Letter 42

July 16, 2020

On change

A nice thing about projects like this one—fun personal projects with low stakes that you have total creative control over—is that you can do whatever you want with them. If you have a bunch of new ideas, you can try them out. If something isn’t working, you can go in a different direction instead. I often find change in my personal life scary and anxiety-inducing, but trying new things with a side project is exciting. This is all to say: we have a Patreon now! You can sign up at different tiers to get some (hopefully) cool bonus content from us! And we will be donating 100% of the proceeds to a different organization every month, starting with The Okra Project! I’m happy we have a chance to do something like this, and I’m even happier to look back and see how far this little newsletter has come since the beginning. I hope you like it, too.


I am less afraid of change than I am of being an inconsistent person. I’m not ritualistic, I’m horrible at keeping habits—most of my day-to-day is a series of small changes with how I approach my work, my life, my friends. There are ways to frame this more generously: spontaneous! eclectic! very cool and fun!, but difficult to assign when changing an Animal Crossing villager stresses me out. I want to remember the facets of change that are good, the ones that allow you to define yourself further: change that builds upon itself, change that leaves you refreshed, change that leaves you excited. The world is exhausting and I am bad at doing things, but this newsletter is a constant. I’m happy to be doing things with Jill to make us both feel refreshed and re-excited about doing anything again.


We recommend

📖 The Black Maria by Aracelis Girmay

A few weeks ago I was seeking comfort and realized more than anything, I wanted to re-read Kingdom Animalia by Aracelis Girmay, which I have recommended on this newsletter before. I didn’t have my copy with me, which was tragic, but I realized I could just buy a different Aracelis Girmay book! And so I did! The Black Maria continues to affirm my belief that Aracelis Girmay can do practically anything with a poem and you still know she wrote it, because no one can do it like she can!!! There’s a signature vibe, an energy, something I could talk about more in depth if I was smarter or less tired. This collection, formally, is so fucking cool; poems blend into each other, it feels epic but distinct. I am always in awe! Go buy a copy!


✉️ One Anti-Racist Action a Day

This newsletter is exactly what it sounds like: a daily reminder of something you can do to be anti-racist, support the Black Lives Matter movement, and care for the people in your community. Sometimes it has a link to a petition to sign, sometimes it has a template for an email to send, and sometimes it has something for you to read. To be clear: subscribing to this newsletter should not be the extent of your anti-racism work, but it is a really great place to start if you’ve been feeling overwhelmed by resources or want a daily reminder to hold yourself accountable.


🔗 Muji’s pens & stationery

Forgive me if you’ve heard of this worldwide corporation before, but they recently declared bankruptcy in the US and I am feeling some type of way. Muji pens are my favorite to write with and their notebooks changed everything for me! Small, simply cute, and just enough pages for a semester! You can peruse their online store. My favorite is the purple capped gel-ink pen.


🧠 Cute face masks

Guess what! We are in the middle of a pandemic! And you should absolutely be wearing a face mask every time you leave your house! I got a pack of three reusable cloth ones (pink, of course) back in March, but recently ordered another from Piehole. They’re making a bunch of cute, reusable masks and donating 50% of the proceeds to an organization of your choice. Bottom line: we’re going to be wearing masks for a while, so you might as well stock up on some cute ones that look good with your outfits.