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Grow In New Ways
"One really beautiful wrist motion, that is synchronized with your head and heart, and you have it. It looks as if it were born in a minute." -Helen Frankenthaler
Develop new interests. It’s one of the keys to staying interested and interesting. It could be cooking (with heirloom beans) or pickleball. It might be writing poetry or throwing pots. Maybe you care to investigate your family history to learn more about who you are and how you got here. There are an endless number of new things to explore, learn, and be enriched by.
For what it’s worth, I am taking my own advice and developing a deeper interest in art history and in painting. And the more I poke around art museums and online exhibits, and the more I pick up the paintbrush, the more I learn.
Last month, I learned about Stanton Macdonald-Wright (1890-1973) for the first time. He was a painter and teacher who, with Morgan Russell, founded the movement known as Synchromism. Synchromism proclaimed color to be the basis of expression in painting, and, although the movement was short-lived, according to Britannica, it was the first abstract art movement developed by American artists.
The Best People
I loathe the term, “best people” because I find the stench of elitism particularly foul. However, I am putting this aside for a moment because I do want to consider what Ernest Hemingway once said:
The best people possess a feeling for beauty, the courage to take risks, the discipline to tell the truth, the capacity for sacrifice. Ironically, their virtues make them vulnerable; they are often wounded, sometimes destroyed.
I wonder if Hemingway was looking in the mirror when he said that.
The line between wounded and destroyed is ever so thin. Wounded builds your character and gives you new opportunities to grow and learn. Destroyed means you’re done producing. The world, or the machine, or whatever the hell, crushed you and any big ideas you’re still clinging to. Game over.
As I consider where I’m at right now and where I’ve been, career-wise, I recognize that I do have a feeling for beauty, the courage to take risks, the discipline to tell the truth, and the capacity for sacrifice. There’s also no question that I have been wounded and that those wounds have impacted my progress and my psyche.
These wounds are things that I’ve never been comfortable talking about but my distant stance hasn’t helped me move past the pain. To do that, it takes action, and acknowledgment is an important form of action. I acknowledge that I placed too many chips in the advertising basket. I acknowledge that I cared too much about the work at times, and sometimes allowed my stubbornness and ego to get in the way.
People in the ad game love to say, “It’s all about the work.” I’ve learned just how false that maxim rings. It’s not all about the work. It’s all about your ability to work with and for people. And it’s all about the work you do on yourself to evolve, love, and share.
Monthly, or More?
Is the monthly newsletter an archaic formatting assumption? I like the concept and I’ve abided by it, here and elsewhere over the years. But I also recognize how one month of Internet time is a form of forever. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the matter.
I enjoyed this watercolors tutorial from the Museum of Modern Art.
What would you say in a letter to your future self?
Argentinian superstar Lionel Messi is lighting up the scoreboard for Inter Miami and doing a lot to grow Major League Soccer’s international reach and reputation.
I enjoy and admire the work of Abstract Expressionist, Helen Frankenthaler. Let me know if you’re a fan.
Boy Genius turned Twitter into X. In related news, ignorance and arrogance persist, while reason rusts.
History is a tough subject and one of the most important to study.
Thanks for being here now,
When you’re ready to run for office, grow a business, or spark a social change movement, please let me know.
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