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A totally odd little March Favorites post today. March was a long month for me, with lots of intense work commitments and personal stuff going on. I’m happy to have it behind me, and I’m looking forward to an end to our unbroken grey skies and deep mud. (We set records this year) Let’s go spring!
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My first favorite is a chose your own adventure option. I love art, I especially love portable art that can be taken with you. And I really enjoy using said art in my prayer, meditation, or as a prompt or guide for journaling. Back in my wild experimental college days I bought about 10 tarot decks for their art alone, those things are absolutely gorgeous y’all. I quickly discovered (even before the internet) that there aren’t any rules on how you can use them. Sure you can use them fortune teller style, but that’s never been my bag. I prefer to pull one out at random and use it for meditation purposes. You can make up your own meanings for each card, or you can ignore the whole tarot idea and just look for deep symbolism in the art itself. Or, you can just enjoy some seriously pretty cards. The sky is really the limit. I never thought about digital cards, but apparently everyone else did and they’re everywhere.
Mother Mary Holy Cards (Digital!)
I stumbled on a couple different options that I found delightful. Here again: there are no rules. The first are a set originally intended for Christians in the Roman Catholic tradition. Their creator was asked to do a more ecumenical version that would appeal to a wider variety of Christians and the result is Mother Mary Holy Cards, ready for download for iPhone or Android. The art on these is lovely, modern and best of all inclusive of the white diversity of women on this earth. And you don’t have to be Christian to find them inspiring. Anyone looking for strong feminine imagery will probably enjoy this, take or leave whatever part of them might not work for you. I find the feminine divine has become more and more apart of my experience of Holiness as I grow older so I really appreciate this emphasis on Mary, even if I’m using them more to meditate on God(dess) as female, not a human being.
Druid Oracle (Also Digital!)
If those don’t work there is also a lovely version of the Druid Oracle cards available as well. These are traditional tarot cards with the sort of gorgeous celtic inspired watercolor artwork I gravitate toward. They lean heavily on natural imagery and will likely appeal to anyone who finds spiritual connection in nature and the natural world. Again, you can use these regardless of your faith tradition (or lack thereof). You can just enjoy the art, or use them as guides for meditation. If you’re a writer stuck and looking for exercises to improve your craft try writing a short story for whatever random card you pull out that day. (Did I say the sky was the limit? I wasn’t kidding folks.) I had this card set in physical form years ago and loved it. IPhone and Android.
When it’s dark and dreary and raining for the 100th day in a row, I find myself watching Youtube. I’ve never been a TV watcher, I just find the vast majority of what is on to be horribly boring, or distasteful. I can get on board with a good Masterpiece Theatre or Mystery! (The classics with Vincent Price) but that’s about it. Youtube though, I love. There are a few channels that have become my absolute favorites. In no particular order they are:
- A Model Recommends – Ruth is my spirit animal. Wait, no, that’s faff. Ruth is me if I were a) British and b) a model. OK, let’s just say I want to be Ruth when I grow up and move on. She’s funny, smart and just real. Her attention span and mine seem to be similar (squirrel!) and our humor lines up pretty well too. Her writing is enjoyable so also check out her blog. Her videos are a delightful little treat, and a peak into a different world and a whole other country.
- Not Your Typical Doll Face – I found Sarah’s channel completely by accident and enjoy her videos thoroughly. Again, she’s totally unafraid to be herself which is something I appreciate greatly. Her sense of fashion is on point (that’s what the kids say these days, right?), if totally different than my own very traditional meets hippy Mamma vibe. She is unafraid of COLOR y’all. For a fun channel that’s a bit like sitting down with your girlfriend I highly recommend her. And she might get me to add some lipstick that isn’t “nude” to my collection.
- Sailing Uma – For something totally different in the dark of winter I’ve found myself really enjoying a couple channels by people who are living on their sailboats in warm sunny places. Obviously. While many of these sorts of channels are clearly funded by deep pockets, and followed around by a swank film crew. Sailing Uma is the opposite of all that. The channel is run by a very young couple, with a small (cheap) sailboat they fixed up themselves. They worked their way from the US to Haiti and are now on to their next destination. The view of Haiti they provide is totally different than any I’ve seen before. I expect a delightful adventure most places they go.
- RAN Sailing – An older, more experience couple perhaps, and they hail from Sweden. Their boat is bigger, their journey has been longer, but they are refreshingly open and their videos lack artifice. I find them easy to listen to and delightful to watch. Malin is always amazed and delighted by new things, even simple things. Johan is very clearly a bit salty and rough, but utterly devoted to his novice partner and their life together. Their skills a videographers have really grown, but binge watching their journey through from the start is a great way to spend a few rainy days! Something about the way their videos go together makes it feel like a documentary, and travel guide all at the same time.
And last, but certainly not least is a new, and very different book (You Are Here: An Owner’s Manual for Dangerous Minds) by a favorite author of mine, Jenny Lawson. Jenny wrote the fabulously funny “Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir” And the also gut busting “Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things.” She’s my kind of author and all around person: honest and funny.
When shit gets real Jenny doesn’t pretend it hasn’t, and shit can get real. She’s up front about her depression, anxiety, and other health problems. She’s also up front about her straight up love for giant metal chickens, and taxidermy. Jenny gets my kind of weird. And she’s put out what I can only call a philosophy/coloring book. Or perhaps a spirit book? A therapeutic art book? Whatever you call it, it’s beautiful. The illustrations all by themselves in black and white are stunning. And Jenny pretty much gives you permission to color without worrying about making a mistake. The words, motifs, and meditations included in the book are lovely. This is a great gift for yourself, or someone who needs a little reminder that we weird ones are not alone. Keep it up Jenny.