Soul Bone roundup: 12 new moons, 10 letters and a bunch of links

One year of Soul Bone links: only the finest in essays, explainers, articles, incense, stickers and microwave baked goods.

Soul Bone #10 landed in inboxes a few days ago, on the first new moon of 2022. I’ve been sending it for a year now — the Soul Bone takes a month off now and then, it seems — and I’m rounding up 10 or so of my favorite links so far from both sections of the newsletter.

Not sure what the Soul Bone thing is all about? As a girl, I thought my soul was a bone in my body, and I thought I knew exactly what it looked like. Most medical professionals seem fairly certain I was wrong, but the metaphor feels so right. I grew up an earnest fundamentalist evangelical Christian, and I slowly un-converted myself, starting in my 20s. I dismantled my life, and then I put myself back together, bone by bone. And one of those bones was my soul bone — even if it is just a metaphor. Although it’s silly to say something is “just” a metaphor because I’ve learned that metaphors are way more powerful than any literal thing. Soul Bone is also the name of a book I’m writing; the letter goes out every new moon and includes a set of religion-ish links and a set of generally happy-making links.

Section #1: Religion and religion-adjacent links

Since I’d been saying I was going to start sending my newsletter “any day now” for a decade, a few of the links I included at first — you know, the Soul Bone’s legendary early stuff — weren’t all that recent.

The early stuff

The more recent stuff  

The bonus stuff, it obviously being too hard to choose just 10

Section # 2: Not-religion links

Separating links into religious and not-religious is oversimplifying, but here we are. A few of the happy-making links that are still on my mind (or in my heart).

  • Breathing: Meet my favorite new incense, which is made in London and which I learned about through Jenna Wortham.  
  • Taking solace: Many thought pieces have been written about nostalgia; I decided to just revel in it instead. Namely, in ‘80s-era commercials, as inspired by this article, and ’70s-era scratch-and-sniff stickers, as inspired by the glory of ’70s-era scratch-and-sniff stickers.
  • Listening: Somehow Neko Case made me love that old Sunday School favorite This Little Light of Mine so much that it became the final song on my exercise playlist for a while.
  • Buying: The world’s most delightfully strange candles spoke to me as well. Did I finally buy one? Yes. Yes, I did.
  • (Not) Buying: I’d probably buy a Colorama teapot if I could decide between the colors.
  • Eating: Sorry, but my biggest food news was that I got into making 90-second cakes and bread in the microwave (maybe the culinary equivalent of sweatpants?). It all started when I happened upon this recipe for 90-second bread from The Kitchn.
  • Drinking: My new holiday tradition is to enjoy a Victorian-era punch with Dickensian pedigree called the Smoking Bishop.
  • Protecting my time: I loved this reminder to take care of my time — guard it like a precious cake! (so guard it even more fiercely than a microwave cake!) — created by Chanel Miller, whose book I also loved.
  • Reading: Even if you’re not as into medieval mystical nuns as I am, I recommend Lauren Groff’s new book, Matrix. And I love this look in Pioneer Works at what inspired her.

Want more Soul Bone? You can read more about my soul bone, or sign up for the monthly newsletter.

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