3 min read

14. Vantage point

Alignment, translators… and the Lion King
bare tree on hill under blue sky during daytime
Vantage point by Sonika Argawal on Unsplash

Firstly: there’s one vantage point I can’t ignore. Here’s a list of organisations for donating to help Ukraine.

When I think about the difference between what we experience in-the-moment versus what we remember, I think about the film ‘Tiny Furniture’. The film was the breakthrough moment for Lena Dunham (who wrote, directed, and starred in it), and includes her real life family as fictionalised version of themselves. (Dunham’s mother is excellent). In the film, Dunham’s Aurelia starts reading the diaries of her mother from when she was the same age, and in it, her mother obsesses over a boy. When Aurelia asks her mother about the man, her mother says he didn’t mean anything. I often think about what seems vivid or confusing at the time but collapses into nothing in the rear view mirror of life. The challenge is that at the time it’s hard to tell what will happen.

I was reminded of this as I read Emma John’s Self Contained. It’s the memoir from the vantage point of a 40-something woman who has no partner or children, and no obvious plan to. I enjoyed the unashamed ambivalence of the book—John never planned to be near-eternally single, it just happened—but others have found this ambivalence uninspiring. But how can she be entirely optimistic when she’s still in the midst of a continuing experience? It’s entirely different from memoirs written decades after the primary events—such as the Pacific Crest Trail of Cheryl Strayed’s Wild and the early adventures of Rita Golden Gelman’s Tales of a Female Nomadwhere the author knows and has probably made peace with their past.

This month in digital government and design

  • seanna davidson is making a list of systems thinking of first nations


  • We often imagine philosophers as being in armchairs and cafes, but for at least one philosopher, manual work is philosophy too
  • New Zealand politicians continue to have a sense of humour

Until next time,