the longest month of the year

wrap-up #03

Manila, 26 January—How is it still January?!? This month has been hard on everyone, and I’ve heard many comment that it already feels like an entire year has been crammed into more or less four weeks. It’s been insane.

For example: This week alone started with the JaDine breakup, included a high-profile US Visa cancellation, and ended with a coronavirus outbreak. To think that we haven’t even fully recovered yet from Taal—relief operations have continued and thousands remain on forced evacuation as alert levels remain raised.

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed with everything—what does one do first? Volunteer for Taal? Stay informed about the novel coronavirus? Mourn the demise of a much loved celebrity team-up? Get rightfully angry at the audacity of our leaders to prioritize all that whining over a personal privilege over national security? All of the above, all at the same time?

Focus and attention are such precious things. How do you keep steady?

My personal highlight this week is finishing The Lady’s Guide To Celestial Mechanics by Olivia Waite (available on Kindle).

Beautifully written and breathtaking, the book is a period piece about two different but equally charming, intelligent women who are trying to navigate the challenges inherent to their time and managing all of that alongside their burgeoning attraction.

Without giving too much away, I have this to say: The unfolding is slow and beautiful. The lead character, Lucy Muchelney, is an astronomer and a writer—a girl certainly after my own heart. Her love interest, Catherine St. Day, is into embroidery as art. So perhaps you can just imagine how stunning the visuals are—and don’t get me started on the language! I can only dream of writing this well.

I suppose I’ll stop now lest I spoil anyone who wants to read. If you’re looking for your next read—make it this one! It’s so good, I’ll buy it in PRINT if I ever see a copy in a local bookstore. I’d also love to see it made into a movie. It has Portrait vibes—all those beautiful dresses! Take my money already!

This week’s favorite meme:

Recs from around the internet

  • Great thread about nCOV-2019, viruses, etc. A sober voice amid the hysteria on Twitter. I’m sure there is much merit in covering it the way it is being covered (by tracking its spread from country to country and reporting first verified cases, etc) but so much of the science and the sound data analysis can be lost amid all that urgency.

  • This poem Atlas by UA Fanthorpe makes me feel so seen. This is my love language, put infinitely more eloquently. My favorite line of course is, “Maintenance is the sensible side of love” but the words following also resonate clearly: “which knows what time and weather are doing to my brickwork.”

  • Eliza is hosting a giveaway of her book, Nightfall. Do join!

Gong xi fa cai! (before I forget)