These Things - Summer Evening 2017
“Let me explain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up…”
– Inigo Montoya in “The Princess Bride”

Let Me Sum Up

  1. Vemodalen: The Fear That Everything Has Already Been Done(video) – Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows
  2. It’s Saturday – spoken-word song by King Missile (explicit lyrics)
  3. What you shouldn’t waste – video essay based on a quote by Annie Dillard produced by Mango Street Lab
  4. To Come up with a good idea, start by imagining the the worst idea possible – Harvard Business Review
  5. Everything you can imagine is real.” – Pablo Picasso

Let Me Explain

It’s easy to rationalize that the story of a woman playing cello in the forest has been told a million times which is like what the Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows describes as vemodalen–the frustration of photographing something amazing when thousands of identical photos of the thing already exist. And this doesn’t help except to describe my frustration which only makes it more acute.

I become cynical and think of King Missile’s spoken-word song, “It’s Saturday,” where John Hall says, “I want to be different, like everybody else I want to be like.” This takes the edge off. A little. At least it reminds me that I’m a human with my own feelings.

As a creative professional and artist, I want to figure how to make it through this life and express that in my way. Not “my way” in an ego sense, but I mean through an integrity.

In “The Princess Bride,” at a moment when they were running short on time, Vizzini tells Fezzik to “Finish him, your way.” Fezzik replies, “Thank you Vizzini…what’s my way?”

What You Shouldn’t Waste,” brings me out of the depressing thought of vemodalen or the cynical-and-self-effacing It’s Saturday.

This short video essay by Mango Street Labs is based around an Annie Dillard quote, “what you shouldn’t waste,” which places me in a scene on the World’s stage as if I were a giant with a task which is ultimately to discover “what’s my way?”

(ASIDE: If you’re like me and are looking to improve your photography, I highly recommend checking out the Mango Street Lab YouTube channel.)

So, which is my way? Sometimes, to come up with a good idea, we have to start by imagining the worst idea possible. This is especially useful for creative problem solving no matter who you are or what your problem.

In Pablo Picasso’s painting “Girl Before a Mirror,” we clearly see a woman on the left as very beautiful. But in the mirror on the right, we see her seeing herself as darker and misshaped–she’s imagined herself as less beautiful that she is. I’m guilty of this.

Pablo Picasso famously stated that, “Everything you can imagine is real.”

If we imagine we’re beautiful.

So then,

Jeff O.