Some Happy Things | From a Distance

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Stranger with the yellow beret. Belvedere Castle, Central Park. February 2020.

Life has been all about listening these days. To my friends' late night phone calls, to my mother's stories, to some very, very nice tunes.

I'll keep this one short and sweet (as I write this at 3:34 AM, waiting for a project to render.) I'm sleep-deprived, but in the words of Olivia Gatwood, "I have so much beautiful time."

I've been listening to a lot of soul. Particularly...

Kirk Franklin. (This song, and this one.)

I smile, even though I hurt see I smile
I know God is working so I smile
Even though I've been here for a while
I smile, smile

Soul — the Disney movie I've been anticipating for months.

Loved that trailer so much that I hunted down the song that came with it: Overture by AJR.

My lifeline.

Thinking about that last weekend I spent at the art museum, and being reminded of how much I love writing about strong women.

The earth is healing.

Reminiscing on my past travels.

brief moment of Andy Samberg and Seth Meyers being goofs and making fun of John Mulaney.

Dwayne Johnson sings to his baby daughter.

And last but not least, some hopeful words from wise people.


I dedicate today's gratitude postcard to Linsy Alesha, who against all odds was willing to come and provide moral support at a time of need (while adhering to physical distancing rules.) You're a guardian angel and a true gem. Also to Jacqueline, Grace, Kezia, Irene, Magda, and Gabriela, who Skyped me at midnight, then made the next 4 hours feel like a breeze. You bring laughter out of me in a way that no one else can, and our dumbest jokes heal the most of me.

Another recent discovery is that apartments follow colours of the sky. Which sounds odd, but all I know is mine turns purple at dawn, and during sunset, orange hues blanket the furniture and fill the crevices of my living room. A type of ambience only the eye can catch. The time of day seems to permeate, spilling in from my windowsills and into the room, painting my walls in soft, changing colours. What a gift – that small beautiful things just happen without needing our help.


That's all I have to say today. 
(See a similar list I made recently, here.)

I'm thinking of you. Stay well. We'll talk soon.

See you around.



From a Distance is a blog series documenting life in the social distance. Paper airplanes flown out my window, hoping to reach yours. For connection. Companionship. A little human-ness in this very strange time. My hope is to make you feel a little less lonely. If you are. Whoever you are.

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  1. Helloo Risa!! Thank you for sharing all the things that have made you happy recently. I love your observations of the sky from your apartment. It's true, small beautiful things are just simply there, waiting for us to notice them. Small, quiet, yet ever-present; it's a joy to have them in everyday life.

    Anna Jo |

  2. Hello Risa, yes, you are right, life is especially listening right now ...
    xx from Bavaria/Germany, Rena

  3. I love kirk Franklin ! Thank you for sharing

  4. Your writing is so beautiful when describing the apartments and the sky.

  5. I love your writing, I'm so glad I've found your blog! And Kirk Franklin is one of my favourites too.
    Ellie x //

    1. Ellie hi! Yess I can't believe I've only heard of Kirk Franklin recently. In love from the very first song I heard! It's lovely to meet you. xx

  6. I've been terrible about remembering to comment, but just wanted you to know how much I have been loving this post series. It has been such a bright spot amidst the strangest time. Grateful for you. xx

    1. Grace Anne, you have no idea how sweet this is. <3
      Thank you thank you thank you. I'm grateful for readers like you! I hope you're staying safe and well.


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