Hello my people! It is your Chief Curator of Inspiration here.
Meet Todd Henry
Where did that come from? I've been "pre-reading" a new book by Todd Henry, the Accidental Creative, called "Louder Than Words". And so, earlier today, while finishing up his book, that title came to me as far as one of the things I do. I curate inspiration. Pulling from this source and that source to encourage people to live their own adventure and trade in boring for brilliant. I've had the privilege to be part of Todd's book launch team and send him a few questions, so once he answers, I'll be posting those. The book releases on August 11th. If you don't know who he is, get to know him. His prior book, "Die Empty" was a huge part of my quest for my passion and pursuit of adventure. I did not want to die with my best work inside of me, and so here we are. He remains one of the biggest creative inspirers in my life.
What I Learned
It has been a whirlwind summer. I've been on so many adventures, learned so many things, been so many places. In the last year alone the amount of places I've gone is staggering, compared to the four or five years prior. Here are a few things I've learned so far:
I need trees. I need to hear the wind in them, I need to see their vivid colors, need to be near them. And thus, I do not care for the desert. Too hot and too exposed. I can appreciate it as a different kind of beauty, but not for me.
I need space. I get very stimulated by too much activity around me (a little known quality of introverts). I have to have a place I can retreat to. Too many people drain me and I have to recharge on my own. I like to see and hear neighbors, but I don't want them right on top of me.
I need nature. I feel most at rest when I can be outside. Whether that means sitting on a deck reading or writing, taking a walk, getting in the water, being near water, or any other way to get out into nature, I crave the peacefulness of being outside. The concrete jungle is not for me, nor can I stand being cooped up inside all day either.
As always, there are a slew of things to be grateful for. I haven't written a "Best Things" since Friday. I had a busy weekend, and this is what I appreciated most over the last five days:
Housesitting. I wrapped up my job housesitting on the houseboat, and now I am out at a Victorian country home. The wind rustles in the trees, clouds grace the horizon and a train whistle blows in the distance. I can see the edge of the hills in the distance, a darker blue than the sky. Birds call and twitter, somewhere a lawnmower starts and the breeze carries snippets of the neighbors' conversation. Not a bad way to spend an afternoon. My soul feels rested and recharged.
Birthdays. On Sunday I had the privilege of attending my goddaughter Bailey's birthday party. She opted for an Optimus Prime Transformers party. Such a cool, unique girl. And she's only six!
Karaoke. We haven't been to Chopsticks III for quite a while. What a fun night! I got to spend it with some folks from Open Mic that I don't really know and we had a great mix of people. I think another one will be coming around soon. Everyone did incredibly well, the singing was awesome!!
Open Mic. Every Monday, at Corkscrew Wine Bar in Sellwood, my friends host a great open mic. I read a new poem I wrote (the first one in nearly two years) and listened to some very talented musicians play some great music. My attendance has been hit or miss for me this summer, mostly miss. The list filled up with 20 attendees and my well of inspiration filled up at the same time. I suppose it's time for me to ante up and play some of the songs I've written. Chris and Jen have built a strong, supportive community of the most amazing people. You should drop by and listen if ever you are in the neighborhood.
Relationships. This is a constant because I have such good ones and I'm so blessed by every single one of them. This summer has also been a lot of re-connecting old relationships, forging new ones and maintaining the ones that have been a constant in my life. How can I not be grateful for them?
Work. This comes in many forms for me. Driving is what I do to pay my bills. Lyft and Uber, for now, and a few odd jobs. My true work is writing. I feel a clarity coming back to me in the last week or so that has been a little lacking. Fresh ideas for both of my books and a desire to complete them and get them published. Resistance still tries to keep me safe, keep me from getting them out there, but that is a cheap way to live. No more. I am figuring out this new way of being an independent contractor, without a guaranteed salary. It's the first time in 25 years of working that I have no idea what my salary will be. It is a little terrifying at times. And, sometimes I feel guilty because I don't work 40 hours a week. But, my vocation is writing. So whatever I do in regards to bringing money in has to be in support of that. 40 hours a week of working takes my best energy from me, so for now, I'm not doing it. Period. On that I will not compromise.