The Week of a Meaningful Fast

I spent Yom Kippur reflecting on compassion and forgiveness, and the relative lack of these attributes in the American (in)Justice system. On this holiest day of the Jewish year, we ask god to forgive us--yes us, the collective, the community, all Jews--for our misgivings. Our fate is bound together, and if we as individuals expect forgiveness and compassion when we make the wrong choice then we as a community should grant that same respect to others.

 Getting ready for Living Room Learning at East End Brewing Company

Getting ready for Living Room Learning at East End Brewing Company

Here's what captured my attention this week...

I'm reading:  I finished On a Farther Shore, the Rachel Carson biography, which I found informative but uneven. I've since begun The Heart's Invisible Furies by John Boyne, which was my Book of the Month selection for August. In just the first fifty pages, I googled "Irish Independence," "Kyrie Eleison," "rates of incest," and "taoiseach," which I still cannot figure out how to pronounce. I'm captivated and can't wait to report back to you next week. This morning, I also really enjoyed a travel story in the New York Times by Sarah Khan, "A Muslim American's Homecoming."  

I had crisscrossed the country expecting to find cowboys and megamalls, humble churchgoing folk and racist old grandpas. But it’s hard to distill a nation into a series of tropes, no matter how easy Third World-bound travel writers make it seem. America is as much the cowboys bowing their heads to pray for their livestock before lassoing them in a ring as it is the New York couple who spend their summers rodeo-hopping, only missing shows to observe the Sabbath. It’s the Nashville mosque partially funded by Cat Stevens, so fitting in Music City. It’s the Venezuelan Elvis cover singer who hails the king for “the fulfilling of the American dream.” It’s malls not far from the Mall of America that are more African than the ones I frequented in South Africa. It’s the family reading from Sarah Palin’s autobiography while waiting in line at the National Civil Rights Museum, and it’s the B&B in Montana where I found a Quran on a bookshelf.

I'm listening to: I enjoyed Switched on Pop's new episode about Calvin Harris's "Feels," which has since been stuck in my head all week. I subsequently listened to Harris's new album, Funky Wav Bounces Vol. 1, which was a good match for the unseasonably summery weather this week.

I'm looking forward to watching: My bae and I have gotten into BoJack Horseman, which is a crushingly accurate depiction of how ridiculous and awful depression can feel--we're really enjoying it! I was never interested in the show until Kevin started it, because, well, the description isn't so appealing is it? But somehow it's funny and charming and genuine as hell, and we're already cruising through the third of four seasons. 

What are you reading, listening to, or watching this week?