I told my friend Brian last night that I have started an email to him several times over recent weeks, but I feel like I don’t have a lot to report: I get up, drink my coffee, I go for my walk, I come home and eat breakfast, I get work done.
I know we have used the Groundhog Day metaphor way too much for the last 30 months, but it seems particularly apt here.
As I mentioned in the first link, I’ve recently moved into some political work here in my day job of organizing faith communities, but even that has a lot in limbo. There are things I can’t do until other people do their things, and I don’t have any control over when, or even if, they do them.
So, I go on my walks, listen to audiobooks, attend meetings, and write. Always, I write. Over the last year, I have written in excess of 170,000 words on my blog. I think those words have saved me.
I’m certainly grateful to you for reading them.
Here’s what I wrote over there this week.
Clothes Shopping: Thoreau said to beware of enterprises that require new clothes.
The Cat with Magic Ears: The story of Pepe, our cat who taught us about love.
Things That Endure: You must respect the things that endure. Like this meal.
My friend Jasmin Morell lives in Asheville, NC. She is the sort of person one only uses superlatives to describe: She is an amazing mother, a strong Black woman, an excellent friend, and a tender human. She is also a writer with uncommon perception and humility and models for me constantly about how to approach and learn from the struggles the world throws all of us. So, I was ridiculously excited to learn that she had started a newsletter. I signed up within seconds of learning of its existence, as I knew it would be great. And I was not wrong.
I strongly recommend you subscribe – her latest issue has a lovely reflection, an excerpt from her memoir, and a recipe for chicken soup. As an aside, when my wife was recovering from her heart transplant, Jasmin brought this soup to our house – its healing qualities are not to be underestimated.
Also, if you want a foretaste, she has an article in this month’s Bitter Southerner, where she takes you on a tour of Asheville’s international food scene, where we are invited into another way of belonging.
I wanted to tell you
Last October, I used a gift card I had left over from my birthday to buy myself some wireless earbuds at a Walmart on the outskirts of Little Rock. I had ridiculed the idea of wireless earbuds for years, but I had left my wired earbuds at home, and I had this gift card, and they were on clearance. So, I bought them, and literally, no single purchase has made me as happy in the last year as did these earbuds. I wear them while on my walks, while working in the yard, while puttering in my shop, and while cooking supper.
These, paired with my library-sourced audiobooks, have seen me through the last year in style. So, when I lost them inexplicably, I did not hesitate- I replaced them earlier this month with these and have not regretted the purchase at all. (I bought them “renewed” from amazon and have had no problems, but your mileage may vary, of course.)