Champagne Wishes and Caviar Dreams

“I always want to say to people who want to be rich and famous: ‘try being rich first.’ See if that doesn’t cover most of it. There’s not much downside to being rich, other than paying taxes and having your relatives ask you for money. But when you become famous, you end up with a 24-hour job…”

-Bill Murray quoted in Tim Ferris, “11 Reasons Not to Become Famous (or “A Few Lessons Learned Since 2007”)“. tim.blog. February 2, 2020.

Lest you think suddenly becoming rich is going to “cover most of it”, try reading this Reddit chestnut, “You just won a 656 Million Dollar Lottery. What do you do now?” Still want to be rich?

The same applies to power. People tend to be preoccupied with attaining fame, riches or power. All of them are soul destroying if you achieve them in any significant measure.

Add Phone-Free Walking to Your Day

“Find a way to add phone-free walking to your daily schedule. Make it non-negotiable. Make it easy. Skip a bus ride from your house to the station. Get off a station earlier on the way to work. Use 30 minutes of your lunch break to walk to a far-off cafe. The important thing is to leave the phone off the body. It can be in a backpack, that’s fine. Keep it out of easy reach. Even better: keep it at home. I don’t know if the lightness will register for you, but it does for me. Phone, no phone, two entirely separate universes. Like starting the day with the internet on or off. A totally different quality of time and thinking. For me, the phone removed or reduced to a simple tool brings me back to the walks, and in being brought back to the walks I remember the floating consciousness, and from that, if I’m lucky, a dollop of grace.”

—Craig Mod, “Responses to SMSs Part 4.” Ridgeline. January 28, 2020.

Also, “all the best tricks to life seem to sound reductive and dumb when you say them out loud.”

Benefit from Other People's Therapy

Some of my favorites from this thread:

Pace Yourself

Open Question: What does it mean to “pace yourself” in modern culture? Does it mean staying with something long enough, over time, to truly develop a relationship with the material and love it?

“There’s a willingness, there’s a faith, there’s a very, very magical alchemy that happens when somebody looks at something with enormous love and enormous passion—and it doesn’t matter what that material is. It can be a comic book page, it can be a silly story, and you don’t change it, but the way you look at it transforms it. Which is a very different exercise than postmodernism. Postmodernism or kitsch is me winking at you, saying ‘I know it’s silly, but I’m being ironic. I’m above the material.’ And for me, the transformative power of art is you are not above the material…

…I think it is amazing that I can travel with my iPad with thousands of movies. I think it is amazing that I can streamline thousands more. I think it is amazing that I can know what happened in far-flung countries, in one second. But it is up to us, as humans—one of our ethical tasks is to say, how am I going to pace myself? What am I focusing on? Because otherwise we live life in a blur. We’re texting and driving. So it is—media is not evil. The speed of media is not evil. What is toxic is that we don’t pace ourselves. That we’re not having dinner without texting; that we’re not capable of paying full attention to the moment we’re living. And that is true also of the cinematic discourse.”

-Guillermo del Toro in an interview with Lauren Wilford, “Death is the Curator: An Interview with Guillermo del Toro.” Bright Wall / Dark Room. Issue 44. February 2017.

This whole interview is packed with wisdom and might change the way you think about culture, particularly film. Read it.

The Fruit of the Moment

We are all here for our own reasons. Those reasons aren’t important. What is important is that we came and that our time together is short. Wring magic from these transient moments, while you can.

Fear being stuck more than falling, and falling more than the crocodile by the shore or the tiger in the jungle. In the end, it is often the difficulties that matter the most. Life will find you. Eventually, it finds us all. As will its opposite.

The meaning of life is that it ends. Being in this moment, balancing on the fulcrum between survival and the sublime, our lives are spent in the shin deep mud of necessity – slippery, slick and shifting – looking to pick fruit from the fertile field. No one comes out clean, but sometimes, we find something good to eat.

Relentlessly prune abstraction. Savor the fruit of this moment. It is all we have.

Roam

A note-taking tool for networked thought.As easy to use as a document. As powerful as a graph database. Roam helps you organize your research for the long haul.

Roam

I wanted to bookmark this for the future. I currently use org-mode in emacs for journaling and NextCloud Notes for a Keep replacement. But, this looks interesting.

Don't Mistake Theater for Your Reality

I, too, have been called names. I have found myself sharing the living and thinking space of people with Cluster B personality disorders. I have seen them conjure worlds, hammer manacles, and frame possible views with their words and beliefs. And while their tutelage was hard, I learned a great lesson, which I will share: Don’t mistake theater for your reality. The actors are playing a part, the play is an entertainment, of sorts, and you get to decide when and how far to suspend your disbelief. We, the audience and the actors, are the magicians. We make the rain, the good weather, and the fruit, and we are free to poison them in the interest of a better story.

I will cast my spells, act the role I have chosen, and say my lines. In the end, when the play is over, my only sincere wish is that it has all, at least, been entertaining. If they call me the fool, the villain, or even the hero during the play, have I not succeeded? People don’t want truth. They want to care about something. In a world where meaning is hard to find, we all most want, more than anything, to matter. The Matrix is both metaphor and the unvarnished truth of our times.

…Only Human After All

“We do tend to focus on the wrong things too much of the time and make a big deal out of things that are ultimately kind of inconsequential. Success is being able to not do that. So much of being happy in life—both as a person and as an artist—is just being able to put things in the right perspective. If your kids are healthy and if you have meaningful, loving relationships in your life, and you don’t have too many unresolved resentments, and you’re all about the business of learning to forgive yourself and other people, then you’re heading the right direction. And all of us can only do that so well, you know. We’re only human after all.”

—Michael McDonald in an interview with D. Cole Rachel, “Michael McDonald on keeping things in perspective.” The Creative Independent. July 5, 2017.

Real Life is a Game

“In this game of life there are two ways of living.

The shadow life and the hero’s journey.

In prison, or in freedom.

As a slave, or as warrior.

What makes the difference?

Your mind. The strongest of all weapons.

-/u/GameStartCancel, “Real life is a game.” reddit.com/r/selfimprovement. November 1, 2019.

While there are worse metaphors than understanding life as a game, or more specifically, a role playing game. It seems that a strong mind would understand that life is exactly what you decide to believe it is, nothing more or nothing less. Cite Viktor Frankl if you must. But, the whole world is mind-made, and you get to choose your metaphors too.