Seeing Is Editing

“Your job is to distill the essence.” William Zinsser, On Writing Well. This applies to writing and to seeing as well. Seeing is editing. You look out into the world and, mostly unconsciously, you notice a fraction of the stimulus available. The more familiar a focal point the less you notice, if anything at all. That’s why travel can be enlivening and shocking. Your brain has to spend cognition editing a new environment and deciding what to notice. When focusing on a subject, through drawing, photography, or writing you reclaim the steering wheel of your eyes. You decide what’s important …

The Art of Putting Things Out Place – Winner Of The Park

Dolores park in San Francisco is a spectacle every weekend. After the coconut rum, and magic truffles, there are dozens of people competing for attention in extravagant ways in the amphitheater-shaped lawn. A few years ago, I was sitting on a picnic blanket with my friend Nina and we came up with the term “winner of the park”. It’s a special trophy term for those who win the attention of the hundreds of people on that particular day, of which there are many competitors. On that day, the clear winner was a guy whipping the air, making a thunderous crack. …

The inner world as a source of clarity for travelers

 And as soon as I arrived in that place, I realized that none of that mattered and that, really, by being here, I would have so much more to offer my mother and my friends and my bosses. https://onbeing.org/blog/the-inner-world-is-a-great-undiscovered-terrain-pico-iyer/ I’m optimistic we are heading in the right direction. Michael Pollan’s new book will help. In a way, we are travelers now in a sea of stimulus.  

We need humanity – Charlie Chaplin

Written in 1940 and ever more relevant today. From the Great Dictator with Charlie Chaplin We have developed speed, but we have shut ourselves in. Machinery that gives abundance has left us in want. Our knowledge has made us cynical. Our cleverness, hard and unkind. We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery we need humanity. More than cleverness we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost….  

11-27-16 – my bird house

This is my morning tree. What seems to be hundreds of birds live in there as if their own apartment building. I plan my day in their improvised symphony. My brain feels as noisy as the soundscape with thoughts competing for attention. Projects. Businesses. Ideas. Studies. Appointments. Futurethink. I take a half hour here to plan how I’ll spend the waking day. I dread flapping and circling in an anxious overdose of freedom. Thousands of miles away from where I was born and another thousand miles away from where I grew up, I find it strange that a perch like …