Maaan… there people in the world making absolutely brain-stopping art. There are writers out there pulling together words in ways that make us feel. They make our chests hurt or our skin tingle and get cold and they make our kneecaps tighten. Words. Incredible, nah?
Three things happend today that have boiled over into this spill of a post. I was editing the image above, looking at the branches woven together like arms around children thinking—and stunned into not thinking—about the complex beauty in nature. Bird nests blow my mind. Scroll up and look, comon, scroll up and lean in. Email me, I’ll send you a jumbo file so you can go 300% close. It’s stupendous! (the nest was found on the ground by my neighbor, she loves birds and would never take their home to her kitchen. Don’t fret. No homeless birdies.)
Then tonight I saw the sculpture with brain-stopping-power. The carving of the bust at the end of the image series gives Davy Jones and the Flying Dutchman a run for his money. Staggeringly beautiful.
And then! I read this disclaimer on a designer’s website. Like the bird nest and the better-than-Davy-Jones bust, it made my mind go really fast then stop really hard. Read this, read this!: (disclaimer for the disclaimer: I dunno if this is correct.
I’m not a scientist.)
Disclaimer: As you read this, you do not really see the pixels, the screen, your hands, and the surroundings, but an internal and three-dimensional image that reproduces them almost exactly and that is constructed by your brain. The photons emitted by your screen strike the retina of your eyes, which transform them into electrochemical information; the optic nerves relay this information to the visual cortex at the back of the head, where a cascade-like network of nerve cells separates the input into categories (form, color, movement, depth, etc.).
How the brain goes about reuniting these sets of categorized information into a coherent image is still a mystery. This also means that the neurological basis of consciousness is unknown. (source)
That’s it. That’s all I wanted to tell you. Just remember to be thunderstruck.
Yours, stunned silly by art, nature, and science.
I’ll start with a quote, this is an all-time favorite passage of mine. I’ll tell ya why after.
These are the things in which I was so helplessly caught up, the waves that took me, what I loved. When light filled my eyes and I was restless and could move, I knew not what all the color was about, but only that I had a passion to see. And now that I am still, I pass on to you my liveliness and my life, for you will be taken, as I once was, and although you must fight beyond your capacity to fight, and feel beyond your capacity to feel, remember that it ends in perfect peace, and you will be as still and content as I am, for whom centuries are not even seconds.
Because it’s calming like apple-butter cooking in Ma’s house, calming like nothing could be wrong when life is such a simple pleasure. Calming because when I’m not calm I know I’ll be calm some other time. Maybe when I’m dead but probably sooner too. Because seeing life in all it’s color, living with the volume turned up, getting scared, celebrating survival of those moments that scare the daylights out of you—that’s the point. “The journey” as my father would say when he’s feeling philosophical. Because it does feel too hard sometimes, more than I can handle, confusing and murky and deep and stronger than me. Feel beyond your capacity to feel … boy ain’t that the truth.
Yesterday I was overwhelmed with a freelance project I’m working on. I sat designing and building a website from my kitchen, sinking further and further into a doom and confusion not unlike the feeling one gets walking down a pitch-dark hallway, running your hand along a wall and suddenly the wall drops out from under your fingertips. Screwed.
This throat-clenching confusion wasn’t the website’s fault, though, writing code is absolutely bewildering when you don’t know how to write code. It was the realization that I don’t know what I’m doing. Yes. At all. I mean, with my (cringe) career. Let me pause here for a moment—Hello prospective employer! Funny you should find yourself reading this! Please know that while I sound weepy, lost and waffling, most of the time I’m busting with conviction, determination and a clear mind. Think seasoned ship captain, eyes on the horizon, knowingly assessing the wind. For serious, we’re all allowed moments of holy hell where am I?! If anything, these moments inspire intentional thought and reassessment, course corrections and it’s humbling to remember none of us have a damn clue. Okay, back to the career flapping around in the wind like a tattered dish rag.
Feeling like everyone’s plugging away on plotted courses, goals in focus, jobs like doctor, mechanic, builder, cook, shop owner, bartender—these things are so succinct. I would tell you my profession but it would add another three paragraphs to this post and by the end you’d just be tired—no, let’s be honest, I’d lose you in the 6th sentence. The heart of the problem: I work in too many different avenues: designer, project manager, cook, producer, consultant, what the hell. Want to know what too many irons in the fire looks like? Come here. I’ve got to tidy up this landscape, simplify. Here’s the clincher: to simplify you need a primary goal. Maybe some little ones flanking the main event. Not this five armed beast roaring in four directions at once threatening to tear itself apart. That’s dramatic, I know, but I swear that’s what I picture when I think of a spirit animal for my career. I don’t know jack about spirit animals but you get my gist, like the creature Arthur Dent keeps inadvertently killing and by the 4th book said creature is ravenous for revenge, so deformed he injures himself every time he moves. Teeth gashing holes in his cheeks while he yells at Dent, arms different lengths and hobble-dragging himself in raving circles. Spirit animal.
This is getting lengthy, at the risk of losing you I’ll pin it: I very very badly want my work any my lifestyle to have synergy. For my work to feed into a wholesome, beautiful life and for life to jive with work. I don’t want a Mississippi-river-gap between a life of cooking, creativity, gardening, creating beautiful spaces and a 9 to 5 in the American dream. I’m not saying I don’t like office jobs or the whole commercial industry, or that I want to work in a field in Nova Scotia. I’d like a happy medium, I need to find it in myself, I know Ma. It’s just tricky and I feel like I’ve one foot on the project-manager-design-industry train and the other in a roller-skate headed for the hills and I’m trying hard to not do the splits.
So, for now I’m headed back to this freelance project, some photo editing and lord knows, more thinking.
I delve into a lot of serious jabber around here… Welp, this morning I’ve been reminded at every turn to lighten up, laugh hard and maybe even skip a little. The lighter step can probably be attributed to the onset of fall, but regardless of the inspiration, I thought I’d honor the tune here. Also, can’t have you get to thinking I do nothing but focused introspection—hardly the case. I take pictures of dinosaurs too. They make me smile, get myself a slinky and a dinosaur and I’m happy as hell.
Try skipping. It rocks.