Now that I’m back from Asheville, I am filled with inspiration and drive. I’m pushed to go out there and do things. But I know that feeling fades over time if you let it. The trick, I think, is to just keep doing things that are hard and rewarding. Constant challenge is wonderful for inspiration. My plan is to do hard stuff that also makes me happy (like work on a high volume of freelance articles), make lists, and continue to stay connected to they people I met in Asheville.
I currently sit in the Atlanta Airport waiting for my plane to take me to Denver. Atlanta’s airport is consistently crowded and as I sit at my gate a tide of slack-faced travelers flow in both directions. When I find myself in a large group of people I am reminded how trapped within my own head I am, how everyone is. And how I can never truly achieve empathy because every experience I have is framed within my own mind by my expectations and my previous experiences. It makes me a little bit sad but also helps me remember that I am not the center of the universe. Everyone is frightened and confused, with their own needs and desires.
As I have written before, I do not plan on being a parent any time soon (or, perhaps, ever). But being a father seems like one of the most noble and terrifying undertakings a human male can attempt. I have been fortunate to have a father who works hard everyday to provide for his family. The sacrifices he has made for the betterment of my sister and I boarder on that of a martyrdom. So thank you dad, and all dads. Thank you for teaching us what it means to be a man, how to treat a woman, and so many other lessons. I suggest you lay on the couch, crack open a beer, and watch some TV.
I love to walk cities at night, preferably after a good rainstorm. Finding a deserted stretch of city street, I mosey and watch how the orange light of the sodium filament streetlights play across parked cars and closed shop windows. Even though the street is empty it seems mystically alive. In the distance some bar booms music and it’s sounds echo down my deserted street. A drunk couple, a man supporting a laughing woman break the reverie of my street. Sometimes the best places don’t have to be there all the time. The most magical places often only exist for an hour or two.
Please refrain in the future from jabbing your inhumanly sharp elbows into the kidneys of the passengers on either side you. I can assure you (from personal experience) it is not a pleasant experience. Furthermore, I advise you take note from the other airline patrons around you to perfect the technique of retrieving one’s headphones from one’s backpack without tickling the aforementioned aeronautical niehbors arms with your gorilla-esque arm hair.
Seriously you should consider some kind of elbow reduction surgery.
Passenger in seat 23A
I’m now writing from the trailblazer conference. I didn’t, in fact, get a chance to write enough posts to get me through the whole week. Right now dinner is transpiring. The air is filled with a cloud of thought-provoking conversations. And I, myself am having a conversation of sorts. You see, a certain realization has recently struck me. I use my writing as a way to have a conversation with myself. Sometimes, I write to see my own thoughts. The process of writing about something of which I am unsure often helps refine my thoughts on it.
I recently found the pictured camera at a garage sale for $3, and as a lover of both vintage things in general and of film photography, bought it. When I come into some money, I’ll get some photos taken with it developed. The camera itself is from the early 1960s and is completely mechanical proving yet again that before computers people had to design smarter. Don’t get me wrong, I love computers and the internet, and I totally support the massive steps toward trans-humanism that they have brought us. I just think maybe the world would be a cooler –in both definitions of the term — place is designers didn’t immediately turn to electronic means to solve their problems.
I’ve launched onto another project: to learn Spanish. I learned the language as a child (it was required learning at the Waldorf school I attended), but have since forgotten it. Re-learning has been difficult because also know German (also required in Waldorf school), and whenever I search for a word in Spanish in my mind, the German word pops in. I have started re-learning with a fantastic app on my phone called Duolingo which is basically just as good as Rosetta Stone with the added benefit of being free (instead of hundreds of dollars). In a world of constant globalization and with an urgent desire to travel within my self, I felt the second most spoken language in the world should be one I know. Also, because the first most spoken language is Mandarin and I think Chinese would be too difficult.
I think all creative people have days where they are super motivated and creative (though the two are not mutually exclusive). On these days, they are able to make tons to stuff and inspiration comes easily. The inverse of these days also hit the creative community, days where nothing comes to mind easily and the flashy, flashy, lights of the internet or television beckon. When it comes to this blog, some of the best posts I write come, not from the days of easy writing, but from the days when every word is a struggle.
The part of my mind that doubts everything I do often puts forward the question Why do I put some much work into something that has no real-world utility? The answer, I think, has multiple parts. First, if I didn’t write, I’m pretty confidant that my head would explode, and that would be messy for everyone. Second, how we think is bound to what we do, and in that way writing and art have a very important the real-world utility. They can help sway, and expand the mind of the viewer/reader/listener into having a richer experience of the world, and inspire him or her to change it for the better. And that’s why I think art, music, and literature are among the most human of pursuits.