- Dina Relles is bringing a new blog series to Literary Mama, the Writerly Roundup. Also check out the Essential Reading selections this month on Bravery.
- Paul Kalanithi’s beautiful essay in the Washington Post about the perception of time, in his own words: “When you come to one of the many moments in life when you must give an account of yourself, provide a ledger of what you have been, and done, and meant to the world, do not, I pray, discount that you filled a dying man’s days with a sated joy, a joy unknown to me in all my prior years, a joy that does not hunger for more and more, but rests, satisfied. In this time, right now, that is an enormous thing.”
- My dad sent me Paul Elie’s gripping New Yorker article about Thomas Merton, the Catholic writer, mystic, and Trappist monk. Here’s a direct Merton quote, the end of which choked me up in self-recognition: “It is possible to doubt whether I have become a monk (a doubt that I have to live with), but it is not possible to doubt that I am a writer, that I was born one and will most probably die as one. Disconcerting, disedifying as this is, this seems to be my lot and my vocation.” And this quote is by Elie: “Here was a person who resolved not to miss the meaning of his life in the living of it. Here was a dangling man who was determined not to go slack.” Lord, let me be brave enough to live up to half his authenticity.
- Lego beauty tips for girls, via The New York Times. “If Lego insists on focusing the attention of children on personal appearance, then I would be grateful if they would offer tips to the children who actually need it. My boys believe that athletic pants can be worn anywhere, anytime, backwards or inside out.” Commenter #3, FTW!
- I felt another pang of recognition when I arrived at #7 on this list of 8 Ways Parents Discourage Their Kids from Reading on Brightly (thanks to Lindsey for introducing me to the site).
- WBUR Cognoscenti Blog: What to Expect When You’re Expecting a Book
- Dave Barry on his parents (via Karen of Chookooloonks): “Above all, they did not worry about providing a perfect, risk-free environment for their children.” Amen to that. I’m looking forward to reading his new book.
- In a poignant essay on caring for her dying mother, Heather Plett shares what it means to “hold space” for people, plus eight tips on how to do it well.
- Totally geeking out that Roz Chast is on Here’s the Thing this week. Love her.
- I just learned The Week has a podcast. I’m already intrigued by the first story title I saw, “How to turn Frank Underwood’s America Works program into a killer real-world policy.”
- Maureen Corrigan’s review of two memoirs about loss, both of which I added to my Goodreads list. More on this topic below in “Say.”
- If, like me, you appreciated the Buddhist connections in The Big Lebowski, check out this old episode of On Point. In a recent tweet-chat with Lindsey, I learned she hasn’t watched it. It’s a must see for any Coen bros fan! All the actors are brilliantly absurd, but Julianne Moore, John Goodman, and John Turturro stunned me. I picture them showing up the day of shooting and bringing those characters to life without direction, Joel and Ethan off to the side, sides split with laughter. How fun would it have been to be Jeff Bridges on that set?
- Maybe this will seem morbid to you, but I’m talking about and studying grief and loss. My interest was piqued by my grandmother’s recent decline from Parkinson’s. I’m fascinated with both the discussion of death and lack thereof in our culture (it will perhaps not surprise you, then, to learn one of my favorite courses was Medical Anthropology). A week ago I thought to myself, “I wonder if there’s a way I can talk to other people also interested in this topic in a nonjudgmental group.” I headed to the Internet, where I learned someone had posted event details that same morning about a Death Café in Bedford later this month. According to the site, “At Death Cafés people drink tea, eat cake and discuss death. Our aim is to increase awareness of death to help people make the most of their (finite) lives.” I don’t consider myself superstitious, but that coincidence shouts, “Go there!”
- For my local buds, my friend Anjali tipped me off to an upcoming free talk on mothers and writing at the gorgeous Cambridge Public Library on March 29th at 3pm. You in?
- Watch Stephen Colbert discuss Catholicism with Fr. James Martin. I enjoyed catching a glimpse of his personality IRL (i.e., the man, not the persona we’ve come to know as him).
- From Karen again comes this mesmerizing photo of girl scouts dancing to a DJ on the sidewalk. “The definition of light,” she says. I’ll toast to that.
- “What’s up with that?” is probably my favorite SNL sketch of the most recent cast; Kenan Thompson is fantastic. When something really egregious happens to Nate or me, it really helps take the sting out to think of Jason Sudeikis dancing in the background.
- I can’t believe I’ve never made fudgesicles. The thermometer passing the freezing mark is all my little New Englanders need to start begging for ice cream, so now seems as good a time as any.