So Last Year

by Yule Heibel on November 22, 2017

[Note: For the time being, I’ve made this Nov. 22 2017 Thanksgiving Eve post, which begins the year-long So Last Year project (Thanksgiving 2016 to Thanksgiving Eve 2017), “sticky.”]

For many months now I’ve kept to a journaling routine called #MorningPages, popularized by Julia Cameron in her book The Artist’s Way. Writing longhand, avoiding pixels and screens, the routine has helped me get back to writing, an activity I love, but which got badly damaged and smashed to bits by the floods of social media.

While initially not intended for public consumption, I realized after a few months of writing longhand that some of what I wrote wasn’t bad, if perhaps a tad surreal – or slow, or ponderous, or just different. Best of all I realized that while I, along with every other media-inundated American, was living through a period of upheaval and change (the bottom – or top, depending on your perspective – still isn’t in clear view), I could write my Morning Pages without looking over my shoulder or to the side, without measuring (comparing!) in some kind of social media metric (or regime) how my thoughts were perceived (or, horrors!, how they weren’t – because of course the absence of resonance in media is death). Frankly, in the Morning Pages I didn’t care: it didn’t matter. This was for me.
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December 11, 2016 (Sunday)

by Yule Heibel on December 10, 2017

A mother worries about her children. What’s new?



December 10, 2017 (Saturday)

December 9, 2017

Before bed these days I’m reading a few pages of Camille Paglia’s Sexual Personae. A couple of nights ago I finished the chapter on the Italian Renaissance: Donatello, Botticelli, Leonardo, Michelangelo. I get what she’s on about with the anti-Chthonian, pro-Apollonian “western eye,” its drive to elevate the individual from out of the muck of […]

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December 9, 2017 (Friday)

December 8, 2017

Something just occurred to me …I never owned a Tamagotchi, but it seems that that toy softened us up. I thought about this when I realized how I tend my iPhone. It’s always a concern: is it on, is it receiving, are there new messages, should I be checking it, is there anything I should […]

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December 8, 2017 (Thursday)

December 7, 2017

A cold front is heading our way tomorrow but especially Saturday. It’s cold today, too: white frost coats the roofs. And already the difference the insulation makes that we had blown into the home office walls last week is quite immense. It literally feels like the room has a coat on, and isn’t standing in […]

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December 7, 2016 (Wednesday)

December 6, 2017

Who are we writing for? Someone I’m Facebook friends with got into another flamewar with one of his Facebook friends over politics. The FOAF-person who posted the original article which offended my Facebook friend then wrote (but sadly, deleted) in his defence of having posted an opinion perceived as controversial by my Facebook friend that he […]

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December 6, 2017 (Tuesday)

December 5, 2017

The other day I read this piece, which had been highlighted in Arts & Letters Daily, describing the rather obtuse criticism Lionel Shriver got for her Brisbane talk about “cultural appropriation.” In particular it was about this article a young Somali-Australian woman wrote in The Guardian, which detailed her trauma at having to listen to Shriver. […]

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December 5, 2016 (Monday)

December 4, 2017

When I got up this morning the sky seemed still and very dark, no sun visible. By the time I sat down to meditate, I was just in time to catch the start of today’s snowfall. For the past 25 or 30 minutes the snow has been falling, continues to do so still, and sidewalks, […]

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December 4, 2016 (Sunday)

December 3, 2017

Sunday, sunny. Blindingly so in my sunny sunroom, to the point of needing to pull down both the blind at my desk as well as the bamboo matchstick blinds along the entire window wall. I need awnings. We don’t need to be as uncomfortable as we often are, and yet we choose discomfort often enough, […]

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December 3, 2016 (Saturday)

December 2, 2017

I’m propped up in the hotel bed, not at a desk, after a pretty rough night with sore feet, multiple, repeated leg cramps, and a slight headache. The last is probably due to not sleeping well, recirculated and dehydrated (and dehydrating) room air (no venting windows, of course), and perhaps that final glass of wine […]

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December 2, 2016 (Friday)

December 1, 2017

Well, this afternoon I will drive into Boston and check into a hotel, where I will meet W. when he gets off work, and where we’ll walk to the Prudential Center for a “Casino Night” party on the 50th floor. And I don’t know what I’m going to wear. I had this idea for a […]

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