I needed to get out of the house this weekend. I wanted both to be outside and stay warm so I went to the Garfield Park Conservatory, a short drive away. Free, community driven spaces for the public good seem like a wonder to me right now amidst all of the disheartening politics ‒ as do the ferns and other flora blooming inside the conservatory. It was, in effect, a perfect place to go to get away from the news cycle.
After this weekend, I have mostly come to terms with the fact that my mental health is going to be fragile these days. I'm channeling my inner Lykke Li/Leonard Cohen, and seeping into the emotion. It is what it is. I don't have a handle on how to deal with all of the news. I read too many articles, scroll through social media too much, vow to not feel guilty for stopping for a moment to cook, work without distraction, head to yoga, and then I return to the phone in my hand because I cannot disconnect fully at this time, no matter the ups and downs it brings.
But in case you're looking for a respite, the other night I prepared this lentil soup while listening to the Longest Shortest Time's "Accidental Gay Parents" series (Part 1, 2, 3 and 4), and both comforted me in a deep way. Because that's how it goes, isn't it? Simple joys seem almost sacred when so much is being threatened. I chop the onions, bring the lentils to a boil, stir in the coconut milk ‒ the whole time amazed at the moment I have given myself to not dwell on the work that needs to be done. And then it is back to picking up the phone, seeing what new thing I need to resist.