5x where the mystery begins

A new list of insightful pondering.

Enjoy

  1. Ray Bradbury on Writing, Emotion vs. Intelligence, and the Core of Creativity via Brain Pickings. Set aside a half hour to listen to the entire interview, it’s beautiful to hear such verve for life.
  2. My very kind friend d’j sent me this beautiful video of Lydia Lunch on the cultural history of No Wave it gave me shivers
  3.  Fruit for Feminism video shared via  Laura McNaughton. I found to be a very soothing and reassuring video which I return to often when anxious.
  4. The Empty Brain via shared with me by Sarah Flood. I’ve found myself often returning to the ideas of this article and re-examining how I understand myself and the world around me.
  5. The Intelligence of Emotions: Philosopher Martha Nussbaum on How Storytelling Rewires Us and Why Befriending Our Neediness is Essential for Happiness via Brain Pickings. Spent a very fruitful evening in long conversation with a dear friend about ideas in this vein of how we are responsible for crafting our own life narrative.
  6. Finally a gentle reminder for each of us Is it selfish to follow your bliss? via Marlo Johnson
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Dreaming of Dear Devotion

I had a dream that I was living in a very old house all mahogany and brass. A house full of gentlemen with business just out of sight. Where every ornament in the house carried weight of hundreds of years of legacy. Each handshake would last a lifetime. I played music even though I knew not how to play it. On a large, beautiful twelve-string instrument that looked like a cross between a sitar and a viola in deep mahogany with gold accents. I plucked out notes, made the shape of a D, I scratched my fingernails up and down the strings like Okkyung Lee. As I pulled out these low strange sounds from it I began to speak “Fair is foul and foul is fair” whispering it into the f-hole so it resonated deep inside of the instrument. As the dissonant sound grew to a crescendo, I flipped the instrument over and began to bang out a rough and steady dirge and sang high and effervescent a hymnal from memory “A Light On High” that was chipper and girlish, almost, save for the heavy dirge rhythm underneath. Then I returned to plucking the belly of the instrument as my husband returned home from important work. I played him the roughly hewen melody I had carved out. At first it pleased him. The sexual energy I had harnessed was great as I channeled this huge magnetic creative force towards him, but as I started to play and scratch and moan he became uninterested. What would the guests think? He was tired from long days work. Be careful that I not wreck this important instrument in the sea of important ornaments. It was not to be played like that. I carried on anyways as he disappeared into the party talking in serious low voices to his father about impending business deals that must not disturb the rest of the house, but would surely impact future generations for years to come. Men would do better to wear their grievances on their sleeves I thought as I played mournfully away. Simultaneously filled with power and grace and transforming my longing into a beacon to call to me the power of Yoko Ono, Okkyung Lee, of Julie Taymor, of Tanya Tagaq of women that were not afraid to create, and create ugly, create sad. This was for them.

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Hope, or something like it

We are living in the post-follow-your-dreams era where most career advice has a dark cloud of the 2008 economic collapse, escalating student debt, and low graduate employment rates. “Push forward, with caution” is the anxious whispers from academic halls, and even career consultants meant to inspire feel the need to temper their motivation: “Do what you are passionate about so long as it is valuable and you are good at it.” The message is clear your passion is no currency for success and happiness, don’t risk it all on a dream.

The problem with this advice is it fails to take into consideration that no one has ever started out “good at” something. Passion is what carries you through those long hours of practice makes perfect, and keeps you up late at night solving for x when the average person would have given up and gone to bed. It’s creativity’s high voltage elixir . Without it you get xerox scanned clip art and slapped-together, good-enough solutions.

It’s likely that this advice is well intentioned, as the road to passion is long and arduous. It often will seem to move so slowly that everything appears at a standstill, and then suddenly darts ahead at lightening speed so that you struggle to keep pace with it. You will make mistakes. At first you might stumble or get turned around, and the path forward will not always be clear. You may even believe that these mistakes are because you are mistaken to follow this fool’s passion, but if you are committed to learning from the path your passion leads you on then you will begin to learn the patterns of it’s behavior, to track it like a wild beast, and perhaps even to lead the hunt to discover new opportunities that ignite your passion.

You are the keeper of your passion you must take good care of it so that it will take good care of you. Passion must have room to stretch it’s legs, to make a mess occasionally, to sing from the rafters at all hours of the night. It can be part jealous lover, part needy child, and part stern master. You must wholly invest in your mental and physical health, and your emotional and spiritual well-being in order to become the tool your passion uses to reach the world.

Often those that are committed followers of their passion say that they would not wish this life upon anyone, there are easier ways to make a buck, but if it is calling you then you know that it is not about making a buck. It is no small task to commit to living a passionate life. This is what those weary eyed career councilors are trying to warn you. It may never, and probably won’t, pay off in wild success and a steady pay cheque. The fastest way to unhappiness is to follow fool’s gold into the belief  that you will earn your way into passion for your life. If you just work a little harder, wait a little longer. If you wait to put your passion first it will shrivel up and die before it is given a chance to prove valuable.

Too many people run away from their passion out of fear of what it will ask of them, but it is not healthy to suppress a force so powerful. It will wear you down into the dirt until there is barely anything left. It is then that sparkle of passion shines the most brightly in order to lead us back to ourselves.

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5

1) the universe, and our beings, are interconnected, derived from the same fountainhead, the expression of life is inherently a creative, vibrant act and must be treated as such

2) continuous evolution is necessary to sustain life at all levels, therefore I must strive to be a better version of myself through quiet contemplation and concious action 

3) loyalty, honesty, and respect are love manifested, holy healing actions for giver and receiver

4)  hardwork and complete dedication to the task at hand derives the purest results through devotion of self to all that is now

5) good food, good drink, good love making, good conversation, and good books are some of the best things you will experience in this life – savour them.

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