As you all know by now, yet another music legend has lost his bout with cancer.
David Bowie was not only a varied and talented musician, he was also a varied and avid reader. Follow the link below to see a list of 100 of his favorite books, courtesy of Lincoln Michel at Electric Lit:
Do you like the flavour and texture of meat but feel conscious about the environmental impact, the ethical issues, or the health risks? Why not look beyond meat:
(note: this video is a year old, the company has since launched several more products)
Now, I haven’t had the fortune to try out any of the Beyond Meat products myself yet, but this is definitely something to keep an eye on. If we can make meat products that are more nutritious, better for the environment, without taking the detour via raising and feeding an actual animal, is there any reason not to?
The rate of animal consumption is still rising and humanity has never eaten so much meat and killed so many animals as we do today and to top it off, the meat industry treats animals horribly. Things need to change, for the sake of our whole existence.
There are several companies out there who are on the cutting edge of creating vegetable-based proteins that are nearly indistinguishable from actual meat products – check them out, and if you see them in your grocery store buy them and try them!
We owe it to ourselves and to the planet.
Check out these companies and initiatives and follow their progress:
Directed, cut, filmed & edited by Lucas Peña
Music: Sounds Like Moving
Label: 100 Songs
This song means a lot to me.
I first heard it about a year ago, at an intimate gig here in Stockholm, and it instantly spoke to me. I was still struggling with a lot of things in my life, trying to deal with the darkness both in myself and in others, and the theme, lyrics and strong performance just cut straight into my heart. It takes a lot for me to cry at a concert, but that performance brought tears to my eyes.
Since then I have seen him perform the song about half a dozen times, and it remains one of my absolute favorites.
“If you can’t do the little things right, you will never do the big things right.” ―Adm. William H McRaven
Dear Reader – have you ever considered the impossible entity that is us?
The complex web of human interaction stretching across this globe in order to make the modern world go ’round? How every day, millions upon millions of humans are working toward one single goal; for one single purpose? From the ranch hand in Kansas to the miner in China to the broker in Tokyo – every one, connected.
We are interdependent yet truly replaceable cells in the neural network that makes up mankind.
We all have a purpose and a role to play – every uttered word, every shaken hand, every loving touch is a signal in the network, holding us together as one.
Now, imagine every person as a glowing point on the globe.
Imagine every interaction between those people as a lingering thread of light connecting them. Imagine the incomprehensible series of such threads – events and interactions – that created the device you read this on, the surface you sit on, the clothes on your back, you. How many lives have worked in concert to create everything within arm’s reach; to bring it you, here, now? Thousands? Millions?
Through your mere existence here and now you are connected to all of them, Dear Reader.
Some of those threads have gone unbroken through centuries, bringing you the music of Bach and the ideas of Aristotle. Others have been twisted and turned and spliced together over the years to create new things out of old ideas.
Take a moment now and visualize that web.
It spans not only the globe but the years: a living, moving, pulsating oneness connecting every living human being, now as well as then. And into the future. Ideas travel along the web, taking shape and multiplying, and bit by bit they are realized and created. A computer wouldn’t exist without the technicians, designers and manufacturers who create it; wouldn’t be created without the prospectors, miners, and refiners who gather and create the materials – and if not for the entrepreneurs, investors and businessmen who run the companies there would be no one to pay for it all. Then there’s the transporters, advertisers, sales people, and so on and so forth.
No single person in the web is more important than any other, really.
If one falls, another will take it’s place – or the chain will be broken – and every link on the chain is in turn supported by other people. Family, friends, co-workers, doctors, teachers, role models – they all connect to make us who we are and place us in our unique spot in the network.
We are Legion, for we are Many.
We all rest on the sum of all history and we all support the creation of the future. We all have power to connect, inspire, create, influence, instigate and change people around us – even if the effect is ever so small to begin with, it can end up determining the fate of the world. We can never know in advance what our tiny action today will lead to in the long run: a kind word, a helping hand, an inspiring art work, a comforting touch – that single action might start or re-start a chain of events that changes a life, and by extension the world. Every single thing we do or contribute to carries with it the weight of all that has led up to this moment. Every thing we do, every minute interaction with another, counts.
“I bear the wounds of all the battles I avoided.” —Fernando Pessoa
Why is it that pain can trigger creativity?
The past week I have been the perfect example of the tortured artist, spending my days in splendid isolation and spitting out art and sketches at an unprecedented rate. The past month I’ve done something like two dozen drawings and paintings, plus a bunch of sketches – half of them in the last week alone. Not everything is worth showing, of course, but all in all I’m quite pleased. Plus, the process has taught me things and sparked ideas that I will keep working on.
Isolation and hurt can lead to productivity, it seems.
Perhaps it is more the quiet than anything else – the shutting out of distractions and considerations. When we turn our gaze inward and look away from the world, we can finally see things with our mind instead of our eyes. Truths that otherwise would have been lost in the buzzing of everyday life.
Also – in spite of me keeping myself largely isolated – several queries have trickled in for the visual side of my art, and a whole lot of appreciation.
Which is nice.
I just hope I can keep this energy going and keep producing. Maybe not at the rate of several drawings per day, put hopefully several per week. And maybe I can finally get going on some of my stories as well – there are several things wanting my attention, from new stories to rewrites to last edits.
With a bit of effort, maybe I can even catch up to my goals for this year…
“A man who has not passed through the inferno of his passions has never overcome them.”
—C. G. Jung
Dear Reader, what a week…
I’ve done no less than four drawings/sketches, partied twice, lost a tooth, started a new story and I managed to hurt a very dear friend of mine. I’ve spent a week in pain – first from a bad tooth ache, and now from having had said tooth pulled.
Things could’ve been smoother.
But, at least my creativity is back – even if I’ve only managed to produce pretty rough things so far. The story seed has potential, though – a tale of friendship, love, youth and life’s disappointments and pleasures. Or something to that effect, we’ll see when I get it all down.
My recommendations this week are all works of art that hold special meaning to me – things which highlight the complexity of life and do not hesitate to show both the beauty and the ugliness of life.
Life is never all bad or all good.
Even at our very best or our very worst, there’s still something present in our lives that tries to balance things out. Maybe not much, but there’s always something. All we can do is cling to he good while we tackle the bad, and hope that we come out on top.
”Art is confession; art is the secret told. But art is not only the desire to tell one’s secret; it is the desire to tell it and hide it at the same time.” —Thornton Wilder
…and here it is, Dear Reader, my secret told and hidden:
It’s just a quick sketch; a sloppy doodle.
Yet it holds among its scribbled lines and smudges the entirety of my being at this present time – several layers of meaning and significance – my soul laid bare on paper and screen for all to see and few to understand. But that’s okay.
During my little mini-vacation from on here last week I had a few personal revelations.
I came face to face with things inside myself and I have since begun to sort through and deal with things in my past and in my present so that I can more accurately plan for the future. Now, if only that was at easy to do as it is to type…but change is rarely easy. Not even when it is sorely needed.
My artistic ambitions for this year and this blog still stand, though.
I will keep making an effort to stick to the word count, image production, and professional goals that I made a month ago – even when it is hard. And it is.
But enough about my personal struggles!
The falling angel above will hopefully mark the transition from the personal to the professional sphere on this page. I’m sure some personal issues will appear – the page is about me, after all – but with a bit of effort I will hopefully be able to provide more interesting topics as well.