MONDAY MIXTAPE – 11/6/17

A few years ago, I attended a conference presentation during which audience members were asked to construct a metaphor to represent our experiences as students.  No one had ever asked me to do this, so I was intrigued, but pretty stumped.  Then I remembered my old boom box, with its radio and dual cassette deck–I always kept a blank tape handy, ready to press “record” whenever something caught my ear.  I realized that I did the same in the classroom, gathering bits and pieces from various sources, often without an idea of how–or even if!–those pieces would fit together. That was the joy of making and sharing mix tapes; when crafted thoughtfully, they were greater than the sum of their parts.  

In that same spirit, I share a weekly “mix” of articles, recipes, book recommendations, and ideas in the hopes that something I share might fit into your own personal, ever-evolving collage. 

Have something you think I might be interested in?  I’d love to hear about it.  Share it here.

I feel that it’s incumbent upon me to comment on yesterday’s horrific shooting, but I am honestly at a loss for what to say that hasn’t already been said before, and to no avail.  I’ll be thrilled if my cynicism turns out to be unwarranted, but I’ve read enough dystopian fiction to feel like I know bleak prospects when I see them.   Still, I believe that there is power in calling things like you see them–This is not acceptable, I do not accept this–especially when it comes to fighting against the creeping normalization of things that not-so-long-ago seemed impossible to even fathom.

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-Poet Donald Hall, who was married to the late poet Jane Kenyon, writes with wonderful clarity about the points of connection between their lives and their work, the surprise of her death when they had long assumed their age different meant she would lose him first, the way that he lost and then found his poetic voice when he found, then lost, her.  A longer read, but worth setting aside the time for.

“In the months and years after her death, Jane’s voice and mine rose as one, spiralling together the images and diphthongs of the dead who were once the living, our necropoetics of grief and love in the singular absence of flesh.”

Brains On! is a podcast for kids about science, and I can’t recommend it highly enough.  With topics ranging from how volcanoes erupt to why humans cry, each episode is funny, informative, and engaging—clearly crafted with kids in mind (and a different kid co-host for each episode), but enjoyable for adults to listen to as well.  it’s a wonderful way to pass the time in the car, and I promise you’ll learn stuff!

This Buzzfeed article about a Sikh Motorcycle Club (yep, you read that right) in New Jersey is a wonderful examination of what it can look like to proudly claim one’s identity inside the tension of being both an individual and a member of a faith tradition, and the pictures are a delight.

“On the road, there are no group prayers, no scriptures to follow. But there is a clear, calm, quiet focus. There is the wind and a line of unyielding gray. There is this brotherhood. It is the ordinary things that we make holy.”

-In Battle Pancake v. Waffle, my kid is firmly on Team Waffle; I often spend Saturday mornings making a giant batch, then freezing the leftovers for easy weekday morning meals.  These have become our family gold-standard and they’re totally worth the effort.  I’ve even made gluten-free versions, and they always turn out beautifully.  Do you need some waffles in your week?  You might.

-Last but not least, a reminder that I am offering a fifteen-day journal challenge class!  The course is called Be Here Now: Gratitude, Poetry, & Presence and will run from November 10-24th.  Each day, I’ll send an email message with a selection of poetry, plus a journal prompt for your consideration.  The cost is $15 and registration is open through Thursday at midnight.  Learn more and sign up here!

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