Happy Sunday, friends. I’m once again at my table by the window, and it continues to make me happy to sit here. As my brother (more on him in a second) said: “It’s nice to actually USE your windows, not just walk past them.” And really: it is. I sit here and LOOK AT THE WORLD, and that is perhaps something we don’t do enough of…
Right now: Outside, there is a layer of fresh snow on the ground, and the late afternoon sun is shining, and there are real life rabbit tracks by my back door. Magic. See? This is what happens when you USE YOUR WINDOW! Inside, my house is miraculously clean (Something about the new furniture arrangement makes it stay tidier… I am still contemplating this mystery.) The sauce for this Cheesy Tortellini is in the slow-cooker, and Freddy is passed out cold after winning a 2-hour battle with a marrow bone as big as his head. Also, the Golden Globes start in an hour, and I have a date with my #kinderchat buddies to watch and live-tweet it. Join us! You can find me at @happycampergirl.
Shiny brilliance of the week:
- I will confess I have not read ALL of it yet, but this long-form piece on The scientific evidence against spanking, timeouts, and sleep training brings a thorough and scientific approach to things that tend to be considered a question of “philosophy” rather than neuro-biology.
- This New York times post: To Fall in Love with Anyone, Do This, also puts a scientific spin on something that we often ascribe to destiny or timing, or interpersonal chemistry. The idea of systematically constructing intimacy is fascinating to me, and makes me think of other situations where intense relationships (both platonic and romantic) sprout up rapidly: summer camp, university dorms, even slumber parties.
- I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the parallels between emotional trauma and physical injuries, which also leads to thinking about how we react to and conceptualize physical vs. mental illnesses – both chronic and acute. Comfort Food: No one brings dinner when your daughter is an addict illustrates a very real example of how ill-equipped we are to deal with mental illness in any form.
On the nightstand:
- The Poisonwood Bible. I read this novel years ago, and am re-reading again, now. I love the way Barbara Kingsolver evokes PLACE in her writing, and creates a world that a reader gets to inhabit for as long as the book lasts…
- Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls. I just finished this, and loved it, even though Me Talk Pretty One Day will ALWAYS be the very funniest book I have ever read. Very few authors actually make me laugh out loud, but David Sedaris’ essays and observations on life do it every time.
On the Audible app:
- I’m almost finished with The Night Circus, and I still recommend it. It makes me want to buy the actual book, in addition to the audio version, so I can go back and re-read the descriptions of the circus, the tents, the food, the magic…
- I think my next listen with be The Book of Negroes. I read it when it first came out, and am currently watching the mini-series, which is making me want to re-visit the whole story.
One thing you should buy:
- An beta fish in an aquarium. I LOVE LOVE LOVE having a fish in my office at school. My current little friend is named Winter — his predecessor, Olaf-the-Original-Office-Fish having swum into the great white light over the holidays — and I strongly recommend a fish for school administrators (or anyone else with an office, for that matter). Kids come in all the time to visit him and ask me questions, and watching him swim around never fails to make me smile.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about light and darkness (there is a whole post coming on this, I think…) so it seems meaningful to share: this Sunday has 12 more minutes of daylight than last…