James T. Green is a conceptual artist, radio producer, writer, and educator from Chicago, Illinois, and now in Brooklyn, New York.

thoughts + feelings

03: Flare, Then Focus

Thanks again for sharing your thoughts on bravery and naivety last week. It was a great reminder that we are not alone in trying to figure out these two feelings. While I had some great in-person conversations about the differences, C'ne was the only one who responded by email with her feelings about bravery and naivety.

"I see naivety as having no prior knowledge of a particular subject or event. Bravery is understanding the pitfalls and risks but continuing anyway. I am working on bravery in my life by pursing life goals without fear of regret."

I agree completely. Bravery comes in many flavors. Some times it's not defeating the things that scare you, but simply being honest to your personal awareness of those things that scare you. Surprisingly, this week has been one where I've had to practice bravery with an ounce of naivety.

With an anxiety attack at the beginning of the week to a not-so-great studio visit towards the end, bravery was consistently knocking at my door of anxiousness. The biggest step for me was being open and aware to these things that were bothering me and not being afraid to share them with my loved ones. Just as I was thinking about all of this, a friend happened to send me a text.

This weekend, I met up with that said friend, La Keshia Leek, for breakfast and coffee. She's a curator and coordinator out towards this way. In-between all the well-needed laughs and catching up, she shared a quote that really stuck with me.

"You flare, then you focus your flares. After you focus those flares, flare them out again."

I thought that was a beautiful quote about the creative process, as I've been struggling during my thoughts on what to do for 2014. Mostly, it's been about this show that's coming up in January. Focus is difficult, brevity is hard, and addition of ideas is easier than the subtraction and editing of them. Your time and how you spend it is precious, and the slower moments are just as great as the productive ones. That's when the flare and focus takes place.

What did I find interesting this week?

1) The Power of Empathy: an animated short by RSA Short, paired with a talk by Dr. Brene Brown, that shows how we can only gain a truly empathic connection with others if we are honest with our own fragile feelings.

2) The Mundane Afrofuturist Manifesto: A segment from Martine Syms' upcoming sound art piece, Most Days.

3) The Real Reason People Are Bad For You: Danielle Laporte discusses how the worst people you can hang out with are those where you have to suppress what makes you...you.


Thanks for reading and see you next week,

-James

James T. Green