So I’m finally home, resting and recovering from almost a month of travel and being surrounded by people. I am one of those who has a tough time dealing with unending interactions with others. It saps my creative energy. Like all introverts, I need time to recharge my batteries. And that is precisely what I decided to do this weekend.
I also managed to visit a few friends — after all, as Judith Shulevitz points out in her article for The Atlantic, we live in a society where we don’t really have time for our friends and family. I watched my beloved Yankees lose to Houston…. again. I caught up on “The Great British Bake Off.” And I dedicated time to all those articles waiting in my reading list. There is a lot of good stuff published on the Internet every day that most of us don’t even get a chance to see or even think about.
Not all great articles require brooding and thinking — some just bring a smile through their illustration of human ingenuity or by highlighting the surprising randomness of life. For instance, I read about how some wineries and vineyards in California are using falcons to keep pest birds away from the grape crops. (I wish the article could have told us about the genius who came up with the idea.)
Then there was an article about Nudie Cohn, the man who made rhinestones cool among the cowboys. That made me smile — as did a piece about Reggae’s Chinese connection that featured some really cool story telling.I was really charmed by the story of Dipak Banerjee, father of Nobel Prize winner Abhijit Banerjee and their Bengali intellectual backgrounds.
On the flip side, I was really saddened by a story in Politco about climate change and American farmers. According to reporter Helena Bottemiller Evich, “The $144 billion Agriculture Department spends less than 1 percent of its budget helping farmers adapt to increasingly extreme weather.”
Taking some time for yourself and reading stories that represent the full range of human experiences and emotions is something (along with seeing good friends when you can) that I can’t recommend highly enough. For those who don’t know where to start, I offer up the links in this post, each of which — in its own way — made my weekend a bit better.
October 21, 2019, San Francisco