Soon, the cows will be having babies. They’ll be so little and cute, curled up in the hay and chasing each other on too-long legs. As I type this, snow is falling thick and forever, weighing down the willows, curling their edges toward the ground.
Here are places and ideas and stories that brought me wonder and delight this month:
- The town of Cremona, Italy is blanketing itself in silence so that three sound engineers can record four musicians making all possible sounds on four priceless, endling Stradivarius instruments.
- Henrietta Lacks now has a portrait in The Smithsonian. It’s lovely. Titled, The Mother of Modern Medicine, by Kadir Nelson, it hangs in the National Portrait Gallery. (If you haven’t read the book, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, I highly recommend doing so.)
- Science has decided the Pope can stuff it (again). Women, rejoice! That 7-day stretch of fear in your oral contraceptive pack is fake and has been all along. Also? A year supply is common sense, and may soon be coming to a pharmacy near you.
- Life was on the moon, for a cold second. China shot cotton seeds in a tiny biodome into space and they sprouted. (aww!) And, then they died. (aww.) ‘Cause guess what? It gets super-science cold where the sun don’t shine!
- You’d think a book about a future society of post-mortals in which a chosen elite are given the task of being Grim Reapers would be too dark for January. You’d be wrong. Scythe by Neal Shusterman gave me two days of absorbed pleasure. I couldn’t put it down!
- I’m almost 50, and I finally found a planner that brings me joy. It has absolutely everything I needed, and a few things I didn’t know I needed. HigherPlanning begins with a series of pages to review and contemplate the prior year. Where did you shine and thrive? Where did you fail? What did you learn? And then, it guides you forward to planning action steps for quarterly goals and so on. There are visual habit trackers and weekly win/loss pauses to help you really grasp where you are growing or stale. The best part is that it contains goal-planning for all the areas of your life: career/finance/personal. I can’t recommend it highly enough, and I truly hope scottie.o, the designer, makes one in 2020!
- You can help SCIENCE and HISTORY and LIBRARIANS! The Smithsonian needs digital transcription volunteers to share their spare time and detective skills with a little old-timey reading and squinting and teamwork. The link leads to the journals of women in astronomy. Go forth, and do good!
So, there! You are a week from the last day of January. There are seven places, one a day, for you to explore and find joy. If you want more joy, more often, I recommend becoming my patron! I post weekly wordnerd passion, monthly fiction & poetry, links to thinks, and if you really want some happiness, you can sign up to get a poetry postcard by snail-mail to brighten your mailbox!
Feel free to leave your joys below in the comments for everyone to share!