Humans Matter

“I was miserable being a widow. But I knew it was going to be hard to meet someone new. There is so much space junk out there. And a lot of older men are looking for a younger woman. But I had great hopes. I did my visualizations. I pictured a nice, younger, good-looking man. Every morning I wrote down just what I wanted. Then I found him on one of those dating sites. I was a little worried at first because his profile said: ‘I’m back, ladies.’ I thought that maybe he was a womanizer. But he also quoted a psalm in his profile, and it was a good psalm, so I sent him a smile emoji. We started chatting and decided to meet at the Metropolitan Museum. I walked up the stairs and there he was! Suit! Tie! Overcoat! So much better than his picture! We spent six hours at the wine bar. They had to kick us out. We started seeing each other regularly. I felt like I was sixteen. Nothing could bother me for months. I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t sleep. Everything worked out just like I imagined. It will have been eight years together, this July.”

Humans of New York gives me glimpses into the stories that might exist behind the faces of the people around me; those who I know and those who I pass by.

Listening to Brandon Stanton on Design Matters this morning made me realise that often what we assume to be the end product, is actually one of the points along the journey. And it’s in the process that we grow, change, and know better each day what we want to achieve. Just like 366daysofinspriation is my process. Let’s see where it gets me!

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Amanda Palmer

I’m not a mother…not yet or maybe never, who knows?
But this is my song! And Amanda Palmer is the star in my beautiful world of darkness!

 

A MOTHER’S CONFESSION

our son is four months old his name is anthony or ash for short
and he’s too small to do things by himself
we were in L.A. over christmas in a rental and we jury-rigged a place
to change his diapers on a shelf i was peeing in the bathroom and had left him for a second
cause i thought he couldn’t move and he was safe
as i came out i saw him falling in slow motion to the floor
it was probably the worst moment of my life

and then i accidentally stole a thing of chapstick from the safeway
i didn’t see it ’til i got out to the car
i would have usually returned it but i was overwhelmed
and late to take the baby to my cousins which was far away

in my defense i’d bought like $87 worth of groceries
and the chapstick was a $1.99…
i know it wasn’t the right thing to use
to use my newborn child as an excuse
but it felt like a real reason at the time

and as i pulled out of the parking lot i cried
and as i pulled onto the highway i said “right….
at least the baby didn’t die…right?
at least the baby didn’t die….”

and then we went to sarasota
to see neil’s cousin helen
for her birthday she just turned ninety-nine
we were also there for sidney
who was ninety-four two days before
but he was sick so mostly it was ash and helen time

she survived the warsaw ghetto
and she always says “i love you”
when she sees you ’cause she knows you never know
she’d worked for months while i was pregnant
on a gorgeous handmade blanket
her almost-hundred-year-old hands crocheting every row

i’d been emailing her pictures of the baby and the blanket
every day since she had sent it in the mail
but they were of one that someone else had knitted
she was really nice about it
then i went and shoplifted a pair of stupid sunglasses
from goodwill (they were on my head
i’d tried them on and left them there)
but that’s not really bad compared to
when we left the baby in the car.

at least he wasn’t in there very long.
…and not directly in the sun.
and thank god no-one walking by happened to notice what we’d done.
i’m even scared to put these lyrics in a song.

but
everything is relative and everyone’s related
i can’t do that much right now
but take care of this baby
i figure everything’s technically all right
if at least this baby doesn’t die.

(i’d also like his dad alive. so honey….careful when you drive).

and then i took a plane to washington alone
so we could visit jason webley who’s his godfather
he’s playing the accordion
i couldn’t wait to see him and share tales of my disasters
over dinners in his houseboat when i saw i’d lost my passport

so i got a rush appointment at the place where you replace them
and i drove the baby in and on the way i got a speeding ticket

when the cop came to the window i was shaking and i said i’m sorry
but you couldn’t hear me that’s how loud the sound of screaming was
cause he was hungry and i think that i was speeding
’cause i panic when i hear him cry
my god what kind of a mother am i

and as i pulled out of the breakdown lane i cried
and as i pulled out on the highway i said “right.
at least the baby didn’t die. right?
at least the baby didn’t die.”

while i was waiting for my passport i was hungry so
i twittered for good coffee in the neighborhood
and there i saw a woman who was sitting at the bar
and it was noon and she was drinking
and she called across the diner at me “how old is your baby?”
and she smiled at us nursing
and she said she had a daughter who was grown
and then she paused
and said she also had a son

and when i’d paid and was about to leave
i picked him up and crossed the room and touched her sleeve
i said “hey this baby wanted to say hi.”
and she held him tight and she started to cry.

and i’m sorry that this story’s gotten long
and that everybody’s crying in this song.

and as i got back in the car i turned the radio and heater on
and sat there with the baby in the back.
and they were talking about syria and climate change and ISIS
and the candidates’ positions on iraq
i feel so useless in this universe
i know i could be doing worse
i’m trying hard to stay at peace inside
i know it’s hard to be a parent
but my flaws are so gigantic
…i wonder if i should have had a child.

and as i pulled out of the parking lot i cried
and as i pulled out on the highway i said

“right.

at least the baby didn’t die.
at least the baby didn’t die.
EVERYBODY:
at least the baby didn’t die!! right?!
at least the baby didn’t die!!
(i may not make it to the passport place on time!)
at least the baby didn’t die.
(and they might suspend my license for a while!!)
at least the baby didn’t die.
(and i might get caught for retroactive theft!!)
at least the baby didn’t die.
(and i might get turned into the DSS!)

but at least the baby didn’t die.”

Inspiration

This piece on a new book by Christina Crosby struck me as poignant, especially when I’m going through this slow process of teaching myself to be grateful for being me.

Paralysed after a cycling accident, Crosby ponders on the fact that she no longer has a gender; instead she has a wheel chair. What’s it like to create a new identity from scratch; to have little control over how you the world sees you?

Throughout this piece, I’m reminded of the meaning of inspiration; one that I Googled when at 23.30, I have yet to find my inspiration for the day. The meaning that resonated the most was – ‘the act of drawing in; specifically: the drawing of air into the lungs.’

By this definition alone, Crosby inspires.

Passion v/s Success

What comes first on the road to superstardom? Passion or success?

Here’s a great piece by Scott Adams (the cartoonist who created Dilbert), at the end of which you realise that the more successful you are at something, the more excited it makes you. Not the reverse.
It’s like reciprocal love versus the unrequited.

It’s also an interesting thought, when Scott says that setting up systems in the long run is more useful to setting goals and targets. If you set up a good system, whether you achieve the target or not, and even after you’ve achieved the target, you still have the impetus to follow the system. And you’ve learned something out of it.

His advice is pragmatic and definitely something we’re looking to play with going forward.

What are you passionate about?

‘You don’t create your life first and then live it!
You create it by living it and not agonising about it’

We all have goals, we all want to be somewhere, and often anywhere else but here.
But are we truly living the lives we currently have? Or do we think that life starts once we get everything we want?

Being more dog

We definitely have a lot to learn from animals, and dogs in particular are useful to observe. Even David Lynch extolls the virtues of being puppy-like.

Here are six things you can learn about leadership from dogs.

‘One of the defining characteristics of dog is the appetite for fun. If you would like to make your workplace more exciting, look no further than the three rules of a dog park: have fun, don’t bite others and stay in the fence. As a leader, you have the responsibility to establish guidelines that are appropriate to your industry. But once the guidelines set, release your employees to run free, pursuing opportunities to be creative and projects aligned with their interests.’