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📷 An Eye for Life: My Week Online 🇯🇵 #8

Thank you for joining me for the 8th issue of my weekly newsletter. I’m ruminating on what a Japanese art might be able to teach us about embracing life’s imperfections and sharing intriguing things I found online this week. I hope you find it worth your time to read.

Last week on Twitter, Samantha said in a conversation we were having that she was ‘learning to live vicariously in the mistakes.’
The context was about making drafts of what we want to say and checking them before sending so that we could catch spelling errors. And yet it felt profound in what has been a difficult week during a difficult 16 months, where all too often I hear from friends and readers that we are all struggling with mourning a life that doesn’t look like we thought it would back in 2019. I’ve had this conversation with so many people, I’ve lost track. So 2020 didn’t work out the way we thought it would. And maybe 2021 isn’t shaping up how we imagined either. We aren’t alone in feeling this way at all. It just feels like we are sometimes.
I wondered, can I… how can we… look at what we have been through with more acceptance in a way that finds what little good there was or might be and… take comfort in that? Should we throw it all out or save the pieces we are left with and find a way to make them more beautiful?
The analogy I guess I’m trying to make doesn’t apply to literally everything or all of life. I certainly don’t want to gloss over the losses that have changed families and entire communities forever. But I do think there’s something about a life that looks more like a piece of beautiful Kintsugi than one more like a new and flawless piece of pottery, straight from a store - that’s worth considering.
What is Kintsugi? I answered that a bit in this tweet ⬇️ and you can see Samantha’s thoughts about it after that.
🟣 Kirsten p: kearstin
@SamanthaPostman Owning/learning to live with mistakes and imperfections... a lifelong journey.

That makes me think of the Japanese art of Kintsugi which I find so inspiring. Rather than throwing away things that break or crack, they emphasize & celebrate it.
🟣Samantha Postman | Multi-Perspective Speaker🚢⚓️
@KirstenAlana Such a beautiful analogy Kirsten.

I think as we age, we embrace this philosophy more.

Cracks tell stories.

Stories are compelling.

Compelling makes life interesting.
Learn more about Kintsugi at this article, buy a kit to try it at home or purchase this piece on Etsy. Writing about it also brought to mind the lyrics from Anthem:
Ring the bells that still can ring 
Forget your perfect offering 
There is a crack
[A crack] in everything 
That’s how the light gets in
Because of researching Kintsugi, I now have Japan on the brain. Here’s a photo from the Japanese portion of LA’s Huntington Gardens. I hope to visit Japan in 2022. Living in LA it’s a much shorter flight than it was when I lived in New York and I can’t wait to finally get there for myself one of these days after reading about it for years. Have you ever been?
strolling the Japanese section of The Huntington
strolling the Japanese section of The Huntington
There are beautiful photo essays about travel in Japan on Exposure and I also spent a few hours letting those take me away, virtually.
Elsewhere online this week,
Do we even deserve the cuteness of animals like baby cheetahs [below] dogs, bunnies and pigs?! They always cheer me up!
Cheetah cub weigh-in at Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute
Cheetah cub weigh-in at Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute
AAPI Month on Google Maps
I found this 13th-century home for sale in the riverside town of Confolens, Charente. It needs some fixing up but what a project it would be!
I learned my friend Jessica’s new home in Philly is one of the city’s historic Trinity Houses and now I want to visit her more than ever. Read about their incredible history at the article below and if you want a good newsletter with travel news and timely tips, hers is terrific!
Philadelphia's Trinity Houses are the Original Tiny Houses
I discovered Blue Space Is the New Green Space via my friend JoAnna.
Blue Space Is the New Green Space
I figured out what I’ll be streaming this weekend ⬇️ Decision fatigue is real and I’m always open to new suggestions. What’s your favorite thing to stream right now?
What to Stream for AAPI Month
Then again I also have three new books waiting for me, so I might be a 📚 🐛 all weekend. I keep a running list of what I am reading and what I want to read, here.
Which book should I tackle first?
Which book should I tackle first?
and I discovered these beautiful photos of the Milky Way:
Milky Way Photographer of the Year
I'll leave you with,
the heather-covered hills of Scotland from this week’s #ScotlandHour on Twitter and a wish for a weekend that fulfills whatever you need: be it rest, relaxation, fun, or anything else!
Locate in Midlothian
A2 @ScotlandHour we love late summer. The heather is in full bloom in the #Pentlands and it’s (sometimes!) a little warmer so great for getting out and about. #LocateInMidlothian #ScotlandHour
with love, Kirsten
Thank you for reading! I hope to see you back here next Friday for the ninth edition of An Eye for Life. 💛 ✨
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Kirsten @kirstenalana

A periodic newsletter that helps you discover the work of creatives around the globe and ways you can help people + planet. Also includes notable online moments, photos, and an original short essay by Kirsten Alana.

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