Categories
Writing

Notebooks are ‘a forgotten account with accumulated interest’

Said Joan Didion in her essay "On Keeping a Notebook:"

Listening seeds ideas. Overheard dialogue, especially misheard words, are auditory stimulants for the imagination. Said Joan Didion in her essay “On Keeping a Notebook:”

“See enough and write it down, I tell myself, and then some morning when the world seems drained of wonder, some day when I am only going through the motions of doing what I am supposed to do… on that bankrupt morning I will simply open my notebook and there it will all be, a forgotten account with accumulated interest, paid passage back to the world out there…”

From the dull to the senseless, an ambient awareness latches on to snippets of interestingness in any conversation. The journal archives and then whispers for a second look. Simply rereading our notes gives them a new form, turning the slightest quip into a saintly significance.

Categories
Life & Philosophy Poetry Tech

Flashes of intuition

A photo of person flashing a light in the dark

When we drop a coin in the dark, our first instinct is to look for the nearest lite brite (be it a streetlight or our phone) to find it. But the initial frustration of blindness provides enough luminosity.

We are victims of ignoring the obvious — the coin is often just below our feet. It is not lost. Sometimes, we’re even standing right on top of it.

Some things are not meant to be clear; obscurity is their clarity. We should not underestimate obscurity. Obscurity is as rich as luminosity.

Etel Adnan

It’s amazing the things we discover when just use our intuition pumps. Our predictive senses are immune to the best technologies.

On the grid, off the grid, curious what hides in the night. Yet we can imagine radiance all along. All we had to do was use our senses to look around first.

Categories
Creativity Productivity & Work

You can’t schedule joy

alice-achterhof-85968.jpg

“We make lists because we don’t want to die,” said Italian novelist and philosopher Umberto Eco.

The problem with lists though is that we tend to include things we enjoy doing like writing, reading, meditating, along with other habits we should do, like exercise or our grocery shopping.

When we fail to cross an item off the list, we feel like a failure. Said author and meditation expert Susan Piver on the obsession of getting stuff done:

I knew I had to give up trying to be disciplined in any conventional sense. It doesn’t work. And since the definition of suffering is trying the same thing over and over expecting a different result, I had to put myself out of my misery.

Susan Piver

So she looked at her daily habits a different way. Instead of scheduling her to-dos, she instead did them out of sheer pleasure. She remembered why she pursued spiritual practice and writing in the first place and rediscovered a lighter, organic creative flow.

Once I remembered that my motivation is routed in genuine curiosity and that my tasks are in complete alignment with who I am and want to be, my office suddenly seemed like a playground rather than a labor camp.

If we want to be successful in any field, we have to do the work. Everything is practice. The problem lies in our interpretation of discipline and motivation.

If the task becomes routine, the activity we once loved loses its purpose. But if we follow Susan Piver’s advice and convert tasks back into joyful exercises, we may be able to plan less and play with the process more.

I suggest that instead of being disciplined about hating on yourself to get things done, try being disciplined about remaining close to what brings you joy.

Categories
Books Travel

‘Time is to clock as mind is to brain’ 🕰️

Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time

Time is to clock as mind is to brain. The clock or watch somehow contains the time. And yet time refuses to be bottled up like a genie stuffed in a lamp. Whether it flows as sand or turns on wheels within wheels, time escapes irretrievably, while we watch. Even when the bulbs of the hourglass shatter, when darkness withholds the shadow from the sundial, when the mainspring winds down so far that the clock hands hold still as death, time itself keeps on. The most we can hope a watch to do is mark that progress. And since time sets its own tempo, like a heartbeat or an ebb tide, timepieces don’t really keep time. They just keep up with it, if they’re able.

— Dava Sobel, Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time

Categories
Photography

Jimmy Chin teaches adventure photography

Capture breathtaking images (This post may contain affiliate links. Please see the disclosure for more info.)

National Geographic photographer and producer of some my most favorite adventure documentary films including Meru and most recently Free Solo Jimmy Chin, is teaching an adventure photography course on MasterClass. 

Push the limits of photography

If you follow the world-renowned photographer Jimmy Chin on Instagram, you’ll know he’s a daredevil climber and mountaineer with a keen eye for landscape shots. In this course, he’ll teach you all the techniques you need to know for capturing stunning photos. He also details his approach for more commercial and editorial shoot as well, including the daily gear he uses to work his magic. 

Things aren’t that interesting to me unless the stakes are very high.

Jimmy Chin

About MasterClass

If you’ve never taken a MasterClass before, it’s a great opportunity to take a peek into the mind and explore the process of some of the world’s leading experts in photography, writing, music production, filmmaking, and even cooking. You may be aware of Neil Gaiman’s storytelling class, Margaret Atwood’s writing course, Tom Morello’s electric guitar course, or Serena Williams teaches tennis course.   

If you’re looking for a great Christmas gift, considering gifting the Jimmy Chin course to a loved one or friend. Even better, gift someone the All-Access Pass so they can take all the courses they want. 

Categories
Photography Video

Wes Anderson vehicles

Video editor Jaume R. Lloret compiled some of the vehicles from Wes Anderson movies including The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou and Grand Budapest Hotel.

What aesthetic eye candy!