The 331st Five Star Mixtape Is Brought to You By Homer

This week's Five Star Mixtape blog roundup is brought to you by a refreshingly constructive look at grief, growing beyond one's prejudice within the faith that produced it, a psychological move out of a dark history, experiencing a son's shift to adulthood, the love of a quiet father, the lure of the idea of authenticity, confident self-direction, the multiverse, truth and reconciliation, and Homer:

by Charles Nicolas Rafael Lafond (1774–1835) [public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

by Charles Nicolas Rafael Lafond (1774–1835) [public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Hateful to me as the gates of Hades is that man who hides one thing in his heart and speaks another.

— Homer, The Iliad

"I’m Sorry I Didn’t Respond to Your Email, My Husband Coughed to Death Two Years Ago" by Rachel Ward at Medium's Personal Growth:

Probably the biggest finding of the past two years for me is that being comfortable being uncomfortable is a very effective way to be a human.

"How Being a Pastor Changed My Thinking on Homosexuality" by Dave Barnhart at Dave Barnhart's Blog:

Locked out of the kingdom. An evangelical program of hate. There are no better words to describe anti-gay Christianity.

"Earthquakes. And Iran. And Ta-Nehisi Coates." by Rita Arens at Surrender, Dorothy:

Seeing black skin as anything but black skin kicks back to a dead time, a time we must acknowledge existed and consciously move to work past. We must look slavery in its face and spit.

"This Man, My Son" by Sarah Piazza at Splitting Infinitives:

This isn't the way it used to be. His homework in elementary school was disastrously messy. Even the paper on which it was written was bent or curled, sometimes ripped, if in fact he had remembered to do the homework in the first place.
But then not much is the way it used to be.

"My Father, the Introvert: A Photo Essay" by Jennifer Mattern at Quiet Revolution:

It should be noted that my father rarely spends time with anyone these days. His best friend died suddenly last year, and he’s never had the stomach for parties or crowds. He is a complete and utter introvert with a brilliant, sardonic mathematician’s mind. He prefers his people wedged in the pages of the thousands of books he reads, or onstage—in the characters he sometimes plays in local theatres. Real-life people and their various follies and dramas exhaust him.

"The Myth of One True Self" by Malin James at Malin James:

Part of what makes masks (and the implication one true self) seductive, is that the removing of a mask creates intimacy. While a private revelation is legitimately intimate, it’s important to remember that “unmasking” is a performance too. Despite the seductive intimacy, removing a mask simply means revealing something that was previously hidden. It doesn’t mean that the revealed thing is any “truer” than the things you consciously expose.

"Birthday Gifts to Myself" by A. Kirby-Payne at Narrowback Slacker:

…after four decades on God’s green earth, you are kind of an adult whether you like it or not. You can actually decide what you want to do and what you don’t want to do, within reason. I mean, I can’t decide that I am a wizard or that I no longer wish to pay my taxes. But I digress. The point is, a few weeks after I turned 40 I decided–without realizing it–that I no longer had to go to parties.

"On the Berenstein Bears Switcheroo" by Reece at The Wood Between Worlds:

It was probably the silliest, most outlandish thing I've put forward, but I put if out there. For those not familiar with it, I claimed that two of these "universes" in the complex-dimensional spacetime have two different spellings of the name. I will henceforth call these Universe A and Universe E. In Universe A, they are spelled "Berenstain". In Universe E, they are spelled "Berenstein". Whatever else is true, we currently live in Universe A. However, at some point, it seems that some of us once lived in Universe E. Now here we are, inexplicably in Universe A, and completely befuddled.

"Truth and Reconciliation Recommendations" by Allegra Rivett Sloman at Allegra Rivett Sloman's Blog:

The time has long passed for any settler to be allowed to consider the “Injuns” who were here when their ancestors arrived to have been an amorphous blob of ignorant savages, indistinguishable and extinguishable in equal measure. That they had no cannons doesn’t undo their nationhood.

Five Star Mixtape: read great blogs

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Elan Morgan

Elan Morgan is a blogger, designer and consultant, and speaker who blogs and works from schmutzie.com, spreads gratitude through the graceinsmallthings.com social network, celebrates quality blogging with the canblogawards.com, and speaks all over. She has been seen in the Globe & Mail, Best Health and Woman's Day magazines, TEDxRegina, and on CBC News and Radio. She believes in and works to grow both personal and professional quality, genuine community, and meaningful content online.

The 330th Five Star Mixtape Is Brought to You By Ann Rule

This week's Five Star Mixtape is brought to you by the idea of doing less harm rather than more good, the magic of connection through shared trauma, allowing yourself the room to feel, realizing you're not at the end of your story, sudden redirections, staying candid, grokking suffering, and Ann Rule:

 
Ann Rule

Lazy people tend not to take chances, but express themselves by tearing down other's work.

— Ann Rule —
 

Happy reading!


"The Thriving World, the Wilting World, and You" by Anand Giridharadas at Medium's Aspen Ideas:

The Aspen Consensus, I believe, tries to market the idea of generosity as a substitute for the idea of justice. It says: make money in all the usual ways, and then give some back through a foundation, or factor in social impact, or add a second or third bottom line to your analysis, or give a left sock to the poor for every right sock you sell.

The Aspen Consensus says, “Do more good” — not “Do less harm.”

"Last night, after realizing I'd missed the last train coming home from Vienna…" by Jen Lemen at Facebook:

We joke about the futility of therapy and appointments and being able to say anything real on a timer, and I tell him how the African Uber drivers saved me, how I told this guy or that one everything that happened and how they'd pull over because they had seen the same things or drive real slow so they could advise me about how to think about things, how to lay things to rest, until I didn't want to have a car anymore. Until I just wanted to drive around with them all day until I could think straight and eventually started to feel better.

"I Need a Hug" by Brenda Keesal at Burns the Fire:

I’m chugging kale in a San Francisco juice bar, contemplating an aching heart and Joe the hugger in Montreal. He’s the wise man at my café, who the tough guys are nuts about and heave-ho their lumbering bodies to embrace. I eyeballed Joe for months before I wrote a word about his telekinetic hugs. We’re pals now.

"Enough People in the World Want to Make You Feel Like Shit. Don’t Help Them." by Nina Bargiel at The Slack Daily:

By the time I turned 30, I had written seventeen episodes of an iconic television show (Lizzie McGuire), been nominated for two Emmys, had an Agent, a Manager, and a size 6 body that I could cram into all sorts of fun outfits.

By the time I turned 35, I was near-broke, hadn’t had a writing job in 18 months and was working the front desk of the spinning gym that I had formerly been a customer at.

"Where’re You Goin’?" by Ra at Rarasaur:

My husband would often tell people he loved that about me– how it was a trait of mine he aspired for himself.  I always go forward, not backwards or in circles, and I do it without stepping on an ant or getting lost in my own shadow.

Then…

"In Praise of the Imperfect Photograph" by Heather Greenwood Davis at National Geographic's Intelligent Travel:

My father, 69, is going through his massive collection of slides and digitizing them. As a result, every few days a photo or two from a family beach outing or a holiday long past will pop into my email stream without warning.

They aren’t particularly arresting images — no wild kaleidoscopic sunsets or Instagram-worthy food shots here — and yet they command my immediate attention.

"Suffering Is the New Joy" by Bonnie Rose at Holy Chit:

Somehow, through the years of living, ministry, dying loved ones, lost pets and lost loves, I’m learning to ask “Can you walk?” I’m learning to ask the other hard questions and be still and present with the answers.   I am learning how to suffer.

Five Star Mixtape

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Elan Morgan

Elan Morgan is a blogger, designer and consultant, and speaker who blogs and works from schmutzie.com, spreads gratitude through the graceinsmallthings.com social network, celebrates quality blogging with the canblogawards.com, and speaks all over. She has been seen in the Globe & Mail, Best Health and Woman's Day magazines, TEDxRegina, and on CBC News and Radio. She believes in and works to grow both personal and professional quality, genuine community, and meaningful content online.

The 329th Five Star Mixtape Is Brought to You By E.L. Doctorow

This week's Five Star Mixtape is brought to you by the appearance of change and staying the same, judging love, the hard give and take of love, hard times, racism, a foolish American, the complexity of software, a daughter's grief, honest crap-cutting, and E.L. Doctorow:

by Mark Sobzcak [public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

by Mark Sobzcak [public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

The writer isn't made in a vacuum. Writers are witnesses. The reason we need writers is because we need witnesses to this terrifying century.

— E.L. Doctorow —

"Web Design: The First 100 Years" by Maciej Cegłowski at Idle Words:

So despite appearances, despite the feeling that things are accelerating and changing faster than ever, I want to make the shocking prediction that the Internet of 2060 is going to look recognizably the same as the Internet today.
Unless we screw it up.
And I want to convince you that this is the best possible news for you as designers, and for us as people.

"Don't Know Love" by Megan Ferrell at Dangerous Curves:

You don’t know love. The words tripped off his tongue like the truest thing he knows, telling a young woman that life isn’t complete, she isn’t complete, until she has kids.

"Self-Made Man #32: Grief Is the Price We Pay for Love" by Thomas Page McBee at The Rumpus:

There is a story you know about me, the triumphant self-made man. I’ve been telling you it for years, mythologizing myself because my body is not the action hero of a hot movie in a cold theater, because in Rome last month I didn’t see any statues paying tribute to my nakedness, because I refuse to be an invisible man. And you conspired with me. 

"Forget Your Perfect Offering" by Amy Turn Sharp at Amy Turn Sharp:

Maybe in the middle of life we all lose our minds for a little bit. I think some people make it back like a vision quest or something.  I think some people don't. I used to think we were reckless back then. I have the most interesting and complicated people in my life and I always thought everything would stay the same if I willed it to be so.

"I, Racist" by John Metta at Medium's Those People:

…I had great reservations talking about the one topic that I think about every single day.

Then, a terrorist massacred nine innocent people in a church that I went to, in a city that I still think of as home. At that point, I knew that despite any misgivings, I needed to talk about race.

You see, I don’t talk about race with White people.

"He said my writing does not show him Africa…" by Ijeoma Umebinyuo at Ijeoma Umebinyuo:

…an American who has never stepped foot in my continent tried explaining my country to me. He said, “i am sorry, this is just not believable….” and then as i tried to hold my anger, i understood the ‘burden’ of writing an African story.

"Everything Is Broken" by Quinn Norton at Medium's The Message:

Software is so bad because it’s so complex, and because it’s trying to talk to other programs on the same computer, or over connections to other computers… Computers have gotten incredibly complex, while people have remained the same gray mud with pretensions of godhood.
Your average piece-of-shit Windows desktop is so complex that no one person on Earth really knows what all of it is doing, or how.

"Deep inside, below the gristle and bones part of you…" by Jennifer Pastiloff at jenpastiloff on Instagram:

Deep inside, below the gristle and bones part of you, lies the memory of a memory. Sleeping like a lazy cat somewhere in the part of you that has forgotten its own name but remembers the sound.

"'Positive Attitude' Bullshit: On the dangers of 'radical self-love'" by Chloe King at Posse.:

Middle or upper class young white women seem to be the demographic of the radical self-love movement. It is all well and good to tell them to “smash that class-ceiling” and just work hard to achieve your dreams and the bling and designer shoes will follow, but as Laurie Penny points out in her book Unspeakable Things, there are a lot of women drowning in the basement. In particular women of colour, trans, and queer women who disproportionality suffer from poverty, depression, feelings of alienation, and are discriminated against in the work-place…

Five Star Mixtape

And because you are a fan of finding good, new writing online:

Comment

Elan Morgan

Elan Morgan is a blogger, designer and consultant, and speaker who blogs and works from schmutzie.com, spreads gratitude through the graceinsmallthings.com social network, celebrates quality blogging with the canblogawards.com, and speaks all over. She has been seen in the Globe & Mail, Best Health and Woman's Day magazines, TEDxRegina, and on CBC News and Radio. She believes in and works to grow both personal and professional quality, genuine community, and meaningful content online.