And she’s got animal spirits! And he’s got heartfelt lyrics!


Another day, another news-fueled existential crisis.

I’m going crazy here. And this is coming from someone who recently thanked an antidepressant for keeping me un-crazy.

When logging into Twitter, turning on the TV, or snapping open a newspaper can practically cause a full-blown mental breakdown, we gotta cling to what keeps us un-crazy. Back in November, after The Incident, Dan Piepenbring wrote in the Paris Review imploring “Writers [to] Start Writing,” and I think about it like every day:

The creative impulse is such a fragile thing, but we have to create now. We owe it to ourselves to do the work. I want to encourage you. If you aspire to write, put aside all the niceties and sureties about what art should be and write something that makes the scales fall from our eyes. Forget the tired axioms about showing and telling, about sense of place—any possible obstruction—and write to destroy complacency, to rattle people, to help people, first and foremost yourself. Lodge your ideas like glass shards in the minds of everyone who would have you believe there’s no hope. And read, as often and as violently as you can. If you have friends, as I do, who tacitly believe that it’s too much of a chore to read a book, just one fucking book, from start to finish, smash every LCD they own. This is an opportunity. There’s too much at stake now to pretend that everything is okay.

Lodge your ideas like glass shards in the minds of everyone who would have you believe there’s no hope. That’s some good stuff!

So, in keeping with this idea of art destroying complacency and rattling people and making scales fall from eyes, I’d like to share the ideas that lodged in my mind like glass shards, and I’d like to do this often.

Here’s what struck me this week.

Photo: Brian Rea for The New York Times.

After author Amy Krouse Rosenthal found out she would soon die of ovarian cancer, she created a gorgeous, truly heart-wrenching dating profile for the love of her life: You May Want to Marry My Husband.


Photo: Stephen Voss for the Guardian.

The glorious, genius Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie opened up about raising her young daughter and, (thankfully) yet again, offered her perspective on contemporary feminism: “[W]e have to name something in order to fix it, which is why I insist on the word feminist or feminism.”


animal spirits with border
Art: mine. Photos: Unsplash.




And, finally, a funky, dance-y tune to get stuck in your head this week (and hum to yourself while fetal-position-rocking on the floor, post news-fueled existential crisis: Vulfpeck’s Animal Spirits.

Now everyone seems unaware
That these two are a destined pair
But I checked out their astral chart
This one is a work of art

Now I know she reads astrology
And he can’t stand astrology
But he’s quick with an apology
When he wisecracks the zodiac

(And she’s got)
Animal spirits
(And he’s got)
Heartfelt lyrics
(Put them together)
And you can hear it
It’s a song everyone knows


Last updated: March 6, 2017, 9:05 PM by Madison Shumway

2 thoughts on “And she’s got animal spirits! And he’s got heartfelt lyrics!

  1. I’ve never written before (besides papers in class) and found myself experiencing the same feelings lately. It took a few days for me to realize I am not crazy. I started to feel a deep responsibility towards documenting our world as we see it unfold. I’m happy to see I am not the only person who feels this way. Thank you for sharing and keep up the great work! I enjoyed your thoughts.


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