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A quarantine kit for hope in the dark.

Updated: Dec 25, 2022

The best day of the year is the day immediately following the Winter Solstice. We're all in on the hope that this time of year brings. We plan to carry this hope into the new year.


Essays

  1. Diana Butler Bass Mary the Tower | In which we learn about Biblical scholar Elizabeth Schrader and her groundbreaking work which you can read in her peer reviewed article, "Was Martha of Bethany Added to the Fourth Gospel in the Second Century?"And Butler Bass explores the possibility--raised by Schrader's scholarship--that there was a debate in the early church: Peter the Rock and Mary the Tower. The two Christological confessions are to Peter and Mary. Perhaps, then, Mary was written out and Martha of Bethany written in to resolve the debate in the early church. It decisively shifts power to men if Mary isn't the Tower. But we know--and know clearly from Schrader's scholarship and Butler Bass's exegesis of her scholarship, "Mary is indeed the tower of faith."

  2. Lyz Lenz third annual reflection on running in Men Yell at Me, "Running through 2022." | "I cannot wait for permission to exist. I have to just take it. I have to put on my shoes and show the fuck up."

  3. Reading Is Important to Me and I Will Prove It by Anne Helen Petersen | "And I think this is what I needed — encouragement to read not just because reading somehow makes us seem like better or more accomplished people, not because it fulfills an arbitrary goal, but because it awakens something elusive and precious inside of us. As Wolf reminds us, quoting Aristotle — 'all the books in the world will not bring you happiness — but build a secret path towards your heart.'"

Bonus read: Tressie McMillan Cottom on Yellowstone (the series) wherein she notes, "It accommodates feminism by making women the most vicious capitalist actors," and ends by describing the "one defense against demography and time: Buy guns and hoard stolen power."


Books

  1. Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer | Timing, Patience and Wisdom Are the Keys to Robin Wall Kimmerer's Success

  2. The Sea in Winter by Christine Day | Kirkus Reviews says, "An insightful, stirring read about healing and resilience."

  3. Lady Justice: Women, the Law, and the Battle to Save America by Dahlia Lithwick | Jill Filipovic writes, "When I first cracked open Dahlia Lithwick’s Lady Justice: Women, the Law, and the Battle to Save America, I wasn’t sure if it was coming out at the worst possible time, or the best."

TV Shows

  1. Emily in Paris Season 3 | We read this about hate watching Emily in Paris. We just don't agree. Emily in Paris is a confection. It is pretty and airy and vacuous. It asks nothing of us. It leaves no impact beyond a minor sugar hangover. What could possibly be better right now?

  2. White Lotus Season 2 | Spoiler alerts! The Extreme Pleasures of the "White Lotus" Season 2 Finale by Naomi Fry wherein the author writes "Still, to my mind, the central point made in the series is that no relationship is detached from the transactional and that power always plays a role in how people deal with one another." Somehow, the whole thing seems like a perfect watch to round out 2022.

  3. Abbott Elementary Season 2 | Readers of this here site will definitely recall that we LOVE this show. It is smart. It is funny. It is smart and funny. It is honest. (Side note: Jen had this job in this actual school in Philly as her first job out of college.) It is worth your time. Go back to the beginning and watch it all again. It will make your heart happy.

Bonus watch: We know it was all dudes all the time and FIFA is corrupt and the Qatari government literally bribed all breathing people and everyone with eyes and a bank account in order to host the World Cup and then built it on the backs of immigrants they worked to death and buried under the stadiums so they could just keep moving, but if you can look past all of that ... and Elon and Jared ... the Championship Game of the World Cup was epic.


Movies

  1. Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery

  2. Emily the Criminal

  3. The Quiet Girl


Recipes

  1. Our favorite soup which is a variation on this White Bean & Chard Stew. We add shredded chicken and puree half the beans to thicken the stock. (We also make the stock and skip the garlic. Both things that we do 100% of the time.)

  2. Gingerbread

  3. Fairytale of New York which will make your house smell delicious before giving you a warm and sweet variation on an Old Fashioned. Not to mention a really good reason to turn on The Pogues' Fairytale of New York.


Plus a side note that we are Smitten Kitchen people. We did not know — until @hels told us this summer — that we have blood enemies. (We stumbled upon those people recently at an ill-fated dinner party. Turns out @hels is correct. Blood enemies. If you are those people, our apologies — though we expect you peaced out some time ago.)


Also, one side is obviously so much better.


Twitter Follows

  1. OH HEY. WE'RE NOT ON TWITTER.

  2. Fuck that guy and his Saudi investors. We out.

  3. Call your friends. Read a newspaper.

Unsolicited Opinions

  1. The day after the Winter Solstice is LEGIT the best day of the year. The days start getting longer. There is hope.

  2. As Rev. Ben Pascal wrote this week, "It is no coincidence that Christmas follows immediately after winter solstice, the darkest day of the year. Most historians agree the birth of Jesus was not in December, more likely in April when shepherds normally tended their sheep in the fields of Bethlehem. The church started celebrating Jesus’ birth on Dec. 25 a few centuries after Christ. Perhaps they did this as an intentional message of hope in the darkest days of the year."

  3. We'll close out the year quoting Rebecca Solnit from her amazing book, Hope in the Dark. “'We are winning,' said the graffiti in Seattle, not 'We have won.' It’s a way of telling in which you can feel successful without feeling smug, in which you can feel challenged without feeling defeated.”

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