We're Viv and Ami, co-founders of The Wishing Chair Design studio and your weekly curators of internet ephemera and interesting stuff we like to share here in hopes that it brings a little joy to your day.
Honestly, we thought after our hiatus and the dozens of new newsletters that have sprouted over the last year (founder-led newsletters were abuzz in late 2022), that enthusiasm for adding more to your reading list would have considerably dwindled.
Boy were we wrong!
Your response to our last newsletter has been overwhelming, surprising, reassuring and humbling.
Not to mention re-affirming of how thoughtful, kind and attentive an audience of readers you are.
The votes were almost unanimous: more art, literature and poems. And not so much entrepreneur advice which most of you get enough of on Linked-In, at varied levels of cringe-inducing self-promotion.
And then, almost unanimously, you told us to bring on the vulnerability, the personal journeys, the behind-the-scenes storytelling. Thankfully none of you thought we came off as a couple of whiny middle-aged wimps whenever we revealed all the crazy junk under the hood.
It dawned on us how similar we all are even if come from vastly different backgrounds.
How similar in basic human desires.
We all want to feel loved, safe, valued and free in our choices.
And we suppose thats's what sharing our tough moments, our messy, unplanned, raw and unfiltered successes and failures can do.
When we allow a glimpse into our flawed inner workings, we're telling you, Alex that there is nothing to be ashamed of. There's no need to posture or bury your insecurities deep in the graveyard of your conscience. They can bubble up and announce themselves because all of us are working through a lot of the same things.
And because we are like you, you root for us. You cheer us on.
And while connection comes through shared experiences, the real magic happens when we allow ourselves to connect through shared struggle.
That is a powerful connection.
We learnt just how powerful when we read all your emails. It's a connection that we don't take lightly and will continue to drive us to show up in the best way we can, through our stores, our work ethic and this letter to you.
And now, to proceed with our regular programming, our links and loves of the week:
One of us is a night owl, so we loved how Jeanette waxed eloquent about the glories of night-time; the intimacies, the whispers of sharing our inner lives, the slowness, conversations over firelight, that ineffable touch of magic touched upon moments and things when the moon reflects the light of the sun. The night doesn't only belong to the dark.
This Space Elevator project by Neal.fun. will take you on a trip to Space while exploring the atmosphere and its many layers, past high-dwelling animals and cruising altitude for aircrafts and different types of clouds. We think it's meant for children, but it was fun and educational for us too!
Other than inventing a new cocktail using leftover ingredients and planning a trip to Japan, the writer asks Chat GPT to invent two recipes in the style of celebrity London chef, Yotam Ottolenghi. It comes up with: roasted red pepper and aubergine risotto with mint yoghurt drizzle, and a warm lentil salad with caramelised onion and goat cheese. And they're REALLY good. Recipes are at the bottom of the article - do try them out.
“Every single pursuit – no matter how wonderful and exciting and glamorous it may initially seem – comes with its own brand of shit sandwich, its own lousy side effects. Everything sucks some of the time.
You just have to decide what sort of suckage you’re willing to deal with.
So the question is not so much ‘What are you passionate about?’
The question is ‘What are you passionate enough about that you can endure the most disagreeable aspects of the work?’
Because if you love something and want something enough – whatever it is – then you don’t really mind eating the shit sandwich that comes with it."
Life Hacks 💪
Learn to say “I don’t know” more.
You do not need to have a take on everything.
Drop the fear of appearing dumb and just ask someone to explain something to you.
The smartest people we know are hyper-aware of the limits of their knowledge.
So just say "I don’t know"
You’ll keep your ego small, learn something, and give your conversation partner the opportunity to improve your worldview.
If you are looking for something in your house and you finally find it, when you are done with it, don’t put it back where you found it. Put it back where you first looked for it. It will save you hours of time sunk into looking for that second car key.
Quote of the Week 🌺
"The process of becoming yourself is not a corporate desk job, and it is not homework, and it is not an unticked box languishing on a to-do list. You do not have to treat your flaws like action items that must be systematically targeted and eliminated in order to receive a return on investment. You have no supervisor; you should not be punished when you fail. Your job is not to lock the doors and chisel at yourself like a marble statue in the darkness until you feel quantifiably worthy of the world outside. Your job, really, is to find people who love you for reasons you hardly understand, and to love them back, and to try as hard as you can to make it all easier for each other. "
-- Rayne Fisher Quane, from this essay on the dubious side of self-help
Words we ❤️ on love and alone-ness
do not leave yet.
Let me rearrange the world
- Faraj Bou Al-isha
I am a lover
without a lover.
I am lovely and lonely.
I belong deeply
- Warsan Shire
For excuses Why we Failed at Love
A Russian Word
There must be a Russian word to describe what has happened
between us, like ostyt, which can be used
for a cup of tea that is too hot, but after you walk to the next room,
and return, it is too cool; or perekhotet,
which is to want something so much over months
and even years that when you get it, you have lost
– Barbara Hamby
Letter to a Lost Friend
I had two longings
and one was fighting the other.
to be loved and I wanted
to be always alone.
- Jean Rhys
Wide Sargasso Sea
One of the most requested features of the newsletter was that we end it with a poem. We scrubbed the poem from our last edition because we thought it made the newsletter too long, but apparently you lovely folks can't get enough poetry, so we're placing it back here.
This particular poem is very special as it speaks so exquisitely to heartbreak and loss. A heartbreak that sinks you to the bottom of the ocean floor like a ship. Like the narrator of this poem, you are trying to carry all the joy and gratitude you can, while grief and loss come hurtling towards you. And yet the ending... the beautiful, hopeful ending of this poem melts that iceberg of your heart and opens you up again: to love, to life, to each other.
The poem begins with the narrator diving down to the ocean floor to have a conversation with the Titanic. And after a few exchanges, she gets to the heart of the matter:
On This the 100th Anniversary of the Sinking of the Titanic, We Reconsider the Buoyancy of the Human Heart
by Laura Lamb Brown-Lavoie.
(Note: For brevity, only excerpts of the poem have been pasted here. You can read the entirety of the poem here.)
To be honest, I told Titanic, My honey’s leaving town
Well come on in, Titanic said, but I’m not sure I’ve got what you’re looking for.
So in I climbed, through a window between two rust
When I got to the Turkish baths, I sat on the edge of a
I was hoping you’d teach me how to sink, I said. You
I don’t know, said Titanic, I’m kind-of a wreck.
Exactly! I said, Me, too! I’m here to apprentice myself to
My heart has an iceberg with its name on it, I told
I did, Titanic said.
And you sailed right into it?
It was love, Titanic said.
And the band just kept playing? And the captain
It felt like a hole in my side and then it felt like
She’s a straight talker, the Titanic.
The trouble with you humans is that you are so
And your heart, she said, that gargantuan ark, that
There are enough ballrooms in you to dance with
That’s what the Titanic told me this morning, me, lying next to her on the ocean floor.
There are enough ballrooms in you.
Thanks for reading, and for being here,
Viv & Ami