Thursday, July 11, 2013

I Like It When Nature Likes Me

"Great ideas originate in the muscles." I saw this Edison quotation on the chalkboard at my yoga studio. Appropriate, considering how many of my best ideas show up during class. Or any workout, for that matter. Solvitas perambulatorum. Once you figure out how powerful that process is, your entire relationship with exercise changes forever. You can't wait to get on the bike. Because you know that by the time your shirt is soaking wet, something brilliant will float to the surface. Other than farts.

"I like it when nature likes me." Last year I officially fell in love with nature. But not in the typical, granola, save the whales kind of way. I still hate bugs. And you couldn't get me to go camping if Jesus was building the fire. But as a human being, I have an inherent need to connect with something bigger than myself. I've tried to satisfy that need in a variety of ways, but nature seems to be my favorite option. Nature, I can count on. Nature, I can prove. Nature, I can physically see and know that I'm a part of. Inspired by an interview with David Sedaris.

"Solitary confinement is the infliction of a permanent disfigurement." The initial prospect of working alone is highly attractive. Nobody to answer to. Nobody to deal with. Nobody to distract your work. Nobody, nobody, nobody. But after a few years of working out of the living room in your underpants, the novelty of solitude starts to fade like porkfat dissolving in handsoap and water. You feel disconnected from the world. I remember getting to the point where I had to make myself leave the house to go get coffee, just to interact with other human beings. And I don't even like coffee. Yikes. The other thing is, prolonged solitude has aftershocks. After working alone for ten years, I recently shifted my worklife to a collaborative team environment. Which has been amazing, but my prolonged solitude has decimated my capacity to relate socially. It's like learning how to ride a bike again. Double yikes. Inspired by an article about our prison system.

"How can you make real sex more attractive than internet porn?" Douglas Rushkoff dreams of a world where people are just as seduced by reality than technology. Sounds like paradise to me. I'm not a luddite by any means, but I'd rather have analog beguile me into submission than have digital sneak up on me from behind. There's just something about the physicality, the tactile nature of things we can touch and smell and taste that can't be beat. Kindle is an amazing tool, but I miss underlining sentences. I miss the sound of the pen scratching paper. Hell, I even miss the paper cuts between my fingers. 

"Is your business treasured or do people just give you money?" This is my favorite passage in Hugh Macleod's new book. Reminds me of my neighborhood market. Out of seventeen thousand bodegas in the city, this is the one I treasure. Every day, I walk through the door hoping they will give some joy to me, and they always deliver. I don't have to work hard to do business with them. Their sandwiches are super tasty. And the cashiers often play jokes on their customers. That's how it's done, son.