Two weeks ago we focused on “Real Questions.” Last week we focused on “Real Answers.” This week it seems that we’re focused on “how-to.” And the interesting thing about it is that these themes are coincidental. The 2 Rules team doesn’t often sit down to plan themes or related pieces unless we’re focused on observing special events like National Poetry Month or Pride Month. And we don’t assign topics to our writers either–they bring us work about things that inspire them or bring them joy. So it’s really just serendipitous that we’ve had so many related posts happen over the last few weeks. It’s been quite nice to read each piece and notice how they just seem to fit together. It’s also been helpful in figuring out how to write about the various pieces for this week’s Sunday Summary.
“During Pride Month I try and take the time to honor the place that queerness has in my life a little more than the rest of the year. I’m still queer every day. And I’m disabled every day, too. I don’t celebrate that. Ever. Even in March, during Disability Awareness Month. And maybe that’s part of the problem.“
Erika has written a lot about wrestling with queer identity and queer experience, but she’s written a lot less about her experience as a disabled person. As she thinks about some of the challenges that have come along with becoming disabled, she talks a little bit about why it’s so difficult to celebrate that part of herself and considers how she might try to learn to embrace “disabled” the way she has her other labels. Erika’s “how to” is this: how do you celebrate your whole, authentic self, and all that that means when you’re still struggling to figure out what it means to be some of the things you are?
“Anyway this brings us to the question: What is so good about Shakespeare? What skills did he have, really? Did he have intimate knowledge of court? A mastery of modern languages? A really bitchin’ mustache?”
Shakespeare is considered one of the greatest poets and playwrights of the English language. But now, centuries after he wrote his works, there are still people who insist that he didn’t really write them. That he couldn’t really have written them. It’s yet another conspiracy theory we hear all about. And this week Adam shows us how to use historical evidence to answer some of these conspiracy questions–whether historical or contemporary. We might still have fun speculating about how Bacon is Shakespeare, but we’re also talking about how to find and explain our answers.
“We have a tradition: after we graduate, we are to pay visits to our alma mater, and show gratitude and appreciation to our teachers. To show that we have never forgotten who nurtured us to become who we are now. This reflects our Chinese value, inscribed in the saying “remember the source from which you drink the water” (飲水思源).
But the source of your drinking water never remembers you.”
On Wednesday Erik shared a heartbreaking story of how-not-to be a good teacher. That isn’t all there is to his story, of course. The bullying he endured from his own teachers has taught him about what not to do. It’s also helped inspire him in his own teaching with lessons he’s held on to about empathy, compassion and support. Erik’s “how to” is: how do you honor where you came from when those memories hold trauma for you? It’s a beautiful, but difficult read.
“I tried. To feel that energy. I had no idea how to engage with energy. I could feel my hands uncomfortably resting on her shoulders. And I could feel the slight warmth of her skin but I could not really say I could feel shoulder energy. I opened my eyes”.
Thursday brought us part six in JD Saward’s story of Stuart and Aleena. What has happened since they first met during the Mindfulness workshop? We know how Stuart feels about Aleena, but does she feel the same about him? This installment might even get a little steamy. At the heart of this entry? The very familiar question with no single, right answer. How to navigate the early stages of romance. Enjoy this entry and look out for part seven in July.
“Actually, Middle Cat comments sagely, a writer playing with their characters is not that different from a cat playing with a caught mouse. Sometimes the character even survives the experience. Other times? Well… cue sad but oddly stirring music.”
Even the cats got in on the “How To” theme this week with their Caturday question. Curious as always, about how writers write their characters, the cats ask about decisions. They want to know more about the way writers help audiences relate to characters–whether that’s in fiction, poetry, essays or some other form. To read more from the minds of the felines and answer their questions, visit our Caturday post or join us on Twitter or Facebook.
Today, June 12, is Loving Day–the anniversary of a historical decision by the US Supreme Court regarding interracial marriage. It’s also the sixth anniversary of the shooting at Pulse nightclub in Erika’s adopted hometown of Orlando. June 12 has also become known as Orlando United Day. We hope you’ll keep those two important events in mind and find some way to participate in the annual #ActLoveGive movement coordinated by the One Orlando Alliance. Your act of kindness may mater much more than you realize.
We’re going to bring you more Pride Month content this week. We’ve also got a new writer joining us whose work you’ll see this week, too. We hope you’ll love her work as much as we do and we look forward to hearing your thoughts.
We’re excited to continue our partnership with Facebook’s Trans World of Queer Shitposting. If you’re a Facebook user and not following them, we definitely recommend that you take a look there for lots of great memes and questions and to support queer content and queer creators. We’re also really excited to announce our work with The Lavender Librarian and Storytime Solidarity as they promote diverse, equitable and inclusive early literacy programs. We hope our work with them will inspire many great conversations and even more partnerships.
No Really, This is the Conclusion
We often use this space on Sunday to leave little reminders about love or kindness or about self care. Those messages are chosen intentionally, based on what’s on Erika’s mind as she writes these Sunday Summary posts each week. It’s a moment where Erika asks you to reflect on the things she’s thinking about, often by sharing the words of someone else–an author, a poet, a musician. It was hard to choose a concluding thought for today though, with themes of love, justice, fear, safety and more on Erika’s mind. She needed more than just a wish for you to take care of yourself, to view love as an action, not a destination, to find and share joy.
This week, the words of Jameson Fitzpatrick will have to do. This is an excerpt from “A Poem for Pulse,” published in the anthology From Bullets into Bells: Poets and Citizens Respond to Gun Violence and we hope that you find something to keep with you in the coming days as you take action to put love into the world.
We must love one another whether or not we die.Jameson Fitzpatrick “A Poem for Pulse”
Love can’t block a bullet
but neither can it be shot down,
and love is, for the most part, what makes us—
Make sure you‘re all caught up with your favorite 2 Rules writers and features by checking out all of our Sunday Summary posts.