How to Live in the Face of Fear: Lessons From a Cancer Survivor – an interview with Kate Bowler by Elizabeth Dias (from the NYT)
“There was a rhythm I got into with cancer that has served me well right now. Every day sort of has an arc to it. There’s a limited amount that you’re going to be able to face as you stare into the abyss. Being able over the course of the day to track your own resources will help you know how to spend them.
There’s just a minute where you know, OK, I’m starting to hit the wall. Time to turn the boat around. There’s only so much we can do, and in the face of unlimited need we have to not just wildly oscillate between sort of intense action and then narcolepsy.
How do we now feel the day and allow ourselves to be human inside of it? I think that’s really tricky work.”
“For me, part of the joy of prayer is having abandoned the formula. I have no expectation that prayer works in a direct way. But I do hope that every person, religious or not, feels the permission to say, “I’m at the edge of what I know. And in the face of the sea of abyss, someone out there please show me love.” Because that’s, to me, the only thing that fills up the darkness. It’s somehow in there, the feeling that I am not for no reason. And that doesn’t mean anything better is going to happen to me, but in the meantime that I will know that we all are deeply and profoundly loved. That’s my hope for everybody.”
7 Unconscious Behaviours That Are Delaying Your Success in Life by Brianna Wiest (from Medium)
“We cannot control everything. But if we could find more little moments to live for, those little shimmering glimpses of ease, maybe it would be a whole lot easier to keep moving forward.
Maybe what we’d find is that success was never anything more than being able to appreciate what we have while we have it.”
3 lessons of revolutionary love in a time of rage by Valarie Kaur (for TED)
“And so the mother in me asks, what if this darkness is not the darkness of the tomb, but the darkness of the womb? What if our future is not dead, but still waiting to be born? What if this is our great transition? Remember the wisdom of the midwife. “Breathe,” she says. And then — “push.” Because if we don’t push, we will die. If we don’t breathe, we will die.”
Hyperbole and a Half Creator Allie Brosh on Her New Book, Her Seven-Year Hiatus, and What the Heck Is Going on With Her Hotmail Account by Heather Schwedel (from Slate)
“It seemed like I needed to retreat back into myself for a little while. I was trying to write it at a stage in my life where I was, like, between. You know how there are pictures of you, like, between facial expressions? It felt like that type of thing, where it was this awkward transition where I was starting to have new kinds of thoughts and be new kinds of ways…
There’s a type of sharing that’s fun and feels like it’s like advancing your identity in some way, and then there’s a type of sharing that’s a little bit more honest and scary. I’ve been trying to learn how to do the second type more.”
The Dangers of Cynical Sci-Fi Disaster Stories by Cory Doctorow (from Slate)
“When the lockdown went into effect, the mysterious gun stores on the main street near my house sprouted around-the-block lines of poorly distanced people lining up to buy handguns. I used to joke that they were planning to shoot the virus and that their marksmanship was not likely to be up to the task, but I knew what it was all about. They were buying guns because they’d told themselves a story: As soon as things went wrong, order would collapse, and their neighbors would turn on them.
Somehow, I couldn’t help but feel responsible. I’m a science-fiction writer, and I write a lot of disaster stories. Made-up stories, even stories of impossible things, are ways for us to mentally rehearse our responses to different social outcomes. Philosopher Daniel Dennett’s conception of an intuition pump—“a thought experiment structured to allow the thinker to use their intuition to develop an answer to a problem”—suggests that fiction (which is, after all, an elaborate thought experiment) isn’t merely entertainment.*
That’s true. And it’s a problem.”
Does everything happen for a reason? by Kelly Corrigan (from Medium)
“And finally, we come apart all the time, but even an incomplete life story where the hero dies in the end can be beautiful.”