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Category: Artful Dodging

making, mindsets and strategies that foster creativity

DIFFERENT-BUT-SAME (Un-Seeing Exercise)

DIFFERENT-BUT-SAME (Un-Seeing Exercise)

Lately I’ve been stumbling over books and assorted other offerings by shiny people and various sorts of life-advisors parsing out all the advantages (plus some of the disadvantages) of “being different.”

If you do this, they say, you will stand out.  You will be an “interesting” being.  You will be a Winner-with-a-capital-W.  Maybe you’ll even get to be rich and famous.  And isn’t that a cool thing?

The problem, as these life-advisors will also tell us, is that “being different” can turn your world into a battlefield.

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JOURNALING 201 (Mind-Mining)

JOURNALING 201 (Mind-Mining)

Journal-keeping and diary writing – tracking daily events and happenings in some sort of record book – has been going on for centuries.

Except for wanna-be smarty-pants and wise guys (i.e., the “intelligentsia”), poets and writers and Creatives of every stripe, and young girls teetering on the brink of woman-ness, the keepers of these journals mostly recorded daily events and happenings with an exterior point of view.

People with a visual orientation did sketchbooks.

Most everyday journalers used their ledgers, record books and such to document and track their doings in the world, stay on top of their obligations, commitments and schedules, and note the progress made and the results of the actions taken.  

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GO OUT AND PLAY (An Un-Seeing Exercise)

GO OUT AND PLAY (An Un-Seeing Exercise)

I just stumbled over a quote from the amazing Maya Angelou that resonates with me enormously, especially during this time of lockdowns and disconnection:

Life is pure adventure, and the sooner we realize that,

the quicker we will be able to treat life as art.”

The lady knew.  To become fully human, we have to go out and play.  Then we need to come back inside and tell each other our stories.

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MARY OLIVER: Poetry and Peace

MARY OLIVER: Poetry and Peace

Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom): an understanding that every form of Making is ultimately another way of practicing being human.  [Humans make things.  It’s how we connect with one another and with the World.]

I am pleased when I can wander through poet Mary Oliver’s words and borrow her eyes and her heart to see again the beauty and the mystery of Life-Its-Own-Self.  The words remind me:  I am not alone.

That one helps me get back to peace again amid the hurly-burly bustle and the noisy push-me, pull-you tumble fades away.  AHHH….

My favorite Oliver quote does not come from a poem.  It was part of a rare interview she gave with Rachel Martin on a 2012 National Public Radio’s “Weekend Edition Sunday.

She said, “I said once, and I think this is true, the world did not have to be beautiful to work.  But it is.  What does that mean?”

That, I think, is a worthy big question.  It’s certainly big enough to fuel a life-long work.

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MINDFUL ROAD-BUILDING

MINDFUL ROAD-BUILDING

Lately I’ve been stumbling around after tripping over a mind-game construct called “doing a mindset reset.”

Apparently, it’s based on pretty recent neurological studies that the guys and gals in lab coats say reveal the inherent “plasticity” of a human brain’s ability to control our body’s functions, actions and all that.

There are all kinds of big words and dizzy-making charts and boring numbers and, as usual, my poet-brain goes to sleep when I try to think on them.  The best I can do with all this stuff is to come up with yet another story.  So, here goes….

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PARADOX OF EXPECTATIONS

PARADOX OF EXPECTATIONS

Expectations shape our lives.

Expectations are the stories that we tell ourselves when we wake up in the morning and begin walking through our days and nights.  They can either help provide the motivation for us to get out of bed or make us want to pull the covers back over our heads.

Expectations are the stories into which we fit our actions as we move along our journeys by ourselves and with others to our own projected destinations.   Not only do we make up these stories about ourselves, but we also make up stories about the world we live in and about the other people in our lives. 

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CONNECT WITH NATURE OR NOT (Another IPS)

CONNECT WITH NATURE OR NOT (Another IPS)

Another IPS (Inner Peace Symptom):  a tendency to notice what you are noticing and to ask why you’re noticing it.  [Sometimes you notice things that call to your heart and your heart responds by dancing.  The best move then is to go do more of that dance….]

Have you noticed the latest trend (especially after the pandemic lockdown) toward hugging trees, galaxy-gazing, mooning over wilderness landscapes and generally dissing our man-made constructs and urban follies?

Going-Outside-with-the-capital-O has become the new default mode of operation.  (Mostly ‘cause it’s pretty boring being stuck inside-with-no-capital-I, even with all the latest gadgets and doo-dads.)

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DO WHAT YOU CAN

DO WHAT YOU CAN

In the spring of 2020, world paradigms changed.

On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) officially declared that the Novel Coronavirus Disease, Covid-19, was a pandemic.

This came after China reported in December, 2019 that there had been more than one instance of a weird life-threatening respiratory illness in Wuhan, the capital and major industrial and commercial center in Hubei province.

The health-care professionals at WHO watched how the new disease spread and the effects it had on people wherever it popped up around the world.

The media, social platforms, and assorted rumor-mills went into overdrive trying to figure out what the heck was going on.  Panic attacks and near-terminal confusion ensued.

Almost immediately after the WHO pandemic declaration the world-as-we-knew-it shut down.  The rules changed and they still keep on morphing. 

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BEND THAT CODE YOUR WAY

BEND THAT CODE YOUR WAY

It’s a survival thing.  When a person is an Outsider — someone who doesn’t “belong” to a group of one sort or another for whatever reason — there is a kind of invisible barrier that rises up between them and the people who do belong to that group.

It’s a very real divide.

“Same” is good, the prevailing culture code says; “different” not so much.  It’s a built-in herd thing, I suppose.

Every group has a culture code.  Every group will say that there is Right and True and Real and then there is not-right and not-true and not-real.

Everybody who identifies with a particular group (or wants to) is likely to act and at least pretend to think the same way.  They all do the same sorts of things.

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BEYOND STUFF-LOVE (Part 4): On Wabi-Sabi

BEYOND STUFF-LOVE (Part 4): On Wabi-Sabi

As a Perfectionist in remission, I am here to tell you that wabi-sabi — a Japanese way of seeing the world — works as an antidote to the never-good-enough, shiny-new-thing madness induced by the classical hyper-focus on perfection and the kind of seamless orderliness that arises from the mathematical, mechanical precision that evolved in the super-industrialized Occidental West where more is always better.

I grew up in a pineapple plantation camp on Molokai.  Many of my neighbors were Issei, first-generation immigrants from Japan, who brought it with them from their homeland.  I was marinated in wabi-sabi.

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