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#067 Digging Deeper
Common Discourse is a project designed to help others (and ourselves) think through creativity, focus, and intentional work—from Alex Tan & Alice Otieno.
Every Tuesday we share words from a journal, a few ideas, a quote from somebody else, and links worth sharing. On Fridays we invite a guest to share images from their camera roll and a sound that resonates with them.
Happy Tuesday. Here’s another Weekly Briefing.
I keep thinking we’ll run out of ideas or links to share but we’ve realized that it just forces us to dig deeper and look past the answers that come easy. If you think Common Discourse is good now, we’re betting on it only getting better. If you don’t think it’s good now, maybe one day we’ll be good enough for you!
Have a good week y’all.
A few ideas
I. THE JUNK DRAWER
Almost every person I knew growing up had a ‘junk drawer’ in their home. A place to put things that might be useful later: Pens, paper clips, a pair of headphones… the list goes on.
As the junk drawer grows, it leaves less space for you to remember the contents of what’s inside.
You forget about the red pen you threw in there 9 months ago. Or the extra charging cable you had in your bag. Maybe the family recipe your aunt gave you for banana bread.
When you need it most, you end up spending the next 30 minutes digging through a sea of neglected items you’ve collected before deciding that you’ll just buy a new one.
A place for everything usually amounts to nothing.
II. A GOOD PLACE TO START
You may be the most inexperienced, unfit, or least knowledgable person in the room—all of which are great places to start.
Even the most extraordinary transformations require a beginning.
In recently history, we’ve created terms like “Instagrammable” as a response to something that we’d previously consider to be “beautiful”
But at best, Instagrammable is limited to “understandable”
In the short term, we’re rewarded for staying limited—For wearing a trendy outfit, showing that we have a lot of friends, or making it clear that we’re traveling in another country. People respond well to these kind of things because it takes a fraction of a second to view and understand what’s going on.
When we only make time for things we already understand, we leave little room for new challenges, growth, and progress.
It’s both a challenge and reward to contribute and consume in a way that forces us to stop and think for more than a fraction of a second.
A quote from somebody else
“Emily Dickinson’s iconic poem, “Forever is Composed of Nows,” presents the idea that every small moment is happening “now” and collectively adds up to “forever,” or a lifetime. What seems so intangible and distant is actually being created out of the experiences we have in the moment.”
Links worth sharing
🎧 The new Blood Orange project, Four Songs was on repeat daily last week. (Drop a link in the comments to a playlist, album or artist that’s been on your rotation recently!)
📽 Lost Dreams by Simon Wheatley is a photo book documenting the early emergence of grime and youth clubs in East London between 2005-2007.
🪑 wä dé is a project that’s putting African artists and creators at the forefront through storytelling, collaboration and the support of local independent business.
🎨 Colour and Response, an interview with Rachel V. Jones for Saint Heron
Thanks for consuming!
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🗣️ This project is more fun when there is dialogue amongst those who are reading. Use the comment feature at the bottom of this article to start a conversation, we’ll use your ideas for future briefings and food for thought.