Friction writing, Ethan Hawke, free speech, feckless leadership and more
Seven links to worthwhile thin(g/k)s
Hello dear reader,
My gratitude is with you for entrusting me with your time, however short or long. My gratitude also extends to those of you on Instagram who lifted me past the 10k mark this week. To some it’s a silly IG milestone, to others it’s an exaggerated self-aggrandizement. To me, it’s a sweet moment to thank you for welcoming me into your circle, and to reflect on what Albert Camus reminds us is at the core of such fellowship:
“When I was young I asked more of people than they could give: everlasting friendship, endless feeling.
Now I know to ask less of them than they can give: a straightforward companionship. And their feelings, their friendship, their generous actions seem in my eyes to be wholly miraculous: a consequence of grace alone.”
And now, onward together! 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.
Do we absolutely disagree? In emphasizing that disagreements in America may not be as deep as the pockets of people making money from encouraging hatred and division, Alan Jacobs explores free speech—an arena packed with disagreement, or so we assume.
I, Phone by Choire Sicha: "[T]he educational system on which they were told to stake their hopes and identities was actually a one-two K–12 punch of compliance training and debt consumership. Their health care system is an extortionist sham, their democracy a gerrymander of grifts and kleptocracies that have—until quite recently, perhaps?—succeeded in convincing a sizable percentage of US citizens that they do not matter.” (Italics added.)
The shape of stories, as graphed by Kurt Vonnegut
Book notes on Letters to a Young Poet, and a reflection on Rilke
If you’d like your response to be shared anonymously in upcoming newsletters, in the spirit of connectivity in this digital landscape and to recover from pandemic blues, drop a line (or a few!) via email to email@example.com sharing where you are from or how you would introduce yourself.
PS — if willing and able, please consider becoming a patron on my newly-created Patreon page :)
PPS — please remember that in this time of isolation, my ears are open and attentive if ever you need someone to talk to. Let us rise to meet challenges together and together celebrate the good. Don’t hesitate to email me.
And please note I’d consider it a huge favor if you forward this newsletter to someone you think would enjoy it.
Until next Friday!
I got too excited when I saw Ethan Hawke's name on this. Haha
I don't think the Instagram milestone is silly, when the Instagram gallery in question is made of such thoughtful stuff as yours is... You are soulfully and skillfully creating a space for literature online. Not mere library or book 'porn', but carefully considered advocy for reading, and global communion with others over reading, and classics. The idea that this hub you've created has tapped for the better into the lives ten thousand souls is inspiring. Not an easy thing to accomplish.
I raise my cup to you not sneezing off this celebration of something you made. 🙏