It’s been… quite a year. In amongst all the doom and darkness, here are a couple of things Jess has been digging that you might too.

A duotoned dark purple and beige version of the Apple heart emoji, in front of a blue circle background
🎞️In My Blood It Runs
🎧Routines & Ruts
📖Dark Emu

🎞️ Watching

In My Blood It Runs (film)

In My Blood It Runs is an observational documentary that follows 10 year old Arrernte Aboriginal boy Dujuan as he grows up Alice Springs, and has to navigate an education system that wasn’t made for him.

As he travels perilously close to incarceration, his family fight to give him a strong Arrernte education alongside his western education lest he becomes another statistic. We walk with him as he grapples with these pressures, shares his truths and somewhere in-between finds space to dream, imagine and hope for his future self.

From the synopsis

The story is respectfully told and beautifully shot, creating a moving piece of cinema. I couldn’t recommend this more.
— Jess

Official Trailer for In My Blood It Runs

🎧 Listening to

Routines and Ruts (podcast)

Madeleine Dore’s podcast Routines & Ruts has become something of a comforting friend to me throughout lockdown. I started listening just before the world turned on its head, and have been working my way through episodes on my daily walks. They’re mostly in conversational interview style, and I’ve found each one to hold some new piece of wisdom or calming advice. My favourite was a special episode Madeleine curated where more than 60 people share how they’re handling this isolation period. Sometimes just knowing someone else is going through a similar experience is all we need to feel a teeny tiny bit better.
— Jess

I feel like trying to keep a sense of ritual and occasion in my life is really anchoring me right now. For the last few years, I’ve been really craving time and space. I’ve been wanting a break from a culture in which creative survival often means producing relentlessly.

Writer and critic @nehakale in the podcast episode “There is no one way”

For me, I just keep reminding myself that this is really not a normal time, and I don’t have to achieve what I normally achieve in this time. Just giving myself space to be in this and ride through it.

Cook and author @juliaostro in the podcast episode “There is no one way”

📖 Reading

Dark Emu (book)

Dark Emu argues for a reconsideration of the ‘hunter-gatherer’ tag for pre-colonial Aboriginal Australians and attempts to rebut the colonial myths that have worked to justify dispossession. Accomplished author Bruce Pascoe provides compelling evidence from the diaries of early explorers that suggests that systems of food production and land management have been blatantly understated in modern retellings of early Aboriginal history, and that a new look at Australia’s past is required.

From the Magabala Books synopsis
Book cover for Dark Emu by Bruce Pascoe showing an illustration of a plant behind the title, and four literary award stickers
Book cover for Dark Emu

Dark Emu has been on my bedside table for a while, but I finally had the kick up the butt I needed to start reading and now can’t put it down. I went through the Western school system in the 1990s and was given a very different perspective on Australian history, severely lacking in the wisdom of Aboriginal agriculture, aquaculture, food storage and preservation that Bruce’s book presents. I’ve seen this book appear on many essential reading lists, and hope it’s making its way into the school curriculum too.
— Jess

📱 Using

Mentemia (app)

Mentemia is an app that coaches mental wellbeing through articles, breathing exercises, meditations, and gentle prompts. A lot of the advice isn’t new, but I’ve found the bite-size content and reminders to be beneficial and thought others might too. It’s free for anyone in Australia or New Zealand.
— Jess