Browsed by
Tag: renewal

Meet the New Resolutions, Same as the Old Resolutions

Meet the New Resolutions, Same as the Old Resolutions

    1. Read more books, rather than online feeds and articles (shifting from scanning to close reading)
    1. Spend time in active listening to music (I used to do this when a favorite band released a new album: just listening to the tracks and doing nothing else the first time through)
    2. Get back into an education routine (regular scheduled class time made school the easiest investment in learning)

    Progress is ongoing, let’s see how it shakes out in 360 days!

    New Year, Same You, but Remember the Power You Have to Remake Yourself in Every Moment

    New Year, Same You, but Remember the Power You Have to Remake Yourself in Every Moment

    Say goodbye to 2018, and hello to a shiny new 2019. But in the end, it’s just another day in winter (or summer, if you’re south of the equator).

    Every day is a new chance to create. Piggyback on the enthusiasm of the world’s love of arbitrary starting and end points. That can get you going on a daily habit or further toward a creative goal. But keep in mind that it doesn’t matter if you fail. Stumbles are part of life.

    You always have a new year to start, every day, what matters is that you do start. And also celebrate. Putting new things into the world is a worthy goal and a benefit to you and to us.

    Keep Taking Time to Check In With Yourself

    Keep Taking Time to Check In With Yourself

    We need time to think. Time to ponder and choose directions. It’s easy to put on earbuds and get lost in sound, or binge a few series in our off time from work.

    But you’ll benefit for knowing where you want to go next, both in life and your work. And you can’t hear your own thoughts about that if you don’t just sit with them, alone. I used to do this on drives, my commute was 30–45 minutes. Now that it’s 15 minutes at most, often shorter on the bus, I do it while walking. Doesn’t have to be a big thing, but it’s good to have a direction and finalized decision-making.

    It’s Christmas Once More, and the World Is About to Remake Itself Again

    It’s Christmas Once More, and the World Is About to Remake Itself Again

    I’m at my brother’s house for Christmas. It’s great to be with family again, we missed it last year. Getting back together with your friends and/or family is one of the touted treasures of the season. But sometimes overlooked is the coexistence of winter holidays with the solstice, when the darkest days—of the northern hemisphere—turn back toward the light.

    I’m never against a little darkness in the world. All those Darth Vader t-shirts and stormtrooper backpacks show that we kinda like it. We carry it within us and we use it to entertain ourselves and to teach good ways of being to others. But we don’t do well giving in to dark impulses or even weather all the time.

    The light comes again, we experience renewal as winter fades and spring promises growth all around us. It just means more when we understand the cold and dark things and don’t shy away from exploring them and understanding them.

    Take a Moment, Just a Little One, and Realize Where You Are Is Totally Improbable

    Take a Moment, Just a Little One, and Realize Where You Are Is Totally Improbable

    Your specific existence, at this time, in this place, on this world, is extraordinarily unlikely. It’s worth recognizing by sitting still, taking a slow, deep breath or two, and acknowledging to ourselves that we didn’t have to be here. It’s just a weird happenstance that the something that happened the day you were born turned out to be you.

    What we do with our chance at life isn’t always in our control, nor is it always pleasant. It can be hard to do your practice, your thing.

    But where there’s awareness of who and where you are, there’s another chance to make, to create—something to affirm that this particular instance of life is your own. It’s always better to take that chance. It enlivens us this mirroring our own existence by bringing something new into being.

    Yes, Please, a More Dynamic and Present set of Remixes From Steven Wilson

    Yes, Please, a More Dynamic and Present set of Remixes From Steven Wilson

    I’ve always liked Yes, from my discovery of prog in high school, through the spiritual strangeness of New Age fads in the 80s, and out the other side to a deeper appreciation of their musicianship. But Steven Wilson, an amazing musician himself, has done a bunch of remixes for some early Yes albums, and they’re beautiful.

    Amazon link

    Spotify link

    Wilson brings presence and dynamics back to the music, contrary to the smashed loudness of many contemporary remasters (and production in general, let’s be honest). Highly recommended if you want to hear every instrument clearly and feel as if you’re listening to them play in the room with you.

    Spend Some Time Watching the World Go By

    Spend Some Time Watching the World Go By

    I moved to Portland without a car. One of the things I wanted to do in this new place was to try to reassess my consumption and use of resources. Giving up driving—at least for a while—seemed like a good means to that end.

    And it’s mostly been eye-opening. Not only have I been able to get around on public transit, I’ve been able to spend some time just looking around me as I move.

    If You Don’t Feed the Fire, You Can Only Work by the Light of the Embers

    If You Don’t Feed the Fire, You Can Only Work by the Light of the Embers

    That’s my attempt to be quotable. Without sassy characters spouting this stuff, we’re left with titles. This one should be the retort of Jen, the younger sister of a cynical, burned-out musician named Josh. Hm.

    Hold on, let me just write down this pitch for a show.

    What I’m talking about, though, is making sure you have enough fuel to burn. Never mind inspiration, you need stuff to steal from. As much art as you can handle stuffed in you so it mixes into a stew with all the other art you see and hear.

    Go to galleries, web sites, shows, concerts, forums, colleges, museums, streaming TV, magazines, libraries.

    And then? I don’t know how or why, but unless you’re trying yo be like one specific person, your things come out different. Art magic.

    Mood of the Day, Week, Month in Music Video Form

    Mood of the Day, Week, Month in Music Video Form

    Moving brings out all the emotions. For me, it’s not all stress, all the time. I’ve always brought a sense of melancholy as well, sorting old letters, books, photos, notes, objects long hidden in a box that never got unpacked from the last move.

    I want it to be Vanpire Weekend’s “Cousins,” but of course it feels like (brilliant) Ethan Gruska’s remote-gas-station-lit “Teenage Drug.”

    This is a useful, and I think harmless, if not even helpful, kind of nostalgia. Feeling the past while you actively head toward the future.