What we’re reading: celebrations and sorrow

Reflections on Mother’s Day, a window into the Carroll v. Trump trial, and more perspectives worth reading


Hey y’all,

I recently received an email from a retailer, asking if I would like to opt out of Mother’s Day emails and congratulations. (For our international readers: celebrating motherhood in mid-May is customary in the U.S.) I pondered that email, thinking about my two children, who are a joy, and my own mother, also a joy, who is deceased.

It was a good question, and a good reminder that everything is a matter of perspective. For writer Jacqueline Dooley, Mother’s Day comprises both joy and sorrow after one of her two daughters died of cancer.

Dooley writes, beautifully, this: “There is no occasion that glorifies mothers more effusively than Mother’s Day. It is an in-your-face public display of affection celebrating one of the most aspirational idealizations of women in Western culture. It seems to me that the holiday has no room or patience for sadness.”

Essayist jen parker described taking her son to Sesame Place theme park in California; what it looked and felt like. And, about letting go.

“But now, in dimension, the place felt intimidating,” Parker writes. “The dry, little kid rides were mixed in with the wet, bigger kid rides — like maybe this place wasn’t just for preschoolers but had been designed by them.”

Humor can always be found at this time of year too. Award-winning writer Kerala Taylor masterfully titillates the senses — and the laughs — by suggesting that a man who takes initiative by signing a field trip permission form for his kids is super sexy stuff.

What these stories have in common is the ability to show you the other side of the coin in a very personal, authentic, non-contrarian way. They incite thoughtful responses.

Sometimes, folks call that kind of dialogue a conversation. I’m glad to be a part of it. (And I encourage you to absolutely read the comments — and make some!)

Also, let me know if reading something on Medium profoundly changed your life, your perspective, your career or how you view things. I’m all ears!

Thanks for reading and thanks for writing.
Adrienne Gibbs
Director, Creator Growth @ Medium

Your weekend reads…

Why Everyone on the Internet Is Wrong” by Mark Manson, bestselling author of ‘The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck’

On the internet, you don’t get real-time context. What is said is permanently embedded in the digital ether and is implicitly read by people as a complete and full statement of opinion, even though it never is.

A Giant Conflict of Interest’: A Doctor’s Views On Our Flawed Medical System and Toxic Lifestyles” by Markham Heid, health journalist

I’m speaking here with a cardiologist and medical director at a major American health institution… During our conversation, which we agreed ahead of time would be on the record but not for attribution (meaning I print what he tells me without including his name), he told me about the problems he sees with U.S. health care — namely the ways doctors are incentivized to perform as many tests and procedures on their patients as possible.

Photo by Battenhall on Unsplash (“What Is Mastodon and is it the Future of Social Media?”)

What Is Mastodon and is it the Future of Social Media?” by Jonathan Wylie, tech consultant

Mastodon’s federated structure means that users can interact with users on other instances, expanding their reach beyond just their instance. You can also decide to create your own instance, giving you complete control over an online community.

The Writers’ Strike Helps All of Us” by Janice Harayda, award-winning journalist and former book editor for Glamour

I spent more than a decade in Local №1 of the Newspaper Guild, which received its number because American journalism unions began in its city. During those years, I saw firsthand how unions help all of us.

Illustration by Liza Donnelly

Live-Drawing the Last Day of the Carroll v. Trump Civil Rape Trial” by Liza Donnelly, visual journalist for The New Yorker

Before being allowed into the Manhattan Courthouse where the Carroll v Trump Civil Rape trial is being held, you have to go through extensive security. I arrived yesterday for the final day of closing arguments to find an extremely long line at the security scanners. As we wound our way through the line, I spotted Ms. Carroll, standing in line.

On Having Friends Who Still Diet” by Savala Nolan, UC Berkeley law professor and author of ‘Don’t Let It Get You Down: Essays on Race, Gender, and the Body’

It’s difficult because I wish I could convince them of the toxicity and futility of the pursuit — like the scientifically-proven futility — but, in my experience, people will deny the science until they are ready to accept it.

What have you been reading this week? Drop a line in the responses.

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What We’re Reading” is a weekly roundup of insightful stories and perspectives from across Medium. Browse previous editions here.