mama scout lab e-course

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

immunity


the mundane is a prayer of comfort



Started reading On Immunity by Eula Bliss. Thinking about risk, inoculation, a body's duality of danger/vulnerability to the public and personal choice.

How do we mitigate risk? If the notion of risk was on a continuum, where would you situate yourself to feel safe? We all might say, "right in the middle," but I bet we drift far to one side or the other. Either very safe, minimal risk, overly cautious or lax, open to the unknown, no rules.

The Thai boys in the cave occupied my mind for the last week. Their curious exploration nearly cost them their lives. Their coach (who seems both responsible for their predicament and their survival) relied on his Buddhist teachings to keep them safe. Their mental strength and calm offered some immunity to the dangers of panic in their unbelievably, daring extraction from the cave.

My son spent the week forging a sword. He was surrounded by hot coal fumes, natural gas, gasoline, grinding wheels and metal sparks.  He came home dirty, sore, with burn holes in his shirt and shaved knuckles. And skills, confidence, and passion. But it could have easily gone another way.

What if the risk does not result in a skill or higher good? What if it is just for fun? Is it still worth it?

I drop my daughter off in downtown New Haven for the afternoon with a friend. She knows her way around and is aware of potential dangers. But, do I want her navigating confrontations with the troubled men who populate the park? Does the fact that we spend time in NYC and other urban areas, modeling how to respectfully disentangle ourselves from altercations, offer some innoculation? Or is that a comforting myth? I am pretty streetwise and have been groped and robbed. Maybe the outcome would have been even worse without my awareness.

I am having a minor surgery for something that was only caught because I have insurance and the leisure to schedule and attend doctor's appointments. If I worked full time, lacked coverage and did not live in a safe area where I could occasionally leave my kids at home, I would have given up. It is costly and time-consuming and I am not even sure any of it is necessary.  But I will continue to get tests and have procedures because it seems like a way of staying safe. I would like to have lunch with Barbara Ehrenreich. I am curious about her perspective on the whole thing.

To be clear, these are privileged risks. They carry weight but have built into them a certain safety. We have means and are of a class that does not tolerate others' (teachers, doctors, homeless men) carelessness with our safety. We have the police, lawyers, and citizens ready to jump in to protect us.

I wonder about the risks of crossing a desert or sea in the search for safety. What sort of inoculations are available for that? What horrible reality makes one risk their child's safety? And why do some put the blame on poor parenting instead of looking back to see what the parent is actually running from? Do we even know about such horrors? Do we lack the imagination? I think we do, and some of us more than others.

I have no resolution on any of this, it is merely the frame through which I am processing the time. One risk, one calculation, and one wild imagining at a time.







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Friday, March 2, 2018

{poetry jam} every april



Every April I offer Poetry Jam in honor of National Poetry Month. It is the simplest but nicest of my labs, I think. Each day I send you a poem. These are curated from classics as well as the most contemporary poets. I spend the year reading, researching, attending readings and collecting in anticipation of sharing with you. The challenge for jammers is to simply read a poem every day for a month. 

In addition to the poems, I share simple crafts, ideas, and resources that will help you add a little more poetry to your days past the lab. This session, I am going to add more writing prompts as well. The idea is not to write poems necessarily, but to use writing to catch images and memories as they bubble into your mind. It will be painless, I promise. 

I have been writing a lot of poetry and experimental essays in the last year and although I usually do not feel like I have a firm grasp on what I am doing, I am always surprised and happy when I look back at the snapshots I am capturing of my life at this moment. 

It is a good practice. 

This lab, unlike my other ones, requires no social media presence. I will set up a FB group and Instagram hashtag, but they are completely optional. 

Sign up here













Friday, November 24, 2017

Holiday Lab 2017 (+ a coupon)



Holiday Lab starts December 1st! It is 10 days of ideas, disruptions, and permissions to create the holiday season that works for you. No excuses. 

You want to make all sorts of handmade gifts? Great. 

Want to buy presents at big box stores? Awesome! 

Trees? Live, fake or a ficus? It is all perfect! 

There is no right way to "perform" the season other than the way that promotes the connections that you are seeking. 

I have partnered with Merrick Weaver in the new online platform (megaphone) called Binderful. Binderful is a collection of women who teach, lead, inspire on a variety of topics - including homemaking, healing with plants, cooking, creative living, sexual health and more. The idea is that Binderful is a one-stop shop for gaining access to diverse voices in affordable, easily digestible classes and experiences. 

Holiday Lab is the inaugural class being offered through this new platform. It is a start, a soft opening for what I hope will become a radical resource for better. If you want to join the lab and support this endeavor - just click on the photo above. Use the code mamascout for $15 off. 

xo, amy

Friday, May 5, 2017

{may challenge} read


There is a new challenge up in the FB group for May!

We are working on reading more (who doesn't want that?), reading harder/different/weirder stuff, and reading in public (a form of resistance + public art). We are sharing reading lists, resources, and encouragement. 

If you want to join us, just drop in to the group







Thursday, March 30, 2017

April Wellness Challenge :: #letshydrate


Hello! It has been a while since we have done a wellness challenge, so let's remedy that now! I propose we spend the month hydrating. Water consumption is difficult even for people who love it. And if you are not a fan, it is even a bigger challenge. 

We will spend the month sharing ideas, tricks, tips and resources to encourage and support each other in our quest for hydration. 

This challenge happens in my FB group Mama Scout Laboratory for Creative Living. You can join here.  See you in the bathroom queue!

poetry jam ---> last call, y'all



Last night, as we pulled into our driveway after a 12 hour day of co-ops, capture the flag, play rehearsal and birthday shopping, we caught glimpse of our fox. He was sitting in the backyard, illuminated by the back porch light looking perfect. Reddish brown, alert, fluffed out in the cool air. We caught eyes and then he sauntered off. He is a constant around here. In the spring and summer, he strolls through our yard each day at around the same time (he has a route and schedule). We have missed him the last few winter months, but it looks like the wheel has turned and he is back.

April is national poetry month and its return each spring is something I anticipate. We read poetry all year round, but the idea of a month devoted to it seems luxurious. To make the month easier for me (and you) I created Poetry Jam, a simple and direct lab. Each day for the entire month, poet jammers receive a poem, essay, or project. I want you to be able to lay in bed, check your email and read something gorgeous, poignant, empowering and even passionately angering each morning. I love collecting the poems as I slowly build my own familiarity with poets, new and old.

I hope you will join us and give this little practice a try.

Poetry Jam starts in a 2 days (the welcome letter goes out tomorrow).

You can join here.

Monday, March 6, 2017

is being online hampering your creative expression?

The NYT Magazine's On Technology essay by Jenna Wortham this week speaks to much of what I (and I suspect my friends) have been thinking about lately. How can wide freedom of creativity and connectedness happen online? And in what ways does the very fact of it being online limit the conversation?





“The internet should be a place with no rules, and freedom, but it’s not,” PiƱero said. “There is a certain pressure to conform to certain aesthetics.” It was something I had noticed myself. Each social-media platform tends to reward certain behaviors and styles of posting, all in the interest of building fans and followers who are invested in the performance of a persona (maybe even more so than the Geppetto-like person orchestrating it all). Instagram is a place for intimate-seeming photos, Twitter for clever quips and collaborative memes. Facebook demands an unmitigated rawness that can be terrifying at times. With all, the works are often made to fit the platform, not the other way around.


read the article here.

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