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November Prompts for Soup Season
A list of conversational prompts for embracing cliché on your terms
A note of Moon News:
There will be a handful of new Moon Lists tools arriving in the next few weeks! All very fun! (One is a highly requested revival, another is a personal project I’ve been marinating on for years.) These are all very limited edition—I just make what’s reasonable and no extras. Paid subscribers will receive first access (…and as ever, thank you for your support).
At the onset of a new month—the second-to-last one of this year—I’m thinking of you.
I’m thinking about the ways we’re expected to respond to the start of “the holiday season” like some sort of metabolic awakening. I’m thinking about how much is going on in the world. I’m thinking about visualizing the year as a conveyor belt, where things suddenly, frantically, pile up at once.
I’m thinking about how sometimes clichés can be comforting. (“It’s soup season!” my husband recently exclaimed, and even though it was 75 degrees, I declared it the start of “Bath Season” and we both independently committed to sweating it out.)
As I write to you, I’m sitting on a rooftop bar at a hotel. There is a bad DJ. There is a group of women with the same haircut, wearing variations of the same dress. There is a couple standing and hugging in the middle of the patio. There is a man next to me being actively scammed. “Society says, you have to do all these things. But what are the odds of us being here at all?” the scammer is saying. “…but you gotta admit, it’s a beautiful night.” Everyone takes a photo of the sunset.
I’m thinking about moving at one’s own pace. I’m thinking about the choice to do anything at all. I’m thinking about a refusal to submit. Don’t fall off the conveyor belt; you’re right here.
November’s list of prompts:
“Plunge into the sea. The sun. An old city. Silence.” — Susan Sontag.
What’s been a recent source of renewal?
2. AUTUMNAL MOSQUITOES
Cite an instance of seasonal confusion.
3. DRESS REHEARSAL
What have you given a trial run before really “committing”? (I.e. A test drive on a new-to-you recipe before making it for your friends. An updated elevator pitch bio to introduce yourself to strangers. Maybe you tried that A.I. filter that gives you bangs and/or a severe bob leading up to a haircut?!)
4. PALETTE DU JOUR:
O'Keeffe's rusty rock red. Burnt kabocha squash. So so navy it appears black. What's the color palette of the season?
5. LOCAL DETECTIVE
“Look closely. The beautiful may be small,” wrote Immanuel Kant.
Think of a single detail that reminds you of your neighborhood or the place where you spend most of your time—the voice of a neighbor’s Peloton instructor. The way you always almost hit one specific overgrown tree limb as you drive past. Finding a beloved raggedy sweater that takes you back to the old apartment where you first wore it on repeat…
6. MAGNETIC FIELD
What's something you've saved or noted that you love…but can't, won't bring yourself to do or buy?
7. THE NATURAL WAY
A hot yoga class. Metabolizing the Huberman Lab Podcast. Saying “Que Sera" and honestly kinda meaning it. When did your higher self prevail?
8. THE UNNATURAL WAY
A crispy fountain Diet Coke. Amazon Prime Day. Engaging in an actual conversation "about" Taylor & Travis. When was the low-brow solution actually the best?