In the London Underground commuters are warned to “mind the gap,” lest they fall between the platform and the open door to the train.The gap is dangerous. To fall into it, deadly.
Between what we know and don’t know there is also a gap. It goes by many names — the void, the unknown, a liminal state betwixt and between.We are taught to be very afraid of this gap.
As children we are told fairytales about the dangers that lurk in the dark where strangers are really wolves in disguise and death awaits those dare to veer off the well-worn…
A Sketch a Day, Everyday: What I’ve Learned So Far
Art is never the result of what you set out to do.
At the beginning of the year, my friend Mindy convinced me to do a sketch a day with her. She lives in Richmond and I live in Portland and so everyday we trade photos of our sketches of the day.
So far I’ve sketched my hand, a dying plant ( which I watered), various cafes where I write, various faces of cafe goers ( surreptitiously) , a bagel before I ate it, a stapler, a computer tower, in…
What salmon know about how to defy gravity
It turns out facing things is not as hard, not nearly as hard, as resisting them. But to face things, especially forces that oppose us, we must go against every instinct we have to continue to believe and do what we believed and did before.
Facing things requires we undo and unlearn the well-worn emotional habits that we have repeated so often we forget we can do something else, and mistake them for cause and effect, the way the world is and will always be.
Salmon have much to teach us about…
It turns out that the key to learning how to walk is learning how to fall.
Infants who are learning to walk don’t move forward in one continuous straight line.They take a step, lose their balance and fall.They speed forward, stop short, fall backward. They start forward, swerve, miss a step, fall down.
As adults, we try to avoid falling. In school, we learn to try to get the “right” answer and to avoid making “mistakes.”At work, in relationships, we try to do what we intend, or what others intend for us. If we don’t succeed, we feel like a…
“Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.” — Goethe
Do not study how to be like anyone else. Study, how you may become more yourself.
Ignore the messages telling you that you are not okay, that someone else knows better than you. Do not follow their methods, no matter the guarantee.
Whatever feels exciting, daring, scary with unknown possibilities, unthinkable because it’s not the sort of the you’ve ever done or imagined you can do; begin there.
Learn what moves and inspires you. Sense into, then give your enthusiasm…
A channeled message from the artist formerly known as Prince
This day is the opening gambit, the entrance to a gate. On the other side is everything you’ve been wanting to be, to become.
Ask for more help. You have a very loud team of cheerleaders.You can relax, you don’t have to do this all alone, nor can you.
You are a creative badass.
Ask yourself, what would Prince do?
I will tell you, and it’s definitely going to be badass.
What scares you illuminates the gate you need to go through. …
Changing them won’t make the difference:Changing ourselves will.
When I taught Public speaking, one of the assignments was to do a persuasive speech and include a call to action — something that those who were convinced by the speaker could do to show their support.
I noticed that the solutions to problems most often took the form of creating a new law, rule or requirement or stronger punishment to compel people to change their behavior.
Students gravitated to these solutions because these were also the kind of solutions most frequently offered by politicians and political movements.
It struck me that…
Lights up. A kitchen. BAKER, a woman of indeterminate age, wearing an apron enters with a glass cake plate, singing.
BAKER: If I knew you were comin’ I’d’ve baked a cake, baked a cake.baked a cake… If I knew you were comin’ I’d’ve baked a cake…
She traces the edge around the cake tin to loosen the cake from the pan
Outside is the sound of loud crows. She peers out the window
BAKER: ( to the crows) Howdya do, howdya do, howdya do?
Holding her hand flat over the cake, BAKER flips the cake pan over and shakes the…
To spur new thinking, new creations
The philosopher Marshall McLuhan, when he encountered a serious book — one he thought might be important to his own thinking — would read only the right hand pages of the book.
By not reading the pages on the left side of the book, he deliberately created a gap which forced him him to think hard, to imagine what was missing, and to fill the missing parts with his own ideas on the subject.
The gap between the left and the right hand pages forced him to think actively and deeply about the subject…
Here’s a thought experiment: If you were given the choice between
A) a virtual lover who fulfills all your fantasies, say and does the all the right things or
B)the kiss from a real human being, who comes with emotional baggage and is guaranteed to disappoint you at some point.
Which would you chose?
With the virtual lover, chances are very high that you could have a successful, even perfect relationship, or at least one that won’t push your buttons. You can dictate the terms of the relationship. It can be as long or as short as you wish. You…