A somewhat accidental mission statement + Friday finds

By Ingrid Fetell Lee

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My dear friends, sometimes I worry that I might give you whiplash with my subject choices. Some days I need to talk about the joylessness of the American education system and get serious about ways to fix that, or Circadian rhythms and aesthetic toxicity. Other days I need to show you these marvelous balloon fruits (see above) or do a post on nail art (stay tuned for this gem). Everything you read about blogs says that writers should be consistent, stay “on message,” and “cultivate their brand.” And some days I get nervous that my ping-ponging between light and serious might be a recipe for confusion for you.

Yet, serious woman though I am, I can only live in only the land of the literary and scientific for so long without bits of color and fluff in between. (And I mean fluff literally — nothing breaks up a few hours of deep design work like a baby animal video break.) I am both reason and senses, and the senses are not fed on ideas. They’re fed on beauty, wonder, and delight. We must remember to be amused, to be enchanted in our day-to-day, or what is it all for?

Joy is light and airy, but under the surface of that airiness is serious stuff, vital to our wellbeing. I write this way, sometimes detailing the science, sometimes reveling in the feels, because I believe both matter, and I’ve never found anywhere else that embraces this duality. I may swing to one pole or the other at times, but at the center is always the idea that joy matters, it is essential, it is worthwhile.

I know there are many kindred spirits out there. Some of you I’ve met, and some I haven’t. Please say hello in the comments if you’re just visiting for the first time. I’d love to meet you!

Now, on to the Friday finds:

  • Artist Vanessa Mckeown makes these whimsical Fruloons & Vegaloons (via)
  • 3900 pages of Paul Klee’s personal notebooks are now online, including gorgeous diagrams that outline his personal theories on color
  • I’ll admit I was a bit skeptical about this machine that makes music with 2000 marbles that everyone is talking about but I have to say it kind of charmed my pants off!
  • News this week of a very, very rare condition called happy heart syndrome where a joyful event can cause a temporary change in the shape of the heart. (It seems that about 19 times as many people get it from a sad event than from a happy one, so don’t get too worried!)
  • Artist Anish Kapoor gets exclusive rights to use the world’s darkest material, known as Vantablack. While this move seems pretty unfair and is driving other artists crazy, I’m a little bit excited to see what Kapoor does with it. (More here)
  • I love these adorable fat armchairs by Andreas Engesvik for Fogia
  • There is actually a site called The Daily Otter. (You are so welcome!)
Hope you have a wonderful weekend: serious or light. Or both, as long as it’s joyful!

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Images: Vanessa Mckeown (pssst… go check out her other great work too!)

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March 4th, 2016

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    Discussion (4 Comments)

  1. Michelle Gow on March 6, 2016

    Hi Ingrid—I’ve been following along for a while and really enjoy both the science and the fluff. Keep on going with the joyful ping-pong!

    Reply
    1. Ingrid on March 6, 2016

      Thanks, Michelle! Nice to hear from a kindred spirit. Thanks for saying hi and supporting the blog!

      Reply
  2. Chelsea Howe on March 7, 2016

    I’ve been reading this blog for years now – over 5 I think – and I’ve always found it to be a unique oasis in the digital world of positivity and consideration. I come here to be inspired, to feel playful, to smile, to gape, to grin and tease. I come here to roll around in all of the wondrous colors and textures, the curves and the tastes. Even through the dry times, the months even without updates, I would come back again and again. I can’t explain the relief and gratitude I felt when the entries came pouring forth again, a firehose compared to previous days filled with positive sensation and comforting prose.

    I am so grateful for you and for this haven you’ve created. Thank you for all the work you do bringing us this wonder. Thank you for conveying such joy. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    Reply
    1. Ingrid on March 8, 2016

      Chelsea, thank you! I can’t tell you what these words mean to me. What you’re describing is exactly what I set out to do—but there are days where you doubt whether it’s making sense to people. One of the reasons I write is to get out what’s in my head, but another is to find some common chord with others — to surface a truth for myself and hopefully discover someone else who has been holding that same truth, but maybe hadn’t found words for it yet. So that we can be united in the wonder of it all 🙂

      It only makes me sorry that I took so long to come back to it. But I can promise many more “wondrous colors and textures,” more “curves and tastes” to come!

      Thanks for reading, and sharing your thoughts, Chelsea!

      Reply

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