I. “…I am reminded that there is no hierarchy of grief, or at least: Grief cannot love you back.”  Mary-Kim Arnold’s piece “Empire Falls” at wigleaf has justified my entry into the world of Twitter, this recommendation alone was worth it.   

II.  Inspiring, invigorating, and just plain beautiful: Black Violin.  Listen to their music here.

III. “The most compelling writing doesn’t simply depict; it also interrogates and engages with what’s hidden or unknown.” My dear friend Jennie Goode discusses photographs and writing by looking at Judith Kitchen’s work over at Brevity. Beautiful and challenging.

IV. “Tell the whole truth. Don’t be lazy, don’t be afraid. Close the critic out when you are drafting something new. Take chances in the interest of clarity of emotion.

Be a good steward of your gifts. Protect your time. Feed your inner life. Avoid too much noise. Read good books, have good sentences in your ears. Be by yourself as often as you can. Walk. Take the phone off the hook. Work regular hours.” Words to work by from Jane Kenyon via BrainPickings.

V. “Organize the loneliness or something will do it for you.” Brandon Lewis’ poem “On Solitude” at Drunken Boat is perfectly crafted and got me searching out more of his writing.

VI. “I’m sorry my imagination wonders, but it does—what happens to a body in a Florida field for thirty-six days? How many people drove by and saw dark birds haloing the sky above him and thought, Armadillo, or maybe a deer.” Traci Brimhall’s curiosity, research, and experience meld into this haunting piece, “Post-Mortem,” in the current issue of Brevity.

VII. “The café is a space in which our attention can easily threaten to wander, where perception plays with its negation. This usually turns out to be a refocusing, a quest for a new object, but in that refocusing there is an opportunity for something Freud himself described as the “suspension of perception” or Gleichschwebende Aufmerksamkeit — literally “equally floating attention,” whose opposite might be “deliberate attention.” Benjamin Aldes Wurgaft takes an interesting look at writing in cafes over at LA Review of Books.

VIII. “The discovery itself is a gift: by offering a bit of beauty to a being or place that has been felled, fracked, polluted, abused, or in some other way robbed of its dignity and purpose, I can replenish its loveliness. ” In Orion Magazine, Trebbe Johnson examines place through the lens of gratitude.  She does not look away when there is pain or destruction, she finds a way to renew some of the beauty through observation and gratitude. 

IX. “As I watched the saplings become trees
I found a song my father sung, in my mouth.
No words, just melody. I am unuttered.”

“Echolocator” by Cal Doyle in the current issue of Poetry infiltrates the lungs and makes it’s way through each chamber of the heart until it comes back out as breath.

X. “No one knows how to soothe the blade.” Michael Schmeltzer tells a haunting fairy tale, “The Sobbing Axe,” in his always poetic way in Wyvern Lit.

XI.  Sylvia Plath Mixtape. 

XII. ““I do not like the idea of happiness — it is too momentary — I would say that I was always busy and interested in something — interest has more meaning to me than the idea of happiness.” Georgia O’Keeffe

XIII.  Francesca Woodman’s work (featured above) is always a good place to start.

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