Favorite Things, Vol. XXVII

How is September so soon!? I feel like summer just started, and suddenly we’re inching our way to fall. I do love fall, and the changing of seasons, but I’ll definitely miss summer and the general happy attitudes that come with it. I’ll also be sharing some new products soon, and can’t wait to get your feedback!

A recent custom order from a mom to her son as he returns to college, of some lyrics that have been especially meaningful to their family. 

TO READ

Men of Steel: Chance the Rapper and Lin-Manuel Miranda: As a lover of all things Hamilton and a new gigantic Chance fan, this article is what dreams are made of. The two men have a fascinating conversation around rap and parenthood and legacies and politics, and it makes me wish they were my friends even more than I already do. I think you could argue they’re doing some of the most unique work in the entertainment industry in some of the most unconventional ways, and their charisma and talent shine through in their words.

National Parks May Be The Thing That Will Bring Us All Together: Although I’ve got many more national parks to see, my roommates recently went on a road trip to the Grand Canyon and have come back with an enormous interest in our National Parks. One of my roommates is reading Terry Tempest Williams’ book referenced in this article, and I can’t wait to read it next. There is something about nature that resonates with something inside all humanity, and I couldn’t imagine not having the National Parks to help us all remember that from time to time. Here’s to the last 100 - now let’s make sure we can keep them for hundreds more. 

Everything You Love Will Die: Yes, this is a really tragic title, but it’s also true. Death can be pretty terrifying, but at the end of the day, it’s not really something you can escape. You do what you can, and you show up, and you live the life you’re given, however long it may be. We float around the idea of “legacy” so much these days, subconsciously and directly, and we get so focused on doing more and more and making it all better and DOING IT ALL that we at times forget about what makes up a life. This article is a refreshing reminder that we make the most of our time here with things and people and experiences we choose to involve ourselves in and with. 

 

TO LISTEN

Lisa Hannigan: Live at the Paste Studio: Lisa Hannigan’s voice is one of the most unique I’ve heard - soft, yet powerful; gentle, yet forceful; controlled, yet wild - and I had the honor of getting to see her perform live at Eaux Claires this year. She was so kind and welcoming, and she truly is talented beyond compare. She has a new album coming out soon, and stopped by the Paste studio to share some of the songs. They’re as enchanting as her work always is, and as lovely as can possibly be.

The Problem With The Solution: NPR’s podcast Invisibilia has been one of my favorites since it began, and somehow I missed the second season announcement until a few weeks ago. I’ve been playing catch up, soaking up the fascinating stories, and while each week I am captivated by the stories, this one caught me in an especially tight way. I am someone who LOVES solutions. I want answers, I like explanations, not having closure can keep me stagnant for far too long, and it’s always so hard to not have them. But as you’ll hear, there are some examples where seeking out a solution can actually be detrimental. I was moved to tears by some of the stories, and had my faith in humanity restored by some of the individuals in them. Invisibilia is a wonderful podcast, and even if you don’t listen to all their episodes, make sure to check this one out. 

 

TO INSPIRE

Here’s to Bob, Luis, Gordon, and the “Sesame Street” Grownups: I was a child raised on Sesame Street by parents who were raised by Sesame Street. My house was pretty much strictly PBS until I was probably 10 or so, and Sesame Street has some of my earliest memories. My mom watched Sesame Street when it first came out, and we would often play some of the songs from the original Sesame Street days - some of them are ones I still listen to on a frequent basis if I’m feeling nostalgic. Sesame Street is still around (and watched by the two-and-a-half year old I nanny), but is now owned by HBO and a shorter program, and there aren’t as many grownups as I remember. I remember the grownups on Sesame Street being such wonderful people, there to assist and teach and listen when needed. They encouraged, they modeled, they respected, and I remember feeling so close to them. As we all know, changes can be all the things. We don’t have to like the changes, but we might not always be able to do anything about them. This article is a beautiful send-off to those grownups who helped generations of children learn so many important lessons. Thank you. 

“I Have No Choice But To Keep Looking”: I remember being absolutely horrified at the tsunami that devastated so much of Japan five years ago. Its enormity, how sudden it made landfall, the after-effects and long-lasting turmoil, and how scary it must have been for so many people. This article introduces us to some of those people, who lost loved ones in the tsunami, but still have no evidence of their bodies. Yasuo Takamatsu has not stopped looking for his wife, Yuko, since she was lost in the 2011 tsunami. He has taken up diving, to look for her in the ocean, and has searched almost constantly, both in the water and on land. Masaaki Narita has joined him in the last few years to search for his daughter, Emi, who was Yuko’s coworker at the regional bank. Their dedication is astounding, and has amazed many people, including a French composer named Sylvain Guinet, who wrote a stunning piano piece entitled “Yuko Takamatsu” after hearing of Yasuo’s constant searching. It’s an absolutely heartbreakingly beautiful example of love and family - may we all love so largely.

 

May your weeks be full of nostalgic television, acceptance that solutions may not always be what we actually need, and celebrations of nature, in all forms.

 

xoxo

H