Hi friends! So, yeah, obviously there have been some changes, and I haven't been blogging. I think the change that has made the most difference in my blogging is that I'm no longer in front of a computer or in an office all day, every day. I left my job as an attorney a few months ago, and have been teaching 2 days a week and working in a cafe 5-6 days a week. A scary but wonderful change. One of the best things about the cafe job has been that it is physically demanding, keeps me constantly on my feet, and means I go for 6-7 hours without checking my phone or internet - a huge change from my previous lifestyle and, I think, really good for me. Anyways, if you want more updates on what I'm reading, let's be friends on Goodreads. If you want more random links, follow me on Twitter. Maybe I'll be back here eventually, maybe I won't - its a time of change. xo

Movies I've seen and loved: Amy and "Grey Gardens" (finally). I also saw "Tig" on Netflix, which I think is worth watching if you're a Tig fan, but didnt blow me away. TV shows I've been enjoying: "Hannibal" and "Mr. Robot."

Wonderful poems I've read: Wislawa Szymborska "Possibilities," David Whyte "Sweet Darkness," "The Waking" by Theodore Roethke.

A beautiful place I got to spend a weekend: Shelburne Falls

Image: source.

Recently read and loved: "The Argonauts," "The Empathy Exams," and "Annihilation." All highly recommended. Recently read and liked but didn't love: "Ready Player One" and "After Birth."

Link: how poetry can remind us to ask for everything

“It’s not impermanence per se, or even knowing we’re going to die, that is the cause of our suffering, the Buddha taught. Rather, it’s our resistance to the fundamental uncertainty of our situation. Our discomfort arises from all of our efforts to put ground under our feet, to realize our dream of constant okayness. When we resist change, it’s called suffering. But when we can completely let go and not struggle against it, when we can embrace the groundlessness of our situation and relax into its dynamic quality, that’s called enlightenment, or awakening to our true nature, to our fundamental goodness. Another word for that is freedom — freedom from struggling against the fundamental ambiguity of being human." - Pema Chödron

"Your weakness, your need, your clumsiness, your disappointment, your anger: These things also make you beautiful. And your courage — you know how courageous you are. You know how lonely you've been, how fucking let down and sad you've been, all these years. But you keep throwing yourself out there, sticking your neck out, offering up whatever you happen to have at the moment, mixing up cocktails, turning up the volume, dancing like a lunatic, throwing your fucking head back to laugh that wicked laugh of yours. You want to see YOU be brave? Look in the mirror. You are already brave. You need to see yourself clearly, so the world can see you clearly, too. Recognize how beautiful you are, and the world will recognize it, too. The spirits of the dead are feeling you, they are feeling you and cheering you on. "Damn girl," they're saying, "DAMN, you are good." They feel you. Now tell the living to wake the fuck up and feel you, too." Ask Polly: Do I Have to Lose Weight to Find Love?


Currently reading (and immediately absorbing): The Amateur Marriage by Anne Tyler

I saw "Ex Machina" this past weekend and, while it's not perfect, I would recommend it. It's definitely a movie where you're better off knowing as little as possible before going in, so I'll say no more.

Image: source.

So good I can hardly stand it: Things I’ve Learned About Heterosexual Female Desire From Decades Of Reading by Mallory Ortberg

Another wonderful piece by Thomas Page McBee: A Trans Story Is a Ghost Story

Nonviolence as Compliance: "When nonviolence is preached as an attempt to evade the repercussions of political brutality, it betrays itself. When nonviolence begins halfway through the war with the aggressor calling time out, it exposes itself as a ruse. When nonviolence is preached by the representatives of the state, while the state doles out heaps of violence to its citizens, it reveals itself to be a con."

Mmmhmm: Why Are We Waiting So Long To Not GAF? and I will Never Apologize for being Vulnerable.

If you are looking for a way to donate to the efforts in Nepal, I would suggest you consider donating to Oxfam. I know multiple people who work there, and I trust their choices about how to spend donation money, as well as their commitment to providing both immediate response and long term efforts towards recovery.


A great article, lots of food for thought: What is it like to be poor at an Ivy League school? "High-achieving, low-income students, often the first in their families to attend college, struggle to feel they belong on elite campuses."

Image: source.

NYTimes: Justices’ Ruling Allows Illinois Man, Jailed at 14, to Reconsider His Future

Now reading: New Life, No Instructions by Gail Caldwell, and The Fever by Megan Abbott.

Currently listening to: Waxahatchee, 'Ivy Tripp' Also: tiny desk concerts: Chadwick Stokes

I've gotten into climbing (again) these past few months, and am totally swooning over Brooklyn Boulders in Somerville. Amazing space and awesome people....doesn't hurt that it's next to a cool brewery as well. I tweaked my shoulder while bouldering this weekend and I hope it gets better soon so I can get back on the wall....Climbing has turned out to be a great mix of mental and physical challenge for me, I'm really enjoying it.

Wonderful read: The Radical Vision of Toni Morrison

"It may be that when we no longer know what to do we have come to our real work." (Wendell Berry)

"Nobody will protect you from your suffering. You can’t cry it away or eat it away or starve it away or walk it away or punch it away or even therapy it away. It’s just there, and you have to survive it. You have to endure it. You have to live through it and love it and move on and be better for it and run as far as you can in the direction of your best and happiest dreams across the bridge that was built by your own desire to heal." - Cheryl Strayed, Tiny Beautiful Things


Wow. Wow. A brave, honest piece about being raped: Showing My Hand. This line will stick with me for a long time, I think: "Mostly, I just feel complicit in breaking the parts of me that are broken." Some remarkable writing.

Image: source.

This past weekend, I unexpectedly read the entirety of "Dept. of Speculation" by Jenny Offill while at the beautiful Cambridge Public Library. Part of what I enjoyed about it was that I went in with almost no idea of what to expect, so I won't say much mother other than I thought it was extraordinary. Recommended.

Currently reading "White Girls" by Hilton Als - the first essay is incredible.

So true, so true: The Emotional Stages Of Rewatching The L Word Ten Years Later

“Life is mostly an exercise in being something other than what we used to be while remaining fundamentally - and sometimes maddeningly - who we are.” - Meghan Daum, The Unspeakable: And Other Subjects of Discussion 

"What can we do about God, who makes and then breaks every god-forsaken, beautiful day?" the amazing Mary Oliver


A moving essay written recently by a woman who was killed this past Tuesday while riding her bike in Cambridge. Sobering yet inspiring, a reminder of life's brevity and beauty. Also worth reading: Old Hearts, New Love And A Kiss, a beautiful piece she wrote about her 102 year old mother.

Another beautiful and devastating read: Before I Go: A Stanford neurosurgeon’s parting wisdom about life and time

Image: source. Heard often, but hard to remember. I know that often I mean well, but that I convey my stress and anxiety to those around me, spreading tension with my presence. I really want to work on this.

The ongoing quest for balance is such an interesting and difficult one. The portion of What Yoga Taught Me About the Balanced Life I found most interesting was, unsurprisingly, from the wonderful Susan Piver, who muses, “Is it ever possible to be balanced? I don’t think that it is, because then you’d have to freeze in that position. ‘Got it. Now don’t move.’” A wonderful, thought-provoking point.

On the recommendation of a number of people I recently read "True Love: A Practice for Awakening the Heart" by Thích Nhất Hạnh. I anticipate rereading this book many times in my life. Even just the first, short ("The Four Aspects of Love," 4 pages only) chapter was a revelation to me. Simple yet so much to think about. The way that he builds upon the 4 aspects of love to show how they can be applied to love of others, of yourself, of your body, even of answering the phone, is done so gently and clearly. The book is only 100 pages but enough lessons for a lifetime. One note: as I've seen other reviewers mention it, I will say that I don't fully agree with his take on therapy/mental health treatment, but it's not delved into deeply here, nor is it a focus of the book. I still feel that the overwhelming majority of the book is incredibly useful for anyone, so it wasn't a deal breaker for me. I personally happen to think meditation of all sorts is incredibly valuable, as are therapy, medication, and whatever other forms of self care and treatment people need to be healthy and happy. If you are someone who feels some guilt or shame or conflict about your own engagement with therapy or medication, heads up that he makes a few comments that might be triggering or uncomfortable. However, overall, I still feel strongly that this book is a "must read" for anyone seeking to better understand the process of loving and being loved.

A interesting and moving story: A Writer Moves To 'Bettyville' To Care For His Elderly Mom. I was particularly touched by a short anecdote he tells about watching "Dirty Dancing" with his mother every week. He explains that it's not simply that they watch it together, it's that they do so because she as a little crush on Patrick Swayze and he (her son) places value on this, places value on this part of his elderly mother's emotional life. That was so moving to me - his acknowledgement that this tiny crush, whatever part of her emotional life is inhabits, is of value, and that he respects and nurtures that.

“You have come to the shore. There are no instructions.” - Denise Levertov


“you have to be vigilant about keeping your own fire alive”

Advice from My Eighty Year Old Self

A wonderful piece: On Kindness: My mother is sick, by Cord Jefferson

Powerful: “The phone rang. It was my college rapist”: a true comic

Image: Pablo Picasso, postcard to Jean Cocteau, 1919

Just read: The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins (some spoilers ahead!). For the most part I loved this book. Pulled me in quickly, well paced, I didn't guess the ending too quickly, and the author does an incredible job of creating the tense, lost, confused atmosphere of the drinking problem and depression suffered by the main narrator. Only one star off because it was sort of insane at the end that basically everyone was evil, or at least both men in question turned out to be sociopathic abusers....jeez. A little much? But overall a really good read, I see why people are calling it the new Gone Girl.

Header: source.

“Please be gentle with your body. It loves you more than anyone or anything in this world. It fixes every cut, every wound, every broken bone, and fights off so many illnesses, sometimes without you even knowing about it. Even when you punish it, it is still there for you, struggling to keep you alive, keep you breathing. Your body is an ocean full of love. So please, be kind to it. It’s doing the very best it can.” - Your Body is an Ocean (Nikita Gill)

“Pain is important: how we evade it, how we succumb to it, how we deal with it, how we transcend it.” - Audre Lorde


On Being a Badass by Ann Friedman

Image: source. Not always easy....

This year's Austin 100, for your listening pleasure.

This piece was incredibly familiar and touching and powerful: NYTimes: Bringing a Daughter Back From the Brink With Poems. I've read this three times today and cried, heartily, each time. I think it slays me so much because I can easily remember myself as that teenager, and I hurt for my mom as that mom, watching with love and panic. I also think it resonates in a different way from my now-adult perspective, as I'm sort of mother to my own teenager self, teenage impulses, always trying to help myself find the beauty and worth in life. The older I get the more I feel like adulthood is a process of learning to parent ourselves, to gently but firmly guide ourselves again and again to life and to love.

Briarpatch: A Note on Call-Out Culture

Really disturbing: Are You Man Enough for the Men's Rights Movement?

This past weekend I saw Wild at Heart for the first time, a showing of the X-rated (ridiculous violence that was just perfectly hilariously and gruesomely done) 35mm version at the Brattle. I wasn't really sure what to expect but it was was so good - the whole look of it, the tone of it, the outfits, the soundtrack and dialogue. Crazy and bizarre and great.

Always good to revisit: Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front by Wendell Berry


Listening to this flawlessness: First Aid Kit, "The Lions Roar"

Loved this interview between Sigourney Weaver and Jamie Lee Curtis.

Image: source.

Great Tumblr: Lunchbox Poems. This recent poem has particularly stayed with me: Familiarity.

I've become a big Professor Blastoff and Tig Notaro fan over the last few years and will definitely watch Knock Knock, It's Tig Notaro....and basically anything else Tig related, ever.

Listening to: these episodes of "On Being: Helen Fischer on Love and Sex and Attachment, Brené Brown on The Courage to Be Vulnerable; and, of course, Mary Oliver on Listening to the World.

Reading: I just finished reading "Attachments" by Rainbow Rowell, an author who has gotten a lot of love on PCHH, hence my interest. Overall, I enjoyed "Attachments." The pacing at the end was somehow off to me and the ending didn't have the same realistic imperfections as the rest of there book, but the dialogue between the two friends was just so familiar and good that I couldn't put it down. Some of the best lady friend dialogue I've maybe ever read. Now I'm continuing my way through Cleeve's Shetland series, and am on book 4, "Blue Lightning."


Finally got around to watching Twin Peaks. It's not totally my cup of tea, but Agent Cooper is clearly the best: "Every day - once a day - give yourself a present. Don't plan it, don't wait for it, just let it happen. It could a new shirt in the mens store, a cat nap in your office chair, or two cups of good hot black coffee, like this." YouTube.

One of the best things on anxiety I've read: ​Keep Your Friends Close but Your Anxiety Closer

Damn gorgeous: Sufjan Stevens, "No Shade in the Shadow of the Cross"

More student-focused than my reality but still funny/good/painfully true: The 37 Emotional Stages Of Living In Boston During February 2015. And, on a more serious note, How to Support #BostonWarm

Man, I love them: Broad City.

Currently reading: "How to Grow Up" by Michelle Tea, "Are You My Mother?" by Alison Bechdel, "Yes Please" by Amy Poehler.

"Ah, world, what lessons you prepare for us, /even in the leafless winter, / even in the ashy city. / I am thinking now / of grief, and of getting past it; / I feel my boots / trying to leave the ground, / I feel my heart / pumping hard. I want / to think again of dangerous and noble things. / I want to be light and frolicsome. / I want to be improbable beautiful and afraid of nothing, / as though I had wings." from "Starlings in Winter" by Mary Oliver


Just finished reading "White Nights" the second in the Shetland series by by Ann Cleeves. Cleeves is one of my favorite contemporary mystery writers, I just love her portraits of life on the Shetland Islands. Because of her, they've risen to the top of my "want to visit" list. In "White Nights," I didn't see the "whodunnit" coming, which is also nice. I just started "Are You My Mother?" by Alison Bechdel. I also added "Disgruntled" to my "to read" list after hearing an interesting author interview on Fresh Air.

Image: source.

Great post by a friend of a friend who is doing some awesome work as a life/health coach: So. You Wanna Lose Weight.

I thought this article about the life-impacting effects of one thoughtless (racist, insensitive) tweet was really interesting: How One Stupid Tweet Blew Up Justine Sacco’s Life. It's not a perfect article and there has been some valid criticism lodged, but I think the NYTimes article isn't just about "feeling sorry for stupid white people on the internet," but instead touches on much broader issues of public shaming and the rapid-fire cycle of internet comments and publicity.

Absolutely heart-wrenching: "Hello, my name is Yusor Abu-Salha."

"In this choiceness / Never-ending / Flow / Of life, / There is an infinite array / Of choices. / One alone / Brings happiness- / To love / What is." - Dorothy S. Hunt


I'm listening to "Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls" by David Sedaris, however, can't say I'm loving it as much as some of his previous books, but I'm not entirely sure why. I'm also reading "Little Children" by Tom Perotta, a gift from a very wonderful friend. Sometimes Perotta's books frustrate me with the heavy handedness of the satire, or the broad strokes, but for the most part I always find them to be engrossing, entertaining, and thought provoking reads. So far, "Little Children" is no exception.

Image: a page from "Marbles" that is one of the best depictions of the mental struggles of doing yoga I've ever seen!

On the yoga front, I'm still doing the 40 Days program at Baptiste and absolutely loving it. The snow storm and a terrible flu made this last week a particularly tough one, but I'm happy to say I'm back on the mat in week 3, and really grateful for the practice.

This past weekend I read "Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me," a graphic novel/memoir by Ellen Forney about her diagnosis as bipolar and subsequent journey to find some "balance" (she rolls her eyes at the word/idea) and to reconcile her life as an artist with this quest for stability. I don't identify as an artist so the parts of the book focusing on links between creativity and mental illness weren't as interesting to me (hence the one star off), but overall I thought the book was an excellent illustration of Forney's relationship to ("struggle with" sounds too cliche although would also be apt) mental illness. I cried in recognition at multiple parts, which is uncommon for me, and I feel grateful for the hard work that Forney put into documenting the years covered by the memoir; I'm glad she survived and I'm glad she decided to share with the rest of us.

"Love, love, love, says Percy. / And run as fast as you can / Along the shining beach, or the rubble, or the dust. / Then, go to sleep. / Give up your body heat, your beating heart. / Then trust." - "I Ask Percy How I Should Live My Life" by Mary Oliver.


Currently reading: Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me by Ellen Forney and Small Victories: Spotting Improbable Moments of Grace by Anne Lamott.

Just finished watching Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries - I'm so bummed to be done! Season 3 can't come soon enough. On my mom's recommendation, I watched episode one of Grantchester, which is right up my alley (small British town and relatively unthreatening mysteries!). I also just finished season 2 of The Fall, which was absolutely excellent, possibly even better than season 1. Superb acting, well-paced plot (although it definitely drags a little at the end), and fascinating moments of discussion about violence against women (and about what it means for people like me to watch shows like this).

Image: source.

I'm on Day 8 of a 40 day program at my local Baptiste yoga studio, working on creating and sustaining a daily yoga and meditation practice. So far it's great. The first week our goals were 5 minutes of meditation twice a day, and 20 minutes of yoga (along with some journaling and reading goals). This week: 10 minutes meditation, 30 minutes yoga. By the final week, we will be committing to 30 minutes od meditation twice a day, and 90 minutes of yoga. I've had various meditation and yoga practices at different times in my life, but nothing this sustained. It's definitely challenging but I'm grateful for the structure and guidance and the tools to help my anxiety. I struggle a lot during the meditation but I also find that, when it's over, I'm disappointed to no longer be in that space. Very interesting.

Lindy West's piece on This American Life this week was absolutely amazing. On misogyny, internet trolls, human connection, our worst selves, and forgiveness.

Rilke on What Winter Teaches Us about the Richness of Life and the Tenacity of the Human Spirit

The awesomeness of Broad City: “Some people are scared of us, and some think we are dumb little girls."

On mental health, and love: My Lovely Wife in the Psych Ward

"Don’t resent the work. / It gives you the strength to stand / whole and silent / before the Mystery." source


across the bridge that was built by your own desire to heal

I feel like I should hate this idea of a Hitchcock remake by David Fincher, but I think I'm into it....

Currently reading: "The White Album" by Joan Didion and "Blue Horses: Poems" by Mary Oliver. Recently read: "Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar" by Cheryl Strayed(read it twice, right in a row. The best, obviously), and "The Rosie Project" by Graeme Simsion (very readable). For those of you who crave even more info on my reading habits: find me on GoodReads.

This gif. Forever.

Definitely curious to check out the new Duplass show.

Listening to: new Sleater Kinney. Also liking this song.

Image: after months of people recommending it to me, I'm FINALLY watching Miss Fischers Murder Mysteries....and I love it. Awesome lady sleuth with killer wardrobe and an insatiable lust for gorgeous men. Thanks Mom and Phoebe!

"And I thought: she will never live another life but this one. / And I thought: if she lives her life with all her strength / is she not wonderful and wise?" [from "Reckless Poem" by Mary Oliver]