From the road: 30 days of love

I’ll be gone a month-ish on my two back-to-back art treks. The one I’m on now takes me to the (cold and grey and wet) Northeast. The next one to the Southwest and beyond, so beyond.

I decided on a whim to photograph something signifying Love whenever the opportunity presents itself. And then to zip that image back to my family.

Here’s where it gets interesting — and it shouldn’t be surprising. Love is everywhere. I mean freaking everywhere!

I’ve only been gone a few days and look below . . . you’ll see what I mean.

What you look for presents itself. What you look for shows up! You can take this a step further than I am — and look for real love — not just symbols and words for it.

And you know this is true . . . it will materialize before you. It will. It will. It will.

You’ve gotta love this realm. What we look for shows up . . . .


For you 

Evan Griffith
__________________________
Click here to receive the best of The World Is Freaky Beautiful    via email update, once or twice a month.

Share

From the road: A UFO Welcome Center

I’m on the road for the next four to five weeks, with only a brief few days home next week.

After the first eight days I’ll be home for three before heading back out again  heading west to Austin, TX, Santa Fe and Taos, NM, Aspen and Beaver Creek, CO  Wisconsin!  Chicago, and then dropping south back to Florida.

You’ll hear more about these art treks as I post from the road. But today, my second day into the first trip, I’m celebrating bohemia in suburbia and beyond.

Yesterday, to avoid a miles-long choke point caused by an accident on the highway, I diverted off to a country road. That diversion ended up conjuring another meaning of the word diversion, as I drove through Bowman, South Carolina.

You can see the reason why in the above photo. It’s a home that’s been fashioned into the shape of a UFO. You may be able to read the text:

UFO Welcome Center

(!)

This is what I love. This is what we celebrate here. There is creativity everywhere!

If you’re able to enlarge the image you can see the metal sheets have been mercilessly hammered into shape.

This was no afternoon project. Somebody threw themselves into this probably multi-year project . . . and may still be vibrating at night in their dreams from the body memory of so many blows on metal.

If this individual could create this in his spare time, what can’t you do in yours?

PS: You see that stuffed animal? That’s Puppy. One of my son’s favorite stuffed animals — I take Puppy on the road with me and send back photos to Zane of our travels.

For you —

Evan Griffith
__________________________
What creators do

Click here for the occasional thing from The World Is Freaky Beautiful.

Share

7 links: From rejection therapy to 5 things you can do to boost your creativity

1. Rejection therapy: 100 days of ‘no’

2. Plodding and bursting
Steve Pavlina shares his thoughts on two different strategies for creating something

3. This stuff really works 
Melody Fletcher
Are you feeling it? The desire to read about someone’s momentously huge turnabout?

4. 5 things you can do today to boost your creativity 
Eric Barker
I love it when napping gets a shout out . . . .

5. 5 minutes on meditation (watch the video)
From the David Lynch Foundation
From felons, celebrities, battered women, veterans, students, everyday people. Who knew stillness could be so moving? (You did, if you’re a meditator.)

Pam Grout

For you 

Evan Griffith
__________________________
Click here for occasional notes to your inbox on creativity + spirituality + whee.

Share

Ode to joy . . . in numbers

So much of what we share here on the Internet is beautiful — pithy insights of sometimes searing beauty — achingly beautiful bodies — creative acts of beauty — natural scenes of such splendor one is left in hushed awe . . . . .

Today I want to celebrate the majesty of numbers. 

This screen, everything we do digitally, so much of what we adore about the modern era is based on our ability to calculate colossal sequences of pure mathematica . . . Would anyone want to go back to that pre-Internet era?

This info era is built on the sciences, whose romance language is numbers.

So much that we do and share is built on top of calculations — intimacies and jokes and spiritual truths and images of wonder and images of cats and sometimes random thoughts and sometimes startling thoughts.

I am not a numerate guy — I’m literate. I’m art-erate. I’m consummate in my passions for the emotional side of life . . . 

Yet today I am struck almost giddy by the bedrock of interlocking formulas that pervade my life.

Thank you numbers! And thank you to all of you who traffic in them — so I don’t have to. (!)

For you 

Evan Griffith
__________________________
Click here for occasional notes to your inbox on creativity + spirituality + whee.

Share

The power of asking a question: 3 examples

Here are three oh so recent examples of the power of asking a question:

1. My son asked if he could stay up an extra 7 minutes to finish building a Lego assemblage. 

Isn’t that clever? Ask for something bite-size and reasonable. And ask for it in a way that makes you think. He didn’t ask for 10 minutes . . . he asked for 7. 

Even though I was inclined to say no, the unusual specificity of the request made me reconsider. That, plus he told me exactly what he was going to do in those 7 minutes. He was going to put the head, arms and legs on a character.

Well, in that case . . . 

I made a deal  7 minutes only if he agreed to immediately brush his teeth and hop in bed afterward. We made the deal and he (mostly) stuck to it. 

Without the deal he would have had to have quit a little earlier, and I would have had a malingering child drawing out his pre-bed activities. 

We both won. 

2. Our 19-year old nephew is living with us till next fall when he goes back to college. He wanted a job on a nearby golf course, so he could hone his fledgling golf game over the summer.

After a couple calls that went nowhere, he biked over and introduced himself  and asked for a job in person

He landed a job that day. Turns out someone else was leaving within the week.

Coincidence, you think? Synchronicities always flow in the direction of those who ask.

3. Recently I asked for an art transport job I’d heard about through a friend  I asked several times in several ways. Please. Pretty please. It’s a big job starting in Colorado, taking me to Wisconsin and then back to Florida. 

It would pay for a trip already in the works to Texas, New Mexico and Colorado. 

I got it. Now I can enjoy my trip knowing it’s paid for. How cool is that, to return artwork in person the gallery would have had to pay to ship. 

I’m getting paid to art scout thriving art towns like Austin, Texas and Santa Fe, New Mexico and Taos, New Mexico, and Aspen, Colorado  meeting artists in their studios along the way. 

When in doubt, ask. When you want something, ask. 

The best askers I know are congenial. They ask thoughtfully. They try out different ways of asking. There’s an almost light-hearted quality in their asking. They ask playfully.

I’m amazed how much I’ll do if asked. It’s the same for others. We all want to help when we can. 

You might like these posts about asking too:

Celebrating: You get what you ask for sooooo right away sometimes

Your mind ultimately answers every question you ask it

Where all creating begins

For you —

Evan Griffith
__________________________
What creators do

Click here for the occasional thing from The World Is Freaky Beautiful.

Share

The moment I first fell in love with Sufi thought

Eighteen years ago, before I became enthralled with all things mind-spirit-body-soul-divine-consciousness related, I overheard two people talking about their conception of God.

I was sitting in a little cave. A couple came by — likely on a first date — and perched above me on a large boulder, oblivious to my presence below.

At one point the man said something along these lines: 

Since whatever God is, is too vast and consequential and mysterious to ever be comprehended, the Sufis say you should just choose whatever version of God makes you happy. 

I’ve been a non-practicing Sufi ever since.

. . . . . . .

(I’m a non-practicing Buddhist and Christian and Hindu too . . . there’s something sparkling in every line of spiritual thought.)

For you 

Evan Griffith
__________________________
Click here for a soul spritzer via email, once or twice a month.

Share

Damn you, Penelope Trunk — stop ruining my nights (with your radical honesty)

I’m not getting enough sleep. I’m staying up way too late at night these days and it’s all Penelope Trunk’s fault.

I’ve stumbled across her blog and can’t . . . stop . . . reading. I’ve started from the end going backward. Then, intrigued, I also started from the beginning going forward. I’ll meet myself somewhere in 2007 I’m guessing. 

. . . . . . .

Radical honesty is a spiritual gift. All good confessional writers have it. Charles Bukowski had it. Penelope Trunk has it. They speak so openly about their lives you can’t look away. Not only because they speak candidly, but because they form hard opinions about why they live their lives in such a way. And they don’t care if you flinch at their conclusions.

There are others who write about their lives and you yawn. It’s because of the vacuous intent. Too much is left out. There’s no edge to define this against that. 

Bukowski lived to drink and write and keep himself holed away from the populace to the best of his abilities. He wrote searingly about it.

Penelope Trunk will tell you why grad school isn’t worth it, she’ll tell you why she’s staying with someone who’s abused her, even why she thinks you shouldn’t report most sexual harrassment in the workplace. Her bold quest for (her) raw truth arouses shock and awe. 

No one would want to live the way they do, it’s too harrowing a road — I’m speaking both Bukowski and Trunk here — yet we are mesmerized by the bold transparency.

When it comes to how you present yourself to others, only a few are capable of this kind of radical honesty — the kind where nothing is off limits. I know I’m not. Which is why I admire it all the more when I come across it.

For you 

Evan Griffith
__________________________
To enjoy an occasional e-letter from The World Is Freaky Beautifulclick here.

Share

What mediocrity teaches you (Ray Bradbury)

Confiscated from Zen and the Art of Writing: Essays on Creativity, by Ray Bradbury:

I’m an automatic screenwriter; I always have been. I’ve always belonged to films. I’m a child of movies. I’ve seen every film ever made, starting when I was two. I’m just chockful. 

When I was seventeen, I was seeing as many as twelve to fourteen movies a week. 

Well, that’s a hell of a lot of movies. That means I’ve seen everything, and that means all the crap. 

But that’s good. It’s a way of learning. You’ve got to learn how not to do things. Just seeing excellent films doesn’t educate you at all, because they’re mysterious. A great film is mysterious. There’s no way of solving it. 

Why does Citizen Kane work? Well, it just does. It’s brilliant on every level, and there’s no way of putting your finger on any one thing that’s right. It’s just all right. 

But a bad film is immediately evident, and it can teach you more: “I’ll never do that, and I’ll never do that, and I’ll never do that.”

For you —

Evan Griffith
__________________________
What creators do

Click here for the occasional thing from The World Is Freaky Beautiful.

Share

7 links: From McDonald’s Theory to ward off bad ideas to Harry Potter book sculptures

1. A big thank you to Dooce.com for highlighting this site:

2. 10 mind-bending implications of the Many Worlds Theory

3. From Zen Habits: Achieving without goals

4. Goodness doesn’t break out like war . . . it builds over a long time, like love . . . .
Fathers of the Year: Fostered 42 kids, adopted 12

5. 100 jobs in a year: How to get hired

6. The McDonald’s Theory
“I call it the McDonald’s Theory: people are inspired to come up with good ideas to ward off bad ones.”

7.  A TEDx video: The new spirituality is a deeper materialism

For you 

Evan Griffith
__________________________
Click here for occasional notes to your inbox on creativity + spirituality + whee.

Share

Celebrating: Dinosoarlings in the tree

Not these birds, and not this tree. But since I like to use my own photos, this is what you get.

Ahh basketball! It’s not a game I played in my youth. My son plays it now and hence so do I. 

After an achy breaky bout of basketball with Zane — where I learn more than he’s learning — I slid into the tub. It’s a deep soaker basin with a window to the outdoors.

There’s a majestic pine in full view, standing perhaps 45 or more feet tall. Two turkey buzzards glided in to a perch on one of the larger branches. It’s a windswept day with gusts knocking the limbs about. Yet these two carrion feeders seemed at home in the ebbs and flows of the wind currents.

They exhibited what I perceived as tenderness, leaning in toward one another, almost beak to beak. I didn’t witness any outright nitpicking or delousing behavior, which is what I thought was about to happen.

As I watched, the evolutionary creativity at hand struck me. These dinosoarlings have adapted through hundreds of millions of years to come to my tree. As have we, as have I, to be here in a deep soaking tub to witness these two large birds at ease on their windy perch. 

What once were dinosaurs — which is the best theory in our current era given the available archaeological evidence — survived the dinosaur extinction. Over the tens of millions of years since they’ve slimmed down further, their feathers evolving into a great evolutionary advantage. 

Nothing flies far distances at first flight. Not the Wright Brothers, not the early dinosoarlings. It was more an extended hop, with their feathers lending assistance.

Their bodies morphed through tens of thousands of generations — forelimbs became wings — till those leaps became glides became true flight. Their bones hollowed out to allow more efficient aerodynamics (less weight to loft in the air). 

Sixty-five million years later two turkey buzzards flew into my tree, perfectly matched for human civilization now. In Florida where I live — and most regions around the world — road kill is recycled most often by carcass feeders like these, then later by ants and other insects. Worms eventually.

Creativity exists at all levels, over deep ecological time, and over the time it takes you to work on a project. What are we ever doing but mimicking nature? Adapting to what is before us bit by bit by bit. 

For you 

Evan Griffith
__________________________
Click here for occasional notes to your inbox on creativity + spirituality + whee.

Share