i wanted to set this down while it still meant something to me. i have a lot of difficulty holding on to rational triggers that inspire me to work or to feel something in particular. i've written about this before in a post called rational triggers for the emoto-self and it seems like it is a universal problem. I still look back at the comments to get a lift now and then.
i just returned from a two week speaking trip to europe last night. this sort of separation from my day-to-day life is difficult. I find it hard to work in hotel rooms and i spend a lot of time wandering around, detached, thinking about my life. most of the time it isn't pleasant.
in berlin, i stayed for a few days with a friend of mine - the illustrator christoph niemann. It was a warm relief and i much preferred it to the cocoon of a hotel room, even after I found out that one of his children had been diagnosed with scarlet fever, and a second child, the one who had drooled on my computer while we played with internet toys, seemed like he was sure to have it as well.
i am stuck in many ways right now. in particular i have a fraught relationship with my creative work. my mind seems to want to connect every part of my life together. it makes it hard to work on anything in particular when i think that everything i do influences everything else. it is confusing to think about even now, but it feels heavy and frightening.
watching christoph work i found something i had been looking for. at least i hope it i did. he has a blog for the NYTimes, a "visual blog" called abstract city. The pay for these sorts of things, much like the video series that I produce for Time.com, won't make you rich, and although you are given a broad audience, that audience comes with new pressures and self-doubts. For me this sort of work is terrifying, and i respond with procrastination involving constant out-of-the-way walks that end up in coffee shops, far from my computer. i think it is stressful for Christoph as well, but he seemed to respond to the stress by diving deeper into the work rather than trying to escape it. he spends an amazing amount of time on the entries - disproportionate to the immediate compensation - and seems to get lost in the details. it was wonderful to watch. and it pays dividends - his blog has generated new work and has reminded old clients of his brilliance.
this isn't a complicated thought. but it has reminded me of the power of pouring love into the things that you do, sometimes even if it feels like it is a waste of effort in the larger picture. i hope i remember that.