start with why
have any of you read simon sinek’s best selling book start with why? he followed it up with a how-to book called find your why. they are both on my reading list. all the y-branching winter stems i have been seeing on my walks, set off so clearly by the blanket of white snow, keep reminding me that i’ve been meaning to read these books. apparently, sinek argues that one of the key practices for fulfillment is to keep asking yourself why?, over, and over, and over agin, until you get to the root of what motivates you. then, and only then, can you make decisions and take actions that align with your basic values. so, for example, i might start with “why do you do STILL?” because i wanted a daily creative practice. why do you want a daily creative practice? because i want to have a meaningful creative career in my retirement years. why do you want to be a creative in your retirement years? because i find the creative process more fulfilling than any other activity. why do you find creativity so fulfilling? because it is the closest i have ever come to deep play–that zen state of suspended time. etc. etc. etc. supposedly, this kind of questioning can lead to great insights and alignment of actions and values. i’m headed to nyc for four days. i think i will download the books for the plane trips and report back next week.
winter weed stem
white by kenya hara
i just finished reading the book WHITE by Kenya Hara. it is a meditative book on the concept of white. i bought it on a whim–because i liked the title and the cover. but i ended up feeling as though the author, a famous designer and professor in japan, wrote a beautiful 75 page essay on the essence of STILL blog. imagine my surprise! here is an excerpt from the book:
“The power of transformation is not something new; nature transforms itself continuously. It requires much energy and consistency to preserve beautiful things, so we must observe transforming nature closely, capturing its stillness while advocating its immutable and universal features…commitment is needed to preserve beauty through daily effort.”
he goes on to talk about waiting passionately for inspiring moments, being obsessed by the idea of freezing a unique image, and showing how the ordinary can be transformed into something unfamiliar and unknown. he refers to this process as “defamiliarization”. he said in 75 pages what i have been trying to say for these past five years.
winter knapweed in snow
while we all settled into our winter bodies here in the north, sitting in front of fireplaces and eating braised foods, this rosemary seemed to stretch itself out, growing thinner and less dense somehow, as it reached for the sun.
weight and balance
part of what makes a calder mobile so compelling is that it not only hangs in balance but it looks as if it should hang in balance. the visual weight, and the actual weight, of the elements are equal on both sides of the fulcrum. somehow this rock arrangement gives me that same feeling, although it will never hang in a slow spinning suspension.
beach rocks, mediterranean and lake superior
i’ve never met a eucalyptus i didn’t like
i’ve sometimes secretly thought i should have been born an aussie. a tomboy with a love of the outdoors and a frank way of saying what she means and not what polite society says she should say. i would have fit in. also, a thing for eucalyptus. also a love of breaking rules. should i really have been born in a country founded by puritans? or an island settled by convicts?