I have long believed in the power of group texts-as-proxy, for both strong and weak ties. And never more intensely than over the past 14 or so months.
There’s the siblings group and its consistent and casual shade; the extended family WhatsApp for the maternal aunts and uncles and cousins defined by its birthday shoutouts and embarassing stories about everyone’s childhoods. There’s several groups of former colleagues, replete with layers of media and tech commentary.
And then there’s 🛵💕, as much a space for funny tweets and scheduling coordinated fitness classes and dicsussions about in-progess creative projects as it is for daily vibe checks (“how are you holding up” “what vibes do you need”) and the source of many care packages to and from Texas, New York and the Bay Area. There are different ways to try to survive a pandemic and that group text is one of mine.
Sometimes when I see folks Tweeting Through It I wonder whether they lack a good group text. Really what I’m wondering is who their people are, because there’s nothing quite so useful as a gentle and generous call-in.
May we all have the group texts we deserve.
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I’ve been trained
to gaze up all my life, no matter the rumble
on earth, but I learned it’s okay to glance down
into the sea. So many lessons bubble up if you know
where to look. Clouds of plankton churning
in open whale mouths might send you east
and chewy urchins will slide you west. Squid know
how to be rich when you have ten empty arms.
Can you believe there are humans who don’t value
the feel of a good bite and embrace at least once a day?
—from Invitation by Aimee Nezhukumatathil