Hello and happy Friday! I’m gonna go ahead and use this space as a friendly PSA/reminder: Everything is temporary! Sad feelings don’t last forever! It’s gonna be okay!
So, for some context, I sat down to write the intro to FF last night and I was in a really heavy place. I had had some miscommunication/unmindful communication with people in my life that led to hurt feelings, I was feeling overwhelmed playing catchup at work after having been out of town for a job interview (on my birthday no less), and was just intent on focusing on all the generally imperfect stuff in my life (heart stuff, money stuff…there’s always stuff, isn’t there?). I had gone to yoga, but even that just acted as a vehicle for feeling those feelings more deeply (which is totally fine and necessary sometimes!). So, as a result, I wrote a pretty bummer intro. (It was all, “Sigh, this week is heavy, I’m glad it’s over” kind of deal).
I still had a couple more things to edit on the post this morning, and so I didn’t hit publish before leaving to go teach my first volunteer yoga class at LARC, a substance abuse rehabilitation center for people living with HIV/AIDS. Getting to the center was super stressful and difficult, and I was still feeling pretty cranky and down about things. But wouldn’t you know it, an hour teaching the folks at the center, and all that stuff that felt so heavy and hard to deal with? Yeah, those feelings dissipated almost immediately.
What I am not saying is that I used the community members at LARC as a way to say, “Omg, things could be so much worse, these poor people!” What I am saying is that, for one hour, I got to share space and solidarity with humans overcoming obstacles, and we sat and breathed together and reminded each other that we could make it through hard times with lots of kindness and compassion. We were sharing a human moment and being present and that was enough for all of us, at least for that hour.
And so when I got in the car to come back home, I promised that I’d hold onto that feeling. And I have. And I sat down to publish the FF and I knew I had to rework the intro. And I had to take this time to remind myself publicly that we don’t have to stay stuck in the blue. (Though, it’s okay to feel that stuff!…It’s just also okay to release it.)
So anyway. End PSA. <3
And now, the Friday Five…
I’ve linked to Chani Nicholas astrology readings on here before, but this is an interview with the woman herself! I absolutely adore Chani’s commitment to combining astrology and social justice. At one point in the interview she remarks: “So I’m white. I’m Jewish. I’m queer. I’m not trans…I’m interested in how I can utilize what I’ve been given to promote spaces where healing and justice can occur. How can I be a part of that dialogue? Because astrology, if it’s interesting, is going to be about humankind, human nature, and life on the planet. So if astrology is not speaking to what is going on in many different communities, in my communities, in my life and with my friends and my partner—like, if it’s not addressing the violence, and difficulty, and oppression; if it’s not talking about the systems that are causing harm and possible creative solutions to build a new way of being with each other—it’s not interesting to me.” The interview also includes great reflections on being a person who has made a career of astrology, her future podcast, and more!
The water-crisis news from Flint is devastating. This article from Jacobin’s John Patrick Leery provides an important analysis of the economic climate that led to a disaster like this to take place. The privatization of what should be public services is a key factor in situations like this. Leery notes: “[Governor] Snyder is fond of referring to Michiganders as “customers” of the state government — a designation that also applies to corporations. When one of Michigan’s wealthiest customers — General Motors — found, a few months after the water switchover, that Flint River water was destroying its tooling and auto parts, it simply stopped using it. Some customers can spring for the premium stuff. But other customers are left with the municipal equivalent of expired meat at jacked-up prices, harassed and humiliated if they protest.” There are ways to prevent these crises—and challenging neoliberal capitalism is chief among them.
Omgeee, this was so many feelings for me! I do not know how, but somehow the album that got me through my junior-year-of-college-breakup is TEN YEARS OLD. This is also totally bonkers to me because I literally heard a track from said album at the coffee shop THIS WEEK, before I saw this article, and was like, “Oh wow, I love that Rabbit Fur Coat album.” And then I found this article and just.could.not. So okay, I’m being really rambly. Here’s a more succinct version: I love Jenny Lewis. Rilo Kiley will probably forever be in my top-ten favorite bands of all time. Jenny’s first solo album is celebrating it’s ten year anniversary, and Ilana Kaplan takes time to pay homage to the woman and the album, and includes nods [and video links] to some of Jenny’s greatest hits. If you too feel like no line ever understood you more than, “I’m a modern girl/but I fold in half so easily,” or just want to remember an album that, as Kaplan notes, “dealt with finding a way to love yourself despite your flaws,” please go read this tribute. “It’s bound to melt your heart.” <3
I always love Laura’s recipes on The First Mess, and this one is no exception. This sounds like such a grounding and nourishing dish, and it’s beautiful to boot. I think ya’ll know how much I love my turmeric, so this recipe is definitely getting added to the repertoire.
Stuff from the Week that Made Me Happy
little kitten snuggles and LITTLEST kitten snuggles (littlest kitten=foster kitty that Diesel and I have been hosting for the past couple weeks!); yoga at LARC; yoga and sculpt at CPY; getting to the other end of a tough conversation with a friend and feeling the friendship strengthen <3; some awesome comments from my students in class this week (e.g., “When the ruling class wants to conquer, it divides, and finding ways to marginalize sex practices is one of those ways.” YES GURL HAY!); more bday cards in the mail; anticipation for a secret trip L is taking me on for valentine’s day (don’t know where we’re going, but i’m getting very excited!); emails and calls with long-distance pals; podcasts; excitement for feminist book club tonight!; kind of crushing a 13-hour interview (not even exaggerating, folks. #probablydontbecomeaprofessor); my turmeric kale carrot soup; fizzy water; champagne with M; & therapppyyy.
What made you happy this week? DO YOU ALSO LOVE RILO KILEY?!