“Another world is not only possible; she is on her way. On a quiet day I can hear her breathing.”
- Arundhati Roy
There is a section of my daily walk that is just green, like being in a rainforest. The near endless rains of late spring have made everything here so vibrant and texture filled. 

Good morning!

I am Hugh Hollowell, and this is Life is So Beautiful, a newsletter about finding the beautiful when it's hard to - and maybe especially when it's hard to.

There is a concept in spirituality called Liminal Space. The word liminal comes from the Latin word limen, and it means threshold. Liminal space is a sort of thin place, where the lines between the sacred and the mundane seem blurred. That is a metaphor for where I find myself these days – it is a blurry space, without the clearly defined lines of last summer, and without the hedonistic freedom of two summers ago.

I don’t know how things are going for you, but things here are just… weird. My state has less than 30% vaccination rate, which is bad. But most of my circle is vaccinated, which is good – for me, anyway. So I get to have a social life again, yet it is irresponsible to hold gatherings, which has been most of my professional life prior to the last year. So my life still feels like it is in limbo, but with friends.

This feels liminal in the traditional sense of the word as well – an opportunity to discern what is new and coming. I don’t know what it is, but I feel it coming, like Arundhati Roy’s other world. Transition brings opportunity, and while I am unsure what it will look like, I am sure of its approach.

If all of this feels weird, then you get me – because it’s weird for me too. I feel sort of like a kid who has been promised a trip to the ice cream shop one day soon. I wake up with anticipation that today – this day – is the day it will all become clear and will make sense, that this is the day the odds and sods of the last 16 months will fall into place and will sort themselves into a coherent plan. I am the most optimistic I have been in over a year.

It hasn’t happened today – yet. But then again, it’s only 8:00AM.

Five Beautiful Things

  • It is salmon run season in Alaska, and here is a live cam of Brooks Falls in Alaska's Katmai National Park, where you can watch Brown Bears catch their fill. If not much is going on right now, you can catch highlights here.
  • A two-hour video showing over 1500 of the painting of Claude Monet. What a fascinating way to see his art. (I could also see having this play on the TV in the background at a party.)
  • Proposed post-pandemic covers for The New Yorker.
  • I love botanical prints and paintings, and was captivated by these paintings of flower mutations by Laurent Grasso that mimic 18th century botanical studies.
  • This short video about a man, his Gram, and his invention that used a product from the waste stream to make something beautiful is just the most hopeful thing I have seen in a while.


Thanks to all the replies from my question last week about vloggers. I am still working on the details of what this will look like, but I am pretty excited about it. I will keep you posted! Meanwhile, if there are vloggers you like, let me know about them by hitting reply to this email.

* * *

Well, that is it for this week. I hope you have a great week, and that your life is filled with beautiful things. If you see something beautiful this week, I hope you will let me know about it, and if one of my five I shared today struck you in a special way, I hope you will let me know about that, too.

If you want to support this project, you can sign up to be a Patron or buy me a book or throw me some cash or, especially, forward this email to your friends. And if someone did forward this to you, you can get your own subscription here.

Take care of yourself. And each other. 

Hugh Hollowell Jr

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