Thursday 28 July, 2022

Provisional lives

Book poster — Arles, July 2022. The blurb reads: “Provisional Life – Life on Borrowed Time – is a photo book that presents the living conditions of people who have had to flee war to survive in refugee camps for years.”

Quote of the Day

”Meetings are a great trap. However, they are indispensable when you don’t want to do anything.”

  • J. K. Galbraith, in his diary, 22 April 1961

Musical alternative to the morning’s radio news

Carolina Arango (Colombia) Fiddle and Pamela Schweblin (Argentina) Uilleann Pipes | Three reels: Famous Ballymote, The Glentan & Peter Street


Amazing how far this music travels.

Long Read of the Day

 Settling in for the long haul

This extraordinary essay by Maria Farrell on living with ME will stop you in your tracks, especially if you’re lucky enough to be healthy and well. Maria is someone I know slightly and admire greatly, and her writing reaches parts of the psyche that other people’s prose cannot.

Here’s a sample:

What worked for me was sick-hacks, the ultimate operation of neo-liberalism at the individual level. I’ve written about his before; stuff like only taking stairs when no one I knew would see, always commuting and travelling alone so I could build in sit-downs, turning up half way through group activities so I could stay on the sideline and not move around too much, bathing less frequently and never, ever showering in the morning. But basically the answer is I was sick all the time, sick in a way that’s unimaginable to a well person, because if they felt that bad they’d take time off. When you’re not ever recovering, you don’t take time off. (And you can’t – if I’d confided in employers early on, I’d have been unemployable and would have defaulted on my education loan. Many years in I did confide, and went part-time, and the lifting of that burden of secrecy and expectation was life-changing.) ME/CFS is defined by fatigue that isn’t cured by rest. A bone-deep resistance to rest sets in when you know how much time it demands and how it will never, ever be satisfied. The ultimate sick-hack is just pretending to be well, whatever the personal cost.

But this is just a sample: the whole thing is well worth your time.

My commonplace booklet


Thanks to Azeem Azhar for the link.

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