The Atlantic

What's Left Behind

This reminded me a lot of the tools my grandfather left behind. It also had me thinking about how how important it is to document our days. Soon, they will be gone, and the moments we leave behind will either die with us, or carry on without us. In the hearts and minds of those we leave behind.

For more on . . .

-N- Stuff  :  On Parenting

The Mayor of Ghost Town (Population: 1)

We're a long way from being civilized. We ain't no different than man was, five thousand years ago except we have technology that he didn't. But our characteristics, the way we think, the natural human ways, they're no different than man was five thousand years ago. We haven't changed a damn bit. 


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-N- Stuff  :  Short Films  :  Inspiring Art


The First Lady of ISIS


Tania Georgelas, the ex-wife of the highest-ranking American member of ISIS, reckons with her extremist past and attempts to build a new life (via).

This is her story.

And in many ways, it's ours too.

The dual transformation of John and Tania is the most American part of this story. What is America, if not a promise of infinite possibility, and ability to transcend one’s origins? John grew up wealthy, Christian, and patriotic; now he is poor, Muslim, and full of hate for his native land. Tania’s metamorphosis has taken the precise opposite form, as if the universe demanded symmetry in their stories, and decreed that she resume the prosperous suburban life that he left behind. They met in the middle, trading fates. His ending is probably already written. Her life, if she’s lucky, is just getting started (via).

What stuck me most about this story is the assurances of truth. John and Tania, on either sides of their transitions, are so very confident in what they know and how they know it, allow it to guide and direct their lives, even to the point of radicalism. 

Which isn't all that different from so many of us. We may not be joining ISIS, but we are just as confident in our truths and way of life - we too have certainty in what will happen when we die, and it guides and directs our daily lives, even to the point of radicalism.

What we know can change in an instant, shifting the ground beneath our feet and bring our fortresses of faith and understanding crumbling to the ground - SMASH!!!

Then nothing. 

But the chance to rebuild.

Because truly, no one really knows anything for certain. And it is that understanding, that weight of uncertainty that should encourage us all to talk less and listen a whole lot more. To be kind and patient and less judgmental, and to truly consider the holes in our damns because really, we don't know, even when we think we do.

And for many of us, the damn is about to beak.


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John Legend and Ta-Nehisi Coates on the Art of Writing

Dec 05, 2016 

Video by  The Atlantic

At a taping of Live from the Artists Den at New York City's Riverside Church, The Atlantic’s Ta-Nehisi Coates had a frank conversation with the musician John Legend about his prolific songwriting and his creative process. Legend admits to being a workaholic, but also someone who dives in without much planning and lets his art move him. “I don’t need a lightning bolt of inspiration to say ‘Okay, I know what I want the album to be about,’” Legend tells Coates. “I figure that the writing process will give me those lightning bolts eventually … the best advice I give to writers is to write."