Neither you nor anyone else asked, but here are is a list of recommended (by me) reading/viewing/listening for this week (titles are linked to the respective sites):
“Governing by numbers is the last resort of a country that no longer knows what it wants, a country with no vision of utopia.”
A presentation of ideas regarding our economic and social structures we often take for granted, this book is a refreshing take on how we got here and what we can do to improve. Bregman challenges our notions of what work can and ought to be, and how resources can be distributed more fairly, including the most important resource: time. I will maybe write more about this sometime but I’m not educated enough and I also am guilty of not creating any wealth, just moving it around. So I feel bad.
I spend the majority of my waking (and sometimes sleeping) life with my earbuds in. We can discuss that another time. The point is, I’ve noticed my audio consumption has dramatically shifted toward podcasts over the last couple of years. Many shows pile up and I regularly work through the backlog, but one pod I consistently listen to when an episode comes available is Behind the Bastards. This show provides the backstory and analysis of some of the worst people in history. Luckily with a dash of humor thrown in because the world is terrible.
As of this posting, only three episodes have come out, but so far I’ve loved the shiny surface with ominous undertones aesthetic (I like to be unsettled!) along with some compelling performances. The mystery provides a good hook, but the gradual revealing of characters through their interactions has been the anchor of the show. Wait no, the anchor is the sense of existential dread that permeates everything, which I relate to. Spend your entertainment time in this way.
Wonder can be the first thing to go when we are entrenched in monotony . Many times in my life when I’ve felt disconnected, distant, and/or dull, I have come to realize that during those times I lost my sense of wonder.
I don’t know how to get it back, but many times when I did get it back, it was sparked by travel. Sometimes it comes easy and you see something incredible, either something you’ve always imagined seeing or something you could never dream of. It hits you in that moment and you feel small in the most comforting way. Maybe the moment is sudden and emotional, maybe not, but you feel lucky.
Make no mistake, after I discovered the ability of travel to awaken, I have taken trips with the express purpose of creating the conditions for an encounter with wonder and I came away with no noticeable transformation. No message from on high. No angel trumpets. But those trips weren’t for nothing. The seeds were there.
Routines are necessary to free the mind to think bigger, to go beyond one’s self, but routines can also make us feel like the world is smaller than it is. There is no better way to break routine, to get out of a rut, than to go somewhere else if you have the means. It doesn’t even necessarily have to be somewhere new, it just shouldn’t feel like home. And I mean home in the ordinary sense of the word. Your house, your stuff, your car, your job, your grocery store, your town. Get away from it. Be out of your element. It doesn’t have to be far. Embrace the freedom in simply going from one place to another, and back again.*
*Or maybe you are good at meditating and you don’t need any of this.
There is something about holding art you’ve made in your hands which provides a level of satisfaction that digital versions, no matter how much you enjoy them, can’t replicate. Although originally I had the intention of producing a photography book, I found that idea to be a bit ambitious considering my volume of work is in the beginning stages. So I landed on the idea of making a magazine which included not only a collection of photos but also some writing as that is also a hobby (though somewhat diminished the last few years) of mine.