The Points Still Count

"Without a ruler to do it against, you can’t make crooked straight." — Seneca

song in my head—”Real World” by Matchbox Twenty

We would all do better in the wilderness with a guide, someone to show us the lay of the land—where not to go, what areas are good to explore, etc. And I don't think it limits our experiences to have boundaries of a sort.

Guides don't have to be "rulers," per se, though there are aspects of life that should inspire stricter order. For the purposes of the artist, I think the best guides leave some wiggle room, some space for improvisation and exploration. I don't think a healthy aim for life (or our work) is to plan on making one perfect, impossible shot after another. That's not realistic. Instead, think of guides as goalposts in football. The kicker has a range in which to score points. It doesn't matter if the ball goes straight down the center or barely eeks in. The points still count either way.

—G

Control

song in my head — “The Ballad of Love and Hate” by The Avett Brothers

“There are more things… likely to frighten us than there are to crush us; we suffer more often in imagination than in reality.” - Seneca

Anxiety seems part of the human condition. But as many have pointed out throughout history, most of our grave concerns are in our heads. If we indeed were as afraid as we sometimes appear to be, we would never leave the house. Much greater are the scenarios built up in our minds than those we are likely to actually encounter.

It's a matter of faith and control, and the gentle harmony between them. Do we try to control the things that are out of our control? Do we have faith that some things will take care of themselves?

As you loosen control, your confidence in life's natural rhythms can grow. Hold onto your sense of power too tightly, and the only thing you're liable to suffocate is not anxieties but yourself.

— G