How to stay curious (in your life and work) — and wipe out incuriosity
“To each his own, it’s all unknown/If dogs run free.” — Bob Dylan
Nothing was more pleasing during last summer’s horrific global pandemic than outdoor walks with my K-12 teacher friend Chris. Since he was off for the school year, he was feeling expansive and I — well, while I was able to hold down my job remotely, I still needed to get away from all the screen time.
Sometimes we biked or, if it was too hot, we’d take circuitous walks around the neighborhood and…
Looking back on my decade of loss during a global pandemic
Here’s the marching orders I got from Glenn, a fellow writer: “So you don’t want to write. And you say you don’t want to write about COVID-19. Why then don’t you just write about not wanting to write about the coronavirus?”
— Hey! You got peanut butter in my chocolate!
— You got chocolate in my peanut butter!
Of course I’ve been inactive here on Medium since the year began, when I wrote this chirpy piece back in January. I…
Fear is my gutterball.
It probably has been from a very early age.
And I sure as hell have been throwing my share of frames’ worth lately.
I’m coming out of a fog of holiday dread and confusion, worried about the state of the world as well as that of my own friends and family. Aging brings health worries added to economic worries, which become a pile-on of anxiety that would rattle the steadiest of us.
It hurts to admit this, but the frustration has reached the point where I needed to slow down, breathe, focus on the pins in…
“Crusted with cheese, golden at the edges. The waiter placed it carefully in front of me, and I broke through the top layer with my spoon and filled it with warm oniony broth, catching bits of soaking bread. The smell took over the table, a warmingness. And because circumstances rarely match, and one afternoon can be a patchwork of both joy and horror, the taste of the soup washed through me. Warm, kind, focused, whole.”
— Aimee Bender, The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake
Maybe it lies somewhere deep in my French heritage.
At my late father’s knee, he taught…
“‘One thing,’ he said later, ‘it’s quick in space. Death. It’s over like that. You don’t linger. Most of the time you don’t even know it. You’re dead and that’s it.’”
— “The Rocket Man” by Ray Bradbury
I’d been expecting the news.
But it still comes as a shock: the death of a friend.
I’d been out the Saturday before Hallowe’en, slumming through my neighborhood thinking about buying a used hat. Winter was coming and I needed something to keep my head warm.
What are these things?
A collector knows them well. A collector thinks: “What do I have? What am I missing? What would complete my collection?”
I gravitate toward montage artists, collectors, discriminating selectors.
Hoarders, wastrels, bone rag bucket dippers — buh bye. I have no time for that.
So lately I’ve gone full-on protection mode. Head down, waiting for the bark of creativity. I can’t act on it even if the alarm went off, so I have to stay attentive and ready. I rested — A LOT. It felt good to feel rested. I’m fine with that.