What is a cynic?

What is a cynic? A man who knows the price of everything but the value of nothing.

~ Oscar Wilde

Vital inward loosening

Martial art is not merely the physical act of filling time and space with precision-like movements. Machines can do that, too. As he matures, a martial artist will realize that his kick or punch is really not so much a tool to conquer his opponent, but a tool to explode through his consciousness, his ego, and all mental obstacles. Indeed, the tools are ultimately a means for penetrating the depth of his being so that he will restore the equilibrium of his inner center of gravity. With this vital inward loosening flows his outward expression of his tools. Behind each physical movement of an accomplished martial artist is this wholeness of being, this all-inclusive attitude.

~ Bruce Lee, from Lee’s typed essay entitled “Jeet Kune Do—Toward Personal Liberation,” circa 1971. ( With a hat-tip to the book, “Bruce Lee: Artist of Life” by J Little, 1999, recommended to me by S Foucan. )

Apparently, there’s nothing new under the sun. This sentiment fits perfectly with my concept of what my Art du Déplacement practice is. In some respects my ten-year-ago self is an unrecognizably different person. I’m only able to remember and reconcile who that person was thanks to my journals. There are many threads to the story of that decade. But if I had to point to one thread, I’d point to my practice, and I wouldn’t disagree that “vital inward loosening” is a fitting description.

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No skin in the game

It’s easy to spot a purist. They’re the ones without any skin in the game.

~ Hugh MacLeod

Long time dead

Be happy while you’re living, for you’re a long time dead.

~ Scottish proverb

Bootstraps

The parents’ duty to their children is not to cram as many social advantages as possible into their first eighteen years. The parents’ duty is to make sure that when it comes time for the child to pull himself up by his bootstraps, he actually has the bootstraps to pull up.

~ Hugh MacLeod

No reasons

https://www.marcellopalozzo.com/no-reasons-to-practice/

I myself have been building a list of things that I want out of my practice. I want it to open options for me, to keep myself curious, deepen my understanding and push my boundaries. I want it to allow me to live more authentic experiences and ultimately fill me with gratitude for being on this Earth.

~ Marcello Palozzo

I find myself at a strange place. “Wants” and “goals” seem to be less interesting for me. Sometimes, I can simply sit for an hour. There’s no sense of accomplishment, and no sense of, “I should be doing …”

Sometimes.

Often though, I’m still driven to line up a tremendous amounts of work, to crush myself trying, to feel I’ve failed when I only manage to accomplish a large portion of the insane goal.

For several years I’ve been writing up a key thought to focus on through the year. 2019’s is, “no.” Coming up on halfway through the year, and I’m beginning to make some progress on shifting my default behavior to listening, sharing, and waiting. Less doing. Less trying. Fewer goals. No reasons.

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Sometimes a king

Our soul is sometimes a king, and sometimes a tyrant. A king, by attending to what is honorable, protects the good health of the body in its care, and gives it no base or sordid command. But an uncontrolled, desire-fueled, over-indulged soul is turned from a king into that most feared and detested thing — a tyrant.

~ Seneca

Nobody cares

22. Nobody cares. Do it for yourself.

Everybody is too busy with their own lives to give a damn about your book, painting, screenplay etc, especially if you ahven’t sold it yet. And the ones that aren’t, you don’t want in your life anyway.

~ Jason Korman

§5 – M’urgency Kit

(Part 5 of 5 in Travel Gear)

I sometimes call this the “M’urgency” kit as it covers both emergency and urgency situations. After the small convenience bag, this is my most-used, ready-to-go item.

First off, you have to decide wether you need a full, commercial, medical kit. If, like me, your primary concern is the common items you need, then I recommend going the route described here. There’s an unavoidable trade-off between size/weight and preparedness which you have to evaluate for yourself.

Deciding what to include was difficult. I began by searching the internet for emergency kits, but all of them had way too much stuff. On the other hand, I could create two separate kits: A micro-sized kit of a few ounces, and a larger one for more serious traveling. In the end, I settled on the kit described here as the best of both worlds. It is worth its weight in gold. Any time I have a bag, this kit is inside.

I’m a huge believer in having things pre-packed. “Containerizing” everything does use some additional space and weight, but it’s worth it if you can find the perfect size containers. For this kit, you want a sturdy container that will resist crushing, since this kit is going to take tons of abuse; It will be thrown around, leaned on, jostled and stuffed in/out of bags countless times before that one day when you need it.

My kit began with a clear-plastic “art box” — unfortunately, I’m not sure where this box came from. In my first iterations, I used this box, held closed with some rubber bands. One day I realized that this box would fit inside a zippered-bag I had laying around. The bag was an ’80s cassette-tape case, which I literally had from the ’80s for storing cassettes. I tossed the cassettes and the internal hard plastic organizer, and the art box fits easily but cannot open once zipped inside.

Eventually, the already tired case came apart and I had to buy a new one off eBay. You might have trouble finding these now because I bought most of them off eBay when I realized they were becoming rare. Since they are different colors, they are easy to find when rummaging in a backpack. (Another one of these bags will appear in a subsequent post.)

  • large, heavy-duty plastic bag for every time I wish I had a bag for trash, food… and emergency phone storage when getting soaked unexpectedly.
  • safety pin; pinning, but also can eject SIM cards
  • …and the plastic box; the really hard part is to pack the box so it does not rattle when you shake it :)
  • facial towelettes are awesome; a bathroom sink, one of these used for more than “face”, and a clean shirt.
  • I don’t normally use sunscreen; but the day you need it a swipe-on stick of facial sunscreen can save you and several friends
  • next layer down (I’m a child of Tetris :)
  • save some athletic tape rolls near their end and they fit. Useful for taping anything of course. Similar to wrapping some tape around your water bottle for random use
  • there’s a space in the tape rolls!
  • on the right is a tiny plastic bag with 3 nylon gloves. Yes three, because you always tear one.
  • this tiny little pill holder is amazing. You can open it with one hand by pinching it anywhere around it’s middle and it *clicks* open immediately.
  • packed in here are my preferred selection of drugs. A few standard pain killers and my preferred allergy drug.
  • the cotton ball ensures things don’t rattle. Here, it’s important to keep the pills from jiggling into powder as well as to eliminate noise.
  • top row…
  • a small band-aid box I found somewhere. It was a standard pack of various band-aid sizes which I’ve repurposed.
  • couple of small gauze pads and some alcohol wipes
  • bottom row…
  • a needle and a few yards of thread
  • two safety pins
  • disposable ear-plugs
  • small and large butterfly “sutures” and band-aids

Clearly, this also requires some maintenance. What I usually do is any time I use something (say, I give someone some Advil) instead of refilling the pills, I toss ALL the pills and replace the stockpile to keep them fresh. Anything you keep in here can go out of date or dry up etc. and keeping this kit “fresh” is as important as creating it in the first place.

As I said at the top, I don’t expect you to build this exact kit. :) But I do hope that it has given you a few ideas for what you might want to keep on hand.