Well, *that* was a week.
There really is something magical about being on a beach in the fresh coastal air and collecting things in a bucket, isn't there.
This week, after grumbling about the fruit p-… ok, the thicket-of-feral raspberries, gooseberries, brambles, couch-grass and honeysuckle for 10 years, I got out my elbow grease and implements of destruction, and sorted it. New raspberries. Pruned gooseberries shivering in their suddenly-visible winter nakedness. Mulch, by all that’s holy!
Thank you for the insight, Mike. Your article clarified why *now* was the time it had to happen (aside from spring, and all that…). I found something I could fix. Something that made me feel part of a solution. Something that goes forwards, that reminds me every day that, in July, there will be raspberries (*after all that work there had better be raspberries!*). I can’t *do* much for Ukraine that’s more helpful than support better people than me to do their thing. I’ve done that, and will do more. But in July, there will be raspberries…
LOVE this: "...you need to take a break. Just a short one. And not a guilty one either. This isn’t “ignoring Ukraine” - this is “making sure you’re physically and mentally capable of keeping paying attention to everything in the near future”. (Who exactly does it help if you’re completely exhausted?)" Amen, brother.
I believe we all retreat to the past (collecting sea coal) when the modern world is too much for us. I think that is why people believe their old setups for vinyl records truly sound 'cleaner'. It is more likely the ritual of removing it from the sleeve, looking at the album art, cleaning the disc and eventually returning it to its 'desired' spot. Order restored. In ten more years I will not be surprised if 40 somethings are resurrecting iPods assured they sound cleaner than streamed music. Its what we do and it feels good at times.
I had no idea about the mountain ranges all being one! Definitely a newsletter in that methinks.
Thank you, this is just so perfectly what I needed today. 100% we have to find a way to keep connecting back to a place of stability and groundedness. Last weekend I stressed myself out so badly my back and neck seized up and I have spent the week gently, slowly recovering. A lottttttt of meditation apps. Finding the ways I could help. And then gently coming back to how do I ground myself so I am the most helpful and kindest human I can be right now. Certaily kindness is something I can at least try to do. Thank you for this.
This title! Perfect. You’re so right about taking a break, even for a little while. Thanks for this reminder, Mike.
I fully support exploring a place you’ve never been in the town that you live. The less touristy and known, the better￼. Every time I’ve ever done that, it’s paid off in all kinds of ways. Hell, thanks to one expedition, I ended up creating a new Substack!￼￼
One of my mantras is that walking can't always give you the answers you need, but the action can be its own kind of answer. At a minimum, we can go for a walk and remind ourselves that we're alive.
Also - sea coal?!? Who knew???
Thanks so much for a terrific read! Looking from your perspective helps me feel better in the midst of it all.
Just thank you