Issue № 73

Why not?

Because it’s crazy. It’s insane. It will never work. You’ll hear this a lot if you have a lot of far-out ideas. “Moonshots” is the term I prefer for such ideas, or a really big swing.

And then in an instant he realised that rather than building a cable through the wildernesses of Newfoundland and Nova Scotia in the hope of saving a couple of days’ transmission time for the telegraph, one could build a cable directly from Newfoundland to Ireland, under the narrowest point of the entire Atlantic Ocean. If he was able to do that, it would reduce the time for a message to pass between the two greatest cities in the nineteenth-century world from a matter of days to just a few seconds.

~ from,

Why not, indeed. Because what if your idea actually worked?


There is no good in arguing with the inevitable. The only argument available with an east wind is to put on your overcoat.

~ Lowell


I’ve now done a lot of recorded conversations for podcasts. I’ve spent a lot of money, and I’ve spent a vast amount of time. I’ve had every imaginable problem. I’ve been stressed out. I’ve literally worked myself to exhaustion and illness.

The line from Zeno was that we were given two ears and one mouth for a reason. That reason? To listen more than we talk.

To learn from people who can teach us. To find something that makes us better.

~ Ryan Holiday from,

The rewards I’ve gotten—the things I’ve learned and the people I’ve met and the experiences I’ve had—have been worth every penny and every moment and every hardship.

The opportunity to speak with hundreds of people (most of whom I’d never have crossed paths with, let alone had a good conversation with) is priceless.


Gratitude is like the good faith of traders—it maintains commerce; And we often pay, not because it is just to discharge our debts, but that we may more readily find people to trust us.

~ Rochefoucauld

It never gets easier

Very early in my rediscovery of movement, someone said: What was once your workout, will one day be your warmup. It’s both motivating (simply do what you can, today, and the changes will come) and inspiring (it implies that the people far ahead, at one time, were here, where I am today). I can now see in hindsight that it is an expansive perspective: One will expand their capabilities as one expands one’s practice to bigger and better things.

Years later I realised that the answer to this question is: everything. There can be more articulation of the toes; rotation can be made more extreme; even that ineffable quality of artistry can be developed. It’s often thought that the greater your prowess, the easier your performance becomes. However, as I progressed upward through the ranks of the ballet world, I saw that this wasn’t the case.

~ Barbara Gail Montero from,

Years into my rediscovery of movement, I realized it was truly a mastery practice. Something which can be done, forever, just for the process.

And just now, it’s occurred to me that this is also true: What was once my warmup, will always contain enough challenge to also be my workout.


Pick an arbitrary, stupid goal, become totally involved in it, and pursue it with vigor, and what happens to you in that pursuit is your life.

~ Kenny Shopsin

From scratch

Clear cut and plant. Clear cut and plant. I’m not sure, but this doesn’t feel like a great idea. I started reading this article thinking it wasn’t going to be _that_interesting. I was wrong. I’ve moved through forest where there are no trails: doing boundary monitoring and corridor maintenance for the Appalachian Trail Council, and bush–whacking towards rock climbing. It’s type-2 fun. But reading about what these super-humans do to move through clear-cut “blocks”… *shudders* that’s definitely type-3 fun.

Up in the sparsely populated wildernesses of the north, meanwhile, logging companies work 24/7 to fell trees for lumber, leaving behind ‘cut blocks’ – bleak fields of stumps, mulch, roots and detritus covering thousands of hectares. Following in their wake come hordes of seasonal tree planters, who drive for miles up dangerous roads to enter these remote areas. Staying in basic bush camps, off the grid and armed only with shovels and bags of saplings, they set about creating new forests from scratch.

~ uncredited, from

“Fun” comes in 3 types: Type-1 fun is fun in the moment. Type-2 fun isn’t fun now, but we’re really going to enjoy this once we get past this sucky part, even more so as soon as we’re done, and especially years from now when we retell this story. Type-3 fun isn’t fun now, mistakes have been made, life choices need reconsidering and this is actually going to be a cautionary tale when retold.

Until next time, thanks for reading.



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