flight lynn steger strong– Samantha Irby
a perfect book, truly. i love a sticky, tangled family drama, sibling drama specifically, where people are mad at each other over shit that happened 20+ years ago and are doing passive aggressive shit to each other based on a thing that happened before their frontal lobes were fully formed. i live for that shit.
If your Inauguration morning was anything like mine, you had tears and coffee all over your face, especially after Amanda Gorman read her gorgeous poem. What a poem. What a poet. I can’t wait to see more from this powerhouse, starting with her first collection of poetry due out this autumn.
Here’s the full text, just in case you can’t get enough of it like me.
The Hill We Climb by Amanda Gorman
When day comes, we ask ourselves, where can we find light in this never-ending shade.
The loss we carry. A sea we must wade.
We braved the belly of the beast.
We’ve learned that quiet isn’t always peace, and the norms and notions of what “just” is isn’t always justice.
And yet the dawn is ours before we knew it.
Somehow we do it.
Somehow we weathered and witnessed a nation that isn’t broken, but simply unfinished.
We, the successors of a country and a time where a skinny Black girl descended from slaves and raised by a single mother can dream of becoming president, only to find herself reciting for one.
And, yes, we are far from polished, far from pristine, but that doesn’t mean we are striving to form a union that is perfect.
We are striving to forge our union with purpose.
To compose a country committed to all cultures, colors, characters and conditions of man.
And so we lift our gaze, not to what stands between us, but what stands before us.
We close the divide because we know to put our future first, we must first put our differences aside.
We lay down our arms so we can reach out our arms to one another.
We seek harm to none and harmony for all.
Let the globe, if nothing else, say this is true.
That even as we grieved, we grew.
That even as we hurt, we hoped.
That even as we tired, we tried.
That we’ll forever be tied together, victorious.
Not because we will never again know defeat, but because we will never again sow division.
Scripture tells us to envision that everyone shall sit under their own vine and fig tree, and no one shall make them afraid.
If we’re to live up to our own time, then victory won’t lie in the blade, but in all the bridges we’ve made.
That is the promise to glade, the hill we climb, if only we dare.
It’s because being American is more than a pride we inherit.
It’s the past we step into and how we repair it.
We’ve seen a force that would shatter our nation, rather than share it.
Would destroy our country if it meant delaying democracy.
And this effort very nearly succeeded.
But while democracy can be periodically delayed, it can never be permanently defeated.
In this truth, in this faith we trust, for while we have our eyes on the future, history has its eyes on us.
This is the era of just redemption.
We feared at its inception.
We did not feel prepared to be the heirs of such a terrifying hour.
But within it we found the power to author a new chapter, to offer hope and laughter to ourselves.
So, while once we asked, how could we possibly prevail over catastrophe, now we assert, how could catastrophe possibly prevail over us?
We will not march back to what was, but move to what shall be: a country that is bruised but whole, benevolent but bold, fierce and free.
We will not be turned around or interrupted by intimidation because we know our inaction and inertia will be the inheritance of the next generation, become the future.
Our blunders become their burdens.
But one thing is certain.
If we merge mercy with might, and might with right, then love becomes our legacy and change our children’s birthright.
So let us leave behind a country better than the one we were left.
Every breath from my bronze-pounded chest, we will raise this wounded world into a wondrous one.
We will rise from the golden hills of the West.
We will rise from the windswept Northeast where our forefathers first realized revolution.
We will rise from the lake-rimmed cities of the Midwestern states.
We will rise from the sun-baked South.
We will rebuild, reconcile, and recover.
And every known nook of our nation and every corner called our country, our people diverse and beautiful, will emerge battered and beautiful.
When day comes, we step out of the shade of flame and unafraid.
The new dawn balloons as we free it.
For there is always light, if only we’re brave enough to see it.
If only we’re brave enough to be it.
I am IN LOVE with this book: fforest: being, doing & making in nature by Sian Tucker
First of all, I want to curl up and live in the endpapers. So green and lush. Gah!
This is a book I bought in the US but was published in the UK and written by the owner of a small, lovely hotel in Wales. It details all of the ways they think about submerging themselves and guests into the forest, a topic I am obsessed with right now. I love so much of it, starting with the suggestion to not only take walks in the forest by daylight, but to experiment with walking in the dark.
Most of us are afraid of being out in the dark, of walking in the countryside in the gloom of the dusky shadows and silvery glows, the not quite seeing. A city late at night has its own dangers, but a determined-and-with-purpose speed walk will get you home fast and fine. A walk in the woods, through a field or across a deserted beach on a cloudy night without a moon is DARK. The sort of darkness that has an animal quality, like a living thing. All your other senses — hearing, touch, smell — become heightened and alert, making up for your weakened sight… Every time we go out into the dark there is always a nervousness about the unknown and not being able to see properly, like when you go into the deep sea, but as you become accustomed to your surroundings, you can slowly physically connect with the blackness. Once you have done so, you can listen out for snuffles of night animals. (!)
I’ve also bookmarked pages that talk about collecting flowers and branches in every season to take home and use on a homemade wreath, and a section on how to use leftover wax and pine cones to make easy fire starters for the next time I am car camping. It’s a lovely book with good paper and beautiful photos — I’ll keep in out in my living room for awhile. And it’s inspired me to go on a (f)forest adventure of my own tomorrow!