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Peculiar Treasures: Pushing Past Boundaries, JSTOR for Pleasure and More

By Sandra Clark



This week our selections and suggestions feature people pushing past perceived limits and thresholds and into something new, bold or startlingly beautiful.

Let’s start small. Really, really, really small. Impossibly small? No, knit  not quite.

What would you do with a child that struggles? Would you offer your child a box of paint hoping to help and discover your child was so full of color and sound that was just waiting for the right medium for it all to pour out on. A painting prodigy preschooler. Her story reminded me of this stellar picture book I read to my own kids recently.

Could you change the hand life dealt you? Widowed, pregnant and desperate in a war-torn third world country, this woman and so many like her did. Beauty rising.

Beauty and awe is an seemingly impossible dream achieved on the notorious Cuillin Ridgeline in Scotland. What a rise and ride.

More elevation: from the everyday to art or from the prints in the book to their originals up at the conference center.  Or rise up with this young poet’s performance piece, turning ugly words into lines of beauty.

Props to JSTOR for getting even more awesome and everyday. Let’s all geek out. Or have a less geeky geek out at the art of misdirection. As someone who has been pick-pocketed, I couldn’t look away.

Are you a satisficer or maximizer? How you make decisions may show your happiness, but what about the happiness of those you share decisions with? Great advice how to work together for the greater good.

And for the greatest gift giving, ditch the traditional gift. 

For this week’s First Draft Poem Lara responds to the state of post-postpartum in America. Surely we are overdue to push over perceived boundaries of how fast women and families can “return to normal.” Could we push back to the more thoughtful consideration we once had and some parts of the world still honor?

Give a care for the


new now or seven times

over new.

Keep her out of the fields,

warm by the fire,

a bowl of soup

with filtered sunlight,

Circle the sister with

her sisters until

it’s all alright.


About Sandra Clark

Sandra Clark Jergensen's writing (most often about food) has been published in Gastronomica, Apartment Therapy, The Exponent, and at Segullah, where she was once the Editor-in-Chief, and now as Features Editor. Sandra geeked out on food and writing as a master's student food studies at University of Texas, Arlington. She makes her home in California where she runs without shoes, foster parents, teaches cooking, develops recipes, and struggles to take pictures with her eyes open, and sometimes all at the same time. She is the owner and creator of thekitchennatural.com.

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