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How are you accessing your courage these days?
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Photo by me, taken earlier this week in Cambridge, MA
Aw, friends, what a week it has been. How are you holding up?

I'm going to keep this week's newsletter short, because who among us has the bandwidth for anything long?

It's tough out there, and as I sit down to write to you, all I want is to offer a little relief -- and not the "light comic relief" kind. (That's not my particular gift, sadly.)

So here's what I've got:

- a picture from my morning walk (above);
- some links to things that have nourished me (below);
- and a gentle reminder that (as Sarah reminded me earlier this week) it's harder to make courageous choices when fear has us in its grip -- so now is a good time to be using everything in your anti-anxiety toolkit.

Love,
Lauren

P.S. I missed you last week. It was one of those weeks where something had to give, and I chose this as the thing to let go. I'm glad to be back and I'm also excited about the thing that had my focus: preparing and recording a keynote about making invisible work more visible and valuing care work. I posted a few notes about it on Twitter.
I saw in Louisiana a live-oak growing,
All alone stood it and the moss hung down from the branches,
Without any companion it grew there uttering joyous leaves of dark green,
And its look, rude, unbending, lusty, made me think of myself,
But I wonder’d how it could utter joyous leaves standing alone there without its friend near, for I knew I could not…
– excerpted from " I Saw in Louisiana A Live-Oak Growing" by Walt Whitman

Recommended inputs

I wrote about Moleskine notebooks and why they have such a lasting allure. "Baya used gouache as her primary medium, depicting a world without men but full of bright images of women, nature, and animals": Matisse and Picasso were influenced by an incredible 16 year-old Algerian artist who just got her first North American exhibition, more than thirty  years after her death.

Friends of the Show

Heather Corinna, the brilliant sex educator behind Scarleteen, has a new book available for pre-order. What Fresh Hell is This? is a guide to perimenopause and menopause that I personally cannot wait to read. I usually avoid Amazon links, but I'm told that Amazon pre-orders really help boost visibility for new books.

Listen/watch

The Gospel of James Baldwin -- a gift from the magnificent Meshell Ndegeocello and friends.
 

Quarantine self-reg

Kali Ferguson sent me the most amazing thing: a gospel DJ set. I'll be honest: I did not know this was a thing, nor did I know it was a thing I would love until I listened. Let me tell you, it started my day off right. Check it out on Josiah Bell's Instagram. Then go listen to Kali's stories on her website.
 

One last thing…

I recorded my keynote in front of a green screen in our living room at 9:30pm on a Friday, because that's what keynote speakers in quarantine do when they have to wait for their kids to be in bed. Here's a picture I chose not to post on social media, but that accurately reflects my state of mind after I hit "upload":

Why yes, Lauren does look a tad punchy.


……
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 –
Lauren

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