When you connect powerfully to a story, you’re actually connecting to your deepest truth. Your ancestors want to connect with you as much as you want to connect with them. Your emotions are your sacred guides. Follow them down to the muddy bottom of your ocean. The alien beings who live here are only frightening because we don’t know them yet. Lie in your grief, swallowed by darkness so profound it makes no difference if your eyes are closed or open. Anger walks stiff-legged like a spider crab, a swarm of crabs scrabbling over you from one feeding ground to the next. In this dream, you can breathe the frigid water. The weight of the ocean flattens you. A jellyfish glows firefly-yellow, pulsing above you.
You will rise when you’re ready.
Japan is in a state of emergency. Coronavirus cases are on the rise. Unleashing thousands of foreigners like me, an American journalist covering the Games, into a city — to its restaurants and bars and stores — would be imprudent. But we do need to eat.
Enter the saving grace of these Olympics, the glue holding the whole thing together: Tokyo’s 24-hour convenience stores, or conbini, as they are known in Japan. They have quickly become a primary source of sustenance — and, more surprisingly, culinary enjoyment — for many visitors navigating one of the strangest Games in history.
In times of distress, many of us tend to search for a universal truth. Knowing that there's a way out, a way through can help us make sense of the world when it seems completely out of our control. And for more than a year now, the distress of social distancing, lockdown, and a rapidly mutating virus has overshadowed our public lives. In her new collection Goldenrod, Pushcart-Prize winning poet Maggie Smith responds to this destabilization by turning inward and asking — is the universal truth what we think it is?
“You’ve never seen true longing until you’ve seen a theater of young girls gaze upon the opening moments of The Nutcracker.” That line comes toward the very end of Megan Abbott’s latest novel, “The Turnout,” but it could as easily have been the first. Desire and ballet are entwined in a smoldering pas de deux throughout this tightly choreographed thriller.
Far too little of the ink spilled on the ethics of food production has come from those who are closest to the subject: farmers themselves. Thank the gods of agriculture for James Rebanks, whose new book, “Pastoral Song: A Farmer’s Journey,” tackles the confounding problem of how to make money from land without wrecking it.
Three nudes crudely drawn. One crouching,
back turned, right hand feeding the turtle