Letters of Consolation

In this life is darkness, a shadow that finds room in chapters of our lives and writes stories of shame and confusion and disappointments. A wind that wraps our desires in dust and blows us to a place of hopelessness. A dagger that reminds us that we are fated for struggle, one we can’t fight without work.

But, we have work and we have hope. Hope is the engine that keeps us going when work bends to the uncertainty of life. Hope is the air that travels our lungs when life no longer makes sense and we want nothing but to disappear. Hope is the eye that helps us look past the shoulder of time to see the beautiful parts of our growth. Hope is the friend that says: in this life, too, is light.

Food for Thought

It’s the belief that what we do matters even though how and when it may matter, who and what it may impact, are not things we can know beforehand. We may not, in fact, know them afterward either, but they matter all the same, and history is full of people whose influence was most powerful after they were gone.
from the writer, Rebecca Solnit, on Hope.

Tea for Relaxation

There’s this beauty in short art forms that I’ve come to love; how language can be used in small doses to build worlds. How an incomplete world can be felt as complete with the right elements. How we can see a part of ourselves in these imagined worlds. Here’s a short story that wrapped me in that beauty. (It’s by the Nigerian writer, Pemi Aguda.) And here’s a short film by American Baron that tables the long-debated topic of separating the artist from the art. Also, as someone fascinated by how art is made, I enjoyed seeing this explainer by Insider. It’s about how mirror scenes are shot in movies.

Is There More?

When I wrote, three Sundays ago, about taking a break to reflect on my path, I wasn’t expecting the beautiful texts I got in response. Thanks for being understanding about my need for some time off. Thanks for being thoughtful and, truly warming, for waiting. I mean it dearly.

Until next time,
Etashe

Subscribe to Letters of Consolation

It’s a hard thing to hear those honest words falling from another human’s tongue into our unready ears. It’s a hard thing to receive the truth without feeling a stab in our chest or a squeeze in our stomach or a sudden collapse of all we once thought we knew. I mean the truth about things in which we’ve found comfort. It is hard because the truth almost always reveals itself to go against what we desire.

Yet, we often desire the truth. This makes sense because, deep down, the truth is liberating. The truth unveils our thoughts, clears the weed around our eyes, and opens us up to freedom (the kind of freedom that we don’t often see immediately, but become appreciative of as time moves us forward).

So, this is to say, tell the truth. Tell the truth with your art, work, tongues. At the very least, tell yourself the truth.

Food for thought

It is possible that if you tell the truth not only will you be delivered yourself from the prison of untruth, but the person who hears the truth will also be opened and can be delighted.
from the writer, Alice Walker.

Tea for relaxation

There’s this podcast series by Throughline about the much debated issue of capitalism. Here’s the first, the second, and the third episode. I particularly enjoyed the third for its storytelling, but you’ll want to listen to all three. Also, here’s a short film, and another, to spend time with.

Is there more?

Happy holidays. 💫

Until next time, try the truth.
Etashe

Subscribe to Letters of Consolation

Etashe Linto

The past will come. It will come as footprints of trauma, come while you’re in transit to healing, or/and after you’ve healed and embraced all the right and wrong things about yourself.

And when it comes, thank it.

Thank it for the lessons it cooked for you. For how it moulded you into yourself, into now. Into the future that you’re walking so beautifully to.

Tell it no.

Tell it that it had its time and it can take no more. No more of the peace that you deserve.

Food for thought

Saying goodbye to a past or an old habit doesn’t automatically erase it from the planet. We can’t undo the full effects of trauma or addiction in a few days. Give yourself time.

Tea for relaxation

Today, I’m sharing four videos that took me from warmth to hope to laughter. Have a look at this video. Then this documentary by Slice, about the cursed royal family of India. I found the Last Knit simultaneously hilarious and thought-provoking, and One Small Step always floats me across different valleys of emotions.

Is there more?

Only a side note to say that if you’re finally growing into yourself but feel confused about whether or not you’re getting it right, I see you. Stand firm. Forgive and keep choosing yourself.

Until next time, remember, the past will come.
Etashe

Subscribe to Letters of Consolation

Sharouk Mustafa Ibrahim May you never be

Hi, I thought to share this poem with you by Sharouk Mustafa Ibrahim:

May you never be the reason
why someone who loved to sing,
doesn’t anymore.

Or why someone who dressed
so differently now wears standard clothing.

Or why someone who always spoke
of their dreams so wildly
is now silent about them.

May you never be
the reason for someone
giving up on a part of themselves
because you were demotivating,
non-appreciative, or even worse,
sarcastic about it.

Food for thought

We’ll skip this part. I bet Sharouk’s words are enough to chew on.

Tea for relaxation

Have you ever felt like a fraud when you hit a major milestone? I know I have, which is why this video by Struthless, on YouTube, meant a lot to me when I saw it. The guy in the video gives some of the most valuable, no bullshit, life advice I’ve come across and this was no different. There’s also Johnny Harris, one of the most interesting journalists I’ve come across. He did a video on how Belgian Imperialism led to the development of the Covid19 vaccine. You’ll love this one, I promise.

Is there more?

Feel free to share today’s letter with someone you think might find it helpful.

Until next time, may you never be…
Etashe

Subscribe to Letters of Consolation

Some days, you’ll be all you have. Those around you won’t see how the world is taking a toll on you, how you’re beating yourself up for things that would be termed too trivial.

You’ll feel like existence no longer works for you, even if you don’t actually want to die. You’ll feel tired and bent on the inside, even tired of being silent.

This once, I’ll tell you what you can do. Let the tears run out of you. Stay mad at yourself or something/one for a while. Find solace in things that provide the kind of comfort needed when one is unready to address a problem (like movies). Break things, use curse words, scream about the depth of your frustration. Isn’t life, after all, a cycle of falling into?

And when this is done, when all the heat has been poured into the world, sit still. Return to your center; to your source of strength and hope. This could be your God, nature, journaling, or even your portfolio of works that remind you how far you’ve come. Return to your center because it will pull you back into your becoming, into seeing that it isn’t over for you. You are still here. Isn’t life, after all, a falling into and out of?

Food for thought

Too often, our culture glamorizes the idea of being a strong person. You don’t get a medal for being strong. All you get is a pileup of emotional stress that breaks you at some point.

Tea for relaxation

I saw this piece of art by Amarachi Nwosu and am in love with it. I’ve written before that when the world tells your story, it’ll never fully tell the truth (if at all). And a lie can easily become the truth if it is told enough times. Amarachi’s piece of art is truth-telling about Africa, about us. It’s about an hour long, but do watch it. I saw a lovely (lovely because it’s a story told humanely) vlog about the Amish people and I’ll tell you this: it’s worth the watch.

Is there more?

People are beginning to count their blessings as the year comes to an end. Remember to count yours. And also remember this: don’t feel the pressure to recalibrate your life simply because a new year is coming and everyone is making plans for the next thing. Do it because you genuinely see the need for it at this time of your existence.

Until next time, you’re still here.
Etashe

Subscribe to Letters of Consolation

We all arrive at a time when our work doesn’t seem to be paying off. A present tense where your labour becomes more tiring than it is exciting, because it (seemingly) doesn’t translate to something worthwhile. Again and again, you try. Still, nothing. Makes you question your ability, if you’re any good at what you do. Makes you wonder why the universe hides its favors and can’t guide you on a smooth path as it does others.

It’s not that you’re not good. Time simply has a language of its own, you see. We’re born, time watches. We learn, it watches, through each season, holding us on its hands and speaking in a language that shuffles between chaos and grace. Time is disrespectful like that.

But I’m finding that time does respect labour. It rewards effort. So, remember this when you fall apart: you can again find the knots. You can pick up the madness within and reconstruct its message. You can hold the cloud on your palm — the confusion and hopelessness — and paint it a brighter grey. Not blue. Not the color of the sun. But a brighter grey, because that’s what life is anyway, a perpetual circle of grey; an unending stream of problems. To choose a lighter grey, then, means that we understand that life can go wild without warning, but we also know that life is not a pit of darkness. To choose a lighter grey is not to surrender our desires, but to acknowledge the impermanency of all things, even of life itself. To choose a lighter grey is to bet on ourselves, even though. Even though.

Food for thought

You have you. It might not seem enough sometimes, but you have you. And that’s worth something.

Tea for relaxation

A gentle reminder. A beautiful moment. A sound of light. A personal chat between the fine actor, Sophie Okonedo and the director, Dominic Cooke.

Is there more?

Last year, I wrote a note for when everything seems uncertain. You can re-read it as an extension of today’s letter.

Until next time, choose a lighter grey.
Etashe

Subscribe to Letters of Consolation

Here’s a fact about life: We’ll never have a clear sense of the life that exists in the future. We’ll never know when life will deliver luck, when the stars are set to align in our favour, when we’re scheduled by time to become. I don’t know your path and what you love and what you’re chasing. And I understand how tempting it is to compare our journey through life, with that of someone else. I understand the feeling of envy we get toward the success of another human being. But the truth remains that our paths will always differ. We each experience life differently and are bound to attain success at different ages; at a time well due for us.

Food for thought

This is a reminder to never forget the experiences that have shaped you to this point. Never forget that you don’t have to have achieved success by society’s timing. Never forget that life happens differently for everyone. Our paths differ and your gold might just be right where you want to give up.

Tea for relaxation

You should watch this. And this brilliantly done short film.

Is there more?

As usual, I published a new note last Sunday. The note explores our culture of hurriedness and the pressure of becoming successful at an early age. I hope it changes how you view the pressure of always being in a hurry to become. Read it here.

Until next time, walk your own path
Etashe

Subscribe to Letters of Consolation

--

--

--

I try talking about the things that make us think. Author of Strange Notes on Etashelinto.com

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Recommended from Medium

The Trap of Comparison…

We Should Have it All By 30

Why addictions are not what you think and how to profit from them

All the Lies I Told Myself

Did You Get Better Today?

Buckshot – Musings on Policing, coping, and outer space

7 Steps to a Happier Morning

The Amazing Life of Someone You’ve Never Heard Of

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Etashe Linto

Etashe Linto

I try talking about the things that make us think. Author of Strange Notes on Etashelinto.com

More from Medium

What is the value of Metaland’s land?

Julia Kirkwood, winner of Sonic Spotlight, and her advice for new artists in Fort Collins.

Solvathon — Let’s Solve by Hackathon

When SCT reaches 200,000 holding addresses, the invitation relationship reward will be stopped