Array is a weekly round-up of everything in the mind of a lateral thinker that likes too many things.
This week, we dive into acknowledging emotions, Blade Runner 2049, the interpreters for deaf music fans, and George Washington.
🤔 Mindfulness IRL
Looking through some old emails, I found something we might consider horrors: an old portfolio and high school pictures. Your reaction will range from mild discomfort to "Sweet baby Jesus, burn it with fire." I have done the later, hurling a middle school notebook of poems into a bonfire. Destroying the notebook doesn't diminish my unwanted feelings, in fact, it stokes the flame.
When you're first learning about mindfulness, it can feel like emotions = bad and negative emotions = super bad. But emotions are still a part of your humanity. It may come from past events or future worries, but it is part of your present. The power of mindfulness is acknowledging emotions and genuinely having awareness at that moment. This can mean identifying what makes you feel bad, acknowledging those feelings in the moment, and even looking at them from a new perspective.
My gut immediately twisted when I saw my old work. I skipped on kerning or making a proper grid and barely used anything other than News Gothic. Did I feel bad because it was genuinely bad? Or did I feel bad because I missed that level of confidence in myself? Acknowledging that emotion framed it for me, my gut wasn't so twisted, and I started to remember the happy moments, actual sweet nostalgia! It's not an overnight switch, but practicing at every moment helps.
This quote is a long read, but consider this section on acknowledging emotions from a talk by Ajahn Sundara.
I saw Blade Runner 2049 last night and Denis Villeneuve is quickly becoming one of my favorite directors. The visuals and sound design are so stunning and eerie.
- An article from the Guardian about the depiction of women in Blade Runner 2049 that begs the question: is it sexist or a fair depiction of dystopia?
- This BuzzFeed article on deaf music fans and this GQ article on Matt Maxey, the interpreter for Chance The Rapper
- Are jobs prisons we set ourselves in? This Economist article delves into why we work so hard.
- Long live the group chat: an interactive and fun piece on The Outline
I can feel it, the shift in my brain, my insides churning. Deep down, I know; I'm about to have another founding father obsession.
George Washington is my first love after reading Washington: A Life by Ron Chernow. There's an image of Washington I've always had in my head: a stoic and selfless man that decided to turn down the idea of monarchy. We tend to turn famous people into statues, admiring and honoring only the good bits. But he's human, with jealousies and misgivings–basically a wreck like all of us. He lusted after British style and adornments, writing sharp letters to London tailors for miscounting the number of buttons on a coat. He flirted and even confessed his love to his friend's wife while engaged to Martha. And to top it off, big Mommy issues–nothing was good enough for Mary Ball Washington. At the time, I was wrangling with my feelings of envy and jealousy. George Washington is someone I could relate to, which feels so arrogant to say about oneself and the First President. But this is why I love history: dealing with the same bullshit, different era.
Now I'm reading John Adams by David McCullough. In his 20s, Adams was teaching at a schoolhouse and wondering what he was doing with his life. He felt stuck and vowed to work industriously through his reading. English books in the mornings, Monday, Wednesday, Friday! Latin books in the evenings! All the books! His next diary entry? "Rainy day, dreamed the day away." God, I love history. Same bullshit, different era.