When his brother lost a limb in a collision, John Amanam, a 33-year-old Nigerian native, learned that the majority of prosthetic limbs available in his country were white or wood-toned. A former movie special effects sculptor, Amanam noticed the lack of confidence that came with having an artificial limb with a mismatched skin tone. And, despite having no formal training, Amanam set out on a mission to help people feel whole and at home in their own body. “If I could give back or solve this need, it would go a long way to ease that emotional trauma and loss of confidence,” he told Reuters.
Found In Translation
Winnipeg kindergarten teacher Karla Dueck Thiessen’s picture book It Starts With A Breath…a Book About Mindful Breathing has been translated into Spanish by a teacher in Mexico, and now two other Winnipeg school teachers—Lorraine George and Gloria Barker—are translating it into their own Indigenous languages, Cree and Anishinaabemowin respectively. And George plans to have her students help by incorporating the project into the Cree/English program at her school. “It’s in the stillness that our breath connects us to our body, mind, and spirit,” Dueck Thiessen told the Winnipeg Free Press. And through this project, enabled by some funding from the city and from Dueck Thiessen’s church’s truth and reconciliation committee, more readers will have a chance to experience that stillness in their own language.
Tune In, Zone Out
If you’re up late and tuned in to the new BBC Radio 1 Relax channel online or on your radio, you might be treated to the sounds of chopping and crunching, courtesy of the new ASMR program, or an hour’s worth of ambient sound captured in the Arctic and Antarctica, featuring stirring winds and adorable penguin sounds on “Deep Sleepscapes.” Daytime listening includes guided meditations with Stuart Sandeman, downbeat music mixes, and the seemingly contradictory “chill-out anthems” from the likes of Florence and the Machine, Anderson .Paak, and the Arctic Monkeys.
Reply-All for Friendship
Who among us hasn’t groaned at the appearance, in our inbox, of an email chain with hundreds of reply-all responses?
ABC Carpet and Home recently let customers know, by email, that their couch delivery would be delayed. Altogether, 204 customers were copied on the email—and after an initial surge of complaints about the delay, and the rookie move of not putting all the addresses in bcc, this accidental community began to bond over what its 204 members had in common besides the lack of a new couch. They shared stories about their pandemic lives—talking about their pets, their losses, their dating lives, their hopes and dreams for the delayed couches. One member started a fundraiser for a family in need due to the pandemic. Many expressed compassion for the person who sent the email and neglected to bcc everyone. And at least one experienced a moment of personal growth. “The weight of feeling like a fraud in this group is too much to bear,” Gus Goldsack wrote to the group. His couch had not been delayed. It arrived in February. “It’s beautiful,” Goldsack told the others. “I love it.”
The Cards You’re Dealt
The pandemic made grieving a lonelier endeavor, taking away opportunities for mourning with our communities and loved ones. The Artists’ Literacies Institute in partnership with the New York City Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster began exploring how art could help process loss. The result was The Artists’ Grief Deck, flash- cards curated from an open call to artists, grief-workers, and people mourning around the world. The deck includes art-work that invites reflection (a painting of a woman weeping, a photo of birds in flight), grief prompts, memorial actions, and acts of mindfulness.
Acts of Kindness
COVID-19 restrictions had Canadian Aaron Wylie wondering how he could visit his terminally ill mother one province over—until he found a loophole. Truck drivers, considered essential, could travel, and Wylie had the right driver’s license. He posted online asking for a weekend job that would take him near his mother’s home, and received hundreds of responses over-night. One person even offered to donate their liver.
When Andi Musser, 10, shared hand-me-downs with a friend who couldn’t afford new clothes, the friend cried tears of happiness. Right away, Andi began dreaming up the Kindness Closet that is now a reality at her US elementary school. With the help of her principal and some local shops, she’s set up a place where fellow students can get new or gently used clothing for free.
Thanks a Bunch
Muthupandi, a fruit vendor in Kovilpatti, India, hangs bunches of bananas outside his shop with a note that reads “If you’re hungry, take it for free. Do not waste.” Muthupandi says he’s simply trying to make life easier for those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in India.
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