Picky eaters

#71: Making sense of losing senses, a must-read on grief, and some beautiful words from a reader — plus a fresh set of photos, to boot

A few weeks ago, and a week into my breakthrough case, I lost my sense of taste and smell. Naturally, I became keenly aware of the senses left to me — touch (texture) and other sensory experiences outside of the neatly definable (like the receptors that detect spicy foods or hard liquor) suddenly became the primary vehicle through which I experienced my diet.

I began to think about what we miss out on when we’re hyper-focused on one or two things, and how we'd do better to experience life with all of our senses, from all angles, considering all perspectives.

What point of view have we dismissed or been blinded to on account of seasonal changes or shifts in our surroundings? What flavors are we not picking up on? Have we been picky in choosing our perspectives?


Worth a read 🔍

A touching tale of grief and an exposé of the different ways we deal. Touching in every way. If you read one thing this week, let this be it:

What Bobby McIlvaine Left Behind
Grief, conspiracy theories, and one family’s search for meaning in the two decades since 9/11.

Time to focus 👂

Let my friend Ian’s 6-hour playlist of ‘focus music’ set the tone for your contemplative afternoon — or, if you must, your work-day:


Writing a newsletter is a long-game project. I love it. It's fun, it helps me grow, and provides me a consistent personal project to be accountable to. I am grateful for every single one of you — whether you open this newsletter every week, a few times a month, or just whenever you have the time.

Because it’s a passion project, of course I want it to reach as many people as possible. My goal is to build a community of like-minded people, always looking for opportunities be more present, to reflect, and to grow. But I don’t know more people than I know, you know?

My ask today is for your help: will you forward this to someone? Many of you have already shared Miscellanea with friends — thank you! But if you haven’t, would you consider it?

Some people that might like this newsletter: Old tumblr friends, sad bois or anyone that listens to Phoebe Bridgers, ex-vangelicals and the like, lovers of Gary Paulsen's ‘The Hatchet’…

Share with a friend ♥


Before sharing this week’s photos, I’d like to share some words from subscriber Bill Canfield, who commented on last week’s newsletter with some beautiful introspection:

“Looking at photos” has sparked an almost forgotten memory. It’s hard to believe it was over 8 years ago. My son, daughter-in-law and I were sitting in the waiting room when we got the, perhaps anticipated but not what we hoped for, diagnosis confirming that my wife of 50 years had cancer. My daughter-in-law looked at me and immediately moved next to me. She took out her phone and proceeded to scroll through every single photo in her archive, describing each one as she went. People and places I knew and didn’t know. I don’t know how long we sat there (hours), but taking my mind off what what had happened and the unknowns that lay ahead, and the beautiful love that was behind the moment, was and is cherished and provided remarkable therapy for that brief moment in time.

Shifting perspectives 🎞


“The tighter you cling to your current identity, the harder it becomes to grow beyond it.”

James Clear