We leave marks wherever we go. Dents on pillows, crumpled sheets, footprints, scuff marks on furniture.
We carry marks left by the world around us, scars, freckles, and wrinkles.
We make marks on each other too, scars on the outside and inside.
Great artists have a unique mark, the way they handle the pencil, brush, or clay.
It takes a very, very long time for an artist to get to their mark, to finally make a recognizable mark that is truly theirs.
I leave marks too. I started being more aware of them over the last two years. Marks with my words, relationships, and with my work.
I want to get to my mark.
I want a mark that is identifiably mine.
Steve Jobs said he wants to leave a dent in the universe.
I want to leave a mark.
Who doesn't love finding sea glass? Pieces of broken glass that have been thrown around and 'sand blasted' by the waves.
Sometimes sea glass isn't ready yet, and it has to go back for more hammering.
Sometimes, most of the time, we are too hasty. I am too hasty.
Often I need more tumbling.
There is power in questions.
Questions send you on a quest. Statements put you in a state.
One is dynamic, the other static.
Want to change something about your life, ask a question. Stop making statements,
'I'm so unhappy'
'I hate my job'
Ask a question, ask a good one. Why questions are disguised statements. Start with What if.. or What would it take to... Those are great questions.
But the greatest of all, and the hardest to answer is:
What do I want?
So, what do you want? Not what society says you should want, not what your parents want you to want, not whatyour partner or kids or boss or religion or Oprah wants you to want, but what do you want?
That is a question worth asking.
Strange title for this week's blog on happiness. Why Sadness is good for you. In our culture being sad has almost become a sin, or shameful. We all have to be happy, all the time, like we're living in a GAP ad or something
Sadness plays a very important part in your happiness. Yes, you read that right, sadness is important for your well being.*
Emotions are just that, motions.
All emotions are important, and good. They all have role to play. Emotions are there to move us (from there the MOTION part of e-motion), towards or away from what we need or don't need in our lives.
I collect skulls, the one above is from a friend of mine it was made by Friday Gibu from the Bronze Age Foundry.
When people come into our home, they often ask if I or we have an obsession with death? The answer is, I don't and that is exactly the problem.
I want to live forever.
We all believe that we will live forever, at least you think that before you are 40 or 50 :). We live in a culture where we hardly have to deal with death, well not directly at least, we don't dig family graves anymore, we do not handle the bodies of deceased loved ones. All of that has been outsourced.
Our culture worship youth and every mosturiser commercial tells you, that you will never have to look old. The magic 3D animation shows how the tiny beads pushes out wrinkles to make you look 14 again.
Memento Mori, 'Remember you will die'
Memento Mori means, Remember that you will die. It has been a practice to place Memento Mori art and objects in your home for centuries across many cultures and many religions.
They are a constant reminder that you are indeed not immortal, and that your time is limited.
I need that reminder, so I asked my friend Bernard Brand, a great photographer, to help me create my own Memento Mori. It's loosely based on the painting by Frans Hals, A Portrait of a Young Man holding a skull, 1615.
Get up, Keep going.
My skulls, and my Memento Mori portrait reminds me to live well. To be happy, to enjoy my work, my family, my city. It reminds be to be a better person, to live morally and be kind.
It reminds me that I have limited time, that I have something to add to this world and that I better add it before it is too late.
In a society obsessed with youth and immortality, contemplating your own death every once in a while is probably the best thing you can do.
I am a flâneur, which basically means I spend a lot of time in coffee shops watching the world go by.