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You Gotta Read This: Outside In

One of the ways I've been handling being on lockdown during the COVID pandemic is by going outside at least once per day. Most days, around work and distance learning hours, my family and I kick around a ball or garden in our backyard, take long nature walks around our (mostly rural) village, and keep busy teaching the youngest of us to ride a bike. I am lucky to be smack dab in the middle of nature, but my mind and my heart go out to those who don't have such access to the outdoors, like: People who live in an apartment and/or don't have their own outdoor space. People who are in cities where the public parks have been closed. And especially people who live in countries where the lockdown i

You Gotta Read This: On Wings of Words

In times of grief, I've found there is one thing that helps me tremendously: reading poetry. Specifically the poetry of Emily Dickinson; and even more specifically, her poem that starts with the line "After great pain, a formal feeling comes—" I've come back to this (and other) Emily Dickinson poem many times for its wisdom and acceptance of pain, and its ability to comfort the reader with both. It was my great pleasure, then, to delve into the life of one of my favorite poets through Jennifer Berne's deftly told On Wings of Words: the Extraordinary Life of Emily Dickinson, illustrated with whimsy and detail by Becca Stadtlander. The book tells Emily Dickinson's story, from birth to death an