Thursday, August 13, 2015

Post No. 042 : Gold Dust : 5775.05.28

Last night I took a meteor shower.

I lugged my GCI chair outside. Too many streetlights, house lights. Wrong latitude longitude for good viewing. But I sat down, leaned back, and looked up anyway.

I imagined that the speeding space matter had some gold in it, and the light from the burning gold somewhere up there subliminally was entering my eye. Now I had gold in my eyes. I want to think that I gained some ability to find ways to make money.

I had almost dozed off when a dog came over to wake me. Thanks!

GCI Outdoor Wilderness Recliner, Hunter

GCI Chair

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Post No. 041: 5775.05.27 : Oasis of the Soul

There comes a day that is a culmination of many days of work, where the weather is just right stepping out in the morning to the perfect cool air and clear sky, and returning to enter the goat pen and be greeted by a breeze and the shadows from branches swaying in the wind. There's hope that projects long planned may yet bear fruit.

In that moment the journal becomes a permanent record of that day to be revisited when the road gets dusty and tough.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Post No. 040 : Arthur's Email : 5775.05.25

The Real Cost for being Productive
This morning, before 8am, I had already received 2 emails about how to be more productive, complete with worksheets.
Last week I got an email about how to defeat procrastination.  It was a link to a series of 5 videos. 
Evernote is all the rage as are so many other tools for being more productive.
But what is the real real cost of getting everything done and becoming hyper productive? 
Well, it's not your soul... it's your CREATIVITY.
Let's get Something Straight
  • Creative Ideas do not come from being productive
  • Creativity does not have it's origin in productivity.  In fact, Creativity is the Antithesis of Productivity.
  • Great Ideas and Creativity are the result of 2 things working together.
1.  The Slow Cooking of many past ideas and thoughts all waiting for a connection with something related or seemingly unrelated to catalyze a group of them into one single great thought or idea.  We call this the Moment of Inspiration or, simply, a creative moment and they happen when something new moves into that slow cooking circle of thoughts and ideas. 
2.  Exposure and Expansion is the second thing that works together with the slow cooking of past ideas to make us more creative and bring about great ideas.  This Expansion occurs thru New Knowledge, New Experiences and thru Asking Questions.
We need to feed ourselves by exposing ourselves to new and different things.  This new knowledge, new experiences and questions are the catalytic fuel for those past thoughts and ideas in the slow cooker.  A new ingredient gets added and BANG... it reacts with things we are not even consciously thinking of and groups them into a single great thought or idea. 
We expand our frame of reference to the point where  something unplanned and seemingly unrelated enters the picture and all at once makes these connections with past thought and ideas.
Here is a little chart comparing Productivity and Creativity:
LinearNon Linear
Bulleted List Free Flowing
FocusedOccurs when not focused
Mental EffortOpen State of Being
 Results Oriented Possibilities Oriented
 Consumes EnergyCreates Energy
Planned Spontaneous
Creativity is the application of a thought or idea... challenge or problem to different frames of reference.
But what if that frame of reference is not yet part of our experience?
1.  The idea, problem or challenge gets put in the slow cooker
2.  We feed, expose and expand into new and different frames of reference.  It's called personal growth.
Eventually this expansion will catalyze our past thoughts and ideas, ideas which have now come into their own time.
That's one reason we write.... to capture thoughts and ideas and then to remember them as we re-read our journals
And, when Inspiration is catalyzed and strikes, we better be ready to record it all, suck everything we can out of that moment.  It's a moment that will not wait for a convenient time to write it all down and, it's a moment that will not be repeated and, if it is not remembered will be forgotten.  Our choice, write it down or forget it by default. 
Productivity and Creativity are both needed for balance.  We can't have all these ideas and then do nothing, or very little, about them.
All I am suggesting is that with such an over emphasis on productivity, the pendulum needs to swing to the side of alternate considerations for balance.  We need both and both work together. 
Wednesday I am torn with what to write about.  Help me decide.
Here are the choices.  What would you like to hear about?
1.  How Evernote and digital memory tools hurt our creativity
2.  The root issue of why people procrastinate.
Safe Travels from Alex and I!
Create and Keep your Stories

Arthur and Alex 
owner, Renaissance Art
PS. Do you get stuck sometimes in knowing what to write or when or..... ?

Click this link HERE and let me know.

It's a 1 question survey and would really help me to write about things that are real, relevant to you and authentic. 
If you no longer wish to receive our emails, click the link below: 

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Post No. 039 : 5775.05.21 : Living in the Notebook

There are three parts to journaling in America.

The first part is writing in the journal and drawing in the journal.

The second part is reading the journal.

The third part is living in the journal.

Living in the journal means taking what is in the journal and doing it. If I write in the journal, "Call X", then I've done the first part of journaling in America. If I read what I wrote, then I did the second part. If I call X, then I've done the third part.

The three parts of journaling can be compared to using a firesteel, a scraper, and tinder.

scraper = pen
firesteel = nib of pen
sparks = ink
tinder = paper

We take the scraper and strike the firesteel to make sparks which land on the tinder.
We take the pen and apply pressure on the nib so that ink flows on the paper.

Furthermore, we say that: we take our mind and strike our heart to create sparks that energize our limbs.

The words I write energize me to act. Writing the word energizes me. Reading the word energizes me. Which is more real? The words on the page, or my actions that result from the words? The words are more real, but the actions are more important.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Post No. 038 : Arthur's Email : 5775.04.04

Should you journal digitally?  ::  Renaissance Art

I get asked all the time about whether or not digital journaling or note taking are a good idea.  And, like the answer to most every question like that, I say, "it depends" 
The best book to write in is the one you always have with you and it really does not matter what that is.  And if all you have is your phone or tablet then yes, of course it is a good idea... just make sure it gets transferred to your "permanent" physical journal asap.
Reason 1:
What is digital stays digital.
What you write digitally stays digital and virtual until you bring it into the real world by writing it in a "real" book.  The digital and virtual world have no foothold when it comes to the real world of journaling.  If you want to manifest a thought, idea or event in the real world then it needs to be done in an real book.
Reason 2:
Serendipitous Connections.
When something remains virtual it is very easy to search and find because digital searching is so exact.  But in that exactness is a very limited opportunity to accidentally, spontaneously, serendipitously and providentially bump into other thoughts and ideas... like you would while paging thru a real physical journal in search of something.
Having control over something is efficient and predictable.  But those are not the building blocks of inspiration and original thought and neither do they allow for what is greater than us in this universe to have it's way with us and what we find.
While searching digitally gives us control over what we search for and find, it does not fully allow us to bump into other, seemingly unrelated, things.
Inspiration and original ideas do not come from an automatic action or something we can predict.  Having control or intention are not welcomed, needed or required when you want to be inspired.
Serendipity is finding something pleasantly unexpected which you were never in search of.  This is just one way a real journal can give back to us.
Reason 3:
I was told a few weeks ago by a visiting archivist who stopped by the studio that the big discussion in archival circles today is about how to preserve all the digital data in the world today.
The answer:  PRINT IT!
Enough said about that.

Do you get stuck sometimes in knowing what to write or when or..... ?

Click this link HERE and let me know.

It's a 1 question survey and would really help me to write about things that are real, relevant to you and authentic. 
Safe Travels from Alex and I!
Create and Keep your Stories

Arthur and Alex 
owner, Renaissance Art
PS.  Most of this email was written in my journal while sitting on the side of a trail while hiking.  If I had nothing to write in at the time I would have lost this thought not just because I am an old fart with limited memory.  It's because the ink of our mind fades really quickly at all ages.  Probably a little more quickly for me but that is another story :)

Post No. 037 : Expeditions to the Soul (3) : 5775.04.04

The envelope of darkness
Early morning sweetness
Only the urge to write aroused
While the rest sleep

And then the words can find their mark
And cleanse the paths and streets
Of tortured prisoners
Now released

Friday, July 17, 2015

Post No. 036 : Arthur's Email : 5775.05.01

If you are a fountain pen user then you are going to love our other papers. 
We do not advertise other paper options for our books but we have them and thru this weekend we are offering a free paper upgrade from our standard Arches paper to Frankfurt Creme or Frankfurt White.
These papers are the same 120gsm weight.  They have a harder finish for smoother writing and a wavy laid pattern.  The White is a white white and the Creme is a yellowie antique creme color.  I love the later when using darker inks like blue or dark blue or brown or black.  And your more colorful inks against a white wavy paper will look stunning.
Here are some pics and details.
Frankfurt Creme
Frankfurt White
To get this special paper upgrade just mention it in the Special Instructions box when checking out.  Tell us which one you would like in the Special Instructions box.  It is for any of our Leather Journals or Sketchbooks.
On another note, do you ever get stuck when writing?  There are lots of things that can get us stuck when writing in our journals… not knowing what to write, when to write, the value of what we write, etc. 
So what has you stuck?

Click this link HERE and let me know.

It's a 1 question survey and would really help me to write about things that are real, relevant to you and authentic. 

Free paper upgrades are available thru Sunday at midnight.

And, thanks for taking time to check out that one question survey. 
Safe Travels from Alex and I!
Create and Keep your Stories

Arthur and Alex 
owner, Renaissance Art
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