I could write a beautiful, poignant 1,000-word version of this post that’d keep me from my kids for a couple hours. Alternatively, I could write a more succinct, less illuminating version that takes me only ten minutes. I’m opting for the latter.
My sister Rache and I are very similar in some ways. She’s an ASNAC nerd who took me to the Jorvik Viking Center on my one trip to England, so we definitely diverge in some ways, but … in many ones where it counts, we’re clearly cut from the same cloth. Read more…
I laughed and wept, both alternately and simultaneously, as I read Angie Thomas’s
For a couple years now, I’ve witnessed as names become hashtags. I’ve seen people killed twice over:
when breath was stolen
from their bodies;
when their lives were stolen,
too, swept away by words like
“no angel” or “drug dealer” or “thug,”
as if an entire life
is worth no more
than its worst
I’ve understood how a person, once painted an “offender,” is seldom understood as worth one more thought. I’ve struggled to explain how
each life taken
is a loss insufferable,
a. loss. of. a. whole. life.
(that could have been anything)
When I read the fictional-but-not-really-fictional, staggering, powerful The Hate U Give, my whole body sighed. I saw that this is how people understand the life behind the death; the years of needless hate behind a moment’s sanctioned bullets.
While this exact Khalil never lived in this flesh-and-blood world, he lived in a heart that bled onto pages. Those pages are now being read by thousands upon thousands of people. And this Khalil, though he lives in heart and page, represents many who lived
Once upon a time, each of these people lived and laughed and cried and yearned. Their ability to do these things ever again was stolen from them, but you and I? By remembering them, we can change the world.
By remembering them, we can
Many thanks to Alison Doherty for the recommendation
A few months ago, my family happened across a used bookstore that was going out of business. The store’s lovely, kid-friendly owners couldn’t afford the rent, which had just been jacked up something like 50%.
My husband, sons, and I bought a couple of boxes full of books that day. Before we left, my husband signed up for the owners’ school book fair mailing list. It’s a good thing he did, too!
A few days ago, he got a great email about the bookstore. First, there’d been such an outpouring of love for Camelot Books, its owners had decided to open up shop somewhere else a few months down the road. The store wouldn’t be closing down for good. Woo-hoo!
Second, there wouldn’t be enough space to store their inventory in the meantime. With thousands of books still left, the real sale had begun!
My family and I returned to the store yesterday, eventually leaving with one enormous box of books for only about fifty dollars. We left, too, with memories of another hour spent surrounded by books, love, and each other … and the elation of knowing this bookstore will continue, and with it a joy that has little to do with physical location.
When I left Japan more than a decade ago, it felt natural standing in front of any classroom. Not so today!
Today I read Dr. Seuss books to a classroom of second graders. 20 sets of second grade eyes turned toward me so that I fretted, “Was volunteering really such a good idea?!”
I quickly found my groove. I read two books, eliciting laughter when I used funny voices, before exiting to a chorus of thank-yous. “I liked that book!” shouted one boy as I stepped back into the hallway and toward the rest of my day.
I grinned my whole way back to the car. Comfortable or not, natural or not, I was briefly able to combine two of my favorite things: books and kids. No matter which way I look at it, that made my morning a win!
One of the first books I read after beginning to care about politics was Naomi Klein’s The Shock Doctrine: the Rise of Disaster Capitalism. It was both powerful and powerfully depressing, an accounting of decades of U.S. destruction in the name of “free markets.”
Today, its author has written something beautiful and empowering. I want to get back to sharing things we all can celebrate, and that means I’m going to try moving away from explicitly political stuff. But tonight? I want you to know that much of what I understand about politics, and about U.S. politics, I understand because of Klein.
When Klein writes that the U.S. oligarchs who’ve controlled the world for decades are scared of us, that’s something to seize. They’re trying to implement shocks that’ll confound, diminish, and separate us from each other.
That can’t happen if we’re willing to stand for and with each other. So, please, please, read Klein’s “Trump’s Crony Cabinet May Look Strong, but They Are Scared,” and prepare to reach across divides, because that’s what it’s going to take to save each other.
I refuse fear. I reject it absolutely. And why? Because I know you, and I know: together, we are invincible.