Link Love for the third week of February
Things I'm liking, loving, watching, or reading
Yesterday in our conversation about friendships, the topic of grief was a present one. Almost every question or comment was tinged with lament around its edges, like a piece of paper with burnt sides. The paper is still usable, but the edges will never be the same.
I have felt a bit haunted by a video I saw after the earthquake in Syria and Turkey. An olive grove split in pieces by a fault line crack creating a new canyon in the earth where before it had only been a speckled landscape of greens and whites before. It is not often in our lifetimes that we will witness the making of a canyon. Most of our familiar canyons in the United States are estimated to have been here millions of years. As I watched the video, I couldn’t help but think of what this new terrain might look like years from now, when all the boulders have settled into place and the sides are worn smooth by wind and rain. As jarring as it is to us right now, the landscape will, once again, become familiar, as if the canyon was always there.
I don’t think it is an overstatement to say that friendships over the past six or eight years (at least in the west) have experienced seismic shifts, creating canyons where green groves once flourished. Every single person I encounter seems to be feeling it in some way. Relationships have been destabilized by shifts in politics, religion, finances, employment, education, loneliness, the pandemic, and more at a rate most older folks say they’ve never seen in their lifetime.
Correlation isn’t causation, so we shouldn’t entirely blame these things for the canyons we now experience. In some ways, the more global we have become, the more relationships we have that stretch beyond our local communities, and the more we will encounter those with different perspectives and views, and the more opportunities we will have to experience friendship and therefore also division. In many ways, we are in the infancy of learning how to navigate this at a global level. The Internet is still just a baby and it’s only the last two generations who have grown up in a world with it at their fingertips. No wonder we still don’t know what to do with our hands.
I don’t mean to spiritualize a catastrophe like the earthquake in Syria and Turkey, but this canyon can be a metaphor for our lives right now. We’re learning to live with a new landscape and right now it just feels devastating. Grief is the right and good response for how it feels. So if you feel sad or discouraged or confused or bewildered (like I do), I think that’s okay.
One of the most striking thing about the videos of the new canyon I’ve seen is the edges of it, still green, still dotted with olive trees, humans still walking around on it. Something living still exists here, despite the cavernous hole that’s been opened. Something still lives.
𓆸 Someone shared this piece with me after my recent piece on loneliness in the Christian’s life and I loved the ways they echo one another.
𓆸 I’m eyeball deep in deep work these days and, at the end of the day, as we eat dinner, Nate and I have been playing a game we love. It helps my brain to reorient and recover.
𓆸 We listened to this episode of OnBeing last week and I’ve been thinking about it ever since. The Science of Awe.
𓆸 My friendshared this piece about how to change a bad habit of saying yes when she needed to say no (I also struggle with this).
𓆸 Here’s a piece about trusting your voice as a writer from Nikki Giovanni.
𓆸 Speaking of writing, here’s what to do if someone says, “You should write a book!”
𓆸 As a kid who grew up doing all of this too, this piece made me sad and also made me nod.
Here’s two podcasts I was on that released recently.and Maile Smucker.
Grace in Real Life with Jill McCormick.
In case you didn’t click on the link to the video above, here’s the new canyon:
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Thanks for sharing my Comment piece!
I’m so bummed that I missed the zoom yesterday. Teacher life, man.😉 Hopefully next month (because Spring Break)!