In the early life of the United States, experimental utopian communities were all the rage. They were founded to uphold religious and/or philosophical ideologies. Some popular examples are the Transcendentalist Brook Farm at which author Nathanial Hawthorne (Scarlet Letter) was one of the founders, and similarly, Fruitlands whose founder was the father of Louisa May Alcott (Little Women). Some major goals of transcendentalists were to find unique relationships directly with nature and God, communal living, and gender equality. Within a few years or less, however, their communities broke up from financial troubles and practical disagreements over an equal share of work. Yale archives has a list of other prominent utopian communities in America starting in 1638 through 1971. …
And the wisdom we learn from understanding each other.
If my eyes were on my butt, they would enjoy the plush
comfort of larger cheeks and sink deeply into sleep.
If I felt shy, they would hide
If I felt bold, they would grow.
Backwards I would run, and do it more often,
Since sitting would only smash them closed.
I don’t know how I would talk to my best friends -
With pants with peepholes
Or only wearing socks and crop tops?
My arms would yearn to reach backwards and sideways,
Helping me stop bumping into jagged things
That were adamant about poking my eyes out,
Like the corners of counters and tables. …
In the church I grew up in it was common practice when something bad happened to someone for them to say something like, “God is testing me,” or “God will only give me what I can handle,” or “This will work out in the end”. What everyone was more concerned about was that point when someone would throw up their arms and question, “Why would God allow this to happen?” …
There is something remarkable about social justice. Though often an effort in improving equity, there is something more to it we may be ignoring because it is not always couched in religion and sometimes may even contradict our popular forms of religion. When we stand for acceptance, acknowledgment, fairness, sharing, accountability, safety, and the like, especially if we want these acts codified into law, we couch these ideals in numbers and logistics. Paper flyers with pie charts. A personal story of hardship. Dollars that can be saved. Social movements that succeed long-term are tied to logic, but that does not describe what it means to people and why they pursue it. …
This article is a fictional recreation of ‘Yesterday’ characters with a therapist that is written by someone with no expertise in counseling besides the fact that she’s gone for a long time and has spent the pandemic watching romantic comedies. All characters are exaggerated and the entire thing is a spoiler alert.
Therapist: Ah, Jack, Ellie, so good to meet you both, at least virtually for now. Please understand my words in the form of a British accent, because that’s what I have, and so do you both, and a lot of British slang I Googled for five minutes will be sprinkled throughout this conversation. Jack, if I may say, I adore your song ‘Here Comes the Sun’. You got it from the band, let me look down here at my notes, the Beetles, is it? …
Every year since I graduated college I created only one theme of what I’d focus on for the year: what is being honest, pay off all my debt (multiple years), cook new cuisines, why do humans change, etc.. This year my theme was no theme, and possibly never having a theme again.
Before I graduated college I noticed that strangers began giving me more and more advice to prepare for the working world. It sounded awful. One of the most horrifying news I learned was that in order to fit in at work and do well, I would have to choose a sports team, any sports team, and actually watch them and comment about their games at work. …
How to find new ways when we don’t know any different.
There was this moment I recall of walking down the hall next to the cafeteria at my college. My best friend and I had just gotten off a work shift together wearing matching aprons, and were headed back to our dorms. She was a few feet ahead of me when there was a sudden swell in my heart that took hold of me. I recognized how much I had admired her and all the small ways she had opened up my world to such joy. I called out to her. …
The error of ‘if me, then you’
It’s not hard to believe long-term research shows most people who go on diets will gain back all the weight they lost within 5 years. A review of decades of dieting research shows consistent patterns of high drop out rates from weight-loss studies and meager drops in weight (within 1–5 pounds) if done within 1 year. The few long-term studies that exist show the loss eventually goes away. When dieting is considered “successful” because it helps participants lose 10% of body weight within 1 year’s time, the success rate is still just 20%. …
The guidance we need.
If you were unfortunate enough to swallow
A seed a crow dropped into your mouth
When you were just a babe yawning at the park
And the seed sprouted
Right there in the left side of your belly
It’s not your fault
Sinister tongues of hatred later grew into your ears.
You will never measure up to them -
Your brain, your hips, your feet, your attitude -
Are given sacrifices they will slurp into their sharp taste buds.
Worst of all is when they grow into your heart.
You will come to believe you do not belong in this world. …
Anyone else waking up at 3 a.m., remembering the emotional hangover from November of 2016, wondering how you could possibly feel if your country lets you down again in such a monumental way?
“I gave you an old man to vote for this time for crying out loud!” I imagine screaming naked from my balcony on November 24th at midnight when we find out the final results from this year’s election. I’ll be banging pots and pans in my new militia (since those are allowed) of hopeless, screaming naked women with shaved heads who wake everyone else up when their anxiety wakes them up, who gladly throw themselves onto cars and shopping carts just to scare the shit out of someone else, and also for fun sneak into glove compartments and between mattress pads to steal everyone’s guns to melt them down into the largest sculpture the world has ever seen erected in Ogalala, NE. …