Improvised Life » Mindset If you can't hunt with a dog, hunt with a cat... Thu, 13 Nov 2014 09:20:48 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Going AWOL Thu, 13 Nov 2014 09:20:48 +0000

(Video link HERE.) It has been a TIME the past five months, with serious life events that have continued since June. Just as we’ve gotten our balance, another big wave hits. They say that big things happen in clusters and they have for us; we’ve been improvising like crazy, finding many unexpected answers as we go. (more…)

]]> 0
The Beauty of Unfinished…and Asking for Help Wed, 12 Nov 2014 23:44:04 +0000

Amanda Palmer/Maria Popova

This image of musician Amanda Palmer in Brain Pickings reminded us how beautiful walls intentionally painted in a rough “unfinished” line can be.

But the real gift was this little video of Amanda Palmer talking about why it is so difficult—and can be so healing — to ask for help, which is the subject of her new book, The Art of Asking: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Let People Help. Check this out: (more…)

]]> 0
Gif of the Week: We See These As Ideas Wed, 12 Nov 2014 21:18:30 +0000

… …

via Patakk

]]> 0
Celestial Music via Sen’s Sculptural Instrument Wed, 12 Nov 2014 09:57:50 +0000

(Video link HERE.) We know nothing of how Turkish musician, Görkem Şen came to create the Yaybahar, his rather magical acoustic instrument made of fretted strings, coiled springs and frame drums.  He plays it with a bow or a wrapped mallet or just his fingers, switching between them like a dancer to create hypnotic, crazy-beautiful and unexpected sounds. It’s as though he’s playing a sculpture. (more…)

]]> 0
Tiny Powerful Practice: Notice What You Notice Tue, 11 Nov 2014 09:00:28 +0000

Note to Self:

Starting NOW, practice noticing what I notice.


What am I tuned into? 

Through what filter am I viewing things?

What’s of real interest, gives true pleasure? (more…)

]]> 1
Waterfall Swing Mon, 10 Nov 2014 22:42:24 +0000

(Video link HERE.) It’s about time someone devised Waterfall Swing. Perfect for warm weather refreshment. We thought. When we read the fine print we discovered that this whole rig of water jets is computerized to predict the action of the rider. The computer creates a “hole” in the wall of water, to allow the rider to swish through without getting wet. (more…)

]]> 0
Travel the Planet, for a Bigger View Mon, 10 Nov 2014 09:46:32 +0000

Type Manufactur

A new favorite way to start or end the day is a visit to Planet, As you scroll down, you see astonishing, full screen vistas taken taken from the International Space Station as it orbits the Earth in 93 minutes at an altitude of around 400 km.

The notations on the screen help orient. It feels as though we are flying…

When you get to the bottom, click NEXT JOURNEY for another beautiful flight.

]]> 0
Gary Snyder’s Buddhist Grace Thu, 06 Nov 2014 09:22:13 +0000

We’ve come upon this passage about saying grace before a meal many times while flipping through The Gary Snyder Reader: Prose, Poetry, and Translations and each time have thought, We need to do that, to at least think it if not say it aloud. Snyder’s view is just right. It may be especially resonant now that we are receiving food every week from Essex Farm in northern New York. We are cooking and eating with the seasons and are astounded weekly by that abundance that we are lucky to have. In hearing of what goes on on the farm, we feel like we somehow are part of it, aware of the weekly harvesting of vegetables, gathering of eggs, careful, mindful slaughtering of animals.

In The Practice of the Wild, Snyder puts eating in a much bigger context that we find deeply connecting and comforting. His grace is about taking a moment to think about our food and to express gratitude for the hugely creative force behind it, which we are part of: (more…)

]]> 0
Instant Meditation: Surfing in Slow-Motion Wed, 05 Nov 2014 22:00:51 +0000

(Video link HERE.) We’ve been working hard. Let’s chill and go surfing in slo-mo…a lovely meditation on motion, nature, challenge, the rewards of practice and risk…

…and the joy of flying….


…by the amazing how-does-he-catch-that? Chris Bryan via Kottke

]]> 0
An Innovative Farm Experiment + ‘The Dirty Life’ Wed, 05 Nov 2014 09:56:56 +0000

Ben Stechschulte

For the past couple of months, we've been participating in Essex Farm's innovative CSA experiment. Curious about its origins, we've been reading The Dirty Life: A Memoir of Farming, Food, and Love, ex-journalist/city girl Kristin Kimball's tale of her unexpected transformation into a farmer and partner of Mark Kimball, whose vision drove Essex from the start. He is a man after our own hearts (and hers, after some wild adventures)...]]> 1
Never Give Up! Tue, 04 Nov 2014 22:39:03 +0000

Bibi Jordan'

I saw this old dhow (wooden boat) in the harbor at Lamu in 1988 and took a quick shot of the transom.

It was a lousy photo and I always regretted not getting a better shot.

Then I found this one of the very same boat in Bibi Jordan’s book, Swahili Chic: The Feng Shui of Africa. This is a scan of her photo.

Words to live by.

Susan Dworski


]]> 0
Clever, Strong Folding Sawhorses to DIY or Buy Tue, 04 Nov 2014 19:28:38 +0000

(Video link HERE.Barclay Moore is a woodworker who was fed up with broken sawhorses. So he designed is own and knocked prototypes out of plywood. Then he created a Kickstarter to raise money to sell his invention. The project, he says, developed out of necessity (as many great inventions do).

What interests us most are all the constraints that his design had to work within, and the demands it needed to fulfill. Check out this list: (more…)

]]> 2
Maira Kalman’s Favorite Things (What are Yours?) Tue, 04 Nov 2014 09:31:24 +0000

Maira Kalman

Maira Kalman’s latest book My Favorite Things is already proving to be an enduring beauty on our morning reading pile. It features more than fifty objects from both the Cooper-Hewitt and Kalman’s personal collections — an Ingo Maurer lamp, Rietveld’s Z chair, a pair of Toscanini’s pants, photographs Kalman has taken of people walking towards and away from her, to name a few —with Kalman’s handwritten reflections on their meaning.

The strange little book is a meditation really, on the ways rooms, hats, shoes, things of all sorts, resonate in our lives, inside and out. We find opening it anywhere gives us an excellent shift of view with which to start our day. (more…)

]]> 2
Trees and Foliage Inspire Street Art Mon, 03 Nov 2014 23:00:46 +0000


I’ve been collecting a stash of graffiti images for a while. They range from cutie kitsch to angry gangbanger to political harangues. The ones I like best combine existing natural foliage with painted images and play around with scale—large and small—creating an improvised, witty, public art gallery. (more…)

]]> 3