In this issue: Macro photography, a road trip, and collage
“To know what you like is the beginning of wisdom and of old age. Youth is wholly experimental.”  - Robert Louis Stevenson

My view last night, just 30 miles or so away from home after many, many hours of driving. 

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.

I went on a road trip this weekend, driving a total of 24 hours over three days to mourn the passing of a friend. It was unexpected, unbudgeted, and unwanted, in that the passing was unexpected and decades too soon.

It was in Raleigh, where I sent 12 years doing good work, dated and married my spouse, did a dozen weddings and close to 50 funerals, and got adopted into what I call my chosen family. So it was weird going back – I am still reflecting on it, and still exhausted. I expect I will write more about it on my blog in the coming days – but today is a catch up day where I will try to put out fires that spring up while I was gone.

So, today is a quick letter, but please know I’m glad you are here, and grateful for your reading, and should be back into the groove in a day or two.

Five things I thought were beautiful.

  • I love these comics from a woman artist, meant to empower women.
  • Extreme macro photography of the human eye. Our bodies are marvelous.
  • I love this aesthetic. (All these photos are Instagram safe, but if you work for Puritans, they may be NSFW)
  • I am fascinated by process content from creatives – for example, writing from writers about writing. Here is a short video from the playwright Donald Margulies about how he began to use collage to keep his juices going over the pandemic. Here is his Instagram, where he has been posting his collages. I love everything about this.
  • I spent as life changing week on retreat at Mepkin Abbey in 2013, and loved reading this beautiful article about a Methodist pastor’s experiences there.
Ideas for links this week come from Jason Kottke, Tina Ross Eisenberg, and Ryan Holliday. 

* * *

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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