Love the art in yourself

I’ve spent the last week with the words of playwrights, actors, poets, philosophers, and directors. An eclectic mix, to say the least. What I’ve gathered in my journey is a collection of thoughts on acting, theatre, and art.

Constantin Stanislavski said to love the art in yourself, not your self in the art. For me, I think he’s warning against getting too big for your breeches. And that can happen anywhere, in any occupation.

When you get to feeling like you’re the best thing since sliced bread, even if you happen to be the best thing since sliced bread, something is wrong. Humility goes a long way in keeping you working. In keeping you producing. It’s when you start to lost that humility that you think anything you do is above reproach.

As the Chinese proverb says, the higher up, the greater the fall.

Commitment

Much like I committed to a post a day on this blog, I’ve committed now to maintaining my morning pages for the duration of my new notebook. That should be a little over two months, if I’ve done my math right.

This last notebook I missed more days than I care to count. But when I started in November of 2015, I know that some miraculous things started to happen in my life. I’m curious to see what will come of it now.

And that’s what commitment can reveal. Stick to it, whether it’s new healthy habits, or creative endeavors, or just giving a little bit more – to family, at work, or wherever. You get out what you put in.

If you really commit to it, it seems you get more out than what you’re putting in.

Wit

I was doing some research about playwrights, when I came across an interesting fact:

Pulitzer Prize winner Margaret Edson, for her play Wit, remains a public school teacher with no plans to write another show.

I love this. This woman had an incredible story to tell – worked hard to get it produced – saw accolades and acknowledgment for her effort – and continued to teach, because she loved it.

We’re not all one thing. Sometimes it’s not what we do for work that defines us. No employee is just an employee, and no one should forget what kind of dreams and drive that others may have.

Margaret Edson is a teacher. And a playwright.

What are you?

Artistry

So much of what we do has migrated to the digital experience that it’s easy to forget the artistry behind things. The iPhone, for instance, is a beautiful device. But it replaced many things in its prevalence – the wristwatch, the pen and pad, the GPS, maps, even the desktop computer.

Yes, there are pockets of usage. And I do see them growing in popularity – look at companies like Moleskine or Citizen. Everyday items, simplistic and elegant, and still in use.

Look at the items we consume, and those that we keep. What is it about them that makes them so useful, and special, to us?

Seeing those common threads give you an inkling as to what you might treasure in other things as well.

Purchases

I’ve been on something of a spending moratorium. (I’m feeling broke, though I don’t like using that word. It implies something is wrong with me, rather than my financial footing. So when I’m telling myself that I need more work; that I’m broke –  I’ll usually stop and say, “I feel like I don’t have enough money.”)

Anyway, it seems that all the money I’m making goes towards bills, which has been the case the past couple of months. However there are some purchases I’ve made that have been well worth the investment.

First, my Sony noise-cancelling headphones. I bought them just over a year ago now. They have been used while traveling, in meditation, for walks and occasionally exercise, and when I’m working at home. They are a marvelous invention, and for years I said I didn’t need them. Now I’m so glad I have a pair.

A Patagonia Better Sweater Fleece Vest. I think I got this early in the year, maybe around February. It was just starting to get warmer, and in Florida we don’t think about cooler weather all that much. But again, I’m so glad I have it. I wore it for much of my time Alaska this summer, and it just hit the sixties here last night. Besides, I’ll be up in Pennsylvania later this month as well.

And finally, another purchase I’m loving this year, my Parker ’51 Fountain pen. Now, I bought this at an antique store for $5, so it wasn’t really a splurge. But I cleaned it up, and it works perfectly. My morning journal entries are written with a Lamy AL-Star fountain pen, but everything else I use my Parker for. I carry it with me everywhere. Currently I’m filling it with a Pilot Iroshizuku teal ink.

And over the past twelve months, these have been my most used items. I was gifted a pocketknife that I carry with me everywhere. So that gets used a lot as well. But these items bring me a lot of joy. Every time I look at them, or use them, I’m so glad that I have them.

That is what purchases should be. Something that will bring you continued joy over the course of their lives. Otherwise it could just become clutter. (Don’t worry, I have that too…)

Weekly Roundup

Another week, but the first of November. This year is really flying by.

What I’m reading: Dracula by Bram Stoker. Maybe I should have read this in October, but I didn’t have the idea until I started working on my NaNoWriMo project. I tried once when I was younger, but I couldn’t get very far into it. It reads better for me now, and I hope to have it done this weekend. Plus, since I couldn’t find my paperback I just downloaded a free copy on iBooks.

What I’m listening to: Tim Ferriss Show from October 17 – the Random Show with guest Kevin Rose. So, I used to watch Kevin Rose and Leo Laporte on TechTV (this was quite while ago). Hearing this interview was inspirational in a bunch of ways. For one, I myself am a Japanophile, as are Rose and Ferriss. They discuss Japan, travel, entrepreneurship, and really enjoying life. And I think it all comes down to enjoying life.

What I’m spending time with: I’ve been working on a project with a friend of mine. About a year ago I had the idea for a resource for performers, and we’re putting the finishing touches on it. It hasn’t been all that time consuming, but I’m glad that I get to tick one project off the list.

Other things of interest: