The Hughsletter #112 – Another week, another shooting

Good Morning!

Another week, another mass shooting. As more and more of them happen, we become desensitized to the horror of what has happened. I remember in 1999, when the Columbine Massacre happened, being overwhelmed with grief for people I did not know, and keeping the news on all day as the reports continued to come in.

They killed 13 people, and wounded an additional 24. By today’s standards, that is strictly middle of the road. It’s funny what you can get used to, what a society can decide it is prepared to accept.

I have said before that ugliness is pervasive, and in today’s modern world, creeps in everywhere. And to keep it at bay, you have to pursue beautiful things. In fact, I would argue that the intentional pursuit of beauty in the midst of a world intent on ugliness is an act of rebellion, and we who seek to create beauty are nothing less than insurrectionists.

Fight on, good people. Fight on.

Here are five things I thought were beautiful

I saw the Wendell Berry documentary Look & See over the weekend. I loved it – I also love that Berry refused to be filmed for it. It’s on Netflix, and the trailer is here. The film uses original woodcuts as title cards – here is a 2 hour(!) video that shows his process. The actual cut itself takes three days.

This is the most beautiful thing I read this week – the story of an unlikely friendship, and the discovery that love doesn’t always fit in neat categories. I’m not crying, you’re crying.

These charcoal drawings by Zoe Keller of the natural world are just amazing. (I also adore the animations).

New York in the early 1980’s, through the eyes of a cabbie. I love street photography – snapshots of people being people.

Marc Powell draws with a Bic pen – which is pretty cool, in and of itself, but he also draws his pictures on
top of old maps. The result is pretty surreal.


Another project I have recently begun is to do a ‘creative update’, where I let my patrons know what I am working on each month. Sort of a “behind the scenes” newsletter. I really need the accountability, and doing it for the people who are most invested in my work just seems natural and right.

Well, that is it for this week. I hope you have a great week, and that your life is filled with beautiful things.

If you see something special, I hope you will let me know about it, and if one of my five I shared today struck you in a special way, I hope you will let me know about that, too.

If you want to support this project, you can sign up to be a Patron or forward this email to your friends – it is the only method of promotion I have ever used for this project. And if someone did forward this to you, you can get your own subscription here.

Take care of yourself, and each other.

Hugh Hollowell
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