My "must read" is: Accidental Saints
Author: Nadia Bolz-Weber
Why is this a must read?: I grew up in a dual faith household. Mom, a 2nd generation Irish import, was raised Catholic, and Dad, with Anglican roots in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire, was Episcopalian. I was confirmed in the Catholic faith, and as our nomadic family moved for the Navy, we usually attended whichever church had the best speakers on a Sunday. I even joined the choir at St. Michael's in Charleston, South Carolina: black beanie, cape and patent leather Mary Janes, the whole shebang. Much of my connection to faith was ritualistic, derivative of the "don't get caught and look saintly" behavior typical of young teens.
To this day, I can recite all the affirmations when I go to a traditional service and I find beauty in the ritual and the community, but something has been lacking for me and I dare say others, with the older construct of the church. We as modern denizens have many struggles to work through, and there is much to distract us from embracing anything formalized, which is why, when I heard Ms. Bolz-Weber on Terry Gross the other day, I stopped in my tracks and tears began rolling down my cheeks. Here was a flawed woman, a recovering alcoholic, a rebel, a stand up comedian who has found faith and who has brought the most unlikely flock together at her House for All Sinners and Saints church in Denver, Colorado (a must visit on my next trip.) She has gathered together conventional baby boomers and bored millennials, gnarly bikers and cookie baking grandmothers, straight, gay, lost & found under one roof and shown them the grace of faith. Isn't that something we could all use these days? If you don't get a chance to read her book, don't miss her interview with Terry Gross. Pass the Kleenex.
My "must read" is from: Vox
Article: I fly 747s for a living. Here are the amazing things I see every day
Author: Mark Vanhoenacker
Why is this a must read?: Current events and all the political think pieces of late make us all want to escape - or fly away. This article provides a serene escape from all the hyperbole, and offers a glance into the life of an airline pilot. As someone who has always been a bit of a nervous flier, I found this oddly calming to read and all the little-known facts were truly fascinating. Bon voyage.
My must read is from: PUNCH
Title: What is Authenticity in Wine?
Author: Zachary Sussman
Why this is a must read: I enjoyed reading this article because I believe that the search for “authenticity,” the desire to find that “undiscovered” spot or drink that rare, indigenous varietal, has come to taint gastronomic culture with an elitist edge. Discussing the history of the “non-native” Sauvignon Blanc grape in Styria, Sussman complicates the definition of authenticity and the immense value we can ascribe to it. Sauvignon Blanc does in fact have a long history in Austria (dating back to the 1826), however as an international variety Sussman’s first instinct was to overlook it for indigenous ones that would be, he imagined, more expressive of this place and its history. As he explains, the very concept of authenticity is inevitably tied to identity, which as history shows, is always in flux. Identity, be it that of a wine or a person, is dynamic and evolving, not “passively inherited” and sometimes as gastronomes, our intellectual or ethical snobbery can dissociate us from much more “authentic” experiences.
My "must read" is from: Greatist
Article: Reading National Coming Out Day Tweets Will Bring on All the Feels
Author: McKenzie Maxson
Why is this a must read?: I first came out to my mom 4 years ago, just a couple of days before I graduated from college. It was one of the best moments of my life when I was finally able to tell the most important person in my life about who I really am. Being able to express oneself without any fear, and being able to love yourself and whomever you want are just some of the rights everyone is entitled to. #NationalComingOutDay on Twitter and Facebook shares inspirational stories of how people came out in order to create a network of support. It also shows others who are still “in the closet” that there is an AMAZING community that will always have their back, ready to love them for who they really are. I would like to end my must read with a quote from actress Ellen Page: "I am young, yes, but what I have learned is that love — the beauty of it, the joy of it, and yes, even the pain of it — is the most incredible gift to give and to receive as a human being. And we deserve to experience love fully, equally, without shame, and without compromise."
All the Swirl is a collection of thoughts and opinions assembled by the staff and industry friends of Charles Communications Associates, a marketing communications firm with its headquarters in San Francisco, California. We invite you to explore more about our company and clients by visiting www.charlescomm.com.