Posts tagged maria popova
You must

This landed between the eyes in a sea of loss.


Before you know what kindness really is
you must lose things,
feel the future dissolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth.
What you held in your hand,
what you counted and carefully saved,
all this must go so you know
how desolate the landscape can be
between the regions of kindness.
How you ride and ride
thinking the bus will never stop,
the passengers eating maize and chicken
will stare out the window forever.

Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness,
you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho
lies dead by the side of the road.
You must see how this could be you,
how he too was someone
who journeyed through the night with plans
and the simple breath that kept him alive.

Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,
you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.
You must wake up with sorrow.
You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all sorrows
and you see the size of the cloth.

Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,
only kindness that ties your shoes
and sends you out into the day to mail letters and purchase bread,
only kindness that raises its head
from the crowd of the world to say
It is I you have been looking for,
and then goes with you everywhere
like a shadow or a friend. 

— Naomi Shihab Nye

1. Define the problem and solution space. 

2. Break the problem down. 

3. Make the problem personal. 

4. Seek the perspectives of outsiders. 

5. Diverge before you converge. 

6. Create “idea resumes.” 

7. Create a plan to learn. 

MIT researchers identify a 7-step technique for putting ideas to action, an upgrade to the now frequently challenged concept of brainstorming. Complement with this timeless 5-step technique for producing ideas from 1939. (via explore-blog)



That is the creative artist — a penalty of the creative artist — wanting to make order out of chaos. The rest of us plain people just accept disorder (if we even recognize it) and get a bang out of our five beautiful senses, if we’re lucky.

Ursula Nordstrom (February 2, 1910–October 11, 1988) in a letter to young Maurice Sendak, found in Dear Genius: The Letters of Ursula Nordstrom

Song: “Into the Chaos” by Howling Bells



We waste so much energy trying to cover up who we are when beneath every attitude is the want to be loved, and beneath every anger is a wound to be healed and beneath every sadness is the fear that there will not be enough time.

When we hesitate in being direct, we unknowingly slip something on, some added layer of protection that keeps us from feeling the world, and often that thin covering is the beginning of a loneliness which, if not put down, diminishes our chances of joy.

It’s like wearing gloves every time we touch something, and then, forgetting we chose to put them on, we complain that nothing feels quite real. Our challenge each day is not to get dressed to face the world but to unglove ourselves so that the doorknob feels cold and the car handle feels wet and the kiss goodbye feels like the lips of another being, soft and unrepeatable.

Mark Nepo in The Book of Awakening

Song: “Green Gloves” by The National

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