My friend from NY sent me a quick email telling me a classmate of ours from junior high had passed away…a year ago.
M was always a pretty happy-go-lucky guy and he was the same way as we went facemark-to-facemask in a junior college football game in 1972. And the same way as he served customers at his dad’s fish market and at the restaurant he started in the 80’s.
While I hadn’t seen him for decades, his passing hit me a little harder.
Maybe each succeeding loss of a contemporary does that now…but it was yet another reminder, a tug at my insides, with the familiar message…”What in God’s name are you waiting for? Get out there and make stuff!”
Yeah…it doesn’t have to be good—especially at first. It has to be done, so you have something to build on, a reference point.
And let’s all assume we’re not going to live forever, so it’s time to build some creative momentum.
It doesn’t have to be a leap. Even a step will do. But let’s aim together to be in a different place than we were the day before.
“The writing life requires courage, patience, persistence, empathy, openness, and the ability to deal with rejection. It requires the willingness to be alone with oneself. To be gentle with oneself. To look at the world without blinders on. To observe and withstand what one sees. To be disciplined, and at the same time, take risks. To be willing to fail — not just once, but again and again, over the course of a lifetime. “Ever tried, ever failed,” Samuel Beckett once wrote. “No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.” It requires what the great editor Ted Solotoroff once called endurability.”
“After a few more minutes of daydreaming about how fabulous I could become, I look down at the heading on my paper: Janey’s Reinvention Plan. It appears lonely at the top of the page. I should probably add some bullets beneath, but I’ve never been much of a list maker.”
― J.C. Patrick, The Reinvention of Janey
Thanks for reading and stay vigilant for opportunities to stretch your thinking.
Yesterday, I referred to Austin Kleon as a creative touchstone.
Above is a page of his book Show Your Work, condensed by way of a blackout poem, a technique he uses and unabashedly ‘stole’. [See his book Steal Like An Artist.] The first draft of the blackout poem was a mess and I later posted a cleaner version, but at that moment an hour ago, I wanted to get something out there. So I thought, ‘What the hey?’ [should it be ‘What the hay’?…and does it or does it not need a question mark? We creative retirees…such a tortured bunch.]