What a November it was! For those of us caught in an emotional whirlwind after the elections, I wrote this triptych:
Navigating Your Way Across Grief drew inspiration from the Irish poet John O’Donohue and the idea that in times of loss we may each need a ciseach—a temporary bridge that allows us to keep going over the rough and boggy terrain of our grief.
You Can Do This Hard Thing. The week Leonard Cohen died a lot of us were looking for the crack that lets the light in. I found it in the words of a troubadour (Cohen), a poet (David Whyte), an educator (Parker Palmer) and a beautiful song you can hear on the post.
In What Makes You Feel Abundant? On our day of thanks, I looked to new sources of abundance around me, remembering the wisdom from Brother David Steindal-Rast that we don’t have to be grateful for everything, yet in every moment we can find a reason to feel grateful.
The art of meaningful distraction aka: keeping my mind engaged while moving ahead.
Over these weeks I’ve stayed away from the political satire that kept me laughing this summer. (Bravo to the comics who could still laugh on Nov. 9th!) Before tackling the current state of the world, I sought refuge in words, wanting to read books that were intelligent but not too heavy, engaging but not too intense, and books that could match the moods that would blow through me like November storms. Here’s what I found.
Books I’m reading
A Beam of Light My husband recommended I try the popular Montalbano detective series with its delightfully irrepressible Italian detective Sr. Montalbano. The book is light, fun and keeps you turning the pages—but let’s you sleep at night while you dream of pasta, vino and a warm Sicilian sun.
LIt. Memoirist Mary Karr doesn’t fit my definition of light reading, but boy, does she write well—her work is raw, real and full of sentences worth savoring. This is memoir at its best for when you need to be reminded that other people have made it through hard times.
Rethinking Positive Thinking: Inside the New Science of Motivation. I’ve been squirmy about positive thinking ever since watching that manifest-whatever-you-want blockbuster film The Secret. But next week I’ll write about what works (and doesn’t) around positive thinking. Good stuff!
Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery and Art of Living by Krista Tippett. Krista Tippett’s podcast On Being always inspired me with her incredible array of guests and explorations into science, spirituality and civility. In this new book she distills insights from key interviews, adding perspectives from her own life. She’s one of my go-to voices of wisdom and compassion in crazy times.
And to watch?
Poldark. This is a great BBC Masterpiece series set in the 18th century and filmed on the stunning Cornwall coast. What’s not to love about this super-hunky, wayward aristocrat who cares about the common man, shows his muscles and gallops across the countryside, with a woman holding on behind him. For those of us longing to believe that leaders can be good, Ross Poldark speaks truth to power, helps his workers and combats greed! (And for you equestrians, Seamus, the Irish draught horse he rides will make you drool!)