Processed: week of July 28, 2014

Whoa hey, look at me with the fourth post in what’s becoming my weekly contribution to the internet. Actually, not a whole heck of a lot of internetting went on last week because we started a big house project and it took up most of our time. Pictures to come of that, be assured, because Mister and I are both really proud of what we’re creating together.

Home

I think that what started us on our newest house project kick is that a few weeks ago I put our house up for exchange on this great website called Home Exchange, where homeowners from around the world can trade homes for as long as they like. It’s a fantastic idea because if it works and we can find people who want to trade with us, we could save a ton of money on travel since we won’t have to pay for lodging. We’re hoping for some 1-3 month exchanges to a few different locations over the next few years. One of them is most definitely Italy, as we loved it there and agree that two weeks was just not enough. Perhaps we can find an exchange a Roma so I can see some of these gorgeous skeletons with my own eyes.

We’ve also started renting out our guest room on Airbnb, and I must say that it’s been an amazing experience. I’ve always wanted to own a bed and breakfast, and this gives me a tiny preview of what it might be like. I’ve become obsessed with providing the perfect guest experience, and this vacation rental decorating site has been super helpful. I just wish there were more posts!

Thoughts and feelings

Aw. I’d forgotten all about this little video on empathy vs sympathy that got passed around a couple of years ago. And I didn’t even realize until just now that it’s Brene Brown who is speaking. She’s the one who led the creative journaling workshop I recently took that completely kicked me out of my creative rut. Go Brene, and go Katy Davis, who animated Brene’s talk. So good.

Judith Butler speaking of rage and grief. A friend of mine, who had Judith Butler as a professor, posted this video. I had to Google Judith Butler as I’d never heard of her. I’m so glad I learned about her, as she is quite a person! Anyway, this is one of those talks that tells you things you already know, but puts it in a very thoughtful, sometimes lyrical fashion.

“Mourning has to do with yielding to an unwanted transformation, where neither the full shape or the full import of that alteration can be known in advance. This transformative effect of losing always risks becoming a deformative effect. Whatever it is, it cannot be willed; it is a kind of undoing. One is hit by waves in the middle of the day, in the midst of a task, and everything stops. One falters, even falls. What is that wave that suddenly withdraws your gravity and your forward motion? That something that takes hold of you and makes you stop and takes you down? Where does it come from? Does it have a name? What claims us at such moments when we are most emphatically not masters of ourselves and our emotion? When we lose certain people or when we are dispossessed from a place or a community, it may be that something about who we are suddenly flashes up, something that delineates the ties we have to others, that shows us that we are bound to one another, and that the bonds that compose us also do strand us, leave us uncomposed. If I lose you, under the conditions in which who I am is bound up with you, then I not only mourn the loss but I become inscrutable to myself; in this life, unbearable.”

Terence McKenna on death. The latest in the Vice series. Of course, you’ve already assumed that I liked this one because of my affinity for death topics. And you were not wrong.

Ta-da! That’s it, until next week.

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