My last post was about Amy Julia Becker’s powerful book, A Good and Perfect Gift, about her daughter Penny who has Down syndrome. The book raises wonderful questions about the value of human life, all human life and not just the lives that include advanced degrees and things our society values most. And since we at SPACIOUS are all about being open to “otherness,” to people we might not normally know or connect with, I’ve found that this book has broadened my thinking on such things.
My friend, author Amy Julia Becker is Princeton-educated, intelligent, physically attractive, and from a world of relative privilege. And she unexpectedly gave birth to a daughter with Down syndrome.
In the hospital after delivery, she and her husband Peter scrambled to learn about Down syndrome as they reeled and grieved over the news that had flipped their lives upside down, even as they tried to welcome Penny, the child they had anticipated so keenly and now held in their arms.
Amy Julia has written a beautiful book,
I have a sneaking suspicion that country is not the music of choice for most of our blog readers. But you are missing something. I cut my teeth on Loretta Lynn and Merle Haggard, and I still like me some Randy Travis.
“Love’s the only house big enough for all the pain in the world” is a phrase that was on repeat in my brain as I read the emails that dripped into my inbox while I went out for a Groupon lunch today.
My son and I used to laugh over a guy we called “mousse man.” His image was often on the cover of romance novels, a collection of which were displayed near the checkout counter of our local public library. When we’d go in to get our fix of Tintin or Where’s Waldo? or The Pennywhistle Party Planner, we’d exclaim over how much mousse “mousse man” had in his hair and how (frankly) creepy it was that his pecs were so prominently and unctuously displayed.
One of our main SPACIOUS tenets is that we are FOR things and not AGAINST things. And because of that I almost refrained from posting this op-ed piece from CNN because it got retitled from the title I’ve given this post, above, to a politically motivated title as the day wore on today. And we’re not ever going to be about espousing candidates or parties, nor certainly about criticizing them either. There’s too much that we can all agree on to get into all that.
Generally when we enter a room or social setting, we either telegraph an attitude of “Here I am” or “There you are!” It’s worth thinking about which we hope to project, and how we’d do it. Here are some ways to engage others:
1. Rather than asking people what they “do” (implying work), maybe you can ask them what sorts of projects they are working on or what excites them these days (acknowledging that it may or may not be their work).
I met my husband 32 years ago today. The story involves a raccoon coat, a mud puddle, a five-minute conversation, and then a call to my mother to tell her I’d “met the man I’m going to marry.” To which she replied, “What about your boyfriend?” (but that’s another story!).
We talked about soccer (not exactly a passion for either of us), and that’s the only topic I remember. We laughed about something, and it seems that we forged some connection over finding the same,
SPACIOUS is a state of mind. That’s our vision. I’m a big believer that every individual matters enormously, so if even one person had his or her life enlarged by our venture, by the possibilities we hold up, by the ideas we espouse, by the events we create, by the actions we recommend, then we’d be a success.
If a whole bunch of people were thus inspired, well all the better. For what are bunches of people other than conglomerations of individuals?
A subscriber to our site, Hannah, sent me an email after she signed up. I loved “meeting” her online, and I was also dumbstruck by one line in her email. She said, “It must be hard to keep your life spacious in the real world if you are keeping it so spacious on the web….”
Oftentimes I know what I need to pay particular attention to if it makes me feel like I might burst into tears; that’s a subtle clue!
I love, love, love this idea. It’s a “do good bus” that people ride, without knowing where they are going and without knowing exactly how they’ll be doing good. Part of the fun of having one’s own venture, like SPACIOUS, is being able to learn about what others are doing and give them shout-outs. So this is a big shout-out to the “Do Good Bus” people, who are helping non-profits, individuals and groups in Los Angeles.
I’d like to hand them a “Silver Lining”