Posts in Inspirations
The divide

Taken while wandering through a growing (gentrifying) neighborhood in Philadelphia. 

Every once in awhile I think about a now-old Quartz article; at the time something had been brewing in my head and clearly in others' as well, because they articulated it so nicely right there in the headline: The Secret to the Uber Economy is Wealth Inequality

"The conventional narrative is this: enabled by smartphones, with their GPS chips and internet connections, enterprising young businesses are using technology to connect a vast market willing to pay for convenience with small businesses or people seeking flexible work.
This narrative ignores another vital ingredient, without which this new economy would fall apart: inequality....In my hometown of Mumbai, we have had many of these conveniences for at least as long as we have had landlines—and some even earlier than that. It did not take technology to spur the on-demand economy. It took masses of poor people."

Stay humble, fellow travelers 🙏🔮

Soft Skies
images by  Cereal

images by Cereal

As you might imagine, I'm in love with the travel angle of Cereal Magazine. Even more so when they produce softly drifting series like the one here. Take it in for a moment and with a calm mind you might find it's easy to change your evening, or maybe your week, or maybe your life. 

Also please remember

From Louis CK's newsletter:

"...Well so that’s all the news.  I hope your holiday is going well and that it goes well.  And I wish you all a Happy New Year.  Meaning that I wish for your New Years Eve to be happy.  It’s hard to wish hundreds of thousands of people to have an entire happy year.  That’s a lot.  That feels greedy and hopeless and also some of you might not deserve a happy year.  Everyone deserves a happy moment or day now and again but a whole happy year I would wish on maybe eight people and four of them are terminally ill children.

Also please remember that the turning over of one year to another is a mental construct that bears no more weight than the things that keep us apart and in competitive categories as human beings.  Time is not moving.  You’re not losing or gaining ground.  You’re not separate from “them” anymore than you’re separate from your own umbrella.  It’s now, we’re us and this is here.  If you’re in pain, this too shall pass.  If you’re in luxury, this too shall pass.  Ask an old lady how she’s doing.  The internet is not real.  Draw a picture on a napkin.

Love to all of you.  
Louis CK"

Terrifying self-awareness

“I think now more than ever it’s important to be clear, to be singular...and to have a perspective, one you didn’t generate as the result of doing a lot of focus groups.”

—Jonathan Ive in Vogue

I occasionally mention that Composure is an exploration in self-awareness.

It's easy to assume that self-awareness is a natural or even trivial thing. But from what I can tell, genuine inner perspective is a vivid, terrifying thing.

In part because it requires believing that you have the capacity to say what's important and meaningful in the world. The much easier alternative to this kind of personal vision is to shift most or all of that power to make meaning off to others.

For a certain kind of religious person, that "other" is God.
For a certain kind of business person, that "other" is "the consumer."

Saying that an "other" is responsible for the meaning we get from things is a safe & simple alternative to understanding, believing in, and articulating one's own complicated inner perspective (not to mention doing the difficult work of sharing that perspective through the things we make). 

In other words, pushing vision off onto others means you don't have to make anything that says to the world: this is *me.* 

But I think that making these kinds of things is beautiful, and that they're important, and that they're worth it. 

photo by  Julia Trotti

photo by Julia Trotti

As you may know, I've been working more of a lifestyle editorial angle into Composure (see: Uncharted Territory). And I've known that it'll be more than a minor struggle to organize the site in a way that helps people get what Composure is, without being overwhelming. 

But while thinking through it is difficult, one of the organization models that has helped me the most is the photojournalism blog of Julia Trotti. Poke around as a travel lifestyle lover, and you'll easily find & follow her lovely series of photo essays. But similarly you could be someone more interested in her fashion, portrait, and commercial photography work, and still find your way quickly to her portfolio. The two are blended together so well you might not even notice the difference between the two. Which is no small feat.