Biblical womanhood, newspaper doodles, Sigtryggr, close reads, 106 year-old Colette, and more
Seven links to worthwhile thin(g/k)s
Hello dear reader,
Goodness, it’s been a while since I’ve published my Postscript newsletter. I hope you can forgive me for the absence. It’s been a personal whirlwind. But I am back! My takeaway from having been in hiding in one’s shell is this: There is such sweetness when one is in receipt of a ‘check-in’ hello from a friend. This can come in many forms — a quick email or text, a phone call, a message saying “I’ve been wanting to check on you but I don’t really know what the best thing is to say given current events…,” or something as simple as hi! The gesture of thoughtfulness goes such a long way in making someone smile.
In other news, I just got back States-side from Mexico City, which was a lovely respite from the humdrum of everyday life. It was my first time there, and I loved it, having soaked in the city in what a friend aptly described as ‘a tropical Paris of the 1920s.’ I will have a Mexico City guide and Google Map recs ready for you sometime next week for those who are interested.
With that said, here are seven links to bits of the world I have been exploring this week, shared with the hope that you will find them to be an inspiring springboard for deeper thinking.
The Pleasures of Reading in an Age of Distraction is my next read, following my current devouring of Oliver Burkeman’s 4,000 Weeks. I also really enjoyed Burkeman’s Three-Hour division of the day—more on that here. Some other audiobooks I’ve been eyeing (eyes, ears, oh thank goodness for our sensory being) — Ann Patchett’s Commonwealth, Elizabeth Strout’s Oh William!, and Sally Rooney’s Normal People, and Beth Allison Barr’s Making of Biblical Womanhood.
I apologize in advance for this rabbit hole I am about to present to you, but this is just too good to not share: I recently discovered an interactive NY Times series called Close Read, where visual cues and writing take you into a deep dive of various pieces of art/literature. Here was my favorite.
The newspaper doodles of J.R.R. Tolkien. So lovely and imaginative.
I watched this video of 106 year-old Colette, who plays the piano at least four hours a day, and has been playing it for over a century, literally. And I thought to myself, my goodness, how do such people dedicated to their craft exist? This woman has been playing the piano for over a century, literally. And then I was reminded of my grandpa, who also spends hours every day painstakingly reviewing his music sheets and practicing on his alto saxophone. We have so much inspiration right under our noses. How lovely it would be if you spent a few moments today exploring who in your life exhibits a practice, a love, a calling you find inspiring.
I loved this insight of Colette’s: “It’s a question of mindset . . . . Staying young isn’t a question of age. Either you’re young or you’re not.”
Netflix: I just wrapped up the last season of Last Kingdom. It had all the elements of a good show, which to me would entail good writing, good acting, and good directorial work. (I’m not asking much, right?) My favorite line from the show: “A king should always heed the good counsel of his queen.” To that end, the season beautifully portrayed what a strong husband-wife partnership looks like, what it means to counsel and consult one another as equal partners in a marriage, and how tender that bond can be. My favorite character from the show: Sigtryggr Ivarsson, wonderfully played by the Icelandic actor Eysteinn Sigurðarson.
Worth a read for anti-algorithm folks: ‘How Twitter Gamifies Communication’
I paired the following with a late morning laying out on a nearby field of grass and looking up at the clouds, which is something I often did as a kid and don’t do nearly enough nowadays: Eschatological laundry list. And here’s a humbling aphorism from dear Rilke: “The purpose of life is to be defeated by greater and greater things." Beautiful reminder, wherein we grow.
Until next week!
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