Archive for ‘March, 2013’

“I do things like get in a taxi and say, ‘The library, and step on it.’”
-from Infinite Jest

David Foster Wallace’s commencement speech to Kenyon College in 2005 has been marinating in my mind. It’s just what I needed to revisit today. If you have a minute, I strongly encourage you to read. Maybe today’s not your Tuesday (or, maybe it is) and you need a nugget too.

 

DFW at a Manhattan bookstore in 2006 (NYT)

DFW at a Manhattan bookstore in 2006 (NYT)

 

 

The really important kind of freedom involves attention and awareness and discipline, and being able truly to care about other people and to sacrifice for them over and over in myriad petty, unsexy ways every day.

That is real freedom. That is being educated, and understanding how to think.

The alternative is unconsciousness, the default setting, the rat race, the constant gnawing sense of having had, and lost, some infinite thing.

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What if we replaced interview with invitation?

Humor me for a minute or three.

What if the humans of all business, entertainment, and educational institutions in this world replaced generic interrogations — of hopeful employees, graduate students, fellowship grantees, Super-Bowl-commercial-slot-seekers, and so on and so forth — with one powerful invitation to peacock your depth and exposure in one beautiful, fell swoop?

Would they know how to react? How to internalize, evaluate, differentiate the responses?

Would they dare, for a moment, to sideline said hopeful’s carefully chosen anecdotes prepared in STAR format (in behavioral interview jargon, this is Situation-Task-Action-Result: the way many employers like to see you answer their questions “successfully”) and instead listen — I mean, really listen with your ears and your brain and your eyeballs and your knees and your mitochondria and something infinitely smaller and bone-deep — to the constellations of humanity instead received? Could this, Oriah Mountain Dreamer’s Invitation, replace the cardboard conversation blueprint of “networking” with a casting call for interesting souls?

It doesn’t interest me
what you do for a living.
I want to know
what you ache for
and if you dare to dream
of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me
how old you are.
I want to know
if you will risk
looking like a fool
for love
for your dream
for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me
what planets are
squaring your moon…
I want to know
if you have touched
the center of your own sorrow
if you have been opened
by life’s betrayals
or have become shrivelled and closed
from fear of further pain.

I want to know
if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it.

I want to know
if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you
to the tips of your fingers and toes
without cautioning us
to be careful
to be realistic
to remember the limitations
of being human.

It doesn’t interest me
if the story you are telling me
is true.
I want to know if you can
disappoint another
to be true to yourself.
If you can bear
the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty
even when it is not pretty
every day.
And if you can source your own life
from its presence.

I want to know
if you can live with failure
yours and mine
and still stand at the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,
“Yes.”

It doesn’t interest me
to know where you live
or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up
after the night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children.

It doesn’t interest me
who you know
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
in the center of the fire
with me
and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me
where or what or with whom
you have studied.
I want to know 
what sustains you
from the inside
when all else falls away.

I want to know
if you can be alone
with yourself
and if you truly like
the company you keep
in the empty moments.

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This sunny Sunday afternoon, after gobbling brunch, I had a serious art attack. Here’s the aftermath.

AC Moore called.... it wants its craft store back

AC Moore called…. it wants its craft store back

Spike not so happy to be paid less attention than usual

Spike not so happy to be paid less attention than usual

Anyone who knows me well will tell you I speak a few languages… those who know me best will tell you the ones I most often communicate with are sarcasm and puns. I’ve slowly been hoarding all sorts of recycled, gently loved papers and textures with the intention to create my own notes and cards (because, let’s be real, if you have the time — they’re so much better than the generic canned-line Hallmark cards the drugstore will deliver). Here’s the first one.

OH! by the way, I chopped 8 inches off my hair.

OH! by the way, I chopped 8 inches off my hair.

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And here’s the second…..

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I’ll be making more & different kinds with all sorts of recycled materials so if you want one, let me know! (To those I have penny-pal love relationships with, expect these in your mailbox pretty soon….)

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