+ notes on four years of Tiny Revolutions
I can't believe it's been 37 years since that song came out. Where does all the time go, Sara? I saw a photograph from a workshop I was part of last week and was startled by my gray, worn-out appearance. I didn't feel so much older than everyone else there, and yet ... oof. Time. Anyway, congratulations on four years. That is a meaningful achievement! I'm very pleased to have stumbled across your work, and I hope you continue another four years and more.
"It’s more like I’m moving slowly but deliberately toward a purer distillation of my own essence."
What a great line. I feel similarly, though could not have articulated it so well.
As for the "powers for good" thing. At risk of total self aggrandizement, I need to go back to the workshop I mentioned. A friend of mine earlier this year accused me of only doing workshops that are exclusive to "rich people." That is far from the truth, but it stung anyway. So I decided for this year's Freeflow workshop I wanted to donate my pay back to the org to provide a scholarship for someone else (my pay doesn't even cover the full amount but we worked it out). The woman who got the scholarship came all the way out from Georgia to attend. She'd never been out to Montana before, had certainly never hurtled down a surging river through whitewater. The highlight was hearing her constant and grateful exultations over everything she was experiencing. The landscape. The wildlife. Just all of it. We could have easily gotten just another Missoula-area dirtbag (a term I use with complete affection) and it would have been good. This woman was exactly what I'd hoped we would get and I was very pleased to have had a hand in making it possible.
I especially loved this: "The only thing I can be is me — and the only way I can do that is by paying close attention to what moves me and letting the rest wash away." I feel you b/c I know how scary that is, as a writer, to try to do. To go out on that limb all by yourself, rather than trying to ape what you see the people you admire doing. I get nervous as hell trying to do it, and still I lapse back into old ways, forgetting that what our readers really want from us is what's unique about *you*, not what they can read in 100 other places. It takes courage to say this, and to do it, and you're doing it! Go, sister 👊
I've been trying hard to stop running up the hill in pursuit of validation and working more towards "a purer distillation of my own essence."
I don't feel like I have any powers to use, but I try not to add any extra panic and anger to the various conversations that always seem so full of panic and anger. I try to add tenderness when I can. When people harden, I try to soften. When people close, I try to stay open. When people get black and white, I try to be more grey. I fail a lot, of course.
"It's truly grim out there, and everyone I know is feeling it." I just sent a note to a viewer-friend in Australia about having a precarious day, nothing bad, just feeling ‘shit’s gettin’ real.’ And people are complaining about the price of gas, food, inflation, stocks going down. But there’s no sense that power is running amuck and the world as we know it is already gone—good riddance—but what replaces it is still to be determined and the signs aren’t good.
Thank you for the perspective on changing goals. I've also been in must-get-published-to-be-real mode. Now my goal is to teach myself something new with every video / post. It feels good to know I can always reach it.
"As a sensation, it’s more like settling down rather than climbing up. So much of the work is letting go of all the ways I think I should be, and that feels sort of like submitting to gravity. Which is a relief."
Very well put. In my mind, it's the best part of aging and makes all the other aspects (gaining weight, graying hair, becoming invisible to men, etc.) more bearable.
Fun fact: I live a block away from the actual "Tin House" in Portland.
Congratulations on your blog anniversary!
You articulated so many things I’m feeling! And thank you for the Mary Oliver poem, don’t think I’ve ever seen that one. Keep being you, sara! ❤️
Thank you for No92. The Jonathon Keats book on Bucky called "You Belong to the Universe" was quite intriguing (but got in the "full view" of the man which might be too much details for some folks). Audiobook version is included w/ an Audible sub.
92 issues is awesome! Congrats on the milestone!
Was a masterpiece of a newsletter this one, big congrats on everything!
so much to say but will just laugh with the fact that i am def one of those under a rock and your writing almost always lifts it so i can see as well as listen- kate bush here i come.