This is a hopefully weekly post where I share the things that are lighting me up. I get very, very into things and I love to tell people about the things I am very, very into. Here’s what I’m obsessed with right now:
1. The Fire Next Time
I just finished reading James Baldwin’s 1966 book The Fire Next Time, which reads like it was written last week. At turns a history lesson, moral philosophy, and self-help book (seriously, there are echoes of Baldwin’s ideas in multiple personal-development books I’ve read), it contains perspectives on race that were new to me as a white person who is forever trying to do a better job of reckoning with my whiteness. It’s a short read at 106 pages, but not necessarily a quick one, as you’ll likely stop to ruminate over much of what Baldwin has to say. If you’re white, take time to argue with him, and then time to figure out why you’re arguing with him. You might not like the answer, but that’s why this is such an important read.
I’ve been planning to try reiki for a while, because as you can probably tell from the title of this blog I am into spirituality and healing arts. After taking Moriah Simmons‘ Crystals 101 class at Jill Lindsey a few weeks ago, I felt like Moriah was right reiki practitioner for me.
If you do some research on reiki, you’ll have a general sense of what you’re getting into, though it can affect people in different ways. I felt clearer and lighter after my session; I also noticed that once I walked out onto the street, sounds seemed louder than usual. I especially noticed the crickets chirping in Fort Greene Park on my walk home. On Saturday, the day after my session, I had several intense cravings for meat, which I stopped eating in February. Overall, I found it very relaxing and felt like it helped me clear out some negative stuff I’d been carrying around, almost like a low-key exorcism.
3. This essay about The English Patient that is not actually about The English Patient
I’ve been a fan of Sarah Miller’s writing since I read this piece of hers on cheating back in 2012. Saying much about this recent essay of hers would ruin it — it’s best if you go in not knowing what to expect — but here’s my favorite part:
If you write thousands of sentences that have absolutely nothing to do with what you think or feel those sentences are still what you will become. You can turn yourself into another person. I turned myself into another person.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what “telling the truth” means for me, and this could not have been better timed.
4. This piece on environmental responsibility and collective action
My friend Lauren and I took a break from work the other day to check out Package Free, a store that sells eco-friendly alternatives to household and travel products. We chatted with the sales associate for a bit about the disintegration of community in our modern world and how it relates to a lack of responsibility to other people and the world we live in.
The next day, I stumbled upon this piece from Chris Castiglione, which talks about where humanity is in terms of our shared growth, and how it relates to our collective failure to take responsibility for the destruction of the environment. The biggest challenge, it seems, is to get 7 billion people (or some significant subset of them) to work together to stop what is otherwise inevitable. (NBD, right?) Chris has done a few of these cartoon explainer posts recently, and I like them a lot. Also, based on the “cruisin’ for a bruisin” story, I think we have the same dad.
5. Not killing plants
I took The Sill‘s Plants 101 class in August, and since then I haven’t killed a single plant!