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#088 What A Feeling
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. Words from the Journal come once a month.
I find it funny that a rubber ball covered in yellow felt has a death grip on me. I’ve watched so many videos on form, technique, and mechanics. I know the swing path, I know I need to loosen my grip, and I know that I need to hit through the ball. And many times, all of that knowledge fails me.
My tennis trainer encourages me to find the feeling.
“I know you know what you’re supposed to do. You just need to find it and feel it. Trust yourself.”
Maybe the best advice I’ve ever gotten that sounds like the worst advice in the world is to stop thinking. I find it relevant in so many other areas of my life.
There was a time where I looked up synonyms of words to sound more intelligent because I was insecure as a writer. There was a time where I knew a lot about image making but still struggled to connect my taste to my ability. There was a time where I’d mimic the mannerisms of strangers because I wanted them to like me.
And of course, there was a time where I stopped over-thinking these things and I liked the outcome.
What a feeling.
A few ideas
I. LOVE AND ATTENTION
Think about the impact of a hand written letter, a song made for somebody, or an unexpected surprise.
In all of these, the maker is focused on a single person until it’s been delivered.
Love and attention are the same.
II. BEYOND ORIGINAL INTENT
The most impactful experiences of my life have been marked by going beyond the original intent.
Clicking on another link, flipping through the book next to the one you were searching for, asking one more question.
Give into your curiosity.
III. SUDDEN LOSS
We never need new technology until it’s been revealed to us.
Horses got us from point A to B before cars. Humans got the job done before you could press a button on a machine. And the work that you and I do today was somehow possible before the Internet.
But what if it all disappeared? The world would be in crisis.
People love to talk about the risk of new technology, but it’s likely the sudden loss of it that will break us.
A faster, smarter, and more nimble world winds up being the most fragile.
A quote from somebody else
“Nature loves courage. You make the commitment and nature will respond to that commitment by removing impossible obstacles. Dream the impossible dream and the world will not grind you under, it will lift you up. This is the trick. This is what all these teachers and philosophers who really counted, who really touched the alchemical gold, this is what they understood. This is the shamanic dance in the waterfall. This is how magic is done. By hurling yourself into the abyss and discovering it's a feather bed.”
— Terence McKenna
Links worth sharing
🏹 Tangent is an online and paper-based content platform publishing writing about architecture. Ringing true to its name, the platform is designed to encourage both readers and writers to pay attention to the connection between things that may appear dissimilar upon first glance.
📍Here, Again by Lupe meditates on change and how travelling to unfamiliar environments allows us to uncover new parts of ourselves.
🧚 I listened to Cellophane by FKA Twigs for the first time in a long time, while on FaceTime with a friend this weekend. I had forgotten just how incredible the song is.
🧭 OpenStreetMap Haiku is a site that generates automated poems about different landmarks and locations in the world.
📆 Buster's Notes / Life in Weeks records meaningful events that have happened in their life and tracks how much of an influence those factors have had.
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