• MR

Screen Time

Hello! How have you been? As I sit here typing this note, all I can hear is my son playing his game on his iPad. I was against getting him this device but I was outvoted and here we are. The logical side of me says this is his generation's paper and pencil. And with all the discussions about how computer games can improve coordination, memory, mathematical skills and language, what got me emotional this week was actually hearing him read out loud. From a book. I was so proud. And truth be told, I'd be lying if I said the iPad and tv didn't help, especially during lockdown. Help me that is. I was able to get my own work done, get some quiet time, and even some space. It is ironic that what I'm doing here, with The Citrine Room, is encouraging more screen time for you! But there you have it, the sign of our times. That said, what I'm hoping you find through the content I post is that it is time well spent. And this week is no different--from the power of a pose, to poo. So let's get straight to what I have in store for you in #Repost. Vanity Fair's July/August cover features the wonderfully talented, intelligent, driven actress Viola Davis. She was photographed by Dario Calmese, an acclaimed creative who is a man of many talents. What made news about this cover though, was that Calmese is the publication's first photographer who is Black to shoot a cover story in its 37 year history. Shocking right? Shocking because it took this long! But let's not make that the story. Let's focus on the photographer himself. Calmese is a curator, visual director, activist. In this New York Times piece, photography, Calmese says is just what pays the bills. And the story behind Davis' pose that was chosen for the cover is truly incredible. And educational. Filmmaker Dawn Porter recently finished the feature film she was working on about the life of Georgia Congressman John Lewis called John Lewis: Good Trouble. As we know, the civil rights leader passed away last week at the age of 80 so this film couldn't me be more timely for us to really pay tribute to the man who gave so much of his life to fighting for equal justice and rights for African Americans. For Porter while there was a wealth of past and present material to work from, what was important to her was to learn more about the man himself, his story, his motivations. And for her, as you will read in this interview with Roger Ebert, it came down to the importance of Lewis telling that story himself. Our stories are what shape us, what help make us who we are. Yet they don't necessarily define us. Neither does the colour of our skin. That's what food writer and chef Tara O'Brady argues in a wonderfully articulated piece for Epicurious magazine. People of colour often get put into little boxes labelled with our ethnic origin. For example, she says as a food writer whose ethnicity is Indian, there is the assumption that she would mainly write about/be an expert in Indian cuisine when in fact O'Brady explores recipes from all over the world. When we cast our eyes beyond our own bubbles, we see the beauty and the struggles faced by people the world over, beauty and struggles that affect us all and connect us. One particular issue that caught Christy Turlington's attention was that of maternal mortality after her own experience during childbirth. It prompted this now mother of two to establish Every Mother Counts. The not for profit describes their mission as this: "Hundreds of thousands of girls and women around the world die every year from complications in pregnancy or childbirth, creating a rippling effect that devastates children, families, and communities. 90% of these deaths are preventable." Originally focusing on countries that lack access to adequate medical care, EMC sees even in the U.S. there is a stark disconnect between those who are treated well and those who aren't, and this is at a time when mothers, or mothers to be, are at their most vulnerable. There is a really good interview with Turlington from the FT and in #Repost. Women's health is still not taken as seriously in the medical field as it should be. Dr. Stephanie McClellan writes in Quartz, "The US healthcare system still views women as “small men” with different reproductive organs." This is is so true. Perimenopause is a real issue affecting women between the ages of 35 and 55 around the world. Perimenopause is the time leading up to menopause when a woman's body experiences drastic changes--changes like a depletion of estrogen resulting in multiple symptoms that really have an impact on a woman's quality of life. Trust me, I know. I'm there (I will write about that at a later time). And yet doctors seem at a loss in not only how to treat perimenopause but also how to talk to women about it. Medical journalist Katarina Wilk experienced this and decided to take matters into her own hands. The result is a book called Perimenopower. Finally, we know life can be shit sometimes. And for Suzy Batiz, that is actually a good thing. Literally. Batiz is the founder of PooPourri, the essential oil drops kept in our bathrooms (or handbags, pockets) to help remove those, well, unpleasant smells after we all do what is so natural for us to do. Batiz's story is really quite amazing. As we learn in this article in Success magazine, I think it's her resilience, her gratitude for failure, and her ability to see that chasing money didn't make her rich, rather it was feeling rich with whatever life threw at her that made her successful. So there you have it, an eclectic selection for you to peruse over. Granted your screen time will increase but at least what you're looking at will feed your brain and your soul. So grab a coffee/tea/beverage of choice, relax, and enjoy your time in The Citrine Room. Monita xo