Steal This Idea (I did.)

It’s radical (I’m about to demonstrate): Ask for what you want. From others. Directly.

Okay, I don’t think I have to belabor that, do I? Maybe it’s not such a radical idea for some people: management types, community organizers, politicians. But for us creatives, and for most people in a nonprofessional situation, making a simple direct request is challenging. Read more

Everyone Knows This About You

Were you ever told never to show up without a present for the hostess? Does it feel wrong not to have a “little something” to give when you go somewhere as a guest? This message wants you to imagine showing up with nothing but yourself. How would that feel? Naked? Ungrateful? Not enough? Getting in for free?

It is very good to see what comes up here. It is not bad to come with a hostess gift, but it is much better to do it out of love and generosity than out of a sense of making up for something that you inherently lack. Read more

Cleaning House

For better or worse, I am a natural organizer.  I can sort and categorize, chop it up, rearrange, toss and recycle madly, easily.  I can think like you think, then I can break it all up into something else.  I don’t usually know at the outset how long it’s taken you to build up your layers, but at some point pretty early on, the tearing down is complete, in my head — long before I’ve touched the first pile.

It’s too late to be chronological about my summer project:  I’ve already begun clearing out The House.  It’s the house my spouse’s (we decided against “wife”) grandparents lived in when Gram died, the house she was born in.  Her parents built and lived in it after they were married.  I have turned the first pile (compost metaphor intended), and it is accurate to say that neither Gram nor her mother, Helen, threw anything away. How the menfolk managed to live in among, down, behind, or through all that saving is beyond me, but they did. Read more

mastering the moment

Joy is…

She stands, head leveled at an unseen, felt, impending stirring, and she whines a little, nothing unusual. She whines a little more, and I look up to see her one front paw rising a little from the ground as if she’s trying out a new step or offering finally to let me clip her nails. I absurdly notice that her claws are clipped evenly, at about the same time that I see that she has started to tremble and that now her other paw is coming up, and now she is starting to flop for the door. Read more