Simone, Reese, waiting & cake. A quarantine kit for the end of April.

It is coming on the end of April.


It is coming on the end of quarantine.


It is coming on the beginning of something else entirely.


Maybe?


But we've thought that was the case before. Time moves fast and slow. Sometimes compressed, sometimes spread out. So it is hard to tell how fast change might be coming.


Right now, there is a lot of waiting.


In a kinetic culture driven by perpetual striving for "progress," waiting may feel like inaction. We elevate "busy-ness." "Busy" has become synonymous with "productive" and productivity now measures your worth.


But what about generativity?


Generativity: the things that give us life and give our lives meaning. “At the center of the human heart is the longing for an absolute good, a longing which is always there and is never appeased by any object in this world.” Simone Weil wrote that at a time of global suffering and conflict. She wrote about afflictionhers and ours and the world'sand put words to and an existential value on the power of waiting. She wrote about the need to name our deep longing, let go of our striving and trade them for attention and patience.


So maybe it is still time to wait. Even though there is a collective impatience to return to the world—the world as it was—maybe it is worth it to wait. Just a little longer. Maybe then we'll have more tools to remake the world as it could be.


Rest up in the meantime.



Essays/Poems

  1. We instinctively add on new features and fixes. Why don’t we subtract instead? by Benjamin A. Converse, Gabrielle S. Adams, Andrew H. Hales and Leidy E. Klotz | Apparently, we're all pretty bad at "less is more" and this recent study by these four researchers proves it. (Also, we think there is a strong case to be made for an overall effort to do less with less because a.) women are constantly being asked for more and b.) it is a decent way to hone specific skills and figure out what you're really good at and focus on that. But that's a subject borne out of too many years in the nonprofit industrial complex being asked to do more with less and that whole topic is destined for a different essay entirely.)

  2. Liz Phair's Songs of Experience by Amanda Petrusich | "It took a lot of subtraction. We’d do a song and strip away."

  3. Porochista Khakpour: Bodily Chaos by Hillary Brenhouse | "In the cultural imagination, Lyme and other poorly understood disorders are considered the province of women and women are considered unreliable narrators of their own pain."


Books

  1. Sick by Porochista Khakpour

  2. Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott | "Writing is about learning to pay attention and to communicate what is going on ... To be a good writer, you not only have to write a great deal but you have to care."

  3. Waiting for God by Simone Weil | Simone Weil (1909–1943) "philosophized on thresholds and across borders. Her persistent desire for truth and justice led her to both elite academies and factory floors, political praxis and spiritual solitude. At different times she was an activist, a pacifist, a militant, a mystic, and an exile; but throughout, in her inquiry into reality and orientation to the good, she remained a philosopher."


TV Shows | Apparently all Reese, all the time. Sometimes holy waiting requires a lot of binge watching, and Reese is serving up shows chock full of women at the helm.

  1. The Morning Show | Linda Maleh writing in Forbes (of all places) points out, "When Apple TV+’s The Morning Show premiered on November 1, it was greeted with derision, and resoundingly negative reviews." What she doesn't point out is that--at least based on our searches--those reviews were all penned by men. (Here and here you can read reviews of the "why it is terrible" variety. You can read the "it is pretty terrible but I liked it anyway" genre of reviews here and here.)

  2. Big Little Lies

  3. Little Fires Everywhere | The book by Celeste Ng is better than the show. This is a solid and succinct summary from Constance Grady at Vox: "Little Fires Everywhere is that kind of adaptation: At every chance it has, it turns away from its source material’s subtlety and nuance in favor of amping the melodrama up to 11. And not fun, soapy melodrama like (that other Reese Witherspoon drama) Big Little Lies: melodrama that thinks it’s serious social issues drama."


Movies

  1. Heroin(e)

  2. Stranger Than Fiction

  3. Wine Country


Twitter Follows

  1. Blair Braverman | Dogsledder. Author. Adventurer. If you like these tweets, you'll love WELCOME TO THE GODDAMN ICE CUBE (@eccobooks). Bonus essay: Blair Braverman writing in Outdoor online: On being a woman alone in the woods

  2. Margo Price | @MissMargoPrice “Mask-wearing, BLM-backing country singer Margo Price on alienating fans: ‘You can’t argue with stupid’” - LA Times

  3. @Steak_Umm | steak-umm bless us, everyone (one part twitter follow, one part modern-day philosopher, one part recipe)


Recipes

  1. Yay, It's Wednesday Cake! Cake | We made it on Sunday to fend off the Sunday scaries we made it a second time to celebrate a birthday. One bowl, one cake pan, one modification to the recipe: We dusted the greased pan with sugar instead of flour. 10/10. Highly recommend.

  2. The 'I want chocolate cake' Cake

  3. Coconut Layer Cake. | This is as time consuming and fussy as the first one is easy. Still. Totally worth your time.


Unsolicited Opinions

  1. There is something surprisingly satisfying about peeling an orange and keeping the peel in one piece.

  2. Baby Goldfish (the Pepperidge Farm kind) are vastly superior to regular Goldfish. Bonus unsolicited opinion: Cheddar is the only flavor.

  3. "Rest is not a dirty word. Rest is not laziness no matter what you're told or how many times you're told it. Rest is love. Rest is peace. Rest is a beautiful model for your children." -Dr. Miranda Bailey, Grey's Anatomy

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