We know what you’re thinking: “The Diviners are writing a 2016 review post in 2017? How gauche!”

The truth of the matter is, the last year took some time for us to digest. It was big and scary, and we needed some space.

You may have noticed that we took some space from this blog, too. That’s because we’ve done some soul-searching on what we want this space to be. Our intention has always been to share the music, books, and hobbies we’re obsessed with, but we want to share more than that.

Here’s to 2016: you gave us our 30th year and an understanding that ‘life crisis’ can indeed be a permanent state. Thanks for the good, the bad, and all that stuff in the middle.

Hilary //

Fave TV show:

I have trouble remembering what my interests were earlier in the year, so these ones are quite current.

  • The O.A. – This show messed me up big time.  Sobbed at the end. Beautiful. It may not be for everyone, but if you like magic realism you’ll dig it.
  • Please Like Me – Recently got into this show and I’m loving it. It is hilarious, serious and deals with real issues. Likeable/hateable/relatable characters – what more can you ask for?
  • Forensic Files – I would never, ever want to find out how many hours of 2016 were spent watching this show.

Fave song:

John K Samson – Virtute the Cat Series. There are 4 songs in this series about a cat owner struggling with addiction. Three of the four songs are from the cat’s perspective, while one is from the owner’s. The conclusion to the series is heart-wrenchingly beautiful, as are most John K. Samson songs. I think you just need to listen to it – prepare to weep.

Fave book:

The Humans by Matt Haig tells the story of an alien who inhabits a man’s body and discovers what it means to be human. As a human who sometimes feels like an alien, this was a necessary read.

“No one will understand you. It is not, ultimately, that important. What is important is that you understand you.”

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah Maas: This is the second in a series (come on May!) that Moira recommended. It’s young adult fiction about faeries and I loved it. See Moira’s description for more info.

Fave meme:

I’ve loved and lost many-a-meme this year. My favourite has been the flip of the negative self-deprecating memes to sweet friend loving memes. Meta-memes? Wholesome memes? Enjoy, friendos!

Lyric that represented your year:

Probably all songs from Hannah Georgas album titled For Evelyn

Pace around until I’m dizzy / So good at feeling guilty / Life can’t be this easy baby / Stop it, nobody knows what you’re thinking – Evelyn by Hannah Georgas

IRL highlight:

Vacation with friends on Vinalhaven, Open Farm Day, Halifax visits to see my adorable niece and nephew, practicing archery once, and traveling around New Brunswick like a tourist.

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Best photo you took:

I stopped documenting my life as much as I have in previous years. Originally, this was due to not having space on my phone, but I also stopped using Instagram (I will perhaps delve into this whole thing at a later date,) which really cut down on my photo taking. I took this one in the Halifax Public Gardens in the summer when visiting family and I dig it.

Something you did that surprised you:

Got into Tarot and Oracle Cards as a way of sharing with others, self-reflecting and practicing self-care. I used to be a pretty big skeptic when it came to things like tarot and astrology, and I do have my doubts, but I like that it allows me to reflect on life and see things from a different perspective. 

Biggest lesson learned:

Everyone has their shit. 

2017 goals:

  • Stop letting life happen to you and start taking back control.
  • Have a creative outlet.
  • Figure out what you really want and go for it.

Katie //

Fave TV show:

Most of my year was spent working and watching. Some standout faves include:

  • The Get-Down: NYC in the ’70s and hip hop under Baz Luhrmann’s dramatic eye? Perfection. It took me 2 months to watch the last episode because I didn’t want it to end
  • Roadies: Just a good ol’ rock and roll show in an Almost Famous style, with an incredible soundtrack and great cameos
  • Good Girls RevoltMoira told me I needed to watch this because it’s everything I love: 1960s counterculture, a buzzy newsroom, and 2nd wave feminism that intersects with race relations.

Fave song: 

I don’t think I had one this year. I do know that this playlist was probably one of my biggest accomplishments, though.

Fave book: 

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

“Hailed by Toni Morrison as “required reading,” a bold and personal literary exploration of America’s racial history by “the single best writer on the subject of race in the United States” – The New York Observer

The Girls by Emma Cline 
“Northern California, during the violent end of the 1960s. At the start of summer, a lonely and thoughtful teenager, Evie Boyd, sees a group of girls in the park, and is immediately caught by their freedom, their careless dress, their dangerous aura of abandon. Soon, Evie is in thrall to Suzanne, a mesmerizing older girl, and is drawn into the circle of a soon-to-be infamous cult and the man who is its charismatic leader.”

Fave meme:

Evil Kermit 

Lyric that represented your year:

Ev’rybody had a hard year / Ev’rybody had a good time / Ev’rybody had a wet dream / Ev’rybody saw the sunshine / Oh yeah, Oh yeah / Ev’rybody had a good year / Ev’rybody let their hair down / Ev’rybody pulled their socks up / Ev’rybody put their foot down / Oh yeah, Oh yeah. – I Got a Feeling by The Beatles

IRL highlights:

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  • Watching Zach graduate from Cornell
  • Being in Baltimore with Zach for the battle of a lifetime
  • Seeing Jenny Lewis play at Massey Hall on the Rabbit Fur Coat tour
  • Celebrating our 30th year of life with a trip to Maine

Fave photo you took: 

Swimming at the Quarry with my fronds. Special place, special people.

Something you did that surprised you:

  • Got a job in California with the help of an amazing friend and classmate. Thanks Jackie!
  • Moved to California two weeks after Trump was voted as president-elect
  • Went from long distance relationship to IRL relationship
  • Didn’t faint or pee my pants when applying for my work visa at the US border.

Biggest lesson learned:

Life is hard and then you die? Just kidding, kind of. Maybe: resilience trumps strength or discomfort is the only way to grow.

2017 goals:

Read a book a week, blog about the stuff in my soul instead of the stuff in my apartment, try not to die.

Moira //

Fave TV show:

The Vampire Diaries:  (Yeah, I know what you’re thinking but I don’t care)

Forensic Files: Forensic Files FTW. There are just so many episodes.

Raiders of the Lost Art: It’s a documentary style TV show. They hunt down missing masterpieces and tell the stories behind ones that have been recovered. Literal Art Detectives.

Tales of Irish Castles / Secrets of British Castles: Sticking with documentary TV… Castles are creepy af and are full of insane stories. Both of these are done really well.

Fave song:

Of 2016? That might be hard. Spotify says that my top song of 2016 is Youth by Daughter (which is from 2013). Released in 2016 – 7 by Catfish and the Bottlemen.

Fave book:

A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

The sequel to A Court of Thorns and Roses. I pretty made everyone read this book, including Sarah and Hilary. It’s essentially about a girl who has a life crisis while fighting some seriously nasty faeries. Strong ladies and good fucking writing.

Dead Ladies Project by Jessa Crispin

It’s women’s travel memoir unlike any other. There’s no pining for husbands or boyfriends to swoop in to save the day.

Personal and profane, funny and fervent, The Dead Ladies Project ranges from the nineteenth century to the present, from historical figures to brand-new hangovers, in search, ultimately, of an answer to a bedrock question: How does a person decide how to live their life?”

Fave meme:

This is hard – so I will pick three.

 

Lyric that represented your year:

“Things could be stranger but I don’t know how / I’m going through changes now / I’ve spent a lifetime trying to figure it out / I’m going through changes now / And I’ve just begun /Under a purple sun…/ There’s many reasons we are what we become / I’m going through changes, ripping out pages / I’m going through changes now” – Changes, Langhorne Slim

IRL highlight:

Met Gary Snyder. Visited my sister in North Carolina and went to Nashville. Frond adventures on my favorite island, Vinalhaven.

 

 

2017 goals:

Write more. Pretend it’s a different decade. See more poets.

 

Sarah //

Fave TV show:

  • Stranger Things: The 80s, that theme song, Barb! I loved this so much that I forced myself to watch only one episode a day because I didn’t want it to end.
  • Black Mirror: I watched this on Hilary’s recommendation and was obsessed after the first episode. Each episode made me feel so many feelings and made me very suspicious of technology (as if I needed that). Even if you’re not entirely sold on speculative, Twilight Zone-esque stories, season 3 has this episode called San Junipero that I will keep recommending to everyone I know until somebody (besides Hilary) finally watches it!

Fave song:

Head Under Water by Jenny Lewis and Ryan Adams’ entire discography.

Fave book:

As a chronic re-reader, I re-read Just Kids by Patti Smith, cried all the way through, and contemplated time travel.

Fave meme:

Since I’m terrible at the internet, I only see memes that Hilary or Moira send me. I laughed the hardest at this one.

Lyric that represented your year:

I could move to a small town / And become a waitress / Say my name was Stacy / And I was figuring things out – Waitress Song by First Aid Kit

IRL highlight:

My solo road trip from Toronto to Maine to New Brunswick. Fronds trip to Vinalhaven. Seeing Jenny Lewis at Massey Hall. Learning to embroider.

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Best photo you took:

Despite my initial hesitation with moving back to New Brunswick, turns out it’s actually super beautiful and amazing and I’ve just always taken it for granted (see photo below). A whole lot of driving around the province this summer, alone and with fronds, was just what I needed after a shaky start to the year.

Something you did that surprised you:

I quit my job and moved back to the east coast. Pretty shocking thing to do.

2017 goals:

Figure out how to set goals and follow through with them.