This week I tweaked my back. I wasn’t doing anything athletic or impressive, but nonetheless found myself kneeling on the kitchen floor with a red-hot pain spreading from the base of my spine upward.
I stretched in between virtual meetings. Rolling around on the floor while the cat watched (and judged) was a humbling experience.
The next day it felt a little better. I met up with my cousin, who also happens to be one of my best friends. We went for a walk along the river. I saw a Coromander, several flying Snowy Egrets, and two Cooper’s Hawks. Have I mentioned that I’ve become a birding hobbyist?!
We cooked dinner. I can’t tell you how good it felt to sit in someone else’s kitchen.
A boombox played salsa music on the radio. It made me unbearably happy to know that my cousin still keeps a boombox from the early 2000s on her kitchen counter. She keeps it playing throughout the day to keep her dogs company.
The pandemic has made me appreciate nights like these so much more. But I also worried. Was I putting myself or others at risk by spending the evening with a dear friend? Maybe we should have been more careful?
My back still hurt from the recent injury, but I left that night feeling overwhelmingly happy and full and warm. Sometimes pain and love and worry happen all at once.
Did you notice any interesting or beautiful about your friends or surroundings this week?
This is a question that I’ve been asking myself more frequently… It’s more specific than the traditional “gratitude practice” which oftentimes feels too nebulous.
How to think differently about doing good as a creative person - from The Creative Independent
A guide to avoiding “creative savior complex” (CSC) when working on social impact projects. Such an important resource right now.
CSC can be avoided by having clear objectives for what the project aims to achieve, and by taking a close look at exactly who, how, and why you plan to help.”
The Creative Self Workbook - free PDF download from 99u
What does The Creative Self mean to you? Have you clarified your purpose? Are you in touch with your creative voice? Are you in alignment with your chosen career? How do you connect to the community around you? And where is this all taking you tomorrow, next month, next year?
I’ve had a difficult time making progress on any creative projects recently, and I’m giving myself lots of grace and kindness. There is a lot going on in the world. I am learning and growing even when I’m not making things.
I did publish my Commitment to Social Justice, Diversity and Inclusion. This post will be updated on a quarterly basis to report back on actions taken to build an anti-racist, inclusive space on the internet and how I’m supporting businesses and organizations owned by Black and Indigenous People of Color.
Gathering all this together, what I’m suggesting is that we take a protective stance toward ourselves, each other, and whatever is left of what makes us human—including the alliances that sustain and surprise us. I’m suggesting that we protect our spaces and our time for non-instrumental, noncommercial activity and thought, for maintenance, for care, for conviviality. And I’m suggesting that we fiercely protect our human animality against all technologies that actively ignore and disdain the body, the bodies of other beings, and the body of the landscape that we inhabit.
Jenny Odell, How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy