Monday, September 27, 2010

Thoughts on Icarus

We've all flown too close to the sun. Pushed beyond intellect and above reason to grab that wave, slide a rail, make a peak--whatever your wax-lined wings soar towards.

Maybe yours come apart differently--accelerator, drink, joint, line, bottle, fling--to each their own undoing, not spirit soaring, but crashing hard to the sea.

Some get lucky. Maybe the wings held, kept the boundary. A gift, earned or chanced to somehow follow where Blake found, "the road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom."

What do we do with that life returned? What did we find or learn? How did it change us? How is the world different or we different in it? What will we do or say or live that Icarus couldn't?

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Fall afternoon

Fall afternoon. Warm breeze rustles across the yard.
I sit reading Seamus Heaney's Field Work,
hoping, like Heaney,
"to get back in my own head."

Ava's legs are crossed on my lap,
she is reclined, writing in my notebook--
her name, over again,
each with a new hand.

And I think, it's not so much my own
head I need to get back in, as it is
to keep my head in the world.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Maybe I read

Maybe I read to think differently than I do. To introduce some thought or phrase or poem or character that wasn't there and becomes a catalyst to view the world other than it was.

Maybe I read to find someone else out there who thinks like I do. To connect or confirm that the shit transmigrating from my brain to soul and back isn't completely cracked.

Maybe I read for inspiration. To get smacked in the face or kissed or surprised by that one line or passage that seems seamlessly conceived and stretches the bar for me.

Maybe I read for diversion. To forget the bills, the trash, the commute, mortality, poverty, suffering. To escape. Temporarily

Maybe I read out of compulsion. Because I couldn't not. Because it seems like something is missing or awry if I don't have a book going or I'm not percolating with a magazine article.

Maybe it's all those things. Or maybe I just read.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Relics: not just a Pink Floyd album

Relics. They are more than the title of a Pink Floyd album or a left-over word from a fantasy novel. Our houses today are filled with our own personal relics, which may or may not convey our stories to a future anthropologist.

Our relics are those sacred or semi-sacred objects that hold meaning; that show our lives. Relics in our house include:

- worn road or trail running shoes that know what my mind, body and soul have seen over miles.
- A plain white gold ring band that calls up a June day 11 years ago riding in boats up the Tred Avon River to celebrate with friends and family.
- A soft-bound black Moleskine notebook full of scrawl that few people could read.
- A red, orange and white fleece blanket that Robin folded and sewed seams on that Anna has slept with for eight years now.
- A blue, green and white Rise Up Runners mug, cracks running inside and out of which I have tasted coffee before almost every morning run for the past two plus years.
- A weathered "Oxford, MD" boat sign found on a beach while canoeing at age 10
- A framed watercolor painting of a Chesapeake Bay workboat motoring along the Maine coast, painted by a friend during a week on Deer Isle

These are some of the objects imbued with an almost sacred significance and which we come across daily. They send my mind back to recall past and ponder future experiences. Our relics are reminders, they are inspiration... but maybe let's not get carried away. They are just stuff...

Saturday, September 4, 2010

A brand world

I'm a brand nerd. But only for cool companies if that wins me back any hip points.

I dig companies and people who put themselves out into the world and say, "Check me out, this is who and what  I am."

When I read Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard's book, "Let My People Go Surfing," I immediately wished I could work somewhere with that vibe.

Watching the Element Skateboards documentary, "Make it Count," on Fuel TV makes me wish I could have married my long-professed love of skateboarding with writing and communications; being a part of  a grassroots up, socially conscious skateboard brand would be the sh$%. Original Skateboards is a company I love seeing what they do next.

I get charged up watching friends at Rise Up Coffee and Evolution Craft Brewing Co. growing their companies and brands--double bonus that they make tasty forms of my favorite beverages...

I think it comes down to putting yourself out there in the world. Of guys and girls having an incredible passion and compelling vision and working like mad and having a blast building that vision and surrounding themselves with people who want to do the same.

It's creating a community as well as a company. It's creating a vibe and groove to bring folks into.

I'm a sucker for a story. And when brands tell a story that I feel includes how I see myself, it's easy to end up a loyalist.

For me, that's a skateboarding, trail running, free form writing, water loving, football/baseball following, coffee and beer drinking, music devouring, manically reading 30-something husband and father of curious girls. Not sure the size of that demographic.