I almost slammed my computer shut after reading the sentence "I felt compelled to go looking for the origins of the fancy toast trend," but there's a really intense story about mental illness and community at the hipstery center of this Pacific Standard story about toast pioneer Giulietta Carrelli:
Carrelli tends toward the vivid, manic end of the mood spectrum, she says, but the onset of a psychotic episode can shut her down with little warning for hours, days, or, in the worst instances, months. Even on good days, she struggles to maintain a sense of self; for years her main means of achieving this was to write furiously in notebooks, trying to get the essentials down on paper. When an episode comes on, she describes the experience as a kind of death: Sometimes she gets stuck hallucinating, hearing voices, unable to move or see clearly; other times she has wandered the city aimlessly. “Sometimes I don’t recognize myself,” she says. “I get so much disorganized brain activity, I would get lost for 12 hours.”
Seattle has it's own issues when it comes to figuring out what to do about people who need mental health services, and I wonder how the type of community-based compassion Carrelli cultivates would change our conversation.