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Welcome. When you have a few minutes this weekend, read Tara Parker-Pope’s article “It’s OK to Grieve for the Small Losses of a Lost Year.” It’s an examination of the phenomenon of “disenfranchised grief,” the sorrow we feel over loss that isn’t generally acknowledged with a social ritual.
We’re loath to complain, in a year of so much suffering, about canceled graduations, lost hours with grandchildren, postponed weddings or missing our friends. It’s important, Tara writes, to name and acknowledge the smaller losses, to honor and mourn them.
Take the time. If privacy’s in short supply, you might, like other space-hungry cohabitants, escape to the car or a closet to get a minute alone.
We’re making do, eyes on the calendar and the weather report. Sometimes I feel like a child in the back seat of a long car trip: “Are we there yet?” And the answer, always, is, “Soon.”
If ever there were music to encourage you to take to the open road (in a convertible, preferably), it would be Lana Del Rey’s new album, “Chemtrails Over the Country Club.” It’s just out today, but I’ve already listened to the hypnotic first track, “White Dress,” a dozen times. Play it in the car, or while nestling in a Khloé Kardashian-endorsed fluffy microfiber blanket. It works either way.
You could play some music especially for plants — there are whole albums and many hourslong playlists to soothe your Sansevierias and succulents.
The second season of “Back,” the delightful British comedy starring David Mitchell and Robert Webb (of “Peep Show”), is streaming on AMC+ and Sundance Now. I’ll definitely watch that. “Genius: Aretha,” an anthology biopic starring Cynthia Erivo in a performance the critic James Poniewozik calls “incandescent,” premieres Sunday.
“But what if there were an easy, relatively quick way to cure and smoke ham at home that yielded even better results than the commercial version?” If anyone is going to convince me it’s easy to make a ham, it’s Steven Raichlen, who answers his own question with a good primer and two recipes.
I plan to dive headlong into “No-Recipe Recipes,” the first cookbook from New York Times Cooking, by At Home’s very own Sam Sifton. If step-by-step recipes are sheet music, Sam writes, then a no-recipe recipe is “an invitation for you to improvise in the kitchen.” No measurements, just a list of ingredients and a short explanation of how to make “Pasta With Garbanzos and a Negroni” (first you mix the cocktail to sip while preparing the pasta) or “Vegan Banana Ice Cream” (frozen bananas, food processor, peanuts, done). I recommend making the anchovy compound butter on page 14 as soon as you can and putting it on everything.
If you’ve been feeling spacy or forgetful, you’ll take comfort in Ellen Cushing’s story in The Atlantic, “Late-Stage Pandemic Is Messing With Your Brain.” While Spelling Bee and The Crossword are my favorite destinations for mental calisthenics, I was more entertained than I’m comfortable admitting playing “Guess My Word,” a game where you try to identify a word based on clues to its spot in the dictionary. You only get two rounds per day, which I think we can all agree is a good thing.
And here’s one Times subscribers won’t want to miss: On Tuesday, March 23, at 7 p.m. Eastern, the Times assistant managing editor Marc Lacey will host an evening reflecting on the pandemic’s toll and possible paths back to normalcy. The event will feature a performance by Wynton Marsalis and a discussion with Gov. Larry Hogan of Maryland and Mayor London Breed of San Francisco. R.S.V.P. here.
A reader recommends.
Connie Mery, from Point Reyes Station, Calif., is taking inspiration from art to make her own.
What’s helping me, at age 85, is writing an illustrated memoir about my husband’s last months of life, though I’m not a writer and know nothing. I’ve jumped naked into a delicious pool, teaching myself from the novels of Jenny Offill, and the artwork of Anke Feuchtenberger and Kate Beaton. Waking up every morning is a joy, as I feel connected to our whole human history of visual storytelling.
How have you grieved the smaller losses of the past year? The missed birthdays and holidays, the lost hours and seasons, the trips not taken? Tell us: email@example.com. Include your full name and location and we might use your contribution in a future newsletter. We’re At Home. We’ll read every letter sent. More ideas for leading a full life at home or near it appear below. See you next week.
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