It’s OK if it’s difficult.

A couple of years ago I was going through a difficult time and kept wanting life to be easier. I then came around to the fact that life can be hard but that it can be easier if we change our mindset. I started resisting less and accepting more. Reality acceptance vs. fighting reality. I grew a lot. I have it really good. I’m lucky. But we all have hard weeks and there is turbulence in all our journeys. So keep going. Parts of the journey will be smooth. And other parts won’t. Just remember. It’s OK if it’s difficult.

 

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The arts will see us through.

“The arts will see us through.” – @heyjessnyc on Instagram.

“I’ve sat mesmerized watching online videos of the Canadian group Choir! Choir! Choir! They somehow manage to get hundreds of strangers to sing beautifully together ….With almost no rehearsal – how do they do it?? They manage to achieve lift off – that feeling of surrender when groups sing together – when we all become part of something larger than ourselves.” – David Byrne

Sometimes it hits you in the gut.

There can be such a failure to realize how good you have it. People place happiness in the future. A reward for achievement. I’ll be happy once my life looks like I thought it would. That’s usually not how it goes. As you know, the journey goes in unexpected directions. Sometimes it hits you in the gut. It can break your heart. But your heart can also heal. And sometimes when life hits you, as it will, as it does everyone, you learn to bounce back. Or to slow down. You learn to live again. And live you even fuller than before. You find the perfect in the moment.

The future is inside us.

One of my favorite tracks off the last Radiohead album.
I listened to this song while on a bus from Philly to New York in May of 2016. It was just a few weeks before the Octicorn book was coming out and we had just seen Philly for the first time, knowing we’d be moving there a few months later. It was kind of great because I waited to listen to the album until our trip – to see Susan’s school, to meet my agent and publisher.
I was drawing little pictures of seeds growing into plants as Thom sang, “The future is inside us. It’s not somewhere else.”
It gave me hope and excitement for the future, while reinforcing that life happens in the present.
One day at a time.

 

DIY creativity against the odds

Image result for spinning coin raining on hope street

Spinning Coin. “Raining on Hope Street.”

If I had to describe it, I’d call it punk dream pop with a touch of Neil Young and Quasi. But we don’t need new labels.

From the Domino Records websiteTellingly, they’re part of a tradition of socialist independent pop from Glasgow, one with a strong history of DIY creativity against the odds, of making the most of what you’ve got in front of you, and of finding a way through the world by gathering like-minded souls around. They understand that the collective is the way forward, their 45s and cassettes as magnitizdat postings from the front.

Caryn Ganz, Joe Cascarelli, Jon Caramanica, and Jon Pareles did this great interactive piece for the NYT yesterday, “Women are making the best rock music today. Here are the bands that prove it.”

I appreciated the storytelling and the mixed media (and dug the band Snail Mail). And found this excerpt to be insightful:

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A lot of people (myself included) would love to sit down behind a drum set and go right into a solo or grab a guitar and wail on it. But when you do that without experience or education – it can sound like sh#t.

Nobody wants to suck. But if you’re willing to suck for awhile….YOU CAN ROCK!