James T. Green is a conceptual artist, radio producer, writer, and educator from Chicago, Illinois, and now in Brooklyn, New York.

thoughts + feelings

20: Good Vibrations

This weekend the weather started to break in Chicago, meaning it is finally acceptable to peel away coats and scarves because winter is (hopefully) over. To celebrate, a friend of mine Deanna decided to throw a bonfire on Easter Sunday. Not just any bonfire, but one at the best park/beach in Chicago--Promontory Point in the neighborhood of Hyde Park.

While plenty of laughing and good food filled the atmosphere, we finally got the fire going, which easily attracted us to the flame since it got chilly near the lake. As we became mesmerized by the sticks and burning, a new friend of which I met that evening, Chinyere, started to speak about positive energy and the good vibrations of the trees which led into some great questions that she posed to the group. 

"As we all stand around the fire, I want you to think about what are you thankful for and if you had the opportunity to drop something in the fire, what would you drop?"

I thought that was a powerful set of questions that is not only a great reminder to stop and reflect but a great way to get to know people. When asked, I was incredibly thankful for love and support from friends and family over the last few months when dealing with my hospitalization and deaths in my family and friendship. As far as something that I'm willing to burn in the coming months, it's doubt. Doubt has been crippling me into believing that I can't do certain things or that I'm not good enough in a variety of ways, but when I stop and think about my life, it's not as bad as it seems after all.

So I figured, why not pose those same questions to all of you? As we gather around the bonfire of this newsletter, let me know what you are thankful for as we are easing into summer, and what thing, thought, or idea are you willing to burn in the coming months? Just hit reply.

Thanks for reading and see you next week,

-James


What did I find interesting this week?

1) Sometimes, You Have to Disconnect in Order to Connect: Adé Hogue is a fellow designer out here in Chicago and he's been on an Amtrak train from one side of the country to the next for the last week or so. He wrote about how being disconnected, due to low cell service, allowed him to connect to many people on the train.

2) Let fear find you again: Neal Sales-Griffin helped to start a big thing out here in Chicago. He co-founded The Starter League, a school that teaches people to how to build software. In this piece, he talks about how we let fear drive him to start The Starter League and learn software development without a plan B.

3) Scientists Find an ‘Earth Twin,’ or Maybe a Cousin: Kepler 186f was discovered as an Earth-like planet that has many of the same similar characteristics such as a livable temperature, gravity, and ability for plant photosynthesis and surface-level liquid water. Very exciting!

4) Blame It On The Internet: "Social media is viewed by gatekeepers as simultaneously worthless and a serious threat." Sarah Kendzior wrote on Al Jazerra America about activism on Twitter and how it's used by feminist of color to project a voice that's usually marginalized, all while mainstream outlets are dismissing their validity.

James T. Green