It is Always a Conundrum

Found this quote in the midst of my daily reading.

“Don’t let your struggle become your identity” – (Source unknown)

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As I do my daily effort of trying to live a Creative Life, I realize that it will be a puzzle. One that I never fully solve. I just need to show up more for it. Embrace the Conundrum.

I came across a TED Talk on “On Puzzle Hunts”

The next part of the thoughts in my head came from two different people.

“When someone is properly grounded in life, they shouldn’t have to look outside themselves for approval.”

  •                                     Epictetus

 

I am not looking for approval. However, I am looking for engagement. It would be nice to have a conversation that is not just a one-sided one in my own head. But reading social media postings have made me weary that such a conversation is possible. No one seems to be to “give and take”. Many people seem to be “doubling down” on their position.

It would be nice to have some extra eyeballs to look at my process. And sometimes extra hands to help pitch in would be nice. Or someone to split the driving with on a road trip to explore a place unknown.

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This goes along with a quote from James Altucher, “Explaining is draining.”

I hate talking with people and the conversation seems more about gossiping. Also, nothing is more draining than to listen to people who are hypercritical of practically everything. They know how it should be done. However, they never show up to help with “the work” aspects. It is what I learned in the book The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. Eliminate the Crazymakers as much as possible. (And I have to be honest I had to see the same tendencies within myself. And serve up a slice of “Humble Pie” for myself to chew on. And just continue to be a “Work in Progress”.) I am not going to get on soapbox and say who did what. It is just best to let some distance happen.

 

What goes. Goes. What stays. Stays.

 

But I also need to very much get out of my own Echo Chamber with My own Creatives.

 

 

Some final points that came as I was writing this post.

Mentorless.com (another must read site for myself) posted Art and Money. And I know how much a source of tension these two have with each other.

As I was searching for a photo to use. I came across this Futurama clip. And I want to remind people keep searching when you are curious about something.

 

 

Closing Song: UFO Gettin’ Ready (This week song was about the lyrics)

This Week’s Listening

It is always the “unforeseen” that mucks up the plan. In this case, this week’s posting that should’ve been last week’s posting. But as I was editing my notes for it, I really had two separate Main Ideas that didn’t gel as a single posting.

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Four Podcasts to recommend

The first two, I have listened to a few times.

Tim Ferriss interviewing Adam Savage (Mythbusters). The big takeaway is to just keep practicing various skills and with time you can become a better Creative. Don’t worry about Perfection. (Another lesson in Wabi-Sabi) And I found this quote from the late Anthony Bourdain. “Skills can be taught. Character you either have it or you don’t.” And once again another related reading from Brainpickings.org about how photographer Edward Weston on the value having of cross-disciplinary curiosities

Marc Maron interviewing Brene Brown. Her writings having been a part of my reading over the last year. And Marc is one the best conversationalist to listen to.

The maker’s behind Welcome to Night Vale have started a new podcast called Start With This. It is about finding ideas and executing them. I rather take leads from people who are actually doing the creative work then from lectures who are spouting from their own echo chamber.

Wolverine: The Long Night. I like storytelling. And it helps to keep my mind off the clock at work. Plus, I am interested in how a comic book character translate into an audio drama.

And Please

Any Recommendations for fictional storytelling podcasts would be appreciated

 

And My own High Fidelity continued again with these three songs.

I pace about my day with my earbuds in. And then for reasons unknown the lyrics hit. Even though I have been hearing the songs over and over for a long time.

Barracuda by Heart. “If the real thing don’t do the trick.

You better make up something quick.”

Armor and Sword by Rush. “Our better natures seek elevation
A refuge for the coming night
No one gets to their heaven without a fight”

The Show Must Go On by Queen. “Empty spaces – what are we living for?
Abandoned places – I guess we know the score”

 

And now I have to go and edit my notes again for the next post.

RE/Connecting

(Or do I need to be thinking about reconfiguring what is with my work)

 

Here are two other sites where I am posting my work.

(Click the Icons for the links)

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This is for my almost “daily” artwork postings.

 

l62697-new-twitter-logo-49466 I have not been as active on this lately. I found the platform polluted with too much “political outrage” over the last few years. But I am slowly returning to it. The character limitations are a good way to practice my editing skills. It is just time to rethink my approach to this site. And my expectations.

 

If you like what you please click to follow me on those sites.

 

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Now on to what has been influencing me over the last week or so.

I have been on some sort of High Fidelity kick for a bit. (By the way the title is both a good book and a movie) I have been doing some deep thinking over some of the music I have been listening to. And musically, I am like a squirrel lately. I am all over the place. And may end up being run over by a car. In a metaphorically sense.

Two Songs I have been replaying quite frequently.

“Rise” by Public Image LTD. Listening and watching John Lydon singing this song now makes me think about how the words and meaning working together changes over time. As a younger man questioning things with the lyrics “I could be wrong, I could be right”. But the same man with more age to him those lyrics sound like those of a person accepting things for what they are.

As another lyric line goes….. “May the road rise with you”

And then to “Anger is energy.”

I am not sure if I want to focus on that. But when it comes to anger for me it manifests itself as “Resistance”. The idea of this form of resistance comes from The War of Art by Steven Pressfield. And here is a bunch of quotes from that book.

The Second Song is “Come as You Are” by Nirvana. To me this is a song to remind myself to “just try to be in the present” given the situation. Also, the “Unplugged” album I have been listening over and over because the songs to me seem to have an underlying narrative that connects. What I think that is. Is still a mystery to me. But I will keep listening until I think “I cracked the code”.

 

The Tim Ferriss Podcast recently had another episode with Amanda Palmer. And that lead me to rereading this Brain Picking article about her TED talk and book The Art of Asking: or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help.

We all need help. And we have to help too. But in this current political climate, I am not sure if either is sign is truly asking for real pragmatic action. Though there is a lot of demands coming from “top of whoever’s soapbox”.

But I know for the most part. Regardless of the Noise Volume. No one is really listening anymore at this moment.

I am going to stop here before I go into a tangent on this idea.

 

And back to Brain Pickings with this one from Oliver Sacks.

 

And finally, I do need my “Reminders and Recharging” Books.

Austin Kleon just recently released Keep Going.( I have read through 3X’s. )

 

 

Starting Off

As I work on trying to figure out the format and layout of the blog. I still have to get things out. Waiting for perfection is a trap that catches me. And way too often. Right now, the posts are the main drive. And I work from there.

Here are two quotes that I found this week.

“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.”

  • Henry David Thoreau

“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”

  • Theodore Roosevelt

About my resetting. Or how I try to set my day each morning.

Morning Pages. But they have not been easy during the winter months. Getting up early is hard in the pitch-black morning. The furnace running signals to me that the bed is a comfortable place to be.  But each morning is a chance to go again. I try to do 3 pages but I am content with a page for the moment. I modified this exercise by keeping my notebook nearby during the day. I try to make a list of my ideas throughout the day. Along with anything that catches my attention like quotes, songs, articles, etc.

  • I do not turn on the news in the morning. Unless I need a weather or traffic update before work. Most of the news is about things that I can’t control anyways. And why would I need that daily reminder? And maybe you stop with the news too.

Also, I check out BrainPickings for a morning read. I may print out the article to read on break. It is a good site for curated reading of the works from people of the past. I find more insight and wisdom in reading that has been digested over time. Daily Current News articles I am finding are more about “inciting fear”. And by the way, both and all sides are fully guilty.

  • Music is a better way to help make the coffee work in the morning. I stream WFMU’s “Wake-N-Bake”. (From 6:15AM to 7AM) It is an eclectic blend of music.(Just take a look at the playlists on the website) And very different from what I listen to throughout the day. New and different music in the morning helps me to start to tune in with my thoughts for the day ahead. And not be bogged down the same music over and over again. (It is why I hate most of my local music stations.)

ReStarting Here

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“All of our days are numbered. We cannot afford to be idle. To act on a bad idea is better than to not act at all because the worth of the idea never becomes apparent until you do it. Sometimes this idea can be the smallest thing in the world; a little flame that you hunch over and cup with your hand and pray will not be extinguished by all the storm that howls about it. If you can hold on to that flame, great things can be constructed around it; things that are massive and powerful and world changing. All held up by the tiniest of ideas.”

Nick Cave, 20,000 Days on Earth (2014)

I read Outer Order / Inner Calm by Gretchen Rubin. It is about decluttering your life and reorganizing your life to fit your needs. I realized that I had a lot of ideas on paper, various projects in various stages, lots of questions, along with a lot of things that I find interesting. All of it. Is just clutter. It is time for me to start dealing with it.

So, as I work to reinvent myself through various “creative methods” across different platforms. I realize that I need a format to do at least a once a week check in with.

In order to….

Get my ideas out there.

Ask the questions I have.

Share lessons I have learned.

Show more of my work.

And to remind myself.

(Process > Product) / Time

If you are reading this blog, you might find something useful. Or you might be able to share something from your own process or experience.

As for my Blog Title Name here.

It is about what I am Putting Out and Showing (the Skin).

And the “Ups and Downs” of the Process (the Bruises).