Currently: January 2017

Hello friends!

What a week it’s been. My heart aches for the families hurt and affected by the ban {and any and all other policies recently enacted by the new American administration}, but I’m heartened by the number of swift protests that took place in response. It gives me hope for the future – that no matter how bad things get, there’s always a community ready and wiling to fight back – and reminds me to do my own part daily.

With that said, I would also like to apologize for my brief hiatus. School and life commitments took first priority, but I can’t ignore the nagging thought I’ve had in the back of my mind: I’m not sure what relevancy my typical way of blogging has at this time. Please don’t take this as a message of goodbye – I love Ciao Bella and the space it has grown into, and I have no current plans to give it up – but I admit, I struggle to write about books and art and baking, things I hold dearly to my heart, when it seems that a country I so greatly admire is falling apart. Doing so feels to me as if writing in a vacuum, sharing posts, but ignoring what is happening in the world, and that simply doesn’t sit right with me.

It’s what I ponder on this Tuesday morning, and I’m curious to hear what you think, how, if you’re a fellow blogger, you’re striking a balance between the two and how you plan to move forward {I’m still not sure myself}. In the meantime, as a way to catch up after my blogging break, I offer a “Currently” post, a collection of things that have been on mind and/or have brightened my day in recent weeks. I hope they do the same for you.

bright-starListening: Bright Star Soundtrack | It’s no secret that I love me a musical soundtrack, from the raps of Hamilton to the sweet ballads of Dogfight. After the past several weeks, I can now add the songs from Steve Martin and Edie Brickell’s Bright Star to my favorites list! The production is no longer on Broadway {it debuted last spring, but came to a quick close in June}, but I’ve nevertheless taken to listening to the soundtrack in full while studying or writing. And if there’s anything more interesting than the music of the production – a folksy collection that has roots in bluegrass – it’s the inspiration behind it: Martin and Brickell took to work after coming across the story of the Iron Mountain Baby. What music have you been listening to as of late?

a-series-of-unfortunate-eventsWatching: A Series of Unfortunate Events | If the critical acclaim is any indication, then I’m not the only one who spent much of this month binge-watching the eight episodes of Netflix’s newest hit, an adaptation of David Handler’s A Series of Unfortunate Events. Starring Neil Patrick Harris as Count Olaf and supported by a stellar cast, the show brings the first four books in the series to the small screen, and it is all at once whimsical and witty, funny and frightening {Because for every dose of humor is one of reality}. The production design too is stellar, making it all too easy to escape into the somber world of the Baudelaire children. I found that it was the perfect antidote when home sick last week with a nasty fever/stomach bug virus; my only remaining wish is that the second season would already be available for streaming!

mary-tyler-mooreMissing: Mary Tyler Moore | In more dismaying news, I was saddened to hear of Mary Tyler Moore’s passing. Clearly, I’m a few generations off of her rise on television, but I nevertheless have fond memories of watching and laughing through episodes of The Mary Tyler Moore Show with my dad. Additionally, if only because one rarely sees a T1 diabetic in the world of Hollywood, I always admired her advocacy for the disease, efforts that I’m sure changed the lives of many. I hope the funny ladies of today – again, many a woman I admire and respect – continue to carry on in her name.

the-mountaintop-trinity-repLoving: The Mountaintop | For the play-loving bunch, you may recognize The Mountaintop as Katori Hall’s award-winning show in which audiences are given a glimpse into the last night of Martin Luther King Jr.’s life. It’s a fantastic show in it of itself, but Trinity Rep’s production, running now until mid-February, elevates it to another level. I was fortunate enough to catch a performance with my sister, dad, and friend, and I was captivated from beginning to end, not in the least because the acting is impeccable {kudos to Joe Wilson Jr. and Mia Ellis}, the technical elements are transformative, and the story is relevant. I’d go again in a heartbeat, but needless to say, if you’re in the Providence area, you’d do well to see it yourself.

dead-feministsReading: Dead Feminists: Historic Heroines in Living Color by Chandler O’Leary and Jessica Spring | Finally, have you ever heard of the Dead Feminists series? I was fortunate enough to receive the published collection of the popular broadsides as a Christmas present, and, just as I’ve done with In the Company of Women, I’ve poured over the pages, which explain the reasoning behind each piece and insight into each woman’s life, night after night. O’Leary and Spring are both talented artists in their respective fields, and I love how they’ve combined not only their skill with a love of history, but also how they’ve used their series as a call to action, an important reminder if I ever saw one. {If you need another book recommendation, I also just wrapped up the middle grade anthology Flying Lessons and Other Stories, which is a complete and utter delight worth picking up}.

And with that, I wish you all lots of love. I’m keeping this quote, from the forever-inspiring Carrie Fisher, in mind as I kick off the new month {and my final semester!}: “Take your broken heart, make it into art.” As always, wise words.

B

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One thought on “Currently: January 2017

  1. I relate so much to what you said in the beginning of this post! Whenever I have an idea for a blog post that’s not related to politics or Trump, I find myself thinking, “Well, is it really important to say this right now, when all of these terrible things are happening?” I’ve published four blog posts in January, and three out of the four were about politics and what is happening in America. Of course, it’s so important to talk about what is happening. But I think it’s also important to keep doing the things that make us happy, whether that’s writing about baking, books, or anything else, because keeping up with things we’re passionate about can put us in a better state of mind to deal with what is happening.

    Liked by 1 person

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