1) Summer Reading – Summer lends itself to reading just for the sheer joy of it. Longer days. Breaks from strenuous outside work or play are perfect for picking up a book. Reruns of TV programming are no draw when you can just open a book to another world. What’s on your reading list for this summer?Photo Credit: Max Pixel
Writer Ryan Holiday has his own list to share. I wouldn’t call it your basic beach novel genre but lots of variety and heady content. Don’t be put off by some of the language (sigh…) or the politics. In recent months, I’ve learned a lot in our current political culture… helpful in understanding people and making a difference in a divided world.
2) US Supreme Court – Speaking of a divided world, this was a huge week of happenings in the Supreme Court of the United States.
[The Roberts Court, June 1, 2017. Seated, from left to right: Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., Justice Clarence Thomas, Justice Stephen G. Breyer. Standing, from left to right: Justices Elena Kagan, Samuel A. Alito, Sonia Sotomayor, and Neil M. Gorsuch. Photograph by Franz Jantzen, Supreme Court Curator’s Office.]
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Weighty rulings which I don’t plan to discuss here, but your social media pages have fired up with reactions.
Then there was the announcement by Justice Anthony M. Kennedy that he will retire. The news should be full of tribute toward this justice and his contributions to Americans, both liberal and conservative. What is instead at the forefront is the joy or anguish, depending on our ideology, regarding who will take his place on the bench? Appointment of the Supreme Court justices was one of the reasons Americans voted as they did in this last presidential election.Photo Credit: Twitter, The Senate Majority
A big week indeed.
3) Patreon – You’ve read about Patreon on my Friday Faves before, but today I wanted to praise the impact it can make on an artist’s career…the impact you can make on an artist’s career. Patreon is a crowd-sourcing platform, for folks like us to extend support to a creator or artist. If 10s and 100s of us give $1 or $100 per month, we can supplement the income of someone whose craft inspires us. Someone we want to see more of…and enjoy the beauty of his/her creations on a more regular basis.
So how does an artist arrange, memorize and perform a classical guitar piece and then videotape, edit, and publish the piece every couple of weeks (sometimes weekly)? And still provide for his family?
Cue Nathan Mills of Beyond the Guitar. Before he became part of Patreon, his art had to take a backseat to making a living – he taught guitar in a middle school and did hours and hours each week of private lessons with students. Thanks to the support of over 300 patrons, he was able to leave his middle school job. He is not completely supported by those of us who love his work, thus he continues to have private students, but he is able to create.Photo Credit: Patreon, Beyond the Guitar
Listening to his music on Spotify and watching his videos on YouTube are free to us all, thanks to those who support Nathan on Patreon. As patrons, we have various levels of perks, depending on our support. Perks at the lowest level of support include access of his Discord chat channel which allows us to engage with Nathan as well as other patrons, many of whom are also artists, scientists, and various other cool people.
Depending on the level we can get discounts on his sheet music, patrons-only live streams with Nathan, a private Skype guitar lesson, and at the $100/month level of support: an arrangement of a song of our choice. As I write, he is doing a live stream for us patrons as he begins arranging his next song (you’ll see that arrangement posted here next week).
Anyway…that’s what Patreon gives us…more of Beyond the Guitar.
4) Redeeming Loneliness – Blogger and mom Rachel Macy Stafford has posted a piece on the loneliness of being rejected or excluded. It resonated. By the way, if you haven’t felt the sting of rejection or exclusion, don’t be those people who do the deed…unwittingly; unaware. Take time to read the whole but here is part.
Photo Credit: Max Pixel
It’s together for each other that we find strength to ask, learn, and never fold up and disappear.
If that’s not life’s highest lesson, I don’t know what is.
Let me remember it now, especially now, when the world’s collective pain is so deep, so wide, and so heavy.
But there is hope …
Because what we can do individually to heal the world’s collective pain is quite miraculous. We can half the pain by being one person’s person.
With one invitation, we can take someone
From outsider to insider
From outcast to beloved member
From unknown neighbor to coffee companion
From wallflower to life-of-the-party
From shortened life expectancy to 80 years of joy.* – Rachel Macy Stafford
5) Echoes of Time – Growing up in a small town, driving down country roads was a part of the experience. Old houses with tin roofs, stoops where children shelled peas in summer, and noisy screen doors that let you know of comings and goings. Since adulthood, I’ve lived in cities. The images of the past are comforting and stir memories of grandparents – sitting on their porches, watching for us to pull up the driveway for a visit.
The Facebook page Echoes of Time and the website Countryside Poet are Susie Swanson‘s shout-out to the life of a different era… Below you will find one of her poems and the image that caught my eye this week.Photo Credit: Echoes of Time, Facebook Page
We all need to go back to an old screen door
So we can hear the sound of it slamming some more
And those famous words, “stop letting the flies in”
Not giving it a second thought and doing it over again
Catching fireflies after dark and putting them in a jar
And lying out on a blanket and wishing upon a star
Listening to the whop-per-wills calling every night
The serenading of crickets, a special, kind of quiet
Running through the meadows in the sun kissed dew
Climbing high up in a tree with a better angle view
Can’t you just see those June bugs tied with a string
Or swinging really high on that old, tire swing
Going fishing in the creek with that little fishing pole
Enjoying a hot, summer day at that ole swimming hole
Or riding that old, rusted bicycle with nary a brake
Running through the thickets, never thinking of a snake
Oh the joy of blackberry picking and eating a juicy pie
Worth every chigger but wishing they’d go bye, bye
Playing a good game of softball on a Sunday afternoon
Our mothers waiting supper, hoping we’d be home soon
Running through the broom sage in the cool, fall breeze
Sliding down snowy hills till our hands and feet would freeze
Nary a trail or sapling did we miss, if we had to crawl
And scraping off that beggar lice was no fun at all
We all need to go back to that special, old place
Where all of our footsteps we can happily retrace
And listen to the sound of that old screen door
Slamming, slamming just like before
© Susie Swanson 2018 (posted with permission)
These were my five favorites of this week…plus the bonuses below. I wanted to include them somewhere in my Friday Faves, they are that good…so don’t miss them.
Have a sweet weekend, filled with people who speak love to you and hear love when you speak.
Rising Tide Startups Podcast – Episode 26 – Ian Anderson Gray – Founder of Seriously Social – on live marketing, imposter syndrome, bootstrapping, and mastermind groups