Anne Helen Petersen interviews Soraya Chemaly, author of The Resilience Myth: New Thinking on Grit, Strength, and Growth After Trauma, about the importance of nurturing relationships in getting through hard times:

I think my idea of resilience was a pretty common one in that I thought of resilience in almost entirely personal terms, as an individual characteristic or trait. Over years I had really absorbed the idea that resilience was 9/10th the ability to persevere, be gritty, try to stay optimistic, etc. and 1/10th having a supportive social circle. When my family was thrown into the deep end of a crisis, it became clear that nothing I could do as an individual could compare to what we all needed, which was a combination of love, friendship, compassionate listeners, and actual material resources, such as access to good health care and medicine.

What I concluded, after that experience and through writing this book, is that that our individual/collective resilience ratios should really be reversed or, a better formulation, that the more accurate and helpful way to think of “supportive social circles” is broadly: as the connections, material resources, and political entitlements that serve as the foundation for our individual strengths and capacities.

Agnes Martin at SFOMOMA

Cody Delistraty in The Paris Review, on Agnes Martin and Grief:

Combining linear rigidity and spatial abstraction, in Martin’s works I saw an idea of the world that is guided by plans and sure outcomes—a world made whole again. Martin’s own life was imperfect and traumatic (though she’d likely bristle at the word): she said she was raped as a girl on four occasions, dissociating each time; she lived a seemingly lonely existence, chafing against middle-class sensibilities. I figured she desired, like me, exactness and rightness, apparent salves for the broken. I supposed this aspiration was a core reason for her grids and lines. In fact, she suggested something of the opposite: to view the world as though it were perfect but to understand that it is not – and to see that perfection need not be pursued. “Perfection is not necessary. Perfection you cannot have,” she once said. “If you do what you want to do and what you can do and if you can then recognize it you will be contented.”