Some Better Than None

As many of you are aware, I’m a fan of The One You Feed podcast.

I can’t overstate how important the low-key approach to the guests and the topics—be they focused on spirituality, creativity, mental health, productivity—results in practical, down-to-earth applicability. Please do yourself the favor of subscribing.

One of the refrains from the show—and I’m quoting host Eric Zimmer and one of the tenets of his coaching program directly—is that ‘doing something is better than doing nothing.'

I’ve been reflecting on this lesson in regards to my creative work (yeah yeah writing and playing drums you already know because I yammer about it constantly on this blog). Being so busy with work and family life, I have to often shove a novel’s worth of composing time into 10 or 15 minute daily increments. Even when I have those 10 or 15 minutes free, I talk myself out of utilizing them because I’m not sitting at the shoreline with my typewriter knocking out my 2000 words a day like another bad imitation of Ernest Hemingway.

Reality is not meshing with my vision and that results not in my doing at least a little daily writing; it results in me doing none.

So, for me, for you, for all of us: some is better than none. Throw out the vision and the unrealistic standards and do the work with the time that you have available.

Companero

I often refer to the ‘aesthetic’ (such that it is and why it must always be accompanied by quotes and qualifiers) of my fiction as equal parts art and spirit.

We can—and often do—toss around the notion that imbibing certain works of music or books or films is akin to having a religious experience. Those experiences often lead those of us so inclined to seek out an artistic life; we want to create something that evokes the same monumental response in another person.

I’m guilty of this desire, although the sad fact of aging is that these profound artistic experiences are fewer and farther. And creating works that evoke anything close to a religious experience in another human is, well, incredibly difficult.

Regardless, and speaking of desire, actor Bruno Ganz passed away yesterday. He was the protagonist angel in Wings of Desire - one of those few films that had that profound impact on my artistic sensibilities, on my soul. I couldn’t imagine another actor whose very face could evoke the wonders of a fallen angel experiencing coffee and cigarettes for the first time.

Wings of Desire is an amazing film. Bruno Ganz was an amazing actor. Losing one feels like losing the other.

Farewell, Companero.

We Are Not the Normals

Whether because of age or circumstance, the place that writing--or really any creative act--maintains in my life has shifted, refocused.

I can now acknowledge that during my 20s, I needed others to acknowledge me as an artist, as someone different than the normals. Special because the writing I strove to accomplish every day set me apart.

I thought that's how artists of any discipline behaved.  

Now in my, ahem, mid-to-late forties, creative work and meditative practice are virtually synonymous, and the thought of being outwardly acknowledgement seems....odd. Wrong, even. The practice has become the reward, and I know that to be a creative person in no way separates me or sets me apart or makes me special. 

There are no normals. Just us.