Issue № 39

The pause between

I often discover I’m really enjoying myself when I am simply submerged in experiencing. Novelty will of course afford this opportunity (but it’s dangerous to chase novelty.) Unfortunately, if I find something mundane which I discover I’m enjoying I shift to wondering if I can make my enjoyment be productive.

If you’re trying to get through your work as quickly as you can, then maybe you should see if you can find a different line of work. And if you’re trying to get through your leisure-time reading and watching and listening as quickly as you can, then you definitely do not understand the meaning of leisure and should do a thorough rethink.

~ Alan Jacobs from,

I sometimes grasp leisure. Far too often I feel compelled to turn leisure into work. I once used “festina lenta” as my touch phrase for a year, and now that’s sounding like a perfect example of my turning my leisure into work.


One should always be curious. Not a passive curiosity dependent upon information received, but an aggressive curiosity that compels one to seek things out and ascertain them for oneself.

~ Issey Miyake


I’m often paused, even paralyzed, by uncertainty. My hope is that this is a sign that I’ve developed some (originally absent, apparently) humility. I swing wildly between feeling confident in simply doing “the work” simply for the sake of experiencing the process, and panicking in the face of self-criticism for wasting my talents and resources. Literally, the only thing which saves me is the knowledge that it takes a significant amount of self-awareness to even think to write a paragraph such as this.

Never play to the gallery… Always remember that the reason that you initially started working is that there was something inside yourself that you felt that if you could manifest in some way, you would understand more about yourself and how you coexist with the rest of society. I think it’s terribly dangerous for an artist to fulfill other people’s expectations — they generally produce their worst work when they do that.

~ David Bowie from,

I’m not sure it’s terribly dangerous. But it’s certain that I get twitchy and restless if I go searching for others’ approval. It feels far better to sit down, shut up, and start. Actually, it’s really a double-negative: It feels far less worse to sit down, shut up, and start than it does to seek others’ approval for whatever it is I have the urge to work on.

It’s all memory

Has it ever struck you that life is all memory, except for the one present moment that goes by you so quick you hardly catch it going?

~ Tenessee Williams


How important is having a vision? I’m feeling like it’s very helpful to have a vision which is both clear and simple. To be clear is one thing, but when I try to share a vision with someone else, it goes badly if it’s not also a simple vision.

This isn’t quite a contradiction (building projects are high variance), but it’s an interesting contrast – what made two seemingly similar projects develop so differently? Why did building the Empire State Building go so smoothly, and the World Trade Center struggle? What can we learn by comparing the two projects? Let’s take a look.

~ Brian Potter from,

The question, “Who will do what by when?” tends to rock worlds. If I’m going to trot out that last focus, I better have a clear and simple vision of the “what”.

Also, what a deliciously deep dive, in just the first part linked to above, into how the Empire State Building was imagined, designed and built.

Twenty-four hours

You have to live on this twenty-four hours of daily time. Out of it you have to spin health, pleasure, money, content, respect, and the evolution of your immortal soul. Its right use, its most effective use, is a matter of the highest urgency and of the most thrilling actuality. All depends on that. Your happiness—the elusive prize that you are all clutching for, my friends!—depends on that.

~ Arnold Bennett


If there’s somewhere I need to be, I need to start walking. It’s insightful, but it begs a few questions. Do I really understand “where” I need to be (that is to say, what does the word “where” really stand for if I’m to use the proverb)? Is there a path from “here” to “there”? And really sticky question: Are there any true obstacles, like gates with gatekeepers, between “here” and “there”?

The world is full of gatekeepers who think they have veto rights. Don’t believe them. If you need them to invest time or resources then they deserve to have a say, otherwise the responsibility remains with you to decide how to proceed and to suffer the consequences or reap the rewards, as the case may be.

~ Andrew Bosworth from,

There are many ways (metaphorical and literal) to go over, under, around and through gates and gatekeepers. I’ve always visualized the proverbial gatekeeper as part of a structure surrounding something, keeping me out. But why that orientation?

Recall Douglas Adam’s Hitchhiker’s Guide wherein one character builds an asylum for the world; A “house” with the “interior” stuff (carpet, furniture, lights, curtains, etc) on the outside, exposed to the elements, and with a central space with no roof, faced with the exterior parts of a home. In that center was “outside” the asylum and the entire rest of the world was therefore “inside” the asylum thus constructed.

Why aren’t the gatekeepers seen as denying us access to exit? I don’t want “in” to gain access to some resource or some people. I want “out” to regain my freedom.

Until next time, thanks for reading.



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