The Big Magic of Elizabeth Gilbert….🎩

As I go through the incredibly stressful experience of trying to sort out my new app and get it up and running (programmers have been less

live creatively, no fear

Author Elizabeth Gilbert

than honest by trying to induce money out of me to keep making unnecessary changes and it’s still not working properly – working on this) I have been looking for inspiration and encouragement in the world.

I found that encouragement this past week from a podcast interview with the writer Elizabeth Gilbert. The podcast is On Being, as many of you already know I listen to pretty regularly. It was a re-broadcast but who cares when it hits right when you need it, am I right?

Here are some of the ab-fab points that I absorbed like a sponge:

1) The people who will lead and have the most followers in the future will be the people who can hold diametrically opposed ideas in their heads at the same time (as life is not and has never been black & white, only shades of gray).

no fear creativity

No Fear

2) The idea that we have made creativity, which is our unique superpower as humans (we are makers), precious and elite to the point where we convince most people that they don’t possess the ability to access it. We have degraded the idea of creativity and with it degraded ourselves.

3) Creative living is choosing the path of curiosity over the path of fear. AND…choosing to live a life of curiosity is living life as a work of art, a spirit of being (I LOVE this idea!).

4) Society fetishizes passion when most of life is pretty boring and mundane.

All of this makes me realize that we truly live in a 1984 world these days where all of the messages around us are fake and so many decide to believe in the fakeness we are fed instead of seeing what is truly in front of us. I choose the red pill as as least I can trust it. That’s a good place to start, I believe. What do you think?

The Times They Are A-Changin…Again. Can You See It?

Hello y’all!

I hate to be a commoner but I am going to allude to the RW (royal wedding) today.

Yes, I’m a bit sick of it too, however, it was a momentous occasion for so many social issues and I feel that those are very important to my upcoming work.

royal wedding, donald glover, video,

Absolutely no relevance to blog post – just some beautiful, yet dangerous, lava.

I may or may not have mentioned that my next piece will be in relation to white priviledge. This has been swirling in my mind for some time now and there are a lot of stimulants urging it on. The early stimulant was race dialogue training that I worked on at my previous job but the topic was already working its way to the forefront of my frontal lobe prior to that.

It’s like an app (yes, I have apps on the brain – All The Pardons) always running behind everything else that I’m doing. And…then….these things happened in the last couple of weeks that inspired me and made me so excited to push the issues a little more forward in my brain.

Firstly, Donald Glover hosted Saturday Night Live and his musician self as musical guest, Childish Gambino. He is one of the most talented people around at this point in time. So, toward the end of the show, SNL premiered a Childish Gambino video called This is America which has since caused such a stir that there are discussions going on about it and how to interpret it all over the net. That is something in this day and age. It’s a brilliant video which requires multiple viewings to catch everything. I’ve seen it a half dozen times and watched it again to link it here and saw more stuff I hadn’t seen before. Check it out and let me know what you think?

bi-racial world, be woke, change

We’re all in this together

Right, back to the RW. So, if you caught the actual wedding or not, it was amazing. I never thought I would see that in my lifetime. Meghan Markle brought her background, history and culture into the royal family and Windsor. She’s a breath of fresh air.

I watched a southern bishop, Michael Curry give a sermon that referred to universal love and made repeated Martin Luther King Jr. references and a black choir sing Stand By Me. It was a beautiful thing and though all of the attendees didn’t always look particularly comfortable with all of this, it was good for them and good for us. White supremacists or no, times are changing and they had better get used to it. It may not be a quick as some of us hope, but justice will come eventually and I for one will welcome it with a red carpet.

Wanna Hear About My Techie Millennial Approval?

So last Thursday was the Arts Technica event at the Cambridge Innovation Center Boston for Art Week.

Art, Tech, app, kindness, allthepardons, compassion,  empathy, artitech

CIC Boston, Art Week – Me & Liz Cantor

It was a smashing success and I had a great time!

It was an event mostly populated with techie millennial guys, many of whom work at the Cambridge Innovation Center and are working on their own techie projects (why do I keep saying “techie”?). I had all kinds of interesting conversations about my project and topics related to it, annoyances in people’s lives relating to technology, terrifying impending doom scenarios related to AI (just check out some of Elon Musk’s fears aired in the media over the last year or so) and personal, touching topics that encourage me.

The most inspiring revelation I had all evening was that techie millennial after techie millennial (stop it!) loved my app idea! Hallelujah, they loved it and it’s something they wouldn’t have thought of themselves! Of course not, really, as that’s not where they’re coming from but it’s still such a boost to my confidence. It makes the struggle that I’ve been going through with my programmers worth pushing through.

For those of you just joining this saga….I am talking about the app I’m creating called All The Pardons – The App That Tells You Not to be Rude with Your Cell Phone.

Tech, guys, millennials, techart, artitech

Random tech guys

I also had asked people to write down a phone behavior pet peeve that actors would present as what the behavior looks like now and what it would have looked like before the invasion of the cell phone. Of course one of my actors was sick and I would have to fill in, which I did but as loud as we could act out a scenario, it was not loud enough and no one heard us or noticed us. In the end we just had discussions with people about the app and their thoughts about it, which is what I enjoy doing most anyway.

Thanks so much to the Cambridge Innovation Center Boston for hosting me, ArtWeek for helping me find CIC Boston, Liz Cantor for helping at the event, Brigid Watson for attempting to and those of you who came, and to those of you who missed it and would like to know about other events in which All The Pardons will be front and center, please sign up on my mailing list attached to this site.

I look forward to seeing you next time!

Have You Been to a Death Cafe? ☠️

death, discussion, art, perfection

Death Cafe

So, last night I went with a friend to something called a Death Cafe. It was her birthday and she requested I go with her for her birthday (does she know me or what and how cool is that?).

It sounded interesting and I was intrigued. I suppose coming from the artist’s perspective (the only one I know) I thought it would be something wild and creative, like everyone sharing their imaginary ideas of a wild and crazy death or discussing what we’d like to come after or some such thing.

What it ended up being was more than a few people obsessed with death, a few who felt uncomfortable with the idea of death and talking about it, one who was contemplating what hers would look like or wanted it to look like, one who wanted to proselytize to us all about what comes after and the rest of us who, I think, were just curious what this would be like.

Here is what their website says, “At a Death Cafe people gather to eat cake, drink tea and discuss death. Our objective is ‘to increase awareness of death with a view to helping people make the most of their (finite) lives’.”

I like the idea of talking about death and it came up more than once that people very often change the subject when it comes up. The interesting thing is that the Death Cafe was invented in England and is much more popular in many many other countries than the US. Several people asked why this was and I thought it made perfect sense as the US has such an obsession with perfection and death certainly isn’t part of perfection. To be honest, I have no interest in perfection, nor do I find it the least bit interesting, which is why I feel like I don’t fit into most regular circles, however America’s obsession with perfection just keeps on growing with more and more plastic surgeries including on people’s pets now (really, do we have to bring them into it too?).

We (the collective “we”) just don’t like talking about anything negative or even acknowledging anything that isn’t perfect or

bug, death, art, conversation

Beetle Death by Alys Myers

happy. It’s funny because life is a lot easier – and let’s face it, life is not easy – when we just admit it wasn’t ever going to be easy. The bar gets lower, you know?

I had a conversation with someone at my old job who was talking to me about an ex-employee who we were both friendly with and I had visited last year. I was talking about the visit and something odd that her husband did that affected the whole visit. The woman’s response to me was “but he’s such a good father and a great guy”. I just stared at her for a second because her view was so different from mine and I was just realizing how different we look at things.

Yes, absolutely he is a great father and a wonderful guy. I was not attempting to wipe out everything good about him by mentioning that he’s not perfect. It actually makes him a more interesting character in my book.

How do you feel about this topic? Agree, disagree, can’t swallow it? Tell me.

Hey! Also, if you’re in the Boston area and are free on the evening of May 3rd, 5:30-8:30, I am doing a presentation of my All The Pardons app (the app that tells you not to be rude with your phone) for ArtWeek Boston. People will present me with their pet peeves of rude cell phone behavior and I will have actors with me who will act out what those scenarios looked like before the cell phone. There will be food and good coffee and it will be a lot of fun!

Here’s the info and a blurb promoting All The Pardons in the Metro:

Date: Thursday, May 3, 2018
Time: 5:30-8:30pm
Location: Lighthouse, 20th floor, CIC Boston
Boston, MA 02109 (easily accessible by Red, Green, Blue, Silver, and Orange lines.
Hope to see you there!

Should We Separate Great Art from Transgressors in the #MeToo & Other Movements?

Well, this is a toughie.

I imagine it will also be a controversial subject for some.

MeToo, behave, art, artist

Pablo Picasso

Upfront, I will say that I think that these two things need to be separated. Example – should we never watch the film, The Usual Suspects again just because Kevin Spacey is in it and he is a movement transgressor? The performance he gives in that film is positively genius. How could we rid the world of that kind of beauty? We would be the losers in the end.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for the punishment of bad behavior, especially as it’s been such a long time coming. And let’s make room for the next generation of talent who knows how to behave themselves, by all means! But, the art that exists, that means so much on its own, let’s still revere it.

Let’s be honest, if we dismissed work from all of the badly behaved artists in the world we’d lose most everything from the past (and most of them we don’t even know what awful things they may have done).

So this is a very delicate balance to be sure. We need all of the beautiful, truthful and brilliant art in the world that we can get. We don’t need to ignore, promote further, or even forgive the artist who made it but we do need to see the art on its own as a work that stands the test of time alone, without anyone speaking for it. As we would accept a child from a known transgressor on its own, not judging it by its parent’s failings.

truth, honesty, opinion, converseI do understand the opposite side of this – I really do – and welcome your opinion if you feel I am wrong or just emotionally just can’t swallow this. And dare I ask, would love your feedback here. Anything is fair game as I love opinions and honest thought. Teach me something. This is a fair and inviting space – I do my best anyway.

Throw me some view, give me your opinion, converse your comment. I desire it.

Hope to hear from you!

Love you, whoever you are!

Are You Familiar with Monkey Mind? 🐵

“The definition of success is the ability to go from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”

Now this is a very interesting quote. I don’t think that the person who said it (not sure who that is by the way) means total failure,

selfie, MOMA, art, colors, monkey mind, Buddhism

Me inside the Cosmic Closet at the Studio 57 show at MOMA

in fact, I’m sure they didn’t.

Life is made up of tiny to medium sized failures (most of the time) which we encounter each and every day, to some degree. And, even if we aren’t artists, this holds true, yes? Well, of course it’s true as the quote doesn’t say “The definition of success for artists…”, right?

So, let’s say….you’re walking down the street, going to work in the morning, and you run to catch the bus and awkwardly trip and fall flat on your face at 8am – that’s a little failure. Easily recoverable, but still, not the way you originally envisioned your day to begin.

Here is my tie in…I am having some technical issues with the All The Pardons app at the moment. I had intended to announce the approval of the Apple Store a month or so ago and, did get the approval, but it still didn’t work the way I had promised.

I’m working with my programmers to get the issues working but it’s frustrating and I promised to have the app working in a specific way to help people in a specific way and why isn’t the communication working smoothly between my programmers and I and I have deadlines coming up where I am promoting the app and what if it’s still not working properly when I have to speak in front of people about it and I’m losing opportunities to promote the app daily because it’s still not working….and….and…and….

So you can see how this is going. I’m in full possession of monkey mind as they call it in the Buddhist tradition. Cyclical thoughts that sometimes spin out of control and create stress and panic and a totally unproductive mindset for problem solving (which I’m normally quite good at) and creativity. Working on it! Meditated this morning in fact.

Ok, just wanted to share that with you.

This is all happening in NYC, which I love and which always makes me my most creative self so I need to peace out.

Little cool tidbits from this trip…yesterday eating at a terrible dive deli, food awful but two Broadway actors discussing their show experiences and gossip about other actors. MOMA – at the Studio 57 show in the basement, from one of my favorite NY art time periods, I’m watching artist made films from the 70’s & 80’s in a little space and there are two older artist looking people sitting in the front row. The man exclaims “There you are!”. A few minutes later the woman says “Look how young I looked!”. Only in NYC!

Thanks so much for reading this or else I would have no outlet for this stuff (as always, comments welcome)!

Were You Bullied As A Kid…Or Now?

Were you bullied as a kid?bully, intimidation, insecurity

I kind of see people as either the bullies or the bullied but that’s a bit too simplified, isn’t it? If we’re all truly honest with ourselves, we can probably conjure up images of times when we’ve been bullied and times when we’ve been even slightly, yet purposefully, intimidating toward a brother or cousin, am I right?

The truth is that we all have these different people in us and they lie in wait of the right circumstances to come out and play.

As children we may be defenseless against the bully. We may not know what to do to protect ourselves or are lacking in the self esteem we would need to get ourselves out of the situation, however as adults, we have so many resources available to us and opportunities to build up our confidence that there’s really no good reason to give into the bully’s web of chaos, shaky insecurity and mistrust.

The way to the other side is through. There is no other workable path to break the destructive maze of intimidation that comes from these people. I have just come out on the other side and though it’s always a painful experience, holding your own is a very satisfying reality. The recipe is: focus on the goal, remember to be a good person and don’t let them see you sweat. Oh, and don’t forget to breathe! ☺️

You Know That Microphone Amplifies, Don’t You?

Ok, I am especially preoccupied with consideration these days and, particularly, presence in consideration.

Space Station 76, movie, isolation

Space Station 76

I saw a very creative film last night, Space Station 76, that combines space travel, the future and the 1970’s into one film and it was such an interesting concept! The reason these all go so well together is because the alienation of space travel – the lonliness, isolation, drifting – the unknown projection of the future – a cold space ship with long, unending corridors – and the memories of the 1970’s with its intolerance, cliched personality types, self-centeredness and, as a result, more isolation – make for a bleak black comedy where everyone remains distant, disconnected and again, isolated.

So…moral of the story…lack of consideration, overwhelming self-centeredness and life devoid of presence makes for a pretty miserable life. We are social beings and we function so much better as a cohesive worker bee colony.

So here are some questions to ask yourself.  When you stop on the street to answer a text or answer a phone call…do you pull over so people can get by or do you stop in the middle and block everyone? Have you even noticed what you do?

phone, dinner, etiquette, rudeWhen you enter a meeting or meet someone for lunch, do you turn your ringer off and put your phone out of sight or do you leave it on the table – a constant reminder to the person or people you’re with that something or someone else is more important.

One more…when you’re in a ride share or in a public place, do you talk at the top of your voice when you get a call or do you remember that there are others around and speak quietly so as not to disturb them (as much as possible)?

These are instances where life is better when remembering to be considerate – and I promise you, you will feel better about yourself for being a kinder more gentle version of yourself. :)

Assistance with better behavior to be found at allthepardons.com or at your nearest Google play store or iTunes store for download (for FREE!).

When Was the Last Time You Experienced Betrayal?

In the past few weeks I’ve experienced what I can only identify as a betrayal. It’s made me sick, it’s made me feel lonely and it’s thrown off my self-esteem and equilibrium. You know the feeling.jilbert-ebrahimi-33575-unsplash

I hesitate to use the word betrayal because it sounds so over dramatic to me, but the more I think about it, the more I realize that there’s no other way to see it.

We all experience betrayal in one way or another over the course of our lifetimes. It’s a part of life and learning through living but it is never an easy thing to experience.

I’ve made my feelings known to the parties involved but you also cannot force someone to see your point of view or even to hear you.

So, here’s my point. My job on this planet has nothing to do with anyone else or what anyone else is doing or has done.

IntegrityMy job is to be the best person I can be and to make sure that I don’t treat anyone the way I have been treated. Included in this description is making sure that I don’t remain angry, take it out on anyone else or carry it over into any new endeavors. I didn’t say it was easy, did I? What do you consider your job to be?

Anyway, these ideas are part of what inspired me to create the All The Pardons app (allthepardons.com, iTunes store & Google play store).

Who do you expect yourself to be?

One Global Government and Mediating the Parent/Child of Technology….

Listening to one of my favorite podcasts just recently, the Disrupt Yourself podcast with Whitney Johnson, I fell in fascination with an interview

Kevin Kelly, technology, future, AI, globalism

Kevin Kelly

with Kevin Kelly, the executive founder of Wired Magazine. He had some intriguing and thought provoking things to say about the future of tech and where we’re going with all of this AI and globalization stuff.

Here are some pieces/parts that I absorbed from that interview….

Regarding technology and our love/hate relationship with it, he says that we have a complicated relationship with technology because we are the master and the slave simultaneously as well as the parent and child simultaneously. This presents a tug of war in our brains that needs to be resolved as we work through it.

In my view, the only way to reconcile these two sides is through some sort of rules based discipline. If we let things take their own course, and run amok, I see the analogy as a child who craves discipline from their parent. There is a part of the child’s brain that sees the lack of discipline as lack of caring, which is true to some extent. We need the caring.

globalism, globalization, AI, the futureKelly’s second point was regarding globalization. We think we are currently dealing with globalization but we aren’t really yet. It’s coming though…

Think about it. Everything keeps getting smaller, every economy affects every other economy at this point. As this continues, every country is going to start demanding to have some say in what every other country is doing because it affects them so profoundly. I don’t know how long this will take, but it seems really logical to me. One day…many moons from now…there will be one government for the world…and there will be too much risk of overthrow for the government to not actually represent everyone. Interesting stuff, yes? I love it!

So…if you’d like to set up some rules for yourself to try to forge a more civil dialogue between your technology based parent and child, try All The Pardons at allthepardons.com. It will help you to be a more thoughtful and mindful practitioner with your mobile phone. :)