ROCK THE BOX

ROCK THE BOX

They told us wrong, you know. All those guys who kept exhorting us (for decades now) to “think outside the box,” urging us to forget about our limitations and be “free-free-free” didn’t give us the real story when they touted that ‘Unbound” mindset as the panacea for all of our gnarly problems. In fact, I think they were blowing sunshine up the nether parts of our anatomy (with the best of intentions, of course). I suspect they don’t even know…

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MAKE THE ORDINARY SACRED

MAKE THE ORDINARY SACRED

I am reading a book by a man I admire greatly, Edward Espe Brown.  He was the first head cook at the Tassajara Zen Mountain Center back in the 1960’s and later founded Greens Restaurant in San Francisco. His earliest book, THE TASSAJARA BREAD BOOK is a classic. More than one dear friend remembers their well-thumbed, flour-coated and oil-stained go-to copy of the book and the loveliness that flowed from their hands and the kitchens of their youth. Brown’s latest…

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A “MOVEMENT” = CONNECTION

A “MOVEMENT” = CONNECTION

For the past few months, the Light of My Life and I have been showing up at the early Saturday-morning Upcountry Farmer’s Market fairly frequently. It has been some years since either of us visited the market. For us, the market is a delightful surprise and has become a treasured part of our weekend routine. Every time we go there are old friends who we haven’t seen for a long time.  We touch base with other friends.  We make new…

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PLAY WITH THE ADJACENT POSSIBLE

PLAY WITH THE ADJACENT POSSIBLE

I’ve been noticing that much of the advice being bandied about by the guys trying to help us ordinary folks improve our dud-ly selves is to reach for innovation, to grab onto the Creativity Rocket and hang on for the sure-to-be-exciting but sometimes silly (and possibly dangerous) ride. For example, vlogger John Spencer published this YouTube video in 2016 that tells us, “We Need a Bigger Definition of Creativity.” Everyone who studies on these things will tell you that the…

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SHIFT TO IDLE

SHIFT TO IDLE

This Patreon-backed YouTube video, “The Power of Imagination” published in 2015 by Claw Mountain, got me thinking….. MY BIG CONFESSION I am an incorrigible daydreamer. When I was a kid, of course, there were those Bigs around me who kept predicting dire consequences for the disrespectful, lazy Space Cadet who was not listening, who could not focus, who had the attention span of a flea. I was told to concentrate.  I was told to go do something.  I was told…

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CHOOSE YOUR DELUSION WELL (Another IPS)

CHOOSE YOUR DELUSION WELL (Another IPS)

Yeah, I know.  It’s what I tell myself all of the time, echoing the I Ching and assorted other wise guys and smarty-pants, ancient and new:  The goal is getting to clarity. Right. The problem with that one, of course, is that I’m such a little thing and the Universe is really, REALLY huge. What are the odds that I’m ever really going to be able to know enough to make sense out of it all? How likely is it…

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SET UP YOUR OWN RULES

SET UP YOUR OWN RULES

I am fascinated by rules.  I haven’t run across a rule yet that doesn’t make sense or have some relevance in a particular circumstance or situation. Rules are always relative.  They depend on who you are, where you are, what you are doing, and how you want to do it. Rules are, I think, a fundamental part of every structure, every process, every game, and every lifestyle.  Humans have used the power of rules to build religions and construct philosophies…

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EMILY FISCHER: Work By Touch

EMILY FISCHER: Work By Touch

I have a fondness for quilting. My own experiments in crazy-quilting and then sashiko quilting had me going blind doing fancy-stitching with wild and crazy colors and patterns as well as tactile combinations of bumps and lumps that were a heck of a lot of fun for me and for the heart-friends to whom I gifted these bits of silliness. That may be why this YouTube video, “Constellation Quilt,” (published in 2013 by Public Record) showing work by designer Emily…

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UNLOCK BEGINNER’S MIND

UNLOCK BEGINNER’S MIND

Back in the ‘70’s I ran across a small book of distilled teachings taken from talks given by Zen monk Shunryu Suzuki, ZEN MIND, BEGINNER’S MIND. There was this quote in it: “If your mind is empty, it is always ready for anything; it is open to everything. In beginner’s mind there are many possibilities; in the expert’s mind there are few.” It spoke to me, that quote, and I’ve spent a lifetime trying to unpack the thing. I’ll probably…

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GET TIME-RICH

GET TIME-RICH

We don’t usually think about poverty in terms of time.  After all, each one of us has the same 24 hours every day, right?  How can one person be “time richer” or “time poorer” than another person? And yet there is this notion of “time famine” that’s been around since the 1990’s.  It’s an epidemic, those guys who look at population trends tell us. In this brave new post-modern fast-paced world, more and more of us are wandering around moaning…

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