Every week Nerd in the Brain does a Three Things Thursday post – “three things that make me smile: an exercise in gratitude” and invites others to play along as well.
I, of course, think this is a brilliant idea – you know I’m all about sharing what delights me and how important I think gratitude is. But it feels especially important this week when so many feel so wobbly. For so many people I’ve talked to, the mass shootings in Orlando feel like some sort of collective tipping point. There’s no doubt in my mind that we can all benefit from some deep breaths and time spent amongst things that bring our hearts joy. So here are my three things this Thursday…
Arika Dickens of Librarian Arika has a beautiful and simple idea – that building acceptance and tolerance is teachable, and that literature can help. And so she’s suggested a project – committing to read, promote, share, and purchase books that promote tolerance of race, gender, identity, religion, ability, and sexual orientation. Read more about her project here.
Arika’s focus is on children and young adult books, and here’s my contribution to growing list:
Larry and Friends, written by Nat Jasper and illustrated by Carla Torres. I love this book about Larry the American dog, and all his multi-national, multi-cultural friends who come by to celebrate his birthday. Each character has a little back story, like Rosita the Mexican Coyote, who “survive(d) the tough trip from Mexico guided by some chicken people that dared called themselves coyotes. She’s now the best luchadora in New York.” There’s Laila the Iranian Cat, and Sumita the Indian Elephant who was left behind by a traveling circus, but didn’t cry because she knew “life sometimes takes mysterious roads to land you in the right place at the right moment;” and so many other wonderful friends. This is such a delightful book about immigration, diversity, friendship and acceptance. Go read it, and share it with all the kids in your life.
I think I mentioned last week that one of the books on my summer reading list is Ink and Honey by Sibyl Dana Reynolds. It may well end up being my summer project as it’s 500+ pages and my available time to read seems to have diminished exponentially. But that’s okay. Any time spent amongst bees and book, honey and ink is a delight.
The book is a novel following the life of a medieval community in the French countryside, the sisters of Belle Coeur who are visionaries, mystics and artisans. I was delighted to find a multi-floral honey from Michigan called Les Cadeaux (the gifts) de Belle Coeur. It comes in a wonderful Muth bottle, cork sealed in red beeswax, and with a bronze bee charm. Muth jars are replicas of the original square-sided glass honey jars, embossed with a wonderful image of a skep hive used by Charles Muth, one of the largest honey sellers in the 1800s.
It’s my belief that whenever we’re experiencing a personal or collective sadness, a touch of sweetness is a good balancing point, and I look forward to using this honey and adding the bee charm to something wonderful as well.
A Little Love Letter
Are you as big a fan of love letters as I am? I think we should all be writing love letters to one another – in fact I think love letters should be our world’s currency.
I have this little book, The Book of Hearts by Francesca Gavin that’s filled with images of hearts from a variety of artists along with a few interspersed very short essays.
After having it for quite some time, last year I decided I’d turn it into a journal and add my own words and images to the mix and make it my own book of hearts. And although I did do a few spreads in it, the truth is the book has been languishing in my studio untouched for way too long. But this week, as I talked to so many folks feeling so sad, so discouraged, so unsettled and so angry, I thought one of the things I could do to contribute to the love quotient in the world is write more love notes. And it occurred to me that I could start mailing out altered pages from this little book and head them out around the globe. I always delight in imagining that when I’ve put something in the mailstream its energy is dispersed all over the place. So what’s not to like about the idea of dispersing love note energy wide and far?
If you’d like to receive a note from me, feel free to pop me an email with your snail address if I don’t already have it. My address is deborah at deborah hypen weber dot com. I’d love to send a little heart love your way.
There you have it – my Three Things Thursday. I hope you consider playing along as well. But regardless, I’d certainly love to hear what’s making you smile and what you’re grateful for today. What sweetness have you noticed? What books are calling you? What makes your heart a bit happier? Do tell – you know I love to hear.