My friend Alexandra Samuel asked a question on Facebook (yes, I still use it; yes, I feel incredibly complicated about that) a week or so ago that has stayed with me, despite its lighthearted nature:
All television in the world is canceled, and nothing is available for download, except one TV series. This is the only TV series that will ever exist for all time. Which TV series do you choose? And why?
Despite the fact that there were only two seasons filmed, and that it's been two years since the final episode aired, my immediate answer was: Sense8.
I've now re-watched the first six episodes of the show, to see if I'd chosen wisely, and I feel good about my choice. I find these days that I'm craving visions of futures that help me imagine radical empathy, radical solidarity, mutual aid, eros as liberation, inter-generational tenderness -- all themes this story weaves together beautifully, amidst all the action sequences, corporate-domination bad guys, and epic cinematic visuals you'd expect from the Wachowski sisters.
For those who haven't seen it, the central premise is that eight people, living in disparate locations with very different lives, awaken suddenly to a new reality where they are empathically linked. Over time, they discover that they can "visit" one another, help each other by sharing their skills and knowledge, and cooperate to protect one another from the people who are terrified of this new evolution of humanity.
That's a future I can feel enthusiastic about.
There's a lot I could say about what Sense8 brings alive for me, but one detail that stands out for me in this moment is the role of the loving bystander. Alongside many of the eight protagonists are non-"sensate" characters who learn of their beloveds' newfound capacities, and who greet the new information with curiosity, care, and support. We see parents, lovers, friends, and family members discover that the person they've known and loved has access to experiences they will never have -- and their response is tender, celebratory, awestruck, and profoundly loving.
It feels like a lesson to me, and a gorgeous one. There are so many things I will never know, can never experience. There are so many possible evolutions for each of us, so many selves, so many paths. One of the ways I try to love my people well is to stay lovingly open to revelations of new facets, new information, and reborn identities. And there's an inner version of this, too: staying open to new facets of our selves, welcoming them in, allowing ourselves to be who we are now, today, and tomorrow.
May you be surrounded with fiercely devoted accomplices. May you discover new senses and skills you didn't know you had access to. May you be loved better and more fully than you believed possible.
Things to make your business / work life better
If you were building a veggie burger company, what would your business strategy be? I got entirely obsessed by the audacity of the people behind Impossible Burger, who chose "convince carnivorous, Michelin-star chefs that our product is worth serving in top-tier restaurants," which has proven to be both incredibly effective and smart from an operations perspective.
Kelly Lee Owens' new album, Inner Song, has become my go-to work soundtrack.
Also, if you haven't listened to Forever, Ya Girl by keiyaA, it's rich and deep and gorgeous.
PluralSight made a beautifully-designed, incredibly challenging guessing game on the theme of "tech through the decades." I scored 25/45 and that was with help from my equally geeky partner.
One last thing…
Know someone who might enjoy this newsletter? Pass it on. I also love hearing your feedback – just hit reply and let me know what you think.
Stay curious –