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What are you reading/cooking/watching/listening to today, Wednesday, July 27th?
It is now officially the middle of summer, which is hard to believe. It has been sweltering here — hideously hot and dry — and we’ve been taking care not to overtax our well or let our garden die. It’s a balancing act, without question. Because I live in New England, I have only barely understood the plight of my westerner friends out in California, New Mexico, Colorado, and Utah, who live under the constant threat of fire and utter devastation, and what that means for their safety, their homes, their animals, their communities. At a time of such terrible division, I’m reminded of Wendell Berry’s line: The earth is what we all have in common. (He also said that we’re more concerned about the desecration of our flag than we are the desecration of our land.)
Where am I this week? I’m thinking a lot about health and safety and music and my baby cousin Jason (who I am MAD for), and what the world will look like for him when I am glimmer in the recesses of his memory. I’m thinking a lot about what it means to be a creative. (And here’s a bit of news for you: we are all, every last one of us, creatives. Humans are the creating species.) And I’m thinking a lot about habits, how we get into them, when they are good for us, when they aren’t, and how to know the difference. As always, I am thinking about what sustenance means in our day to day.
Here are the things that I’m loving this week.
Before you do anything else, watch this (and have a box of Kleenex at hand): Joni Mitchell singing Both Sides Now live from the Newport Folk Festival, with the (truly) lovely and brilliant Brandi Carlile, and in the background, Wynona Judd, Allison Russell, Phil and Tim Hanseroth.
Join me and the brilliant author of Wintering, Katherine May, for a workshop at Barnswallow Books in Rockport Maine on 8/8. On 8/9, we will be doing a traditional reading/conversation, which is free and open to the public. You do not have to be a writer to join us. Her book meant, and means, the world to me. If you don’t know it, you should. Especially at this strange, weird moment in time. Is this about health and safety? Yes, it is. Go here to learn why.
Ghia is officially my new favorite summertime (and I suspect, year-round) drink. The fact that it is alcohol-free may or may not be irrelevant depending on what side of the fence you sit, but I will say this: it doesn’t matter whether you’re a teetotaler or an imbiber — if you love complex Italian bitters (think Aperol, Campari) the way I do, you will absolutely adore this stuff. I discovered it when my local (amazing) specialty grocers, Phinney’s, made me try the Ghia Spritz (which comes in a can, making it perfect for picnics), I was instantly sold. Again: alcohol-free, low in calories, low in sugar, and completely amazing.
Some of you may know that my Susan had melanoma surgery this summer, and so I have become fairly hysterical about The Wearing of the Hat. The Sing Hat Company is a fabulous, woman-owned maker of the most stunning custom hats, straw and felt, that I have ever set eyes on. I love hats. LOVE hats. I always have. I love men’s fedoras and bowlers and straw hats of every kind, and because I am so short I often wind up looking like a thumbtack when I wear them. (I do not care. I will be a well-appointed thumbtack.) The Sing Hat Company is based in Jackson, Wyoming and is dedicated to the particular art of millinery that is distinctly Western and entirely amazing.
For my birthday this year, Susan gave me a wonderful hummingbird feeder. What I didn’t know: hummingbirds are CRAZY spectacular to watch because they’re aerial acrobats, able to fly backwards, hang in the air like a cloud, and massively territorial. Watch this incredible documentary about these bizarre tiny beasts, narrated by David Attenborough. Even if you’ve never given them a second thought, watch it. Just incredible.
What am I cooking? All the zucchini in the world: fried, sauteed, boiled, stuffed, grated.
I’d love to hear from you and know what you’re watching, cooking, loving, thinking about. Let us all know, below. In the meantime, stay cool.