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Hey there!
Let’s talk about our days…
For sixty-three years I’ve gotten out of bed and started my day without a moment’s pause—whether it was holding up a leg so my mother could tie my shoe or grabbing my coffee and heading to the car or into my study. But when I emailed last month, I’d started two days with meditation. Against all odds, I’m still going... Headspace reports that I’ve clocked 329 minutes of being still at the beginning of the day.
 
As I’ve mentioned before, I love snowy crime dramas—their moodiness, the landscape, the darkness, and the way, at least in these shows, that people don’t talk too much. I had to research whether Scandinavian or Norwegian was the correct term, but it turns out Nordic is more accurate as it includes Finnish dramas like the amazing Bordertown and the wonderful Icelandic drama Trapped. I’ve watched some French, British, and German dramas too, but it’s the Nordic ones I love. Which is so strange because I did nothing but French for the first twenty years of my life.
 
I’m currently working on increasing my reading time, and Charlotte McConaghy’s Migrations, which opens in the icy Arctic Circle, is making that super easy. This novel has that Nordic feel of moodiness and sparseness. It’s so good that I don’t want it to be over so I’m reading it as slowly as possible. Here's a passage I underlined early on.
 
““How will you get back?” Megan asks.
“Back to where?”
“Galway. Your life. Isn’t that where it is?”
I don’t know the answer to that. I had thought my life was just here, with me.”
Toni Jensen was born to a Catholic mother and a Native father. She defines Métis by way of Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary as “the offspring of an American Indian and a person of European ancestry.” She adds her own definition. “From within, then, being Métis is about land and people and belonging.” In her memoir called Carry, Toni insists on the word and its meanings. To carry a gun. To carry a baby. To carry it all with me. When they came to carry her home.

To memorialize correctly, language matters.

I wrote about Toni and her writing here. And now for a sneak peek into her day, spent at her home in Arkansas.
 
I break early for a plowman’s lunch of sliced ham, fake cheese, olives and crackers, with sides of almost-expired blackberries and crisp pickled beans. I watch television while I eat for a midday reset. Since the day started so early, the reset shifts into a very zoned-out afternoon. I do some reading, some laundry, some staring. I’m supposed to be icing and resting my right arm, so I get out the frozen lima beans and shape the bag around my forearm and sit on the couch, watching Borgen, a show about Danish politics. I love how the women on this show look more like actual people than do the women on American TV, and the politics also seem lovely by comparison.... [read more]
Your days are filled with sunshine and vaccines and volunteering and meditation and exercise and baths and beautiful stacks of books. Thanks for all the emails!

L wrote, "I am...walking on sunshine to another job with a close friend and hopefully less stress, and way better compensation. I am also waiting for a builder in MT to break ground any day now on a small home north of Yellowstone."

D wrote, "I had started daily meditation with the Calm app as part of my morning ritual a while ago, but recently I've slipped out of that habit. I did enjoy it, and need to resume that practice."

A wrote, "At night I take a bath before bed. Bath bombs are my COVID treat. About every fourth bath I nod off and my book falls in the drink. I have many bloated books, all beloved."

When I write to you next month, what so many of us thought would be two weeks will have turned into a year. A year of limited to no face-to-face interaction with the world. How are you doing? Are you happy inside this cozier life? Or are you standing at the door ready to bolt? Are you turning your yards and driveways into outdoor gathering spots? Or are you turning to books, films, TV, podcasts, the news to see beyond the walls? 
 
With this newsletter, I wish for you a path, perhaps just a few steps or pages, into a larger world.
 
Stay well.
This is an email from me to you so write me back. Let me know how you’re spending your days. And you can find past emails here.

Happy last days of February and thanks for reading.
 
Peace out,
--cynthia

 
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Issue #21 February 2021
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