Sprezzatura: Ignoring the weight of life’s burdens

There is a term for those who live vitally, with passion and humor: élan.

Italians give special praise on people who ignore the weight of life’s burdens, and live with its lightness. Sprezzatura

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sprezzatura (roughly translated as nonchalance)

Sprezzatura is the signal trait of successful people.

From Derek Sivers’ review of You, Inc. by Harry Beckwith. Check it out here.

Harry was that guy

When I was young and first hit New York City the pay was decent for being literate. Proofreading was an easy freelance gig for educated ne’er do wells still casting about for their Big Thing.

You sloshed around from industry to industry. From magazines to law firms to investment banks to the dingy back rooms of businesses you had no idea what the hell they did until you got there. Some you left hours later still wondering what they were up to.

Sometimes a freelancer would enter a building and never leave. Ten years later they were still there. Working their way up the ladder at NBC or in the same job, proofreading every boilerplate document sifting through the organization.

In the proofreading world no one was a proofreader. Maybe it’s the same with the pole dancing world. All had their sights set on the horizon. You met artists and musicians and pirates and belly dancers and body builders and outlaws and historians and writers and chefs and . . . so many aspirations tucked into that freelance community.

Harry was that guy. A slightly older 30-ish man of good looks, charm and indeterminate background. He had a law degree but didn’t practice law. Beyond that, any questions about his past were batted away laughingly, vaguely.

Max: So Harry, you’ve got to have a Mom. What’s she like?

Harry: She’s in prison.

It always came back to prison. Maybe he’d really been there he mentioned it often enough.

When I texted my friend Russell for Harry’s last name, he responded: “Harry ____, international jewel thief.”

Someone else: What did you do before proofreading?

Harry: Prison

Harry exemplified sprezzatura. You felt he harbored commitment, deep thought somewhere in the recesses of his being — but he wasn’t going to share any of it with you.

The 20-something women leaned coyly in his direction. We 20-something males admired his ability to remain unknown. It’s as if he’d ingested the Don Juan dictum to cultivate mystery. Don Juan is the Toltec medicine man mystic warrior at the heart of the Carlos Castaneda books who advocated looseness. Undefinability.

You know who else embodies sprezzatura?

Will Smith. Cary Grant. Arnold Schwarzenegger. Bill Clinton. Ronald Reagan. Starlord. Tony Stark. Han Solo. Michael Jordan. Richard Branson. People who make it look easy. Like you on your best days.

Young Elvis. Definitely not fat, bloated and prescription drug-addled Elvis.

The term sprezzatura sprang from an observation about what made for a successful courtier. (An attendee of the court. When royalty was also the seat of governance, courtiers were the powers and functionaries behind the throne. Had media existed then, they would have been the unnamed sources behind many a leak.)

Successful courtiers cultivated jaunty effortlessness. They may have spent hours in rigorous training, but it was the offhanded and casual way they displayed their skill set that impressed.

Among the accomplished of today the sprezzatura stand out. They are not the bitchers. They are not the ones wearing the weight of their responsibility heavily. There is no sense of burden. They are unpanicked.

The sprezzatura are fluid and gracious. They are effective with the exact right amount of effort. And no more.

Like an athlete whose years of practice has eliminated superfluous movement, the sprezzatura waste not. Excess motion, excess emotion, undue concern, a sense of struggle . . . these impurities have all been burned off.

Why does it matter to you?

Because the sprezzatura are exemplars. They are way showers for the rest of us. They study the actions that give them the most leverage and focus there.

Before we knew the Pareto Principle — that 20% of our efforts yield 80% of our results — the sprezzatura lived it innately.

They also understand above all, lightheartedness. In the daily grind or under pressure, there is a diffusing power to nonchalance. To be calm and affable when a situation seems dire is to diffuse the energy of the obstacle.

I believe that sprezzatura is a visible effect of wei wu wei — a Daoist meme meaning effortless effort.

A master aligned with the Dao — The Way — takes action in such an efficient manner no effort seems to be required.

The way I take a nap. Yeah.

The way a trained butcher cleaves and parts the meat from the bone with nary an impediment.

The way a top bull rider glides atop the bucking beast.

If you’re interested, here are three quick posts on this Daoist concept that will help burn it in a little more:

Wu Wei and The Law of Attraction

Wei wu wei: A demonstration

Ease, flow, wei wu wei, grace and allowing

Though we’re tossing a term from post-feudal Italy into a spiritual concept developed during the Warring States Period in ancient China, it fits.

A courtier of note would have recognized that the essence of a job well done is to appear as though it were not work at all. That the task at hand is but a piffle. Impishness might be in the air.

Your work will appear to be non-work one day. To you and to those observing you.

It’s what we’re aiming for: wei wu wei. To be so at one with the work that it proceeds from itself, as though called from us.

It will dance from you. GeniusJoy will course through you — through your work — and others will feel it.

Sprezzatura.

You will feel it too. The lightness born from deep immersion in your creative play.

In fact, you’ve felt it. It’s what compels you to continue the work you do. The work you’d do for free but are giddy the world pays you for it.

Do more of that. Do it again tomorrow. Do it again and again and again. GeniusJoy will find its way to you. You will be its conduit.

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An origin story that, weirdly enough, you’re a part of

There’s an unheralded aspect to every origin story . . .

One of the great joys of putting out a website and eletter is when a message touches someone you don’t know. And they reach out to thank you.

(Those of you who know me, don’t stop letting me know! — that is the other great joy — when a message or story touches someone I know : -)

The meager beginnings

When I first started this newsletter I forced a handful of people onto the list. It was literally 5 or 6 email addresses, and 2 of them were mine! This little thing grew from there — no advertising, no outreach to speak of.

The most electrifying thing happened. Slowly, people started subscribing. People I knew, for sure — as I gained confidence I started telling others about it. The remarkable part was when people I didn’t know showed up.

The first time a woman I didn’t know emailed me to tell me how much the website and email newsletters helped her in her journey, I was overcome with gobsmackery. I think she was from the upper Midwest. When I asked how she found me it turned out to be happenstance. A search led her to one thing that led her to another that led her to another.

Somewhere she ended up on a post at The World Is Freaky Beautiful — the precursor to Notes For Creators. Not only that, it was just what she needed to be reading. It wasn’t what she was looking for, it was better (for her).

Then she reached out. She let me know how the messages impacted her — and that made all the difference in the world to me. Her single email propelled me onward.

Now there are thousands I don’t know, reading and sometimes connecting with me.

Each and every time someone reaches out to let me know a message or a story resonated . . . I’m filled with a hushed awe.

The notes here are better than I am! The ideas here are better expressed than I’m capable!

Something profound happens when we sit down to connect — and that profound energy is flowing through me. Something bigger flows through me to you. I’m certain it’s drawn because of your interest. I may start it, but it’s you who draw through the best information — because it’s what you want to imbibe.

You are as much a part of the origin story as I am. That is the great unspoken theme behind every origin story, that others are required for its fulfillment.

Thank you to you! You who have reached out, and you silent ones. Your interest powers this site. You propel this site forward. You compel my best work.

Yes, you complete me.

. . . . . . .

PS: Do you want to make someone’s week?

Next time you come across a rich morsel on the internet, thank the blogger/writer/author/creator. I guarantee you that will ripple far beyond what you can know.

That creator will smile at others happily and sloppily for the rest of the day.

That creator will play more heartily with her pet.

That creator will pay it forward and backward and sideways . . . .

You will have set a cascade of happy-making in motion. Who knows where it will stop?!

(Maybe it doesn’t; maybe it keeps rippling outward forevah . . . )

 

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The way of the creative is earthy


The great challenge of all creatives is to marry heaven and earth. Making ideals work in the grit of the daily slog.

When I first had the idea to open an art gallery the vision for it came gushing in a wave of glory. I was driving across the state of Florida to help my Dad who’d recently had a stroke. You’d think the idea had been borne on the wings of angels I was so enthralled.

I leapt out of my van in a podunk town south of the Lake Okeechobee to call Ann from a pay phone. Yep, it was that long ago. It was late, possibly midnight, possibly later. I was breathless to get the idea out.

“I’m going to open an art gallery!”

Ann, despite only having been dating me for a month or two — this round, we’d dated in college, 15 years earlier — got swept up too.

“I’m in! I’m doing it with you.”

At that mid of night moment we had only the rush of heightened blood flow coursing through our brains. The idea seemed lofty, inevitable. As though the resplendent glow from its halo would part the world’s waters for us.

Six or seven months later, Studio E Gallery opened for business in a small coastal town. Or, as a local called it, the town of the newly wed and the nearly dead. The typical homes there were so small that only retirees and young couples sought them out.

No idea births on this planet without labor pains.

In that half year we got frenetic. We hustled our way into a space, we hustled our way into artists’ minds.

An artist we convinced to be among the six featured artists at our opening has sold well over a million dollars of artwork through our gallery in the ensuing twenty years. But no one could have predicted its success. Most galleries curl up and die a few months or a few years later.

What I mean by hustling our way into an artist’s mind is this: We were nothing — a non-entity — the gallery didn’t even exist when I spoke with artists. It didn’t even have a name.

We had to implant the likelihood of success into their heads! No easy feat when we came without experience, without credentials, without even art degrees. We had to galvanize each artist in the early days. We had to get them to believe it was worth their sweaty effort to produce their best work for us — and fast.

Because the clock was ticking, the opening was right around the corner.

Every idea gets earthbound fast. You either love the process or you don’t. If you’re not excited with the path there then that idea isn’t for you.

Or —

Or wait until you alight upon a path that intrigues you as much as the end point.

For example:

When we weren’t running around to art fairs to find artists we loved, we were in the thick of the hunt for space. And after we had the space we were dawn till way past dusk ripping up everything in that space that didn’t work for an art gallery and carting it to the dumpster. Which was most everything.

Art galleries are lean clean spaces. This space was not that. Not at the beginning. But at the end it was.

It took weeks of demolition and scouring and scrubbing and painting to convert that space. This of course was after months of research and paperwork and running around.

And yet — this was not work. It was exhilarating exhausting creation. When you are creating something from scratch you deplete yourself scrabbling the components together. It’s as though you mine the earth for the raw materials with your bare brain and your bare hands. And then you assemble them into the closest Frankenstein monster of a similarity to your idea you can.

You dreamed of a diaphanous water nymph; you end up with a clunky manbot cobbled together from rusted parts. Instead of gliding across the surface it stomps in the shallows shoreside. But it moves! It’s alive in its own manner!

And you brought this thing to life with sweat and cunning.

Creation at its core is the hardest nonwork you’ll ever do. Eventually, with refinement, you’ll see that water nymph emerge . . . It took us ten or eleven years before we stood in the gallery of our dreams. Each year, each iteration, each near-death event that we survived brought us closer . . .

The only way to your dream is mano a mano with whatever materials you can scrounge. All creation is like this. You work it like a pro. All in. Fingers in the dirt, working your environment with all you’ve got, till you unearth what you need. Piece by piece.

When at last you stand up and gaze at your creation, damn!

You did it.

You created like a god, taking a wispy idea from the thought-o-sphere and wrestling it all the way to Earth. It’s here on this planet now because of you. Your labors brought it forth. It’s not work. It’s a love child. It’s an offering to the divine. It’s something you fucking created from nothing.

Wow.

Take a bow.


Excerpted from a bookito in progress: The Way Of The Creative

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Steven Pressfield: The amateur gives his power away to others

Have you ever followed a guru or a mentor?

I have.

I’ve given my power away to lovers and spouses. I’ve sat by the phone. I’ve waited for permission.

I’ve turned in work and awaited, trembling, the judgment of others. I’ve given away my power subtly, with a glance that was perceptible to no one. And I’ve given it away overtly and shamelessly, for all the world to see.

Exile, failure, and banishment can be good things sometimes, because they force us to act from our own center and not from someone else’s.

I applaud your story of how you hit bottom, because at the bottom there’s no one there but yourself.

From Turning Pro: Tap Your Inner Power and Create Your Life’s Work by Steven Pressfield

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How to see the most beautiful things

The most beautiful things in the world are the most subtle — they don’t scream for your attention — they’re just waiting for you to slow down and see them.

~ Greg McNay

See more of what Greg slowed down for here:

https://www.instagram.com/gregmcnay/

 

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We’re living in the inflection point

We’re all creatives now, whether we recognize it or not. This era is marked by frenetic creation.

The new supersedes the barely-no-longer new with surprising quickness. The laptop I’m tapping away on. It’s so last year. There’s a newer version that’s even bendier. Lighter too. Plus it’s amped up to new steroidal highs with more/better capacity in every way.

It’s exciting. Mommy blogs, yoga selfies, angel investing, tech unicorns, digital nomads, tiny houses, staycations, YouTube stars, life hacking, lifestyle design  . . . .  So many things that didn’t exist 100 years ago, if 10.

Glorious, even madcap innovation goes on everywhere. To be alive today is to be creating. In truth it’s always been this way, but innovation wasn’t treasured. Not in the ways we value creativity now.

There’s the story of  the Roman Emperor Tiberius who immediately beheaded the craftsman who innovated the process for creating ‘flexible glass.” This shiny material that dented but did not shatter upon being dropped was later speculated to be the first discovery of aluminum. The hapless discoverer lost his head because Tiberius feared it would cause gold and silver to plummet in value.

And then there’s Queen Elizabeth I who denied a patent to William Lee, inventor of the first knitting machine. In her denial of a patent she bemoaned the effects of progress itself, that it would put out of business too many of her subjects who made their living from hand knitting. Though he was eventually to find some success in France, he ultimately died in poor financial straits — while his invention went on to become the backbone of the textiles industry for hundreds of years.

Artistically there’s never been a freer time.

Abstraction, realism, happenings, conceptualism, surrealism, impressionism, expressionism, pop, action painting, pattern and design, art installations, earth art, ephemeral art, shock art, body painting, activist art . . . in the modern world every conceivable art form is being practiced somewhere. Someone somewhere is crossing boundaries, combining mango juice with blood and paint and feathers . . . or mixing high and low . . . or flaunting an anti-commercial message via an ironic and profitable commercialism.

Today, in enlightened societies, you are free to discard your gender identity. You need not identify as either of the traditional genders if you choose. Similarly, today you are free to be monogamous for life, polygamous for a time, polyamorous, polytheistic, monotheistic, atheistic or a religion of one.

We value those who create over those who destroy.

Finally!

More honors are bestowed upon creators than conquerors.

Finally.

Long after Che Guevara is forgotten, Gandhi will be remain ascendant in our consciousness. Eventually the peacemakers will be celebrated and the fearmongers and the warmongers will be shunned. Even in our media. Even to the ends of the political spectrum.

Finally.

Even now you see it in popular books. The technorati of our era are celebrated far more in articles and books than fighters.

We’re living in the inflection point, the era when creators are prized more than warriors. All you need do is travel from town to town in any area with hundreds of years of history to its name. It’s the man on horseback with a sword who is cast in stone or bronze for all to admire. Atop a fountain or astride a city park.

That’s changing. Finally, inventors and doers and scrappers and entrepreneurs and tinkerers and artists and writers and thinkers and film makers and innovators and chefs and choreographers and lifestylers and healers and designers and engineers and scientists and  . . . so many more . . . are celebrated. In fact, creators are at the top of the celebration pyramid.

The zeitgeist has changed: Bring something novel into the world, we are asked. Bring your best self into what you do, we are advised. It is no longer about conquerors. It’s about creators.

We’re all creatives now. Success now is about what you can create — a generous-hearted home, a meme, a business, a song, a friendship, a life — not what you can acquire. It is the same with adventure. It is no longer about claiming parts of the world from tribal peoples with primitive weaponry. Adventure is about what you can create! A freelance lifestyle, impact, a family, a career, an experience, a connection, an opus, a website, a cartoon, a smile . . .  

Creation is where it’s at. Creativity is universal to the human spirit. The creative spirit runs through us! It’s also what connects us. Through our offerings and through our exchange of ideas. And creativity is not limited to what we normally think about when contemplate the creative realm. The creative impulse is not constrained to being artsy-crafty.

There are many reading this who don’t have an artistic gene in their body — at least not one that is expressing — and yet their creativity runs rampant.

And you feel it. That cool boss who smooths the vagaries of the work day in a way others don’t even think of. The starter upper, launching biz after biz. The mom who makes every play date a joy.

Every sphere of life worth living is creative at its heart.

 


Excerpted from a bookito in progress: The Way of The Creative

Master glassworker Rick Eggert passing on his knowledge to the next generation:

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Crisis means to sift

What do you do when hit with colossal disappointment?

Here’s a suggestion. Take a cue from Glennon Doyle in Love Warrior, in which she says:

Crisis means to sift. What is left when you go through a crisis is what matters.

I’m reading a gobsmacking memoir by Jewel. Here’s a post from her book Never Broken about gigging in bars with her dad from the age of 5.

Run out and buy Jewel’s book. Hers is a hippy poetess adventure of a life lived in broken pieces . . . yet with some of the most haunting reporting you’ll ever find from within the resurrection point. Points. She lives through a number of crises . . . and each time digs something new from within.

Jewel’s family busts up, her car and guitar are stolen — the one that she’s living in — she lives on the streets of California.

What you see Jewel do is go to ground zero. She retreats to paper and pen. She asks herself questions. She lets it all fly. Her fear, her distress, her angst, her bewilderment. She sifts.

She uses a technique her mother taught her. Of writing out what she wants . . . then ideas on how to get there . . . and then she chooses some and writes down actions to make those ideas work.

She sifts.

What is left when you go through a crisis is what matters.

A crisis always means loss. Loss of love. Of a relationship. Of financial means. Of health. Something valuable is suddenly taken away — the car you live in, for Jewel; our business income, for us during the crash.

In a crisis you are given an eerie gift. The gift to find out what remains after the sifting.

There’s no better way to your own resurgence than to go mano a mano with your most intimate self on the page. You and a pen and a piece of paper. Spilling out your loss . . .

. . . And then pivoting to wonder.

Pivoting to what’s important. What matters so much to me that I’m going to hold on to it no matter how hard I’m shaken by life? That is what you’re asking when everything feels broken.

And that’s your gold. Your soul treasure. In each crisis there’s something in you aching to be born. You can run from it and run from crisis to crisis. Or you can accept the gift.

Get present inside your crisis. Until you unearth a little seed of knowing. Some small almost insubstantial force that makes itself known to you. That feels like it’s part of something vast and forevermaking.

Because it is.

__________________________
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Check out this little book about expressing love energy: 
Burn Baby Burn: Spark The Creative Spirit Within







 
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“The morning that transformed my entire life”

During the 2008 crash Hal Elrod suffered through a financial collapse. Which spiraled into an emotional collapse. Depression and thoughts of suicide came . . . then this. This realization, leading to this change:

Our outer world will always be a reflection of our inner world. Our level of success is always going to parallel our level of personal development. Until we dedicate time each day to developing ourselves into the person we need to be to create the life we want, success is always going to be a struggle to attain.

I ran straight home. I was ready to change my life.

Our First Challenge: Finding Time

I knew that the solution to all of my problems was that I had to commit to making personal development a priority in my daily life. This was the missing link that would enable me to become the person I needed to be able to consistently attract, create, and sustain the levels of success that I wanted. Simple enough.

. . . . . . .


Aw, Come on –Not in the Morning!

Then, I considered doing it in the morning—but I resisted. To say that I was not a morning person was a gross understatement. The fact was, I dreaded getting up in the morning, particularly waking up early, almost as much as I hated running.

But the more I thought about it, the more a few things started to make sense.

By committing to my personal development in the morning, it would give me a positive motivational kick-start to my day. I could learn something new in the morning. I’d likely be more energized, more focused, and more motivated for the rest of my day.

. . . . . . .

By doing personal development in the morning, I wouldn’t have all of the excuses that accumulate during the day (I’m tired, I don’t have time, etc.)  

If I did it in the morning, before the rest of my life and my work got in the way, I could guarantee that it happened every single day.

Finally, I just didn’t really see any better time to do it.

. . . . . . .

Our Second Challenge: Doing What’s Most Impactful

Then I encountered another challenge—what was I going to do for that hour that was going to make the biggest impact and improve my life the fastest?  

I could read, but I’d done that before, and I wanted this to be special.

I could exercise, but again, that wasn’t getting my juices flowing.

So, I pulled out a piece of blank paper and I wrote down all of the most life-changing personal development practices that I had learned over the years, but never implemented—at least never consistently.

Activities like meditation, affirmations, journaling, visualization, as well as reading and exercise. I chose the six activities that I thought would have the most immediate and dramatic impact on my life, assigned 10 minutes each, and planned to try all six the next morning.

. . . . . . .

The Morning That Transformed My Entire Life 

Teeth brushed, face washed, and a glass of water in hand, I sat up straight on my living room couch at 5: 05 a.m., feeling genuinely excited about my life for the first time in a long time. It was still dark outside, and something about that felt very empowering.

I pulled out my list of life-changing personal development activities I had learned over the years but never implemented. One by one, I implemented each one.

Silence

Sitting in silence, praying, meditating, and focusing on my breath, for 10 minutes. I felt my stress melt away, felt a sense of calm come over my body and ease my mind. This was different from the typical chaos of my hectic mornings. 

For the first time in a long time, I felt peaceful.

Reading

Having always made excuses why I couldn’t find time to read, I was excited to make time this morning and start what I had always hoped could become a lifelong habit.

I grabbed Napoleon Hill’s classic, Think and Grow Rich, off the shelf. Like most of my books, it was one that I had started, but never finished. I read for ten minutes, and picked up a few ideas that I was excited to implement that day.

I was reminded that it only takes one idea to change your life, and I felt motivated.

Affirmations

Having never before harnessed the power of affirmations, it felt amazing to finally read the self-confidence affirmation from Think and Grow Rich aloud. The affirmation was a powerful reminder of the unlimited potential that was within me — and within each of us.

I decided to write my own affirmation. I jotted down what I wanted, who I was committed to being, and what I was committed to doing to change my life.

I felt empowered.

Visualization

I grabbed the Vision Board off my wall. I had created it after watching the movie The Secret. I rarely took time to look at, let alone use it as the visualization tool it was intended to be.

For ten minutes, my focus shifted from image to image, pausing at each one to close my eyes and feel, with every fiber of my being, what it would be like to manifest each into my life.

I felt inspired.

Journaling

Next, I opened one of the many blank journals I had purchased over the years. Like all of the others, I had failed to write in for more than a few days—a week at the most.

On this day, I wrote what I was grateful for in my life.

Almost immediately, I felt my depression lifting, like a heavy fog which had been weighing me down. It wasn’t gone, but it felt lighter.

The simple act of writing down the things I was grateful for lifted my spirits. I felt grateful.

Exercise

Finally, I got up off the couch, remembering what I’d heard Tony Robbins say so many times: Motion creates emotion.

I dropped down and did pushups until I couldn’t do one more. Then I flipped over onto my back and did as many sit ups as my out-of-shape abs would allow.

With six minutes left on the clock, I inserted one of my fiancée’s Yoga videos into the DVD player, and enjoyed completing the first six minutes of it.

I felt energized. It was incredible!  

I had already experienced what was one of the most peaceful, motivating, empowering, inspiring, grateful, and energizing days of my life—and it was only 6: 00 a.m.!

Nothing Short of a Miracle

For the next few weeks, I continued to wake up at 5: 00 a.m. and follow through with my 60-minute personal development routine.

. . . . . . .

My stress levels dropped dramatically. I had more energy, clarity, and focus. I felt genuinely happy, motivated, and inspired. Thoughts of depression were a distant memory.

You could say I was back to my old self again—although I was experiencing so much growth, so rapidly, that I was quickly surpassing any version of myself that I had ever been in the past. And with my newfound levels of energy, motivation, clarity, and focus I was able to easily set goals, create strategies and execute a plan to save my business and increase my income.

Less than two months after my first Miracle Morning, my income was not only back to the level it had been at before the economy crashed, it was higher than ever before.

I knew this powerful morning personal development routine was something I would eventually start sharing with my private coaching clients, so I needed a name for it. 

Considering that the transformation I was experiencing was so profound and happening so fast — having gone from broke and depressed to financially secure and excited about life, in less than two months — that it felt like a miracle, the only appropriate name was The Miracle Morning.

 .
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You do some things just because (like this)

See this portal to nowhere? It’s the entrance to a cat run in the backyard of a Statesville, North Carolina home.

Five cats in one house need some leg room.

Artist Amy Sullivan repurposed these antique glass doors as the entryway to her cat corral. The cats come in via a tube through a window. Very Habitrail. But without the rodents.

With this doorway for the humans, it takes on an Alice Through The Looking Glass quality.

You do some things just because.

For the surprise of it. For the jarring sense of spectacle. For the whimsy. For the splash it makes.

Because it’s you and you want to warp the reality around you. You want to bend it to your liking. Everyone has a reality field . . . it’s felt most in those who pulsate strongly who they are.

You can’t walk into Amy Sullivan’s backyard without feeling in the presence of something alive. Someone alive to possibility.

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” . . . and work backwards from there”

In conversation with a friend I expressed my exasperation with the obstacles my Dad was throwing in the way of getting the proper care he needed . . . he’d fallen and wouldn’t let us get an ambulance for him.

He’d managed to get into his recliner and refused help.

Mike threw out some ideas . . . before I could swat them all away, one of them lodged. One of them seemed feasible . . .

I thanked him for finding a way of helping my Dad even when he didn’t want it . . . even when my own sense of futility about the whole mess blocked me from a solution.

“Part of it is you have to assume there’s a way, then work backwards from there.”

~ Mike Cohen

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