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Oct 27, 2023Liked by Maggie Smith

It hasn’t been easy to carve out space for joy lately, but Ross Gay has helped (I’m reading Inciting Joy), and I’ve been making a playlist–not the kind where you put a bunch of songs in a pile and hit shuffle, but being really strategic about the song order and playing them from beginning to end–and enjoying the decisions, like having Brandi Carlile’s, The Eye, lead to Paul Simon’s, Hurricane Eye or Rufus Wainwright’s, California, leading to Joni Mitchell’s, California. Or, a segment that shifts from Ghosts Again by Depeche Mode to Anyone’s Ghost (The National) to The Funeral (Band of Horses) to Funeral (Phoebe Bridgers) to I Grieve (Peter Gabriel). And the end, a needed reminder of love: Love is In Need of Love Today (Stevie Wonder), I Dig Love (George Harrison), Love is Everywhere I Go (Sam Phillips), Revolutionary Love (Ani DiFranco). So many of the songs also carry sorrow, too, but that’s the crux of it, isn’t it, joy and sorrow intermingling?

Plus, the maple trees in our backyard are magnificent right now.

Thank you for this post, a monthly source of joy, a regular reminder to reflect on the good stuff. Plus, this month, some musicians I’ve never heard of and look forward to listening to.

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You and Dani Shapiro are the two authors I return to most often for insight and inspiration and Dani’s podcast is my favorite podcast and the two of you together is amazing news.

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OH MY GOD! I just pulled out my copy of that book of fairy tales just the other day! My favorite story was The White Cat and I think the illustrations in that book impacted my whole aesthetic! 😂 I never known anyone else who had it. The pages of mine are falling out, I read it so much. In fact, I’m planning to write about it soon. THIS is bringing me joy.

I’ve also started taking a burlesque class. It’s been so much fun to just move my body and it helping me tap into my sensuality and at the same time not care what other people think. Also, I get to attend the National Book Awards ceremony next month and I am OVER THE MOON about that.

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I love that phrase “beauty emergency” so much!! These days the beauty of October in TN is bringing me a lot of joy...especially the robins, cardinals who seem so content in my front yard. I’ve reconnected with fairy tales more this past year...I’ve been reading a book called Cinderalla and Her Sisters: The Envied and the Envying, which really captures the lasting gifts/lessons fairly tales can offer about thorny human dynamics, like envy. Thanks for sharing all of your good stuff! 🦋

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So lovely—wish I could be down in Miami for the festival this year to hear you!

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