The Cypher: Reset Edition
Greetings fam - we hope you are taking care of yourselves as best you can in these harrowing times. We usually use this space to share what interesting things we came across over the course of the week. Today, we’ve focused on sharing ideas that might be soothing, and help you reset and reorient yourself going into the long weekend, in case you need that, like so many of us do.
Some ideas for a reset:
Seek beauty. In the beginning of the pandemic, I (Eesha) missed so many things, but perhaps missed museums the most. They are always a place of solace for me. When everything was shut down, I went on some virtual museum tours. You could get yourself to a gallery or museum, or you could stay home and still see some art, which is, after all a practice of hope and vision.
Seek others. There are lots of protests this weekend. Nothing quite as good for a broken heart than remembering that we who want justice, far outnumber those who would keep us down. If you get out there, go with others and be safe.
Seek quiet. A social media break (whatever feels like enough for you, a day, a week, a few hours, a month!) can go a long way to allow you some emotional distance from all the bad news that is always swirling around us.
Seek joy. In the midst of collective grief, joy can look like so many things. And these days things that brought us joy in the past can feel muted. For me, a return to the basics is a good place to start. Never mind setting big, ambitious goals for yourself. No need to take a class. If you love to cook, there’s nothing better than an elaborate meal, slowly enjoyed. If you love to talk, call your bestie and talk about whatever (leave the news out of it, if possible). A comedy special, a long walk, a favorite book. Pulling out your paints, or your tools, or your teapot. It’s nice if screens aren’t involved, because then we’re less likely to get sucked into the bad news. Grab whatever you can easily reach physically and emotionally, something that offers you a soft and soulful return to joy.
Oh, and if you saw the foolishness with the capitalist co-optation of Juneteenth via ice cream, here’s a Black woman owned sweet treat alternative, just in time for the long, hot, weekend. I’m getting the Porch Light Peach Cobbler.
Some things that could help you feel informed and grounded:
CF Brittney’s powerful reflection on the violence over at The Cut. Wrenching, but vital. She writes,
“One of the ways that we demonstrate our own human will for self-preservation. We invest everything we can into a world where children grow into adulthood, build families of their own, make a contribution to society, and keep our life cycle going.
We have officially reached the end of that future.”
Tressie McMillan Cottom’s latest at the NYTimes asks us to reconsider our model of citizenship:
“I keep thinking about something else, something related to legitimacy: the crisis not just of how we vote but of citizenship. I’ve written about the consumer-citizen. She expresses her political beliefs through her consumer practices. As consumer-citizens, we have been conditioned to believe that if our votes don’t matter, our donations will.”
And to close us out, in case you missed CF Susana on the feminist practice of hope. This is a great week to read her words:
“This is what I mean by abundance. Despite all the pain and turmoil in the world—and it seems to be unending—there is still good, and I receive it with open arms and reflect it back out to others. I believe that this is a feminist act of self-care and self-love.”