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Books Life & Philosophy Productivity & Work

'She ignored whatever did not interest her'

She ignored whatever did not interest her. With those blows she opened her days like a piñata. A hundred freedoms fell on her. She hitched free years to her lifespan like a kite tail. Everyone envied her the time she had, not noticing that they had equal time.

Annie Dillard, The Maytrees

A wonderful perspective on life and work as we go into the New Year and new decade.

Categories
Books Culture Life & Philosophy

‘No, it burns, it shines’

“Does the sun ask itself, ‘Am I good? Am I worthwhile? Is there enough of me?’ No, it burns and it shines. Does the sun ask itself, ‘What does the moon think of me? How does Mars feel about me today?’ No it burns, it shines. Does the sun ask itself, ‘Am I as big as other suns in other galaxies?’ No, it burns, it shines.”

Andrea DworkinIce and Fire 

Don’t compete. Make things.

When we compare ourselves to others, we get detached from ourselves.

Categories
Arts Creativity

Unoriginal and creative

We build careers off of clever hybrids, sampling the treasure trove of the Internet’s archival content to remix and recast as our own.

With a quick copy-paste, anyone with the tools can replicate a beautiful photo, record a song, or publish a book on Amazon.

Originality is dead. But that’s not to say it ever existed in the first place. Every piece of art, music, and writing we swallow was based on something before it. We continue the fad, bending genres and jamming stems into each other to create something novel.

Even the great Vincent Van Gogh adopted the style of Japanese prints and incorporated them into his work.

When we have access to slices of culture, the world (thanks to the internet) becomes our oyster.

Categories
Books Quotes Writing

Abraham Lincoln on writing

“Writing, the art of communicating thoughts to the mind, through the eye— is the great invention of the world.”

Abraham Lincoln
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Books

‘I wish I’d spent more time on…’ and ‘I wish I’d spent less time on…’

Imagine you are eighty years old – assuming you’re not eighty already, that is; if you are, you’ll have to pick an older age – and then complete the sentences ‘I wish I’d spent more time on…’ and ‘I wish I’d spent less time on…’. This turns out to be a surprisingly effective way to achieve mortality awareness in short order. Things fall into place. It becomes far easier to follow Lauren Tillinghast’s advice – to figure out what, specifically, you might do in order to focus on life’s flavours, so as to improve your chances of reaching death having lived life as fully and as deeply as possible.

Oliver BurkemanThe Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking
Categories
Daily Prompts Life & Philosophy Poetry Uncategorized

A retrospective report

gif via sambmotion

We take a retrospective report, this time with the prospect of various viewpoints.

When we look back at our own history, it only makes sense now. It’s never lucid at the time. Today’s mirror emits a story that can’t tell a lie.

While the future prohibits knowledge, gathering experience increases one’s attentiveness toward ambient hints. Age is didactic — it compels us to notice and thereby prevent the patterns and vices we originally pursued.

The creative part of us gets tired of waiting. Or just gets tired.

Mary Oliver

We may have to live things twice in order to figure out what to do next. The coexistence of both hope and despair pushes us through the messy middle.

From the cave to the smartphone and onto the next magical widget, the fun is in the hunt to use the tools of today to look back and figure out what’s on the other side of the rainbow.