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Archive for the ‘Not So Big’

Great Quotes from Great Women

October 23, 2008 By: admin Category: Faith, Happiness, Health, House, Living, Love, Not So Big


I took an “Artist’s Way” class several years ago. A colleague in the sports dept. at Oxygen was a journalist moving into life coaching and needed a group of people to teach the class to so she could teach herself how to teach the course. As the class was free and I trusted the teacher, Nancy, completely, I happily volunteered, as did six other women from the sports dept.

The whole course changed my life by helping me to change my perspective on a lot of things. As a result, I came up with a few life philosophies that have served me well and stood the test of time. It was funny because most of the stuff we learned in the course was stuff we all already knew. We didn’t know it all because we were smart or educated or American, we knew it because it was common sense. In fact, being American and educated has it’s drawbacks when it comes to common sense, especially for women. I think that too many of us, because we have so much first world privilege/assumptions, forget that we live in a man’s world, or assume that we have to play by the rules of the man’s world because it’s just what women have done in this country for 200 years. Well, really none of the negative, “you can’t do it” stuff is true. At all. Whatever you want to do you can do it. Most of the time it’s just your fear of going against the grain that holds you back, but the opportunities are all there.

Today I rarely take “no” for an answer. In fact many times I don’t even wait for a question. When I want something there’s usually no job listing or public opportunity, I develop those things myself. I wanted to learn how to make television but I didn’t have any experience, so I chose a small production company and worked for them for free–building furniture for the new office, answering the phones, and getting coffee. I knew if the place was small enough their needs would be visible and so I could jump on every opportunity I saw.

Most of the time you’re selling yourself first. You’re selling trust. And trust = money. If you do a good job, if you’re trustworthy, you’ll make someone else’s job easier and that translates into efficiency which translates into profit. But nothing can start until you’re motivated to jump off the bridge, take a leap of faith. Letting it all go is actually easy. Again, in a first world country you have to convince yourself that you won’t die or fail.

Actually, I don’t believe in failure as a concept. You either do something poorly or well, but attaching this heavy negative to a thing is self-destructive. If you do something badly–poor quality or late–then fix it if you can. If you can’t then spend a lot of time apologizing and begging for another chance to do better the next time. If you keep doing things badly then there’s something either physically, psychologically or mentally/neurologically at work and you should see a doctor. But you’re not a FAILURE. Fuck that. You just have natural obstacles…

Anyway, something we did in the Artist’s Way class helped me a lot: we shared our takes on the same concept. For instance, Nancy asked us to bring in quotes that spoke to us. Hearing what everyone else felt was important gave me a much wider perspective on the world, on my fellow women, and on myself. Here’s what my group came up with:

“One day can make your life. One day can ruin your life. All life is, is four or five days that change everything.” –Drew Barrymore from “Riding In Cars With Boys”

“The woman that knows something knows that she knows nothing at all.”

“I do believe it’s possible to create even without ever writing a word or painting a picture, by simply molding one’s inner life. And that too is a deed.” —Etty Hillesum, author

“There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into an action; and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. If you block it it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. You must keep that channel open. It is not for you to determine how good it is, nor how valuable. Nor how it compares with other expressions. It is for you to keep it yours, clearly and directly.” —Martha Graham

“It is never too late to be what you might have been.”

“And I said: ‘Yes.’ And in this world of Yes live all worlds.”

“Compare and despair.”

The Martha Graham quote is my fuckin’ mantra. There is no judgment (and therefore no failure), and as humans we are obliged to reach into ourselves and deliver to the rest of us our expression of what we find beautiful and necessary. Another guru of mine, architect Sarah Susanka, says that we too often forget about beauty, don’t take it into account. On the one hand she’s talking about houses, architecture, and how beautty in a house can feed your soul every day; on the other hand she’s talking about your life. Accept beauty. See it everywhere, and you’ll feel better.

I have a friend who’s been having a rough time lately and wanted to set all this down for her. We all need a little help sometimes, and we all need each other all the time… Hope you enjoyed the diatribe. :) 


October 12, 2008 By: admin Category: Family, Happiness, Health, House, India, Living, Love, Mom, Not So Big


beat me with bamboo,

the slicing rods will stain anything we know…

bite and tear at what remains,

for everything is food in the extreme.

i pull my cap over what was and try to live in the moment… peeking through the raw present.

i have a vision of the desperate places i have never been.

those who have argued with me will fall silent.

i will, inevitably, die alone and misunderstood.

is not that the curse of what YOU have called “The true artist???”

you see not the abyss that is the rest of our torture;

you choose only what is readily available.

what have i to lose, then, eh?

only those who can understand will read between the lines and pursue me. unto death…

i welcome… i pray for…their search…

Another Few Small Repairs…

April 09, 2008 By: admin Category: Gadgets/Tech, Happiness, House, Not So Big, SXSW, Video

My new office is all set up in the Temporary House and, through the process of moving again, I’ve discovered that the sum total of all of my stuff can comfortably fit in a Honda CRV pulling a 5×8 U-Haul trailer. I see this as good news because it makes me sustainable, but I can also see it as an indication that I don’t need to live so frugally all the time. In truth, I do buy one HUGE piece of equipment every year. Computer bit, camera bit, software. YA GOTTA HAVE SOFTWARE.

Software geek interlude…


This bad boy is something I call Mama’s Little Helper. I started my love affair with Red Giant‘s original “Magic Bullet for Editors,” then–at SXSW–bought Stu Maschewitz’s genius book “The DV Rebel’s Guide” that teaches you how to add visual effects to your film on the cheap! Soon I’ll upgrade to the”Looks” package and have my way with the 100 new presets!!!

Anyway, when starting to live “Not So Big,” you have to stand on your head. That’s what my movement teach used to say in acting school… her point was that you’d never learn how the world looked upside-down unless you flipped yourself over. She then went on to extol the virtues of seeing old things in new ways… She was a very good teacher…

SO, in searching for the right home, the first thing to do is to ask myself: “What do I love?” What do I love to do, what do I love to see, how do I love to feel? Well, after only a few pages of Sarah Susanka’s incredible book (“The Not So Big House”–link above…) I know that I LOVE natural light in a room, LOVE to cook, and LOVE to interact with guests while I’m cooking. This implies that the home I’m looking for either has to have a kitchen that’s open to the main gathering room, or one that’s re-modelable to be so, and comes with HUGE or PLENTIFUL windows throughout. Sounds like a good start…