your longings, and your fears.”
I reread my favorite essay of all time the other day and it’s still incredible. Cheryl Strayed, ‘The Love of My Life.’
Want is ten thousand blue feathers falling
all around me, and me unable to stomach
that I might catch five but never ten thousand.
Is everyone out to steal my umbrella? And what should I presume when it’s taken?
“Technology celebrates connectedness, but encourages retreat… The flow of water carves rock, a little bit at a time. And our personhood is carved, too, by the flow of our habits.” Jonathan Safran Foer reminds us to control the balance of technology in our lives, to be neither unquestioningly pro-tech nor foolishly against it. And he reminds us that our work in life is to be attentive to the needs of others.
After Newtown Shooting, Parents Enter Into the Lonely Quiet.
A perfect comic about feminist media criticism problems, and a good opinion on how to fix that unnecessary battle.
“I started healing my relationship with my body through a kind of side door, while trying to accomplish something else entirely: learning mindfulness.” A great intro to focused thought. Also, Rookie is great. Highly recommend for all (not just teen girls, though I wish it has been around when I was 14).
For Mad Men fans, critical analysis through the lens of fashion, focusing on the incredibly illustrative choices of genius costume designer Janie Bryant.
“Quest is elemental to the human experience. All road narratives are to some extent built on quest. If you’re a woman, though, this fundamental possibility of quest is denied.” On the lack of female road narratives and why it matters, from the fantastic Vanessa Veselka who brought us The Truck Stop Killer.