Hi there. Me again. It’s been a while. Once you’ve stopped doing something on a semi-regular or scheduled basis and that gap in time starts to grow, it feels like you have to do something great if you want to start again. Make some huge commitment or declaration. It starts off as pressure to write something a little clever, clever grows into meaningful, which turns into spectacular eventually. Or at least coherent, with a clear narrative and direction. I have to tell them what the plan is–and it needs to be good. There used to be sort of a plan, more or less (quoting Special Agent Oso, that’s where we are in life). People knew what to expect. (Of course they didn’t, and they weren’t expecting anything, but I sort of knew what they could expect.)
The question that I ask myself next is: who is this THEM?, this imagined audience to whom I write. At first I thought (like, a few minutes ago), just write to the universe. Tell the universe what you’re thinking, what might be next. Then I reminded myself that at least one friend has added this blog to her RSS feed. So hi Leigh, I’m either writing this for you, or for the universe.
So Leigh and universe, since we haven’t had many chances to talk recently, here’s what’s up. I’m planning to start blogging again. I’m actually planning to start some kind of business. Here’s the thing: I have ideas (lots of ideas) about things to write about, things to learn, stuff to discover, tools to develop and share. I think some of these things would even be interesting and helpful to other people. I’m happy to do the work. I want to do the work. I love doing work, truth be told. I like connecting with other people. I see a huge need in the world (who doesn’t!) and I’d like to contribute my tiny spark. And in some way help other people contribute their tiny sparks too. The question I keep running up against is, in what way is this a business? I’m not going to put advertising on a blog. I get really annoyed every time some giant ad from a website I was just visiting pops up when I’m trying to figure out how to get my sink to drain or read about what lice look like (coast is clear). Yes, it is a company I purchase from, I will come to you when I need something, please don’t put your ads on every page I visit, particularly if you sell lingerie.
Here’s my reality: I have to earn some money during the time I spend not taking care of my kids. And the even shorter-term reality is that I have to get my kids in 30 minutes (from now). So I would like to figure out a way to create a business and do what I love, but I love a lot of things, some are more useful to other people than others, and I haven’t quite figured it out. I’m working on figuring it out. And I’m going to start writing again. Initially on this blog but I think the larger plan is to start something new, with some particular direction and clarity. I will of course share via this blog what the new thing is. I have some ideas that revolve in some way around heroes and villains, board games, star charts, checklists, tools, upcycling, philosophy, books, money, clutter, America, the world. Among others.
Maybe music and video too.
Now I’m going to throw something out there that will not be well developed here but is a tiny seed. I’ve had in my mind something that I read in an essay, “On Freedom,” by Einstein. He writes of two goals that he thinks most people would agree on, the second being:
“2. The satisfaction of physical needs is indeed the indispensable precondition of a satisfactory existence, but in itself it is not enough. In order to be content men must also have the possibility of developing their intellectual and artistic powers to whatever extent accord with their personal characteristics and abilities.”
I read this back in the late fall/early winter, soon after the experience of the 40 till 40 countdown. It has stayed with me and has been whispering to me since then that something contained in this essay is the organizing principle for the work I would like to do. When I read it, I wondered (immediately), what is it that gets in the way of developing intellectual and artistic powers? I presumably have my essential physical needs met, so where are the barriers for me? Where are the barriers for my neighbors? And where are the cultural barriers to figuring out systems that meet both the first and the second type of needs for more people?
I’m not being clear about this here at all, but I wanted to write something down to put it out there to you, vast universe, and you too Leigh, and to work and wait and watch and listen and cook and plant and clean and practice patience and show love (I’m practicing showing love) and keep putting words down and looking for teachers and learning new things and nursing the spark. And hoping that you are nursing your spark too.