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Picture by Nick Kwan via Pexels

happiness is just a

glorified curveball it

leaves a handprint on my cheek —


happiness is just a

punch to the gut it

leaves me winded gasping like a fish —


let’s see you breathe now,

huh, buddy?

happiness leers at me.

dares me to get up.

better to sit tight than to

let the elation pour over me —

a summer monsoon,

louder than a howl,

rain like thunder like sheets of joy like

ball lightning in my belly.

I unbend my knees and

give myself to

the storm.

An exercise in inhabiting contradictions

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Photo by moein moradi from Pexels

Delicate and gritty, golden and heart-wrenching, intimate and epic: ‘Firelight’ is an exercise in inhabiting contradictions. It sits in that sweet spot right in the center of the chest, swaddling us in a blanket of vocals and pianos. The slow, steady groove leaves us with no choice but to move our bodies in time to the music. Our very ligaments twist and turn when the synth hook comes in with a hard hitting bass after the initial chorus.

All subtly layered and treated vocals dripping in reverb, ‘Firelight’ opens with lead singer Nicole Miglis posing a lonesome, double-edged question: “Sunshine, where’d you go?” Closing my eyes, I can almost see Miglis standing on the edge of a canyon, sending the question into the empty space. She waits less than a heartbeat before answering herself, and when she does, the broken way in which she places the words within the melody feels uncertain, hesitant. …

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via Pixabay

“If I could make this go right I’d go home.Then all I’d ever learned would fade away, like a photograph, a word in a mouth…” the sound of her voice fills the room, accompanied by folky guitar fingerpicking, “We’re like barefoot angels that glow in the dark. Sing it hard, sing it hard, sing it lonely….” her voice trails off and now the guitar is left alone, filling the room with stardust and visions. I’m mesmerized, and, frankly, a little stoned. But regardless of the weed induced lethargy creeping in my muscles, I can’t stop staring at this woman who is casting a spell on everyone present, seemingly without too much effort. …

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Image by Bharat Patil via Unsplash

Last week I sat down at the end of a long day to watch Netflix with my wife and sister-in-law. We were all kind of beat (working from home during a pandemic while caring for a toddler will do that) and just wanted something silly. “Have you seen ‘Emily in Paris’ yet?” my sister-in-law asked, “it’s pretty funny and light-hearted.” Sounded pretty perfect so we poured a glass of wine and settled in.

Truthfully, the show is very funny and light-hearted. The premise — young American meets the big world, cue the cute misunderstanding and sexy foreigners — is a solid one. Who doesn’t love a simple story of misunderstandings and cultural clashes? …

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The CARES Act, passed by the federal government on March 27, is significant in many ways, not least because it acknowledges freelancers as eligible for unemployment benefits for the first time as part of the hefty $2 trillion package. The Act also recognizes self-employed individuals as small businesses, thereby making them eligible for the Paycheck Protection Program, a new forgivable loan offered by the Small Business Administration.

However, many freelancers who have found themselves out of work and unable to pay their bills due to the COVID-19 pandemic are finding it nearly impossible to apply for unemployment. …

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dogs take turns howling at an empty sky

as streetlights stutter on.

look to the sea -

the rust-colored sun is sending final beams

into tufts of cotton-soft cirri.

nearby, in the valley, clusters of anemones are turning down their petals,

while all your jays and sparrows fluff their delicate feathers

settling in for a long night.

All that gray, gray, wet morning I had been standing, washing mugs at the kitchen sink

while the storm made careless mud-pies

ripping into new leaves, trampling crocuses,

tearing apart the baby’s breath.

I knew that this was it,

could tell by the ache inside like my chest

would burst open

loosing this abscess of molten grief.

So heavy. So hot.

Listen to the dogs,

they howl all that I try to say.

The words are too narrow.

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photo by pexels

Looking around the internet, it seems like being grateful is the most frequently recommended solution to many problems. Dozens of self-help books and articles have been published on the topic, encouraging us to keep journals, develop mantras, practice thankfulness meditation.

It’s true — being grateful will lead to more happiness, more appreciation, a more developed sense of awe. More ability to be present, alive in the moment instead of thinking about what was or what is yet to come.

Why does gratitude seem so hard?

Being grateful can seem like a chore, one more thing we’re not doing well enough. Sometimes just thinking of something to be grateful for feels like a burden. ‘What if my list isn’t special enough?’

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Relief Hubs in New York City create healing spaces for medical teams by using immersive technology.

It’s no secret that the coronavirus pandemic has millions feeling helpless and lost, and for good reason. All of the usual anchors that hold our lives together — jobs, classes, routines — have unravelled at once. We’re left agape as many governments struggle to hold back the flood of illness, death, and economic freefall. It’s like watching a handful of hapless folks try to bail out the Titanic with a bucket.

The overwhelming need can be seen in every realm — healthcare, education, and food production, to name a few. Fortunately, there’s also been a surge in civic undertaking of these massive challenges. Companies both large and small have rallied to provide solutions, repurposing factories and production lines to make ventilator parts, face masks, even ready-to-go rooms that can be attached to existing ICUs. …

Six weeks ago, rain was sweeping the Jerusalem landscape, had been for a solid week, the mythically blue sky painted a stubborn slate gray. It was as though the weather was echoing the weight in my chest.

Right around that time, my wife and I decided not to go home. We sat up most of the night with my parents, weighing each aspect of this precipitous choice carefully, trying to figure out the best decision even as we knew that our information was, at best, partial.

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The rain had spattered my father-in-law’s windshield as we rushed northward. Our infant son babbled in the backseat. Gillian Welch crooned “Everything is free now, that’s what they say,” on the radio. All our belongings—baby clothes, bottles, toys, a crib, suitcases—were piled so high that the back window was entirely obscured. We’d spent a mad two hours packing everything up after learning that Israel would be entering a period of complete lockdown for an undetermined period of time. “Now or never”, we’d told one another. …

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I was born in 1986, which makes me a kind of ‘senior millennial’. I remember the obscene screech of dial up internet and how to call people on a landline, but I spent my young adult years with social media. I witnessed the transition from cassettes to CDs to mp3 players to iPods to Spotify.

More to the point, I was raised in an increasingly globally minded world. I, like most of my peers, traveled internationally as a teen and a young adult. My generation went backpacking in far off countries. We hitchhiked across a borderless Europe. …


Mikhal Weiner

Writing about mamahood, music, & lgbtq+ rights for Kveller, Motherfigure, GO Magazine & Wild Honey Pie • Reporting for Zenger News & Newsweek •

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