“Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth,
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds — and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of …”
– John Gillespie Magee’s “High Flight”
Writing is yoga for the brain
If you are forcing it then it’s not yoga. Listen to your body
Anyone can write, but story telling is a gift.
Gifted story tellers take the reader’s hand with an invitation to travel with them as the story unfolds. No reader left behind.
As I left the house this morning there was a gentle offshore wind blowing, the ground was wet from morning rain and there was still a bite in the air. A typical spring morning in Northern California. Weather patterns can evoke memories, just like smells and sounds. This particular combination of notes took me back to Mexico.
In the spring of 2003 I was on the west coast of Mexico with two buddies. We had slowly moved down the coast, camping in beach villages along the way and surfing every morning. If the surf was good and the people were friendly then we would stay a while. The ritual was the same. Wake up before sunrise, slowly crawl out of a too small tent, fuel the belly with some instant oats, try to warm up a bit and paddle out. Like clockwork, the wind was always a light offshore before switching to a pumper onshore at around 10ish in the morning. The key was to get out early with the offshore wind and catch the swell when it was glassy and smooth. Crowds were never a problem. The rest of the day was spent sleeping, reading and playing cards away from the wind and sun. Just before sundown as everything started to cool again, the wind would die down and switch back to offshore. It was time to suit up and paddle out for a cheeky sunset surf. Good times.
Pattern recognition is combination of things, like the time of year, sights, sounds, smell and state of mind, but when it clicks into place it’s great to revisit a moment and savor it. Be open to it and explore it when it happens.
Want to be an agent of change? Frustrated about what you can do to help?
Get proximate, go deep and start small. Stop trying solve problems from a distance. Work through the details. The devil is in the detail. The more you understand, the more compassion you will have.
By getting proximate I mean start with your own community, friends and family. Tweeting and posting to social media creates an illusion of action. Being physically proximate is greater than being digitally proximate. Being proximate fuels compassion.
When making any decision start with compassion and love. When carrying out the decision, do it with compassion and love.
Small changes and small interactions add up over time.
“If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way”
Martin Luther King