A housekeeping note for paid subscribers: I'm working on the note about your subscriptions further to last Sunday's update. Still no action needed on your end.
Moving always forces you to reckon with stuff. It especially forces you to reckon with waste. So much plastic, so much cardboard, so much tape, absolute mountains of bubble wrap.
Trying to figure out what will actually be recycled, and what will end up in a landfill, and what you can reuse while refreshing headlines about hurricanes and flash flooding and people dying in basement apartments: an abundance of on-the-nose metaphors about abundance and scarcity.
A tornado warning when you're in an apartment complex means spending 30 minutes in a closet, but it's ok because you still have signal so you can read more stories about abusive nursing homes.
Everything feels like too much, because it is. Everything is too much, because that's what happens when pandemics meet climate change meet institutionalized cruelty.
If there are no individual solutions to the chaos wrought by generations of collective failure, where do you find the people working together for a better way? And how do you find the courage to listen to them?
And the plastic toothpicks, folders, shoes that seemed
so cheap, so easy, so use-again and thus
less wasteful, then. What did we do before
to-go lids? Things must have just spilled
Do you know
what I mean? I mean, what pearl forms
around a grain of plastic in an oyster?
Is it as beautiful? Would you wear it?
Would you buy it for your daughter
so she in turn could pass it down and
pass it down and pass it down?
—from Plastic: A Personal History by Elizabeth Bradfield