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This Week in Tiny Stories: The Textures of Our Lives

My husband sometimes jokes that I only like sad stories. And he's partly right. I am instinctively drawn to the darker themes of life, but it is not simply because I like sad stories. It is because the deeper we delve into suffering, the more we understand and appreciate joy. Think about the people you know who hold the greatest capacity for joy - are they not also the people who have often suffered the greatest tragedies?


A dear friend of mine lost her newborn daughter and then, a few years later when she was pregnant with her third child, she lost her father. A few years after that, she lost her brother. On the surface, in the years following these losses, she appears to lead a fairly unremarkable life, just like the rest of us. She gets up in the morning, goes to work, comes home, has dinner with her kids, and watches TV with her husband. They go on road trips whenever school's out. But if you scratch the surface of her daily and yearly rhythms, you see something more profound: a life lived with intention. This is not a coincidence; her life is lived largely as a series of conscious choices precisely because she knows that anything can be taken away, at any moment. Day after day, she and her husband make a sustained effort to enjoy the lives they have at this moment.


None of us knows what tomorrow will look like. Some of us have already seen more than our fair share of tragedy, and some of us will experience remarkably very little of it. But none of can escape suffering entirely. Life as we know it is multi-textured, multifaceted, full of joy, full of laughter, full of grief and full of surprise. What is here today - whether good or bad - will not be here tomorrow. That much we know.

 

This week's Tiny Stories for The 100 Day Project are a testament to the many textures of our lives. I hope you enjoy them.

 

On rediscovering a lost sense of self:



On multiple forms of connection (the longer version of this story can be found here):



On taking a closer at depression (this was inspired by a 2019 interview with Trevor Noah and Tressie McMillan Cottom on the NPR Podcast Death, Sex and Money):



On change and how the challenges of COVID-19 have impacted mothers around the country (inspired by autism mom Dekeda Brown, profiled in the NYT Article Three American Mothers on the Brink):

On the tenderness with which we are all born:



On one of the many ways in which change is effected:


On building a life that is sustained by connection and not ego:


Until next time.

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