Breath marks in writing

Liked let your readers breathe by David MoldawerDavid Moldawer (The Maven Game)

Normally, I curate my morning reading stack based on "readability." In the
morning, I'm fresh, for all of an hour or two anyway. Why not make the most of
it? Toughest reads first.

It's all downhill from there. By the afternoon, my capacity for mental labor is
significantly curtailed. Mostly, it's magazine articles and memoirs. Before bed,
I can barely focus my eyes. A good time for light fiction.

The Dawn of Everything

I like the metaphor of breath marks in reading. Little pauses. His example is for non-fiction, giving readers time to digest, but it applies in a way to fiction as well, to add in moments of levity to release tension, then allow the tension to rebuild.

Getting Shit Done Personal Growth

We Can’t Go Back

Listened Hurry Slowly Podcast: R.I.P. Productivity by Jocelyn K. Glei from

In this final episode of season 3 of the podcast, I reflect on my own journey into the world of productivity, what I’ve learned, and why I’m leaving it behind. In the process, I touch on the inevitable discomfort of new consciousness, why things are never going back to normal again, and how we can begin anew.

This episode did a great job at honing in on what I’ve been feeling about productivity and tying it into the pandemic: namely, that our cultural obsession with getting things done is symptomatic of our capitalist society, and the pause the pandemic forced us all to take stripped back the busyness that hid our fatigue and self medicating habits. Now we’ve realized how tired we are, and how capitalism has subsumed our identities, we can’t really go back. Her words matched my thinking that what we really need is to figure out how to restore our energy, and I love that she explicitly calls out the fact that none of us need to worry about productivity any more.

Her rallying cry also echoes what I’ve been brooding about lately: how we can use our unique skills to help make the world one we want to live in.


Watched Tōkaidō — 47 — Seki Suspension Bridge

Watched Tōkaidō — 47 — Seki Suspension Bridge by Craig Mod from Youtube

A moment on the suspension bridge just heading out of Seki up into the woods towards Suzuka Pass.

A natural silence, one made of wind and bird song and lapping water.

This binaural audio is surprisingly intimate, you can even hear him swallow.

Mental Health Personal Growth

The Value in Empty Time

Quoted On empty time and not feeling crammed by Madeleine Dore (Extraordinary Routines )

Detecting my own restlessness the last few weeks, I’ve tried to pay attention to this theme of empty time. It seems to keep returning, in conversations for this podcast, in books I’m reading, in conversations with friends.

Yutori means having the time and space—and even the resources—to do, with a sense of ease, whatever it is you’d like to do. Plus a bit. That’s the important part: plus a bit.

Yutori isn’t exactly empty time, but it’s enough playroom, enough elbow-room to be who we’d like to be.

— Madeleine Dore

I’ve been really busy at work the last few weeks, and have no time for buffer space, for breathing. Other colleagues I’ve met seem to be like this all the time, running at 110% capacity, no time to do anything that’s not already on their work plan. That’s not how I like to work. I like to have space for kismet, for opportunities to partner with others, for new ideas, for reflection and assessment, for coordination with colleagues that may not yield anything for me but helps them.

I think of the idea I heard about eating to only 90% fullness. That extra 10% of flex space yields the most interesting and enjoyable parts of my job.

I feel this, too, in my personal creative life. I have more projects than I could ever hope to finish, but also don’t have enough time or energy to finish those I am working on. Some more opportunity for picking priorities, and being satisfied with less.

I always forget how important the empty days are, how important it may be sometimes not to expect to produce anything, even a few lines in a journal. … the most valuable thing we can do for the psyche, occasionally, is to let it rest, wander, live in the changing light of a room, not try to be or do anything, whatsoever.

— May Sarton

Brings me back to this question from Jocelyn K. Glei I’ve been working on for the past two years: who are you without the doing?

These spare, empty minutes in between the doing of our days can be where we find ourselves.
— Madeleine Dore


Watched Tōkaidō — 31 — Sotetsu Tree, Josenji, Akasaka

Watched Tōkaidō — 31 — Sotetsu Tree, Josenji, Akasaka by Craig Mod from YouTube

Looking into Josenji at Akasaka-juku, the famous Sotetsu tree is off to the left side, hidden by the ginko tree and the falling leaves.

Watched with my purring cat draped over my lap.

A moment of resistance, knowing it’s three minutes of silence, not wanting to commit to stillness and potential boredom. Despite years of meditation practice.

A reminder that life goes on, everyone in their own spaces, even as our own lives become more local.

Where, here, can I find these moments, these places to commit to for a few minutes? Nowhere right now, when even a walk around the block feels fraught with risk, everyone else unmasked.

Mental Health

Anxiety Reminder

Liked Moosekleenex • Instagram (

Comic about anxiety - a person steps outside their anxious body to assess why they are feeling anxiousa good reminder