The next things are coming into shape. Writing and editing and sharing. Quietly. Here we go.
The next things are coming into shape. Writing and editing and sharing. Quietly. Here we go.
I think these are similar ideas, if you get down and focus on what matters most in each. I’m not a worker worker, per se, as I have not held a day job since 2005. I wish I could say that this was easy peasy but it was work, actual work, to keep going in a way that felt the most honest, to me, personally. Which was to enjoy work. To enjoy making, to create and co-create, with just the handful of people whom I would choose, at any given moment, to make and create with me.
In a cafe in Aarhus that had a name that started with a ‘J’, where I met later with my friend A., who told me that it was strange to see me in his hometown instead of some back-alley guesthouse like where we had met in Kampot, Cambodia, which I could only understand when someone from my ‘other’ world came recently to the one I am, so yes, rambling sentence having completed itself. I shall carry on with my idea.
Which is me. To do that. To carry on with my idea. There in Aarhus I first heard it, from some art students: ‘What you are doing? It is relational art. Google it.’ And I did.
Work, for me, was this: to discover what good, no wait, what incredible ideas could be. Not ideas though. That’s not it, either. Finds. Feelings and finds that the feelings that I didn’t know I could have got… called up. The remarkable: have you read any of Nicholas Roerich‘s Invincible Now? It’s in there, and it’s in the lectures of J. Krishnamurhti, who said never to quote him, but whose lovely story about a birdsong being a lesson really moved me. And others I told it to. Including a professor, K., who had taught me a lot about life when we were both students.
I think going and seeing, discovering new ways, focusing on how to enjoy that which is yet to emerge is so, so incredible. Merging into it. Occasionally. Teaches me new things, too.
Art of Work is learning. For me, the work of art is to bring the outcomes to the fore.
Let’s go. Let’s get it.
The new, the near, the now, and the next.
To the journeys!
HT AP and KY
This makes me want to re-do every cover at Kismuth’s small collection. I didn’t really know that you have particular styles and matches of typefaces for styles of writing. There’s so much to learn since the time I started making books at Kismuth, in 2012.
I think Wattpad has come a long way, too.
So much to look into.
There is a lot of stuff to write, today, about what I’ve been reading. Check that. What I used to read.
Things from the past. School texts, absorbed and unquestioned.
Whole patterns that have been debunked; like ‘left-‘ and ‘right-brained’ people. Apparently that’s not a thing, now. Apparently, Pluto’s not a planet, bread is not a food group, and the idea that if you work really hard you can ‘make it’, well. Let’s leave that one alone, given ‘The System’. Et al.
Naturally, doubts have encroached.
On the validity of the expertises of some; the agendas of others.
Maybe this older person who told me to go and read things online, in obscure texts, got me started on questioning everything. Then I posted about ‘Farce Media’ on KismuthBooks, the FB page. It was funny until it wasn’t; fake news got real.
I feel like there are so many stories, from the past, that I read and believed. But now I don’t.
Ever feel that way?
Just thinking out loud.
This post continues in The Cojournal Project
It is easy to get lost in loss.
The feelings are there, and you don’t know what to do with them, and grief overtakes you. I’ve written about childhood grief, and I’ve written about pregnancy loss that wasn’t quite as simple as it sounds due to a genetic anomaly.
I’ve also written about the loss of community and culture, (owing to often moving, whole continental shifts at times). People change. You change. We drift; it’s natural.
So true, with internet taking over our mind space and people unable to distinguish what’s you according to you, and what they think of you being so it fits their ideas of you, ie, you according to them.
I was reading about this phenomenon today over here.
When someone labels you for you and then expects you to conform to their idea of you, it’s quite disrespectful. Right?
June 23. It’s this day in 1985. That we lost the people who were on board Flight 182 of Air India. A plane called Kanishka.
My best friend was on that plane, along with her brother and her mother. It was the weirdest and most surreal feeling, ever, to see that story reported on national news. But we didn’t talk about it, out loud. We never did, at home. Emotional topics were not to be brought up, and ‘bad things’ cast aside, and ‘past is past’ invalidating anything close to an actual feeling. This is how childhood grief can solidify and stifle someone. I worked out some of that with people, years later. Another girl who, like me, was watching in horror as it all unfolded, us talking many years later, like the little kids still grappling with it that we, emotionally, still really were.
Many years later, I went to see the Air India Memorial in person and joined the service on this day that was held there, in Ahakista, with the kids playing their instruments and locals laying out foodstuffs on white tablecloths in the outdoor setting so we could all mark the moment together. What a story. I wound up living in Ireland not far from there. I wound up seeing the black-and-white, three-d reality of the memorial. It was the closest I had had, til then, of closure. Because we ‘don’t get emotional,’ at home. Because of that. Closedness to the heart. At age 10 I stuffed away this pain. At the memorial, I could open that box and see what was in it. And there I found a part of myself that had been set aside for so, so long. The part that was still crying.
I wrote the story Kanishka after visiting the Golden Temple in Amritsar and talking to Salim Jiwa, the author of the book The Death of Air India Flight 182. I also did a writing residency at a place in northern India, in Preetnagar, with some very excellent people including Poonam Singh. Who understood the nature of my e-query, to their first-iteration version of the residency program back then. I sent a note through the form, in which I asked if I could come and stay and write and listen to their angle on the things that had happened, which affected them, too. ‘Operation Blue Star…’ Unhesitatingly I was invited. Then, Kanishka was published as a serial in Ms. Singh’s magazine, in 2015. As I learned at that time, it was to be the first-ever English-language series. That felt good, for this Punjabi-American, to hear.
It’s in my story, what I heard. It’s not a historical piece or a journalistic one, but it’s the story I could tell. As honestly and true and deeply as I could. The loss of my best friend, at age 10. In a terrorist attack on her airplane.
Making new things, with #spacethezine
The question is, who do you write for. Let me think about this out loud a little. Someone once answered this question in the exact way that I would have, had I been asked it, in the interview, in which she was. This wasn’t a video, or a podcast, this was a magazine article I had read in the days when magazines were in print.
It was a common practice for me to wander down to the Seattle waterfront, meander around in Pike Place Market, pick up something nice for later in the day, and get magazines. Print ones. From the news stand there. Today? Hm. I wonder if people read anything longer than paragraph or a blunted bit of social media, these days. Honestly I think there is too much of too much altogether and I can’t really keep up with it.
Still, I do write. I write a lot. I write for a handful of people now, though, and I hardly share any of it, publicly. People used to ask me, when I left newspapers and moved into design, then switched again to writing (memoirs and now zines), these kinds of deeply intrusive questions (all of which I avoid) but the one that I will let them ask me is: Who do you write for? Is a massive question that, for me, hasn’t had a different answer for 20 years. I write, I would have said, as another author once did, for myself, and strangers.
After serious personal reflection during a 20-month stint in Vietnam for ‘solitude‘ and ‘waiting,’ it has become obvious to me what to do when you need to make some exemplary shifts in your life.
Choices, personal journeys, the states of being, and clean breaks are the topics of this 8- or 12-week series of prompts. Look forward to sharing snippets of golden nuggets from dozens of conversations and readings of psychologists, therapists, and psychiatrists on the topic of ‘estrangement’. Why this topic?
It started for me with an awareness, a very particular one, that those who are already registering for the Mirror will be able to read as soon as Friday. That is when I will send out the orientation packets. The topic is ‘Awareness.’ Naturally. (Everyone everywhere says that’s the first step. So, too, ought it be, with Mirror.)
There is a fee to participate but no cost to apply.
So I started a Note. It’s http://note.com/16z.
Why did I do this? It’s easy and simple. It’s not like keeping up the eight Tumblr accounts plus two twitters plus trying to ‘feed the machine’ that I was up to in the 2010s because, I guess, I thought that was important. (It was, in a way, because of SEO).
But so what.
Who needs long-tail search marketing to work. Who needs work. (Well.)
But Note. Is easy.
And so it begins, again.