"This is my brain, and I live in it." – Tim Minchin

Month: February, 2014

The Hubris of the Successful

Knowing a lot about something does not mean that you have the answers to everything.

A little humility, please.


RIP Maggie Estep

She died at the age of 50 of a heart attack, according to the NY Times.   50 is young.  It doesn’t seem young if you are five or 25.  But when you are 43, it’s unspeakably young.

I encountered her years ago, during a phase in which I was enraptured and enchanted by spoken word and slam poets.

In a parting gift, I have been pointed, years and years later to her blog, as I start to dig through it – I am struck first by a post titled: Hating what I love.

“… I don’t’ actually LIKE writing.  It’s HORRIBLE.

It’s just that I would die without it.  I HAVE TO WRITE because I don’t know what else to do with my mind, how else to make sense of the world and its inhabitants.   For whatever reason, I have trained myself, for many years, to do this thing.  And when I don’t do this thing, I get crazy.  No amount of yoga, bicycle racing, rapacious sex, or buying things can take the place of writing.  If I don’t write, I die.” – Maggie Estep

A writer is a person who writes.  Fuck anyone who tells you that you are not because you don’t get paid, because you are not good, because you are unpublished, because you are unread, because you can’t spell.  Including you for telling yourself.  Fuck that.  Just write.  Write because you want to.  Write because you have to.  It’s hard.  It’s lonely.  It’s painful.  We hate it.  Maybe no one will ever read it.  And if they read it, maybe they will hate it.  But do it anyway.  Write.  And then write some more.  For Maggie.

Ignoring the forecast

It’s possible that the world does not need more sweaters.

But the cold seeps through the walls today,

creeping and silent to tickle my knee.

And sitting here – four miles from my overstuffed closet, all I can think

is that one more

would be most welcome.

A Future Fear Overcome

I saw the movie Her this weekend.  I was prepared to hate it but find that I cannot.  More on that another time.

Let us begin with a spoiler.  According to this movie, we have nothing to fear from the Singularity.  When our machines become smarter than we are, they will abandon us because we bore them.

New Breakfast Habits

I have been trying to eat more oatmeal.  I rarely finish a whole bowl.  I am  not sure if this is because it is so filling or because it is so boring.  Perhaps both.  Don’t sing me that song about raisins.  This issue is beyond the power of raisins.

Ira Glass on Storytelling

These came out in 2009.  I am processing them now at a time when they are most welcome and very much needed.  He is talking about storytelling in broadcast but there’s a lot to learn for anyone who is grappling creatively, whatever the medium or discipline.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4