Mo Moulton, “An American in Brexit Britain: Reflections After the Presidential Election”:
Here, in the middle of England, people are kind and gentle. When they hear my accent, they know. Cashiers offer sympathetic glances. I walked into a meeting of the British Studies reading group the day after the election; we were discussing one colleague’s new book on a notorious con man from the early twentieth century. Another colleague gently touched my arm, saying: “I’m sorry, friend.” Later, he confessed: “It was seeing your face that made it real for me.” I remember the Shropshire cab driver, a tall, white man playing American country music at full volume, who asked me: “Why would anyone want to vote for someone who sounds like Hitler?” I wonder what he’s thinking now.
From the Magpie, “Work”:
The Magpie, just like you, needs to figure out a way to get through this.
The Magpie, ever attracted to what gleams in the world, sees this, today, in the work of Agnes Martin: the work of beauty, and the beauty of work, which is like a pulse beating across and through her paintings, line after line, grid after grid, crossing after crossing, canvas after canvas, year after year, for her entire life as an odd woman who wouldn’t have said she was a woman at all. We’re all looking for a hero and a way to be as history sweeps us up, reminding us—how did we forget?—of its vast, heedless power. This is mine.
John Cotter, “No Satori: Living Between Noise and Silence”:
The night before Viv’s funeral, I feel my right ear empty of the roar. It’s been a year since the ear has registered external sound. As they told me at the Mayo Clinic, “when the ear’s been unresponsive for more than three months, the rule is to say it’s gone.” The left ear, meanwhile, has been working on and off for weeks. Now it’s back, and who knows for how long. I run my finger up the pinna—the bit that resembles a shell. It’s only treble, but it’s conducting. How much?
Brandon Taylor, “Spectator: My Family, My Rapist, and Mourning Online”:
How many people, when my mother died, came to my page to wish me love and light? How many returned time and again looking for some clue of my pain or anguish or grief? Isn’t that what we do? We scent a tragedy in the air and we try to trace it—not to its source, but to those most affected. We try to make sense of it by watching them grapple with it. In this way, we aren’t living parallel lives at all. We’re leeches, proliferating in a still pool of light. Spectating isn’t living, after all; it’s consumption.
Amy Kurzweil, “How I Made This Comic About How I Make My Comics: An Interactive Essay”:
On our Community site, Lucas Hunt shared a poem, “Bullfighter,” a follow-up to his essay about his obsession with hot sauce; and design team Strick&Williams explained how they came up with the cover design for Peter Orner’s Am I Alone Here?
Thank you so much for reading with us. It’s a short week for us, as it is for many of you, due to the holiday weekend. To those celebrating, happy Thanksgiving; to all, please be well. We’ll see you next week.