For Breathing and Reading

Summer brings intensity: heat waves, thunderstorms, longer stretches of brighter light. It is a season that evokes childhood nostalgia, reminding me of ice cream cones, art projects, the smell of hot pavement and gardenias, outdoor fires, and long walks between tall, fresh trees. Over the last several days, I have nestled myself into the comfortable fold of my hometown with my parents. The lush green landscape, home-cooked meals, reading, breathing clean air have been nothing short of restorative.

Nostalgia is a powerful emotion. It moves and consoles us. It can be tricky to navigate what comforts us in the midst of a charged time in our country, in which nostalgia is manipulated and employed by the right to justify the dehumanization of marginalized groups. How can we find moments of rest that give us renewed strength, while actively cultivating clarity to contribute?

I’ll be sitting with this question this weekend. I’ll be placing my attention here:

Activist, academic, and writer Rachel Cargle is curating a Summer Reading Cohort through her organization Loveland Hall. Click here to register. Being a student of Rachel’s is a great honor. We all can learn a lot about anti-racism, dismantling white supremacy, anti-racist women’s advocacy, responsible social justice, and more from her.

Join All On the Line’s Citizen Commitment this week and follow them for updates on fair election maps and the work of the National Redistricting Action Fund.

Listen to Jennifer Siebel Newsom, filmmaker, founder of The Representation Project and First Partner of California, on the Armchair Expert podcast.

Read the New York Times’ Editorial Board’s piece, “America the Beautiful,” which contemplates the state of our democracy in this heartbreaking time.

And lastly, Lori Gottlieb’s Maybe You Should Talk to Someone, a funny and honest look at therapy, a good reminder of how the process of re-humanization can occur through sitting with someone in his or her pain.

Keep carrying on, while finding some sweetness this weekend.