Filter the Fluff, Vol. 3

February 6, 2018

Every now and then, I come across really well-written pieces on the interwebs and get the urge to share. There are so many vapid pieces floating around these days, making it more and more difficult to filter the fluff. Whether it aligns with my viewpoint or not, I only have one rule: it should be thought-provoking. The following (listed below) were just that. 


How to Listen to Jazz


"Jazz is a music of unfurling nows, a genre built upon improvisation—and mindfulness is at the heart of improv. Each musician tries to manifest that very instant, whether it’s as a sudden skronk or as a beautiful trill. 
Learning to love jazz is about learning to follow these changes, experiencing each solo as it happens. Any of us can bob along with Louis Armstrong’s balladeering. Can we also slow our hearts down to Bill Evans’ “Peace Piece”? Can we burst into bloom to John Coltrane’s “Welcome”?"
Sean Michaels penned this piece for Kinfolk Magazine, breaking down the artistry of classic jazz music while pleading with readers everywhere to reshape their view of the genre. I enjoyed reading this article in the printed edition so much I had to find an online version.


Life as a Mom to Eight Kids


"It was tough to go anywhere, even to the grocery store, because I was afraid the kids would starve. I would breastfeed and then run to the store as quickly as I could on Sunday mornings. 
Having eight kids is expensive. My husband makes a decent living as a financial planner, but we’re by no means rich. I’m a clearance shopper and a coupon clipper. Other than our summer trip to the shore, we don’t take vacations. When my kids want to go to the movies with their friends, or go on an expensive field trip, they have to babysit and earn money. We’ve always told our kids you get a little bit of what you want and most of what you need."
Kate Morgan interviews a proud mom of eight kids for The Cut and reaffirmed my desire to have a little clan of my own in the future (four, maybe even five)(??).


A Viral Skincare Story Sparked an Interesting Debate at Man Repeller


Haley: I’ve been thinking about this Susan Sontag quote a lot: “The writer’s first job is not to have opinions but to tell the truth… and refuse to be an accomplice of lies and misinformation. Literature is the house of nuance and contrariness against the voices of simplification.”
The internet has become SO reactionary, to a fault. We aren’t letting things absorb and metabolize long enough.
Haley: I think the problem with reacting too fast is that everyone’s first instinct is to defend what they already believe. It’s human, but it halts the conversation. Or makes it become a fruitless, endless debate. Whereas if you wait it out, often your second and third reactions are more open and nuanced.
Harling: Especially since algorithms are often serving you what you already believe in the first place.
The Editorial Team at Man Repeller weighs in (via Slack messages) on a viral skincare article, which, in turn, becomes a fascinating discussion on our roles as writers in the digital age and how audience expectations can affect our professional efforts. The comments are also worth a read.



The Crossroads of Should and Must


"Because to look at one of Picasso’s canvases is quite literally to look into his soul. And this is exactly what happens when our life, our essence, is one and the same with our work. It’s when job descriptions and titles no longer make sense because we don’t go to work— we are the work.
What if who we are and what we do become one and the same? What if our work is so thoroughly autobiographical that we can’t parse the product from the person? What if our jobs are our careers and our callings?"

Elle Luna, via Medium, on the difference between the things we should do versus the things we must do. Her art was on display during my recent MoDA visit, and the visual rendering perfectly matches the ideas explained in her post.


  (Untitled)


"I’m so scared to forget him, his voice, the way he looked, our last day together. I no longer cry first thing in the morning and it gives me huge feelings of guilt. When I find myself laughing at something, I force myself to think about dad, about the morning I walked into his room and he was completely still..."
Kenza, one of my favorite bloggers, briefly and beautifully writes about the passing of her father. They had quite the turbulent relationship, of which she has written about many times. Her capacity to forgive and embrace his terminal struggle is both heartwarming and heartbreaking all at the same time.


jazz photo source »»

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