This week, some of my favorite online reads involve the power of womanhood, the march of William Techumseh Sherman, and the ability to set aside social media.
"Show Your Strength" via AThousandThreads blog
"What it means to be a woman today is to be stronger than ever before. To lead a household, an office, or just your own damn self through a life that doesn’t ask for permission.Maybe you stand up for your beliefs by leading and nurturing your family. Maybe you feel that a family is best led by setting an example in your career. Maybe you don’t want a family at all. What it means to be a woman today is to refuse to be shamed for seeking happiness, whether that happiness comes through the eyes of your children or your next big promotion at work. It means setting an example not only for our daughters, but for each other, and helping other women to grow more confident in their choices every day. This is what this strong community of women bloggers has just begun to create, a support system and a strong example, with voices on every side of the aisle. A community that empowers women to seek out their own version of happiness in life. And, for that matter, to work with their significant others in a way that allows them to do the same. To shame that voice is to do more to walk back equality than they ever could.
To me, what it means to be a woman today is to chart your own path, and fight to be proud of every step. No matter what path that might be."
"The Many Battles of Atlanta" via The Bitter Southerner
"Moving west you pass through an invisible race barrier, from white to black, and slowly through an economic barrier as well, from comfortable to struggling. By the time I reached Hank Aaron Way, I had begun to feel distinctly alien and extremely self-conscious. Like many liberal white Atlantans, I like to think I don't carry any racist baggage, and indeed, among wealthy and middle-class blacks, I find myself much more well-adjusted than I ever did living in places with higher percentages of whites. Like, say, rural Michigan.But the discomfort that rises like magma when entering a poor black neighborhood is hard to tamp down. I viewed with deep suspicion a group of half a dozen young black men conversing in front of a dingy convenience store — it’s a lizard-brain reaction, and doubtless a deeply unfair one. It was me, after all, that had come into their neighborhood. It’s not as though they were lurking there in hopes that a lone white guy with a pricey camera would come loping past.
It’s a joy to live in the heart of the Civil Rights Movement. I cast my votes for John Lewis with great enthusiasm and I view the MLK Center with great reverence. But that irrational tic is still there nearly eight generations after the Civil War. It’s enough to inspire a deep pessimism, given that there are so many in these parts that seem happily willing to be governed by their passions rather than their reason."
"Exploring the Imperfect Shots" via Darling Magazine
"The trip began and almost instantaneously when I shut the phone off, my soul took a huge sigh of relief. What transpired was a space of presence. I wasn’t worried about “catching that frame” for social media, or obsessing with my camera settings to “nail” the shot. I was present and the craziest thing happened. I became at such peace. I didn’t realize just how much my life was wrapped around getting the shot until I gave myself permission to not get the shot — to just, be.
Instead of doing, I was being.Instead of looking to create a manufactured moment, I was living real life in the moment. My senses were alive to the smell of street crepes, the taste of salted caramel ice cream, the touch of the slightly itchy grass beneath us as we picnicked at sunset at the Eiffel Tower, the sight of rows and rows of Gardens at Versailles. My heart enraptured in beautiful conversations with my sisters, and with it life unfolded all around me. The tightness in my chest and the stress from my day to day life disappeared the moment my phone was shut off."
I have no rights to any of these quotations.
Check out their sources at the indicated links!