Simply Sunday Updates and Weekly Prompts
A few notes to ponder on walking, hyperbole, and writing + availability of the Week 10 prompts for Illustrate Your Week
In trying to determine how I want to line up ducks, both to reach you with healthy doses of inspiration and connection and to give myself a map in the sand, I know that on Sundays, I do hope to share the weekly Illustrate Your Week prompt set. You may see it earlier here than at Instagram, which is a gentle thank you for following in this space. For those not interested in these weekly prompts, there are other mentions in this newsletter. We all skim and bounce and dance around words we receive. But in the dance, you still may find something that warms, inspires, and leaves you excited to face your own blank page, your canvas in process, the embroidery in the hoop, the knitting on the needles, or whatever your current or “maybe today” project might be.
Five Random Sunday Notes:
At the library this week, I sat and flipped through several books I had on hold, and a few I pulled while aimlessly wandering the stacks. I brought home a few titles to talk about in a podcast. But one I returned to the shelves “for later” was 52 Ways to Walk: The Surprising Science of Walking for Wellness and Joy, One Week at a Time by Annabel Streets. I definitely want to spend time with this at some point when I can slow down with it. But I loved this line:
“Because here's the thing: when we move, hundreds of intricate changes take place inside our bodies. A twelve-minute walk alters 522 metabolites in our blood—molecules that affect the beating of our heart, the breath in our lungs, the neurons in our brain. When we walk, oxygen rushes through us, affecting our vital organs, our memory, creativity, mood, our capacity to think. Walking causes hundreds of muscles, joints, bones, and tendons to move in an elaborate, effortless sequence, propelling us forward but also triggering a multitude of molecular pathways, expanding our heart, strengthening our muscles, smoothing the lining of our arteries, shunting sugar from our blood, and switching our genes on and off in a miraculous process known as epigenetic modification.” (Emphasis mine)
I listened to a new-to-me podcast this week, although maybe I have listened to it before. I listened to several episodes of A Way with Words, and I really enjoyed it. The discussion of phrases and word origin and the curious path language often makes through the years and across geographies makes for a wonderful listen. The show is so well done! The phrase that made it into my journal, one that was new to me relates to describing a certain type of foggy morning as when “the groundhogs are making coffee.” Several of the episodes I caught unraveled southern or Appalachian words or sayings, which had special resonance for me. (This is a podcast I can definitely see tracking my way through.)
The first three episodes of Daisy Jones and the Six are now available on Amazon Prime. I listened to the audiobook several years ago, and it made such an impression on me. I spent a lot of time trying to sort out what was true and what was not and tracking through some of the allusions to real-world bands. As an audiobook, it is layered with multiple voices and multiple stories being told to an interviewer (unnamed for most of the book). The ways in which a story can often only be understood through the composite lens of multiple experiences powerfully underwrites this novel by Taylor Jenkins Reid. I wasn’t sure how well this would translate to the screen, but I very much enjoyed the first episodes. (I just discovered that Jennifer Beals was the voice of Daisy in the audiobook.)
A few weeks ago, “hyperbole” was one of the prompts for Illustrate Your Week. I went with something that was fun to illustrate, an expression I hadn’t heard, but one fitting for the cold that week: “It was so cold, I saw polar bears wearing hats and jackets.” But in searching for what I wanted to use that week, I found a wonderful passage from Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox. I didn’t take time to write it out that week in my journal, but I found this delightful:
"Well now, one winter it was so cold that all the geese flew backward and all the fish moved south and even the snow turned blue. Late at night, it got so frigid that all spoken words froze solid afore they could be heard. People had to wait until sunup to find out what folks were talking about the night before."
If this passage is new to you, too, I hope it brings a smile.
I am continuing writing every morning before I start work for the day. I talked about the simple habit stack I’ve put in place in Episode 484. I added something else to the stack this week in the form of turning on a playlist. A simple addition, and it seems to have slid into place quietly, as if always a part of the flow. Like most of you, I have tried to build many different habits through the years that haven’t taken root. Other habits, like my nightly drawing, are so enmeshed in my life and how I view, allocate, and use my time that they are simply a part of my day. I enjoy digging into why some routines work and some don’t, but in the early stages, I am willing to let things unfold, mysterious in some way. As I craft a routine and repeat it, I try not to overthink it or even to look at it too directly for fear it will run and hide. It’s been several weeks now that I've shown up each morning. I think I just started week four, which feels like a bit of a surprise. It feels good.
What habits are you working on building, and what steps are you taking to fit the habit(s) into your days?
Thank you for reading. Have a wonderful day.
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Lovely writing! And I enjoyed immensely the two quotes. Also, being a Southerner with a family affinity for groundhogs, it was surprising that I have never heard the ‘groundhogs making coffee’ saying before. I might need to add that to my repertoire. Thanks for a fun read!
So much of this resonates with me right now. Thank you Amy!