Category Archives: Ephemera Almanac
As much as I love books as objects, I also love them because of the stories they tell. And perhaps the idea of story that I am most enamored with in the end.
This week has been a bit of a challenge, and I am giving a lot of thought about how I write the story of what my life means in my own head. The links I found along the way were a lot about writing and writing resources, as a result, in all its many forms.
- A co-worker showed me this video about master penman, Jake Weidman, who has made an art form out of works on paper incorporating elements of writing.
- So of course I wanted to watch his TED talk about why handwriting still matters in this age of kids caring more about typing than cursive.
- Then I was dying to get into hand lettering myself and found these helpful writing resources and got really excited.
- Then I was pumped about writing in general and dug up the 15 best writing blogs and am dying to dive into all of them immediately. Look for more thoughts on these in future posts.
- And as usual, I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts this week, Being Boss, and heard an episode with the creator of The Fabricant Way.
- I fell in love with this web series, especially the episode on the Brooklyn reading room, Mellow Pages.
- And then, just because it was inspiring, I share this NY Times article on what making it means for the creative professional today
photo credit: barrymcw.
This week, we’re returning to the woo-woo. It seems that everyone enjoyed that previous woo-woo edition, so I’m going to share more resources for meditation and mindfulness this week on the Ephemera Almanac.
I’ve been very lucky to spend this week in Hawaii on the Big Island with my family and found this beautiful spot for my morning meditation, just a few minutes’ walk from where we’re staying.
Every time I get away from my everyday routine, it gives me an opportunity to re-evaluate how I spend my time and live my life. I love the chance to fine tune my personal practices.
Here are some treats for you as you assess these aspects of life as well.
- When I first began practicing meditation seriously over ten years ago, I was all about zen. I read Suzuki Roshi and Charlotte Joko Beck and loved them. And Natalie Goldberg’s book Writing Down the Bones nailed the intersection between writing and meditation.
- In my mid-twenties, I left psychotherapy as my profession and went to Spirit Rock for a silent retreat to mark the transition. It was a wild ride- my mind was anything but quiet, I assure you. The experience taught me so much and to this day my practice is a hybrid of zen and vipassana.
- Later, I added mantra practice to meditation. I use this mala, which I love so much. I have worked with several mantras, but this is the one I am most pulled toward at the moment. Youtube is a surprisingly helpful source for mantras, as you get practice through repetition and the correct pronunciation. Just search for the mantra you want to work with in YouTube and keep clicking until you find a voice and orchestration you enjoy.
- For further explanation on mantras, check out this explanation by Deepak Chopra.
- One of the best things I did for myself this past year was to take this course with Susannah Conway, The Sacred Alone. It’s starting up again in a couple of weeks and if you want to build a meditation practice, I highly recommend it as a great starting point.
- If all these practices and resources feel overwhelming, start with just 5 minutes a day. That’s as much as I can do at home in my regular life a lot of the time and it still makes a difference.
- And finally, following a Buddhist philosophy doesn’t mean you have to purge all your emotions. Here’s why it’s important to allow anger in a healthy spiritual life.
And now, back to my regularly scheduled swimming and reading. A whole stack of reviews to come… Im about to start my 4th book of the week… am hoping to get through five by the time we’re home…
This is Oskar, our middle kitty. He has just turned 8 and was becoming too boisterous for our 16-year-old kitty. So we got him a little kitten friend. Great idea, right? Someone more age appropriate to play and run around with? Wrong.
Oskar spent the first two weeks we had Hugo hidden in our towel closet in the bathroom with his head against the wall, groaning. How could you do this to me?
Now, after a month, he seems to be returning to the fold, even playing with Hugo a little bit. But when he was worn down by yesterday, he turned to a book for support. I must say, I couldn’t help but feel a little proud of this choice.
This week, the links seem to gather around secrets and escapes:
- The New Yorker wrote about a secret bookstore, sadly now closing. I wish I could have been to this one.
- This episode of the podcast Strangers is riveting and heartbreaking- a man who was a teacher for 17 years and graduated from both high school and college, on hiding the fact that he couldn’t read or write that entire time.
- I plan to read The Goldfinch at last on my vacation this week and I’m thrilled to have this visual reference of all the artworks from the book.
- Sometimes sleep is elusive. (Don’t I know it). Lisa Congden’s piece on how sleep escapes us was quite inspiring.
- One blogger sends images home for her team to share, while Marie Forleo just shuts the whole place down for two weeks. I do like the sound of that kind of hiding away.
- Finally, since I sometimes want to hide away myself, I am intrigued and tempted by this course on running a business as an introvert.
Holy moly, it’s Sunday already. What with jury duty kidnapping my Tuesday, I felt like Wednesday was a whole new Monday. So here we are, on a kooky schedule.
And in honor of this upheaval, I have a group of links that will promote transformation and bold new adventures.
- Alexandra Franzen on why everything changes right now, if you saw so.
- I got hooked on the Listeners Project short film series, where each group of shorts is shot in the same location. Addictive.
- My blogging friend Nichola Veitch wrote this beautiful piece about where to find peace in times of pain through yoga.
- Another blogging friend and poet, Claire Mann, made a pilgrimage to the Bronte sisters home. I am dying to go there now. These photographs make me want to hole up somewhere and write my butt off.
- For anyone looking for encouragement to pull your dreams out of your head and your heart, The Crossroads of Should and Must is a gentle-yet-powerful motivator. Here’s the Brain Pickings review
- I know I talked about it earlier this week, but Fluent Forever is still seriously rocking my world. I want all the languages immediately.
- Susan Cain, author of the excellent book, Quiet, has started a site for introverts. I am loving it, especially this knockout post by a teen who describes how the book helped her accept herself.
- And if you’re not blown away by these links… check out these medieval butt-licking cats. No, that’s not a metaphor.
Welcome back for another jam-packed issue of the ephemera almanac. I’m excited to see we’ve reached number 10! Thanks for all your comments and support. If there’s something you’d like to see here, please do let me know via email or in the comments.
Here’s the roundup of treats for this Thursday:
- I loved this piece on The Millions about how a woman with the jitters on an around the world trip alone was saved by her books.
- After last week’s link showcasing a man reading on the train, I was equally excited to see two very long comment threads on Alexandra Franzen’s Instagram about books she’s loved reading lately. One of them looks pretty steamy!
- I’m not just a book nerd, I’m a type nerd, too. This illustrated guide to the anatomy of type and typographic terms had me wooing.
- I think I want to buy every single cookbook in Molly Wizenberg of Orangette’s tour of her must-have always-in-the-kitchen selects.
- This Paris Review piece on creating Borges’ Library of Babel online is mind-bending and totally fascinating. Did I mention I’m a language nerd along with type and books? Sigh. So many words, so little time.
- Finally, this pithy little kick in the pants from Austin Kleon on the difference between being the noun and the verb. I think my new life philosophy may be contained within…
Happy Thursday everyone! What have you seen on the web that made your nerd heart sing this week? Please do share- I love to know what you’re all reading…