Normal is what you can successfully ignore
10 things worth sharing this week
Here are 10 things I thought were worth sharing this week:
A friend asked me if I had any tips for public speaking.
I’m reading about animals. (What is it about this time of year? Must be all the spring activity.) I finished Temple Grandin’s Visual Thinking and in the chapter on animal consciousness she quotes Michel de Montaigne’s great line from his An Apology for Raymond Sebond: “When I play with my cat who knows if I am not a pastime to her more than she is to me?” Serendipity: The next day, in preparation for my celebration of Montaigne’s birthday with Sam Anderson, I read his essay about animal voyages: “To return home from an animal voyage is to become, yourself, a new animal living in your old habitat.” Sam’s piece led me to John Berger’s downright wonderful essay, Why Look at Animals? (“The pet offers its owner a mirror to a part that is otherwise never reflected.”) And reading all that inspired me to pick Ed Yong’s An Immense World back up. (I’d read about 50 pages and got waylaid with something else.) I am enjoying it… immensely!
I loved all your comments on the sneak peek inside my commonplace book. Shout-out in particular to Diane, who shared this ultra-cool DIY NASA Moon Phases Calendar. (You know I’m crazy about the moon.)
“I found that things got a lot easier when I no longer expected to win.“ Leonard Cohen on perfectionism.
Brian Dillon’s latest book arrived in my mailbox: Affinities: On Art and Fascination. The title reminded me of the “convergences” blog tag I keep of images that seem to speak to each other. (Inspired by Lawrence Weschler.) The latest convergence: a world atlas vs. Saul Steinberg. (I’ve also been meaning to get the book Affinities by The Public Domain Review.)
Listening: I love almost everything in the Éthiopiques series. This week I blasted Volume 8: Swinging Addis — I particularly like Alèmayèhu Eshèté's James Brown inspired tracks like “Tchero Adari Nègn.”
RIP jazz saxophone legend Wayne Shorter. Read his “Open Letter To The Next Generation Of Artists” that he co-wrote with Herbie Hancock. It’s full of wisdom for all of us. (Thanks to Ted Gioia for sharing it.)