“There is no perfection, only beautiful versions of brokenness.”
― Shannon L. Alder

Artwork by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

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.

This is normally the place where I put a personal reflection or mini-essay. For logistical reasons that have to do with attention spans and email limits, I try to keep it below 400 words. This morning I got as bit carried away as I was writing about the way that the making of things is historically one of the ways we humans connect to the world around us, and one of the reasons so many of us feel adrift right now. In the end, it was in excess of 800 words, so I put it over on my sadly neglected blog instead.

I do hope you will read it, though. I think that the making of things is one of the ways we connect ourselves to the broader world, and one of the things that make us truly human.

Five Beautiful Things

  • Speaking of making – Reddit user Jay Chou edits pictures of Paddington Bear into scenes from movies. I love everything about this. It is whimsical. Completely unnecessary. Some of the Photoshop work isn’t even all that impressive – it’s just fun.
  • This website will tell you what time tonight a satellite will fly over your location, and help you find it, assuming clouds and light pollution cooperate with you, of course.
  • The planet is changing. I think that is something we can all agree on, even if individuals dispute the causes, even as science is clear that it is human caused. Google Earth (one of the lesser known, but still brilliant, Google Projects) has created a time-lapse view of satellite photography, so you can see with heartbreaking reality the change in city size, infrastructure, and environment we have brought about over the last 20 years. Check out their beautifully done promo video showing off the new feature.
  • In 2004 at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, there was an iconic performance of When My Guitar Gently Weeps to honor George Harrison’s posthumous induction. Tom Petty. Jeff Lynne. Steve Winwood. Dhanni Harrison (George’s son), and Prince. Prince stole the MF’ng show. Now there is a new director’s cut of the performance that highlights Prince’s badassery. I loved this so much.
  • I have shared elsewhere this article about how the feeling of blah so many of us feel is actually languishing. I like the article, and there is power in having language for an experience you have. That said, I really like artist and author Austin Kleon’s rebuttal, where he says he is not languishing, but is merely dormant. Words are so powerful, and the reframing he does here is brilliant.  

* * *

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

Take care of yourself. And each other. 

Hugh Hollowell Jr

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