Look how bright and beautiful it is up there! That fresh, mild burst of late winter...
Spoiler alert: here and now looks nothing like that.
Here is cold, snowy, blizzardy Dublin. The whole of the country is shut down, a curfew is in place, and we are riding out Storm Emma and The Beast From The East. And now is a few months past due on a family, life and work update. Kids are home, Matt's away, a LOST marathon is on the telly, and soup is on the stove.
So here we go:
Good Morning, Midnight by Lily Brooks-Dalton for your average "is this the end of the world?" fare. The Art of Memoir by Mary Karr for poetic, incisive and hilarious insight into writing (check out her interview for On Being). The Road Back To You by Suzanne Stabile and Ian Morgan Cron (who wrote one of my least favourite books, but has found his niche here) for personality nerds like myself... I'm a 6. I think.
And as it's that time of year, I'm also trying to remember to do the Lent Project from Biola University (similar to the Advent project, which I've done the last few years and absolutely adore).
The eldest (15) is in that perfect place for discovering more mature art and storytelling, and I'm happy to report he is digging Christopher Nolan movies (Interstellar, Inception and Dunkirk).
Matt and I became completely enamoured with The Good Place (woah). After months of curiosity, I finally saw The Lobster (wuh?). And of course, two weeks straight of The Olympics (woot!).
NYT's The Daily Podcast, Fresh Air's interview with Kate Bowler, the Sense & Sensibility soundtrack, and my Lent playlist.
- Brendan Madden - My Story for VOX
- Oh, the Places He'll Take You at Velvet Ashes
- Finding Love in the Pages of Scripture for Influence Magazine
- Honouring the Full Catastrophe at Velvet Ashes
- Naming, Shaming & Apologising at VOX
Having a friend from London come visit, forcing me out for cocktails and to new coffee shops I didn't know existed.... and her loving us and the kids, too.
Seeing young people rise up, speak up, unafraid to confront hypocrisy and demand better from our representatives.
Reliving some The Cranberries memories with the kids after the extraordinarily sad passing of Dolores O'Riordan. It's no exaggeration to say she was my constant companion during some of my more emotionally trying teenage years, her voice a comfort and a snarky, strong, feminist challenge.
Purple winter sunsets.
Candles in the fireplace.
Five years in ONE PLACE (what?!)
New curtains, finally.
And yes, the initial novelty of snow days. I mean, sure, I wish the kids were in school, but it is so lovely, such a rare experience, and one that the whole country is experiencing together. I love hearing squeals and giggles from the green and the camaraderie between neighbours as they share shovels (or dust pans, as the case may be).
Again, with Mary Karr... I've sent this poem to several people in the last few months. It's from Advent, but think it suits Lent even better. So much of her description of the "sacred carnality" leaps out at me, striking the match of a memory I'd almost forgotten. This in particular:
then the Lord sailed a soulEventually, I lurched out
like a lit arrow to inhabit me...
to kiss the wrong mouths, get stewed,
and sulk around. Christ always stood
to one side with a glass of water.
I swatted the sap away.
So that's it from me. What've you been up to?
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