As Millay once said,
“Carpe diem and noctem.”
We all get overwhelmed. Life can be a whole pile of overwhelming. Next time you’re on the verge of imploding/exploding/ode-to-joying, remember that there are a number of situations in which it is perfectly acceptable to have a meltdown.
A handy guide:
- When you’ve tried to spell “receive” incorrectly 5 times in a row
- When the saran wrap tears leaving you with an endless strand of plastic 1mm in width
- When Blockbuster is out of the next season of Breaking Bad
- When traffic stops you from going more than 10 city blocks over the course of two hours
- When things end
- When new beginnings arise
- When you can’t decide which way you should part your hair
- When someone asks you what your favorite book/movie/restaurant is and there is no possible way to pick just one
- When you have too much
- When jealous folks get rude and catty
- When that new song you love becomes that overplayed song you love within the course of a week
- When you think you feel a spider on you but there’s none there
- When nothing is happening
- When everything is happening
All good problems to have.
Allow yourself all the feelings. Each and every one of ‘em. You’ll be glad for it at the end of the day.
How many of us can say that they’ve actually got around to reading Melville’s novel, easily considered a treasure of world literature?
Peninsula Arts with Plymouth University have made the daunting task a little easier with their 21st century-friendly project, the Big Read. Readers such as Tilda Swinton and Stephen Fry embellish a chapter of Moby Dick each with their voice and skill. The project also curated 136 artists to create an accompanying illustration for each of the chapters of the book.
No better way to revisit a classic than by bringing it to the arts-hungry culture in such a digestible format.
Should you need me these next few days, I’ll be diving into these deeper waters.
An important tidbit from Silverstein this Monday:Image Source
Stuck mulling over the same ol’ field of thinking? Getting restless is a good sign.
It means your brain is craving for something more.
Get that Ivy League education you always wanted. For free. Online. (Welcome to the future y’all)
Devour books old and new like they were going out of style. Kindle, you ain’t got nothing on nostalgia.
Remind yourself of Jefferson’s Democracy in less than 15 minutes with amazingly accessible YouTube crash courses.
The world is only getting larger and more easy to tap into every day.
What seeds of ideas have you planted lately?
James Rhodes gave up the piano for 10 years, trading it in for the promise of the City and searching for some sort of security. Then decided his dream of becoming a concert pianist trumped all.
From the Guardian’s recent article:
“What if rather than a book club you joined a writer’s club? Where every week you had to (really had to) bring three pages of your novel, novella, screenplay and read them aloud?
What if, rather than paying £70 a month for a gym membership that delights in making you feel fat, guilty and a world away from the man your wife married you bought a few blank canvases and some paints and spent time each day painting your version of “I love you” until you realised that any woman worth keeping would jump you then and there just for that, despite your lack of a six-pack?”
Image before editing: Alan Cleaver
With Luhrmann’s adaptation about to hit the silver screen, there’s no better time to revisit how others have retold Fitzgerald’s classic American tale. At once a novella about the power of hope and a prophetic story of the end of an era, the The Great Gatsby is still considered one of the best books in the canon of Western literature.
The book exploded off the page in Elevator Repair Service’s marathon retelling. A man in an office sits down, begins reading the book, and 8 hours later (a few intermissions and dinner break included) you emerge from the theatre having utterly steeped yourself in the text. All 180 pages of it.
Take a glimpse of the piece through the eyes of the narrator, Nick Carraway, as Gatsby’s lavish parties transform a dull office setting. The actor who plays Nick, Scott Shepherd, has memorized all 49,000 words of the text.
- Get up early, go sit down and write
- Journal without editing yourself
- Find seeds of great ideas in the piles of subconscious ones you’ve just laid out for yourself
- Repeat until it no longer feels like a chore, but a part of your day you anticipate with excitement
- Continue ad infinitum
- Make time for people that matter to you
- Send a note to let them know you’re thinking about them what big or little life events pop up (“Good luck on that interview!”, “Hope you fly safe!”, “That recipe you gave me is le bomb.”, etc.)
- Show support when good things happen to them, and even more support when the bad sneaks in
- Refuse to let distance be an obstacle. There are a million ways to stay connected nowadays. If Facebook isn’t cutting it for you, agree to start writing each other postcards. No one gets real mail anymore – just think of what a treat it would be to get something worthwhile in the mailbox.
- Continue ad infinitum
- Stop comparing, stop complaining, stop selling yourself short
-Continue ad infinitum
For even the smallest hole may feel bottomless
if carved out by another’s less than gentle hand.
Every fluttering page, brick, case, or feast
that you’ve used to mend the hollow
only makes weary walls creak
beneath a pressure never invited,
now a (not so welcome) guest.
You’ve even learned to ration your love
into morsels no larger than pencil shavings,
feeding your ravenous craving with meager meals
not fit for any budding soul.
Were you to just abandon the dread
that you think keeps you from a famine,
you would find that full banquets of love
never diminish from returning visits,
but only surge and grow
as you help yourself to more.
In the midst of creating new patterns for yourself? Make sure you have the first ingredient.
“Things start out as hopes and end up as habits.”
- Lillian Hellman
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Reaching out to touch someone is different than it was before.
In a matter of clicks we are displacing electrons.
Instead of misplacing hand-drawn ‘do you like me’s,
A page (in a book with no pages) allows us to affirm or deny:
Leaving digital trails, crumbling microchip cookies.
You knew, as you always do,
that one cup was not enough to revive me
I needed to drink you in
with two sugars
and just a dash of cream.
This playwright’s pretty renowned for his ability to craft beautiful stories. Maybe here’s the reason why:
“Telling takes away the need to write. It relieves the pressure. And once that tension dissipates, so does the need to relieve it. First write it, then we’ll talk about it.”
- Donald Margulies
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