Categories
Arts Life & Philosophy Nature

Adventure by design

A step into the wilderness with no path in sight, only the certainty of the next crunch of leaves.

One can’t see the forest for the trees without first seeing a tightly sealed version of the world. Each stick of bark aggregates into a sum of parts individually wrapped and bending into each other — passing signals above the shrubby floor.

Nature holds the strongest connection.

For better or worse, it is the humans who have the elemental need to keep moving on terra firma. Unlike running water over rocks, we force progress by messing up the Earth that feeds us.

We put our minds in the void and bleed design everywhere. We build societies, unplanned, over and over again on top of ruins to get history started again. While the left brain was fixated on the individual trees, the right brain was planting new ones.

As they say, “the best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago. The second best time is now.”

gif via tumblr

Categories
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
Life & Philosophy

In pursuit of the right stuff

The ignorant still absorb knowledge. Their minds are just cluttered with the wrong stuff, crushed with the contentment with misinformation.

So what is the right stuff?

The right stuff is a mentality of contradictions, where one practices disagreement not as a form of disrespect but as a pursuit of knowledge.

The right stuff is…

  • a preference for negative feedback since it’s more actionable than its positive sister
  • focusing on doing good no matter what the future brings
  • an outcome democratically reached
  • consuming and throwing away culture to remain unidentifiable
  • disassociating your identity with the things you own

“Being right is the enemy of staying right because it leads you to forget the way the world works,” writes Jason Zweig. Stare at the world, not at your model, they implore.

Patterns are the work of evil and the formula for stuckness. The wrong stuff seeks to pigeonholed with no way out. Invest in what is right: mutability.

Categories
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

giphy
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.

Categories
Life & Philosophy Psychology

Relishing the doubt

gif by @raphaellemartin

Enthusiastic in the front, skeptic in the back.

The dialectic of mind enframes the rational man. When we peel off the plastic of certainty, we uncover the beauty of chasing ambiguity.

When we see that the true bearers of consciousness are patterns of continuous variation rather than preprogrammed automata, we relish our idiosyncrasies.

Naïveté is on par with idealism.

What we demand instead is the thrill of belief, vacuuming up all the information around us without pre-consolidating our vision with the cockiness of mastery.

Every single person has their own blend of style, just like the unique acoustic signature of birds. Wonderfully different, in search of random incursions.