The past seven days were filled with the old colliding with the new. I coincidentally had the good fortune to meet several new, interesting people this week, and look forward to continuing to connect with them. And this week I also spent two days immersed in Jewish rituals that are thousands of years old. As the prophet Pete Seeger wrote, by way of the Book of Ecclesiastes, it has been "A time to cast away stones, a time to gather stones together."
Here's what captured my attention this week...
I'm reading: I finished Celeste Ng's Little Fires Everywhere and loved it. Now I've moved on to On a Farther Shore, William Souder's biography of Rachel Carson. The book has deepened my admiration for Carson as a nature writer, but to be quite honest Souder's descriptions of Carson's naiveté and tunnel vision have made me think that she is not someone with whom I would enjoy spending time. That was not the case with Kaitlyn Greenidge's op-ed in today's New York Times, about a family road trip to four historical sites that preserve and commemorate the contributions of important black women. I wish I had been invited along too.
I'm listening to: The most recent episode of the podcast Judaism Unbound features an interview with anthropologist Riv-Ellen Prell about the Havura movement of the 1970s. Prell not only provides a thorough overview of Jewish life and practice in the mid-twentieth century, she also masterfully identifies the continuities and deviations in how Jews have built community and advocated for change. She literally gave me goosebumps. #publichumanities #goals
I'm looking forward to watching: David Simon's The Deuce. 1970s New York City? Right up my alley.
What are you reading, listening to, or watching this week?