We were reading a packed-full-of-revelations1992 interview with poet Gary Snyder when we came across this amazing, of-the-cuff line. What a concept! The context is his answer to the question about whether he’d work as Secretary of the Interior or other political post if asked:
I’ve never thought seriously about that question. Probably not, although I am foolish enough to think that if I did do it, I’d do it fairly well, because I’m pretty single-minded. But you don’t want to be victimized by your lesser talents. One of my lesser talents is that I am a good administrator, so I really have to resist being drawn into straightening things out. The work I see for myself remains on the mythopoetic level of understanding the interface of society, ecology, and language, and I think it is valuable to keep doing that.
The gist: Don’t let a not-terribly-important skill that you happen to be good at sidetrack the real work you need to do. How wise that guy is, always was…
In case you don’t know Snyder, here’s a couple of his poems that have much to do with how any creative work gets made. read more…
We recently stumbled on Serbian artist ABVH‘s GIFs that animate famous outdoor artworks by Banksy. This one makes us incredibly ANXIOUS (a powerful emotion); the GIF animation turns up the volume on Banksy’s original message. It made us think about what we REALLY need reminding of: to stop, slow down. What would be the street sign for that?
We love pictures of people leaping – taking the leap – and publish them frequently. Then we came across this image of a woman tentatively wading in. We realized that sometimes going slowly, taking little step by little step, getting used to the territory is also taking a leap – an act of daring and beginning.
(Video link here.) When our mind starts running hot like a machine overworking – fast and full of ideas and writing and deadlines – we welcome ways to slow down. This little film does the work of meditating, chilling us out while connecting us to a broader view of the life we are living. (The lovely music is “Aerial” by Moby, who allows free use of his music for independent film makers at MobyGratis.com - yay Moby!).
“This is a year-long time-lapse study of the sky. A camera installed on the roof of the Exploratorium museum in San Francisco captured an image of the sky every 10 seconds. From these images, I created a mosaic of time-lapse movies, each showing a single day. The days are arranged in chronological order. My intent was to reveal the patterns of light and weather over the course of a year.”
(Video link here.) After hearing a lot of very kind and reverent words about Steve Jobs lately, Walter Isaacson’s new biography about him, apparently balancing the picture, which we can’t help but think is a good thing. The guy was brilliant, but no angel; he was deeply flawed. Ryan Tate of Gawker wrote just this in his piece What Everyone Is Too Polite To Say About Steve Jobs an outline of the other side of Jobs, which include authoritarianism, rough treatment of underlings, tolerant of abusive working conditions in Apple factories overseas….This is the same guy who gave his famously uplifting commencement speech, who said “Death is life’s change agent.”
We’ve heard similar combo-platters of gifts and faults with a number of famous people (and experienced it working for some). And this past year, three of our dear friends passed away. The were all much loved, creative, valiant and very generous people who had harsh, often dark, sides as well.