cultivating & crashing

an organic collection of notes, observations, and thoughts

Category: treasures

open culture

Not sure how I haven’t come across this before, but I am grateful that I now have and my mind is blown.

openculture.com

Grief

By Jini Maxwell

When I think about grief, words don’t really come to mind. What I do get is the visceral feeling of being too deep underwater. When I think of grief, I imagine the sudden stab of fear that accompanies a realisation that you’ve dived deeper than you first thought: your trapped breath like a weight in your chest, the glimmer of oxygen perpetually too many arm lengths away.

Grief is more than a feeling. It’s really an environment, a new condition to your life that you have to meet with your whole self. No amount of swimming against the current, or scrambling up the banks, will make it easier to navigate. Most importantly, it is not a puzzle you can think your way out of. It’s something more bodily than that, like the mammalian diving instinct.

At first contact with water, an infant’s heart rate slows, oxygen moves more slowly, and the glottis spontaneously blocks access to the lungs, all before the conscious mind can react at all. Living with grief is an animal experience, and surviving it requires the action of a body that knows how to keep being when the mind couldn’t possibly go on. Your body knows how to keep you safe, not just before your conscious mind, but instead of it. You just have to be in it, and it has to be processed as a part of you.

The bad news is, no amount of time in rivers of grief will prepare you for a new one. The good news is, you didn’t drown then and you’re not drowning now. Your body is carrying you through the experience on instinct. Take a deep breath and listen to yourself from the toes up. Feelings are hard, inconvenient and unpredictable, but the less time you spend fighting your body’s messages, the more you can learn from them.

Survival is, in the end, a game of trust, and not of thought. You have to trust that you can survive your own emotions. You have to feel, even if it’s overwhelming. The most important thing to remember about the river of grief is you’re not surviving it wrong. It’s not taking too long. You’re not moving too quickly. The river you are in is just the river you are in, without moral resonance. Trust that you can cope with doing what you need.

It’s easier to think of grief as something of a redemption arc, starting with pain and ending with the well being you knew before. But mourning exists without narrative; it’s not something you can itemise in a eulogy. The river’s current will stick with you for longer than you expect, and you’ll emerge and re-emerge from the worst parts of it feeling as shocked by the ways you’ve stayed the same as you are by the way you’ve changed. Like a newborn in a swimming pool, trying to analyse your progress is only going to make the water feel heavier around you. Your body knows what it’s doing.

In the moments that you feel yourself entirely submerged, trust that your heart rate may slow, your throat may close and the pressure may build, but your body knows how to navigate this space, even if your mind does not. Every fibre of you is already working slowly and carefully to navigate this new emotional landscape, if you let it. That’s how survival happens—by gentle instinct, not by achievement or analysis. Take the time to be in your body, listen to every soft and hurting part of yourself whenever you feel the urge: beat to beat, without scrutiny, until you can resurface.

However you’re going, you’re going okay.

Swang

happy daddy issues day

Intimacy

I just spent a little while with my family. I was constantly surrounded by family members, much of the time many of us piled on top of each other or congregating together on the same bed or couch. All around lovely.

Things I touched in those two weeks:

1 mouse (dead)
1 bee (subcutaneously)
1 exhaust pipe (ouch)
2 stink bugs
2 big dogs
3 beds
9 humans with whom I share DNA

And two things I loved from how Clelia speaks:
“ogni modo”
“sorelina”

No hay mejor cosa

en este mundo que los monólogos de Violencia Rivas.

Badass

I have never watched the Olympics and never felt I was missing anything. But today I somehow saw one clip of a paralimpics race and, two hours later, I have run the gamut of intense emotions: awed, humbled, elated, moved to the point of sloppy, hot, free-flowing tears. Such an incredible sight to see mortals push the limits of their bodies and their minds when half of their limbs are missing or paralyzed. How radiant is the flash of determination and focus in these weathered, beautiful faces. How refreshing to see in physical form what we all are inside: different shapes and abilities, and making clever modifications and almost superhuman efforts to strive toward a common goal.

Here is a video of some of the most badass women I will ever see in my life. I am grateful to be able to see what they do, to be able to hold them up as role models. I hope to remember these incredible women the every time I feel limited by myself or my circumstances.

Vintage data viz porn

“The commonality between science and art is in trying to see profoundly – to develop strategies of seeing and showing.”

Edward Tufte

 

I’ve just spent a a stupid amount of time admiring this collection of slopegraphs. Who thought train schedules could be mesmerizing?

 

Finally, some beauty for this Friday afternoon:

 

Minard

Napolean’s Russian campaign by Minard

 

Why are you lonely

Copied from the Toast.

WHY ARE YOU LONELY: CHOOSE ONE

  • FAILED TO NURTURE RELATIONSHIPS BORN OUT OF CONVENIENCE ONCE CHANGING CIRCUMSTANCES REQUIRED ACTIVE PARTICIPATION FROM YOU
  • WATCHED NETFLIX FOR SEVEN HOURS INSTEAD OF SLEEPING BECAUSE YOU HAVE ONCE AGAIN MISTAKEN INERTIA FOR REST
  • CONFUSED “SELF-CARE” WITH “SELF-INDULGENCE” AGAIN; YOU ARE INCAPABLE OF EXPERIENCING GENUINE REFRESHMENT OR RESTORATION BUT YOU DO SPEND A LOT OF MONEY AT NAIL SALONS
  • ONCE AGAIN CONFUSED “EMPATHY” FOR “TAKING RESPONSIBILITY” AND INVITED OTHERS TO UNLOAD THEIR EMOTIONAL BURDENS ON YOU WITHOUT FIRST ENSURING RECIPROCITY, WHOOPS
  • ANTICIPATORILY BLAMED OTHER PEOPLE FOR NOT CALLING YOU WITHOUT ONCE ASKING YOURSELF WHY YOU CAN’T CALL THEM
    • ASSUMING ANY TIME SPENT TOGETHER THAT YOU HAD TO INITIATE IS SOMEHOW LESS AUTHENTIC THAN REQUESTS FOR TIME SPENT TOGETHER THAT YOU ACCEPT
  • BELIEVE “PERIODICALLY EXPERIENCING THE HUMAN CONDITION” MEANS SOMETHING IS FUNDAMENTALLY BROKEN WITHIN YOU
  • CONSTANTLY LIE ABOUT YOUR FEELINGS THEN WONDER WHY YOU FEEL LIKE NO ONE KNOWS YOU
  • MISTAKENLY BELIEVE THAT NEGATIVE FEELINGS MUST BE MISTAKES EITHER TO BE AVOIDED OR FIXED RATHER THAN EXPERIENCED
  • DESIRE TO BE FULLY UNDERSTOOD WITHOUT THE CONCOMITANT WILLINGNESS TO FULLY EXPLAIN YOURSELF
  • BELIEVE TRYING AT SOMETHING A LITTLE BIT SHOULD RESULT IN INSTANT PERFECTION AND FIND YOURSELF HORRIFIED AND ASHAMED OF MAKING REALISTIC PROGRESS
  • TRY COCONUT OIL
  • CONVINCED THAT HONESTLY ADMITTING YOUR PROBLEMS WILL DRIVE PEOPLE AWAY BECAUSE NO ONE LIKES COMPLAINING SO INSTEAD YOU OFFER EVERYONE A PISS-POOR SIMULACRUM OF BEING EASY-GOING
  • STILL JUST WAITING FOR THINGS TO HAPPEN TO YOU INSTEAD OF EXPRESSING YOUR DESIRES ALOUD
  • THINK YOU’RE BEING PLAYFUL BUT ACTUALLY YOU JUST GET MEAN WHEN YOU DRINK
  • SPEND ALL YOUR TIME SAYING THINGS LIKE “EITHER’S GOOD” OR “DOESN’T MATTER TO ME” WHEN IN FACT ONLY ONE THING IS GOOD AND IT DOES MATTER TO YOU BUT YOU THINK “NOT EXPRESSING A PREFERENCE” IS THE BEST PERSONALITY TRAIT YOU HAVE TO OFFER OTHERS
  • PEOPLE ACTUALLY MORE AWARE OF YOUR BARELY-CONCEALED CONTEMPT FOR THEIR CHOICES AND RELATIONSHIPS THAN YOU THINK THEY ARE
  • NO GOOD REASON, SORRY

עלייה ראשונה

My first aliyah, Bereshit 1:6-8, part of Simchat Torah.

aliyah simchat torah