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Christian Nationalists. Elon Musk purchasing Twitter and then using the platform, pretty much immediately, to tweet out white nationalist conspiracy theories. Grocery prices. Watching the tide pulling back from our economy as we wait to get swamped by a recession. Nuclear threats. All of this on top of the average wear of an average life.
It’s so much, you know? I think so many of us feel panicked, eyes darting, not sure where we can go to be safe. I keep thinking of Galatea from the last Sunday’s newsletter,
What do I do now? Shall I, a captive, flee through the world? Here and there, everywhere, I must search with anxious eyes, But no hope of joy will I find, wretch that I am!
But, of course, there is joy. There always has been. Sometimes we just need somewhere where we can be safe long enough to feel it.
Do you know what a bolt-hole is? It’s a little burrow where a wild animal seeks temporary refuge. The term is pretty literal. When an animal is in danger, they bolt to the little burrow for safety.
I think I first learned the term in high school. In the middle of my Sherlock Holmes phase, I read Laurie R. King’s books about Sherlock Holmes and Mary Russell. In the books, Holmes and Russell hide in bolt-holes all over England. Tiny rooms and big closets equipped with enough food, clothing and reading material to sustain them if they need to escape for a few days.
I’ve been thinking about those little hideaways all week. I wish we all had one. I’d like to make homeculture one of your bolt-holes, a little refuge for a few minutes, or a few hours, whenever you need to escape.
For something to be safe, it has to be consistent. You need to know where to find the bolt-hole and what it will contain.
The new homeculture publishing schedule
Sunday I’ll publish a public letter, along with a voice over. This will be the longer read of the week. Something to sit with as you sip your coffee or diet coke. Or listen to while you walk. If you can’t get to it Sunday, it’ll be there to listen to on your commute or to read during lunch. Every Sunday letter will have a section for paid subscribers that contains bonus material like extra research, object lessons and other little wonderings and wanderings.
Wednesday A public letter, a little shorter, but still enough to chew on for a bit. This newsletter will be be paired with a shortcast for paid subscribers.
Friday My three things column is moving to Friday. It’ll be available to all subscribers. Friday’s newsletter will have a recommendations section for paid subscribers. Recommendations, including a link to a free book (!!!), are in today’s newsletter to kick off our week.
Every good bolt-hole has a cozy chair and reading material. But sometimes we need to take our refuges on the run with us. So I am pleased to announce I’ve taken years off my life learning how to record and mix a podcast. It’s a journey! I am going to get better at it! But what I can produce now? It’s pretty good. And I mean, I had to make peace with my lisp to publish it. But I did! And so now here we are.
The homeculture podcast, and other episodes of audio
Every Sunday newsletter will be accompanied by a voice over so you can take this newsletter with you. Last Sunday’s voice over is available now. When Apple approves my podcast distribution, the homeculture podcast - voice overs and other episodes in the home - will be available in your favorite podcast app.
Paid subscribers will also receive a shortcast with each Wednesday newsletter. For now, that can be played in the Substack app. It’s an easy listening experience!
Any good bolt-hole requires a good supply of thread. You just never know when you’ll need to do some mending.
Community Thread Chat, a private social network just for paid homeculture subscribers.
Community Thread is a title that plays a little because yes, it’s a thread for our community. But also, thread was the first technology to mend and hold things together. And I want us spin the fibers of our lives together to form a thread, the kind that can mend the corners of each of our worlds while helping to hold one another together.
In so many ways, this is an improvement over the discussion threads I’ve hosted on the newsletter. Those spaces are ask and answer formats. Community Thread Chat is an ongoing conversation that you’ll be able to move in and out of whenever it suits you. No algorithm, no virality, no Musk or Zuckerburg.
The feature is in its earliest stages. And I imagine it’ll take some time for us to get used to using it. I thought about waiting to launch it till Monday, but I do really want to get it good and going before Tuesday’s election. I want to hear how you are all doing that day. I want to know if you need help amplifying any issues. I want to know you are okay.
I am sending out a separate email today with instructions on how to join and how to use it. You can also see the post right here!
I am sitting in a coffee shop as I finish writing this. Everyone is sitting with a friend except me. But I am not lonely, because I am writing to a friend. I am writing to you.
A cover of Bob Dylan’s Ring Them Bells just came on over shop’s speakers. The Telegraph called this song a “a post-apocalyptic gospel prayer for redemption and salvation.” That’s a good description. The coffee shop has swings at some the tables. A mother with a baby strapped to her chest is swinging back and forth to the rhythm of the song.
And I think, for the first time all week, that everything is going to be okay. Even though nothing may ever be okay again. Even though nothing has ever been okay before.
Ring them bells.
Recommendations and a Free Book!
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