Passion vs Risk

September 18, 2013

Why haven’t I left yet?

Let’s see.

A job here, and no job there. No lease-end date to spur the packing of boxes; no lease at all, actually.

No catalyst, except for my love of the damn place.

I love it, and I’m not saying I’m not doing it, but there’s a lot about it that gives me pause.

There’s the notion of leaving life as I know it, but that’s never bothered me as much as it has excited me.

There is… not a fear, exactly, but a hesitation. A terrifying possibility that I will give everything I know up to be in this place that I love, a place where I feel most like myself, and that I’ll be so busy struggling to keep my head above water financially that I won’t be able to enjoy the fact that I’m finally there.

Talking it out with Marilyn today was revealing, as she was trying to be helpful and said, “Let’s figure out what would make it better or more palatable to stay.” and my reaction was almost visceral, surprising both of us: “No! No. I’m not staying. I’m going. Let’s figure out how to make it more palatable for me to go, despite the possible difficulties.”

Passion and risk, going head to head.

So I’ll grant myself the things I know I not only want, but that I know on some level I need. I’ll try to squeeze a “big trip” in before the end of the year, preferably inside of the next four weeks. And I’ll continue to keep my ear to the ground about employment there, the projects here, places to live, all the little pieces that need to fall into place to make this happen.

Terrifying, but also: thrilling.

Keep the fire going.





Snippets: 6-10 September, 2013

September 11, 2013

6 September

Laura Marling, “The Beast” LISTEN


7 September

Actively working on allowing myself to show vulnerability, which can be downright frightening for me. This has helped.

TED Talk – Brené Brown: The power of vulnerability


8 September

First time seeing Beth Orton live tonight. She walked onto the stage, elegant but completely unassuming. By the time she sang the third note, I was completely disarmed, and remained so for the next ninety minutes as she weaved her way through older songs, newer ones, the unfamiliar, the old favorites. She’s the real deal; I’m loving the new album.

Beth Orton – “Magpie”


9 September

It’s especially difficult for me when people in my life make (inaccurate) assumptions about me. I have made it a goal to be as open and, sometimes to my own detriment, as direct as possible. I’m an open book. This is as true if you really know me as it is if you’ve been exposed to my frequent oversharing on social media, not in the interest of shock value or entertainment, but to keep a record of my thoughts, my reactions, what I wanted to share in a particular moment.

So if there’s something you’d like to know, or were wondering about, here’s your invitation to ask. Sometimes (especially in these “snippets”) there are names omitted or context left out, but I’d much rather be asked than have someone in my life (especially if we’re friends) shove the puzzle pieces together to make them fit a certain way.


10 September

Went to the Chicago stop of Doug Aitken’s Station to Station. Fantastic. I really wish we used the Great Hall at Union Station more often, it’s such a majestic space.

Here’s Thurston Moore with his jammin pouty face:



Urs Fischer brought us this installation/performance, kid playing acoustic guitar and singing a song while lying on a bed in a bedroom with a disco ball.

That kid looks like Kurt.



Mavis Staples, soulful and magnificent.




So much more, but I can’t show it all, I guess. It was time well spent. I’m trying to nourish the soul as best I can to prepare myself for the ramp-up to madness at work. Got a jumpstart on that today.

Time to pack the flask.





Snippets: 1-5 September, 2013

September 5, 2013

1 September

An email from the yoga studio in Barcelona where I practiced a year ago today brings back the ache for Spain. It also reminds me of wonderful experiences and adventures, and of just how vast our fortunes can be. Next adventure!



2 September

There’s nothing quite like spending time with people who know you, the real you, and your history, even the parts that aren’t so pretty. I imagine this is the feeling a lot of people get from spending their time with family, unfortunately not so with me. For years now, actually most of my life, I’ve been a creature of these families we make up as we go along. A “Bliss of another kind”.


3 September
Weekly horoscope from Madame Clairvoyant:

Leo: This is a week for joy and a funny kind of sweetness, even if it’s hard to find, even if you have to make it up, even if you have to rip it straight from thin air. It’s a week for settling into calm patterns of motion, for tracing the threads of goodness that run through you, for feeling open to the sky, open to different voices, open to the wet sweet smell of the early morning. Go to bed early and dream about colors, dream about flying. Listen to old love songs, pet the dogs on your street, eat fruit.

Read yours:


4 September

We lie together in the dark, whispering and touching and probably more comfortable than we should be with each other. It’s new, it’s nice; there are no promises, no expectations, no hopes, no letdowns. Just the exploration of each other’s bodies. I’ve craved this for quite some time, I realize.


5 September

More than ever, and this may be a product of the age we live in or my chronological age, I seem to be surrounded with people who are actively chasing their passions, making their loves and hobbies their careers, in some cases sacrificing the traditional paycheck for doing what it really is they want to DO.

And this is key. I’ve got the same fire, but I’m trying to narrow my focus while staying motivated. This applies to so many things: the geographical move, the “what’s next” in my career, etc. I’m in the middle of “Do The Work” by Steven Pressfield. Fantastic read if you’re looking to light your own fire.

Two quotes from it. Good stuff.


“Picasso painted with passion, Mozart composed with it. A child plays with it all day long.

You may think you’ve lost your passion, or you can’t identify it, or that you have so much of it, it threatens to overwhelm you. None of these is true.

Fear saps passion.

When we conquer our fears, we discover a boundless, bottomless, inexhaustible well of passion.

When art and inspiration and success and fame and money have come and gone, who still loves us—and whom do we love?”


“Don’t prepare. Begin.

Remember, our enemy is not lack of preparation; it’s not the difficulty of the project, or the state of the marketplace or the emptiness of our bank account.

The enemy is our chattering brain, which, if we give it so much as a nanosecond, will start producing excuses, alibis, transparent self-justifications and a million reasons why we can’t/shouldn’t/won’t do what we know we need to do.

Start before you’re ready.

Good things happen when we start before we’re ready. For one thing, we show huevos. Our blood heats up. Courage begets more courage. The gods, witnessing our boldness, look on in approval.”