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10 things worth sharing this week
Here are 10 things I thought were worth sharing this week:
“When you’re trying to make it perfect, trying to make it exactly what you want it to be, then it’s time to drop it into the pool.” Joan Baez on drawing.
Reading: I am missing my owlets a lot, so my advance copy of Jennifer Ackerman’s What An Owl Knows: The New Science of the World’s Most Enigmatic Birds is keeping me company.
“If you don’t tell your story you lose it—or, what might be worse, you get lost inside it. Telling is how we cement details, preserve continuity, stay sane. We say ourselves into being every day, or else.” Notes from Prince Harry’s ghostwriter.
A perfect moment of poetry: My friend Alan visited my studio this week and while we were sitting in the backyard, admiring a pair of cardinals, he recited W.H. Auden’s “Their Lonely Betters.” (I think this is the best way to receive poems — from friends! — Matt recently shared Faith Shearin’s “Disappearing Fathers.”)
Music: There’s some great stuff being uploaded to The Midnight Special archives on YouTube. Ryuichi Nakamoto’s “Last Playlist,” which he prepared for his own funeral. Some bangers I added to my 2023 playlist this week: Antony singing Sly’s “Family Affair,” The Shirelles’ “Baby It’s You,” Big Thief’s “Shark Smile,” The Donay’s’ “Devil in his Heart,” and M.I.A.’s “Galang,” which my 8-year-old loves.
Video games: I spent an enormous amount of time last weekend eating candy and playing The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom on our Nintendo Switch. Friends of mine have been swapping helpful tutorials with each other and I’ve been amused to come across the crazy things people are doing in the Minecraft-inspired sequel, like torturing poor Koroks and other NSFW stunts.
Movie: Meg and I enjoyed Air, which my friend James described as a “solid, entertaining movie made for grown ups.” It’s also a kind of meta-commentary on the business of movie-making, which is why Ben Affleck and Matt Damon chose it for their first release from their new production company, Artists Equity, which aims to give actors and crews a cut of profits. (Stephanie Zacharek on Affleck: “somehow… he has become one of the most reliably valuable directors we’ve got.”)
TV: My favorite thing I wrote this week is about television, time, and the artistic freedom of constraint.
Yet another gardening metaphor for creative work: “Sleep, creep, leap.”
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