It is up to the wanderers to remake the city into something that ignites the imagination.*
All types of skill teach us the same deep truth: that the more we can immerse ourselves into the forces at play the more freedoms we have.**
We don’t have to just get through another day; Seth Godin asks:
What if we saw opportunities instead of tasks? Chances instead of risks?^
It’s a different way of seeing, and how we see is a choice.
I began my day trying to be more mindful of the things I do not want to take for granted: electricity, a shower, clean clothes, clean water … .
I take this into being more open to the things that prime my day, such as the readings that lead into this blog and the story I came upon from Barry Yeoman who was told that although he was a really good writer he would never be able to become a reporter:
Years ago, an editor told me outright that he wouldn’t hire a stutterer, even though I was the best-qualified candidate.^^
This story connects for me with seeing, Yeoman choosing to act upon rather be acted upon, developing a sensitivity in his reporting to those who have their own struggles, and he would also become a better listener rather than an interrupter:
The other lesson my stutter has offered me is simple: Shut up and listen. I don’t particularly like the physical effort of speaking. So I’m content to ask others to tell me their stories, then sit back, take notes, and make eye contact. I don’t feel compelled to fill the silences; I know someone will fill them, and I prefer it be the interviewee. By listening intently, then following up with gentle questions about missing details, I often wind up with richer, more nuanced stories.^^
Today could be another day to get through or we can change the day, but without the pixie dust:
Only because do not understand everything and because we cannot control the future is it possible to live and to be human.*^
Wallace Stevens wrote about how we must bring the power of our imagination to the pressure of reality. When we get this right, neither overcomes the other but something new is formed. We can choose to notice more and find ourselves more than able to act upon our day.
(*From Keri Smith’s The Wander Society.)
(**From Bill Sharpe’s Three Horizons.)
(^From Seth Godin’s blog: Just getting through the day.)
(^^From Barry Yeoman’s The Saturday Evening Post article: Finding My Voice.)
(*^Iona Heath, quoted in Bill Sharpe’s Three Horizons.)