Of two philosophies

I got into a long-winded conversation yesterday afternoon that turned into a two-minute, tight summary this morning about the topic of ‘letting it flow,’ versus designing structures for things so that stuff actually happens in a way that’s semi-intentional. I mean, I’m not all about the boxes and making stuff go into the boxes, or anything, but I suppose that my style has been giving off that vibe. ‘She likes to be business-y,’ someone said. My emails are kind of famously abrupt, I think, I’ve heard, someone say. I got carried away writing Kismuth’s newsletters from 2014-2016, to practice writing more conversationally and directly. Which worked, I think, because, this post, its tone and style, is pretty much exactly what the letters turned into so yeah, good, the iterations to find the voice worked. Still, a newsletter wasn’t my idea of a community because it smacked of all the stuff that other newsletters send off, the whole thing being, after all, agenda-driven and click-driven, and it got overwhelming for me to manage that many non-relationships in the cloud. So I kind of just deleted the whole newsletter list and decided, ‘I’m starting over.’ Sure, I had 1,400+ names on my email list. But they were a mix of different levels of connexion. Mostly, empty.

 

A new start


Which meant, I was done. I even resisted blogging. What was the point? I really truly was over it. But… not quite. I wanted to write with people but just a few. Fewer, more focused, and more attention to the most sincere readers and friends. Only. So yeah, I got all into the protected-page forums, and conversations in the cloud, and dropbox, and papers, and PDFs that I send links of sometimes, here and there, and these get commented on, and I reach out to people I do not know yet and ask big questions about art, design, creativity, their process, relationships, aesthetics, what have you. I guess it feels more like newspapers again. Maybe because I’ve been doing the zine for two years. Every Tuesday except for yesterday. Little story there, but it’s best saved for real life sharing. Context and stuff. So see? It’s not so boxy at all, the way I let things emerge… in fact, it’s very free form, but only once there’s the whole, ‘This is what we’re doing’ part all sussed, and organized. Sorted. Of all the people who know me from my old life writing at twitter and other spots on the internet, I think F. would understand this concept best.

But back to ‘Of 2 philosophies.’ I’d like to share with you the central question that has been crystallizing here where I am, in real life, today. Where is the balance between what is ‘open-ended’ and what is ‘simply not doing anything because it’s easier to just not to’? ‘Taking steps to self-actualize’ versus ‘just letting it flow’, I guess, is another way to phrase it.

So, yeah. I mean, this is the tricky part: where do you draw the line between ‘self-improvement steps by design and with intention’ and ‘not getting extreme into self help junkie mentality.’ Know what I mean? This is the stuff of Kismuth‘s conversations here in real life where I am. Speaking of real life, I’m kind of hungry. But it’s raining. Hm. Maybe I’ll come back and write more here, after finding sustenance. Maybe I won’t. Flowy. (But nothing happens). Where is the line?

3 thoughts on “Of two philosophies

  1. Sometimes, it is not that it is easier not to do anything, but also doing something would be stupid or shameful or plainly what everybody does to a certain degree, without meaning it. There is a lot of thoughts to put in it, just in the end to do nothing.
    Super recently and since we are on the topic, all the newsletters and brands started to email “during the pandemic, we are here to help”(while getting government money and firing 80% of their staff) or “we are donating for black lives matter” (while keeping sweatshops open all over Asia)… This is just marketing, there is no meaning or no value to it. It’s people in suits running algorithms to sound human and telling people what they want to believe.
    It’s working.
    But is it something that we want to be even remotely close or associated with?

    1. F! Love it. Thank you so much for the comment… I’m still wrapping my head around it, to be honest. All the talk, all the sharing, all the learning, offline here in *Secret Location*, with my new friends and teammates at DK, has been amazing and I’m totally reminded of the pre-internet days and also the times when internet was still fun and cool. Like, twitter was where’d just go @[whoever] and it was a flat hierarchy and they’d go, ‘Hi’ back, because it was a community. And look at that, I’m back to *that* topic…[long blurb deleted]… Let me focus my attention on this, and form a reply properly. Will email you with it. More, then. <3 <3 D

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