Dear everyone who is reading this blog, whomever you are, wherever you may be, whether or not we have met in real life, or wherever you find yourself when you show up to be here, to read this: Hi. Happy Valentine’s Day. And: There is no perfect.
It has been a good morning, here. I have been to the place down the street that has the good people who work there, and families coming around, and people lingering. I have watched the way they serve the tea, fill up your glass, and don’t ask you for much in response. Unlike the fakery that emotional labor forced out of the people in the service industries in high-flying places commands and impels, these people are just there, just doing what they do, and they are neither overly fussy about it nor are they disingenuine. (The very genuine Nam Pham came by to meet DK for the first time in real life and where did we take him and his cousin? This place. The yellow flowers on their stems, he told me, symbolize the inviting of good luck for the New Year. Well. Isn’t that apt.)
The good stuff
I’m at this place that I’ve been going to for days in a row, now, and I will need to explain all the reasons for this, eventually, to anyone who is still reading by the time we get to the end of this paragraph, but yeah. I was pleased to get the second-last visit in to this place today, with the sun ashine, and the promise of so many good things ahead. The writing is flowing. S P A C E is almost done, for the first 12-volume collection, ‘A Philosophy of the Moment.’ It’s fitting to try to put my philosophy of *this* moment together, today, for the readers and subscribers of our online magazine. There are ways and means to join these things if you are so inclined, but, and I’m seeing more and more that every year I get clearer about this: it’s not for everyone. If you need me to ‘sell it to me, DK,’ then you’re just not our people. If you can’t see what it is, immediately, then maybe you’re not ready for something that challenges the intellect to be creative in unconventional ways. Easy to think of ‘creativity’ as ‘finger-painting,’ or some such, but it isn’t. If you’ve done this for years, even decades, then you’re getting close. And that’s who we are making S P A C E for. The aesthetically inclined, people who see the beauty, and know it when they do. And when I put together this page with the new updates for the ‘perks’ that you can get when you join the S P A C E programmes, well, I saw myself quickly mocking things up and getting flack from BOSS (who always seems to be reading over my shoulder, shouting little criticisms, well, so), and he says, ‘Get the rulers out and measure that stuff!’ and I’m like, ‘No.’ NO because there is no perfect.
Even if the JPG images don’t appeal to the Type A personality (like BOSS) who are out there, they’re who we are. Scruffy. DK are not gonna fix it all up and present it on a pretty plate. Not gonna do that. The imperfection is where you see the human hand… and that’s a clue, ladies and gentlemen… the human hand, and by extension the human heart… is where it is: where the art is in it.
THERE IS NO PERFECT. If you try to pretend there is, you’re just going to get stuck in a wheel of paralysis. You won’t ever be able to take a first step forward because of status anxiety, and its ugly brothers (overthinking, self-loathing, to be specific): the things that keep us from beginning a thing, imperfect as it is at the start, because it’s ‘too hard to know if this is gonna work.’ You don’t know. At the start. Maybe the work of making and making the efforts at making more and better work is the work. Like capital ‘W’ Work. Hmm.
Let me keep going with this thought, for a moment. The not-knowing jazz. Like good cooking. Like good poetry. Like good love. You don’t know at the start if it’s gonna ‘work.’ Don’t talk to me about relationships being ‘healthy!’ That is such a weird way to think about them, my goodness. But… that’s how people think about them… as if they’re projects. They’re not projects! There has to be art in them, for them to be any good. And if you wanna know what I mean by ‘art in them,’ you’re going to have to just show up for something in real life and meet some permutation of DK on the road, to find out, or maybe just go inwards and see the qs stillness and then, yeah, you’ll have a glimmer of it. And a glimmer of it is all I can promise, for now, here at the beginning, when there is no perfect, but there is the simple pleasure of routine and comfort, of people who smile and don’t want you to give them hundreds of accolades or reviews or even dollars, they just want you to be there, to be there fully, and be completely at ease int he being there, with them. Together.
This is the kind of space we are also making, in S P A C E.
S P A C E | ‘The Book of Red’
I’m keen to continue for the Spring, with a set of things in draft that’s called ‘The Book of New Things.’ Want to be a part of it? If the above is resonant, then you might like what you find. More on the way when I get to Hanoi, to host the mini party S P A C E | Hanoi, ‘The Book of Red.’ It’s invite only, I decided, based on the ongoing dialogues in small forums, conversations on email, and the oddball back-and-forth on instagram, when it happens. (Not often: I prefer email). Why are we doing this in this way?Long story. But it starts with the simple fact that I don’t need a lot of people to know about this, or care. I need the right people. The right people are the people who show up. The Open Space Technologies guy was right. ‘The people who come are the right people.’ I always liked that: it took the pressure off, trying to make S P A C E in the way that felt the rightest, to me, but having to wrestle with that irritating question, ‘And how does this solve my problem, DK?’
Solve your own problem.
NEXT STOP: HANOI. See you soon, in a small, inner circle of people I know well, in S P A C E, in Hanoi. You know who you are. See you there, and then, with the new things and the things that are starting up, next, too.