Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less.
Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less.
Whew. Finally Friday. How are you guys? I hope this week has treated you well. I’ve had a slow, somewhat difficult, start to 2017…but I think I’m turning the corner on all of that and I’m excited for what the rest of the year has in store. It’s going to be a big year…like as big as it gets, but more on that another time.
This week I’m trusting that I don’t have to try so hard. That all I need to do is get out of my own way. I’ve been seeing this same idea come up again and again this week and I feel like I’m supposed to be listening. First, I watched this little video by Gabby Bernstein about non-interference. Then I listened to this podcast, which is a recent sermon from a church in Austin, and it was about consenting to love. Lastly, I randomly listened to an old Bonnie “Prince” Billy album called Lie Down in the Light. As I was listening I started thinking about the title and how it encapsulated what I’d been thinking about this week. I mean, one of the lyrics is literally “why do you try? why don’t you lie down in the light.” Watch the video below for the title track, and click here for lyrics.
Lately, I’m feeling grateful for my health. You kind of forget how easy life is when you’re healthy and everything is as it should be…I really feel for people with chronic illness or any kind of prolonged pain. I’m so so grateful to be healthy and active.
This week I’m gathering inspiration from the book I’m reading, I’m Your Man: The Life of Leonard Cohen by Sylvie Simmons. It’s been interesting to read a fairly in-depth account of his youth. He seems to have always kind of been the same – an old soul – who everyone loved and who could pierce you with his poignant words. He’ll be missed. Reading artist’s biographies/autobiographies is always a major source of inspiration for me. I’m so thankful for the people who create, and are brave enough to put their creations out into the world.
This week’s faith update ties into what I wrote about trusting. I’m trying to cultivate faith that it’s okay to rest. It’s okay to not be constantly evaluating my life and picking it apart so I can see where I can improve, where I can do more, or how I can be better. I think there is a time and place for all of that, of course, but I also think it can be exhausting.
Rest, instead of being something passive, is actually an act of resistance. We live in The City That Never Sleeps — so resting may be the most countercultural and spiritual thing we do with our lives.
Quote found here.
I hope you all have a beautiful, happy, and restful weekend.
Happy 2017! Hard to believe that in a few years we’ll be hitting the 2020 mark…I feel old every time i think about that, so let’s not. Last year I started a series called TGIF and only wrote 2 posts before disappearing. Whoops. It’s hard to stay focused, and it’s harder to find motivation after working 40 hours a week at my job. But after listening to this podcast episode – I’ve decided to change my mindset. My real life, the one I cherish and am proud of, is the life in which I’m a writer and an artist. My side life is the life in which I work 40 hours for a corporation I don’t really care about. So instead of thinking of my hobbies and passions as the secondary or even tertiary parts of my life, I’m ready to put them front and center. It will take some work and time, but it’s an important mental shift that I’ll be working on.
So on to the TGIF portion…
This week I’m trusting that all of the unknowns in my life will work out just as they should. I’m trusting that I already have everything I need, and I’m trying to not focus on lack – but on abundance. Because I have so so much, and am very lucky – regardless of what my ego tells me sometimes (you need more money, that person is more talented, look how much they’re doing with their life!, etc. etc.).
This week I’m feeling grateful for family and friends. The holidays can be intense, and I always really miss my immediate family this time of year because I never can make it home to see everyone over Christmas. But how lucky am I to have people to miss; people I want to be spending time with and people who love me and make that known regularly (and for technology that makes it possible). I’m also extremely grateful for my in-laws. My husband’s sisters are some of my best friends – and his parents remind me so much of my own.
Lately, I’ve been finding so much inspiration in textiles. I love the deep indigos of shibori dyeing, I love the simple but beautiful designs of mud cloth, and I love the intricate mix of color and pattern in many traditional weavings. I’d love to incorporate some of these things into my art – my wheels are turning.
you can find this beautiful pillow here.
read more about the history of mud cloth here.
Traditional Navajo weaving
Lastly, my update on faith. I recently heard an Anne Lamott quote that really struck me, so I’ll leave you all with this.
“I have a lot of faith. But I am also afraid a lot, and have no real certainty about anything. I remembered something Father Tom had told me–that the opposite of faith is not doubt, but certainty. Certainty is missing the point entirely. Faith includes noticing the mess, the emptiness and discomfort, and letting it be there until some light returns.”
The opposite of faith is not doubt, but certainty. Whoa. If only someone would have told me that at age 15…although sometimes the truth isn’t truth until you’re ready to hear it.
I hope you all have a beautiful weekend!
we are very bad at scale. the things that live in the soil are too small to care about; climate change too large to imagine. we are bad at time too. we cannot remember what lived here before we did; we cannot love what is not. nor can we imagine what will be different when we are dead. we live out our three score and ten, and tie our knots and lines only to ourselves. we take solace in pictures, and we wipe the hills of history.
many people nowadays live in a series of interiors — home, car, gym, office, shops — disconnected from each other. on foot everything stays connected, for while walking one occupies the spaces between those interiors in the same way one occupies those interiors. one lives in the whole world rather than in interiors built up against it.
the books i read last month were ahhmazing. i loved all three.
i’m not sure if they just came to me at the right time, or if they really are completely profound and beautiful and can stand on their own regardless of where you are in life. i don’t want to write a review for each, because i’m not really sure how to summarize them. anything i can think to write seems like it would be insufficient in expressing my feelings about them. you know how when you find something beautiful, but you try to explain it to someone else and the beauty is just totally lost? yeah, that’s what i think would happen.
so i’ll do something different this time around.
“I wish I could leave you certain of the images in my mind, because they are so beautiful that I hate to think they will be extinguished when I am. Well, but again, this life has its own mortal loveliness. And memory is not strictly mortal in its nature, either. It is a strange thing, after all, to be able to return to a moment, when it can hardly be said to have any reality at all, even in its passing. A moment is such a slight thing. I mean, that its abiding is a most gracious reprieve.”
“Even now, all possible feelings do not yet exist, there are still those that lie beyond our capacity and our imagination. From time to time, when a piece of music no one has ever written or a painting no one has ever painted, or something else impossible to predict, fathom or yet describe takes place, a new feeling enters the world. And then, for the millionth time in the history of feeling, the heart surges and absorbs the impact.”
“I was forced to confront my own prejudice. I had come to the farm with the unarticulated belief that concrete things were for dumb people and abstract things were for smart people. I thought the physical world – the trades – was the place you ended up if you weren’t bright or ambitious enough to handle a white-collar job. Did I really think that a person with a genius for fixing engines, or for building, or for husbanding cows, was less brilliant than a person who writes ad copy or interprets the law? Apparently I did, though it amazes me now.”
that’s all for this month. as always, feel free to leave suggestions in the comments. as of right now, i have nothing lined up to read. halp.
you can read all previous book reports here.
i have wandered to the limits of my understanding any number of times, out into that desolation, that horeb, that kansas, and i’ve scared myself, too, a good many times, leaving all landmarks behind me, or so it seemed. and it has been among the true pleasures of my life. night and light, silence and difficulty, it seemed to me always rigorous and good…
though i must say all this has given me a new glimpse of the ongoingness of the world. we fly forgotten as a dream, certainly, leaving the forgetful world behind us to trample and mar and misplace everything we have ever cared for. that is just the way of it, and it is remarkable.
gilead | pg. 191
by marilynne robinson
one march evening in my sophomore year i was sitting alone in my room after supper. there had been a warm thaw all day, with mushy yards and little streams of dark water gurgling cheerfully into the streets out of old snow-banks. my window was open, and the earthy wind blowing through made me indolent. on the edge of the prairie, where the sun had gone down, the sky was turquoise blue, like a lake, with gold light throbbing in it. higher up, in the utter clarity of the western slope, the evening star hung like a lamp suspended by silver chains – like the lamp engraved upon the title-page of old latin texts, which is always appearing in new heavens, and waking new desires in men.
words: willa cather | my ántonia pg. 158
i’ve been thinking about the difference between the résumé virtues and the eulogy virtues. the résumé virtues are the ones you list on your résumé, the skills that you bring to the job market and that contribute to external success. the eulogy virtues are deeper. they’re the virtues that get talked about at your funeral, the ones that exist at the core of your being — whether you are kind, brave, honest or faithful; what kind of relationships you formed.
most of us would say that the eulogy virtues are more important than the résumé virtues, but i confess that for long stretches of my life i’ve spent more time thinking about the latter than the former. our education system is certainly oriented around the résumé virtues more than the eulogy ones. public conversation is, too — the self-help tips in magazines, the nonfiction bestsellers. most of us have clearer strategies for how to achieve career success than we do for how to develop a profound character.
photo: iphone | austin, tx
words: david brooks | selection from “the road to character”