‘In Praise of Shadows’ is a book first published in 1933 by the notable Japanese author Junichiro Tanizaki.
The beating heart of the text is a deeply poetic and graceful exploration of: what beauty means, and where it is to be found.
And over the course of what first appears to be a brief and somewhat meandering essay concerning Japanese aesthetics, Tanizaki manages to take almost everything that we think we know for certain about this subject and, with the deft and matchless elegance of a master magician…
Ideas can move mountains, ideas can heal the sick; ideas can save lives, and ideas can start wars; ideas can put you to sleep, and ideas can wake you up; ideas can build walls, and ideas can tear them down.
And it’s no secret that truly great ideas are often very simple. Cliches are cliches for a reason, and that reason is: simplicity is power. The moment something becomes unnecessarily complex it’s vitality begins to drain away.
The greatest ideas are, more often than not, also the simplest.
On a sunny Sunday morning I made a change to the way I make my morning coffee. Which is not that interesting. What is interesting is: when I took the first taste I almost dropped the mug because it was soooooo good. It was the best cup of coffee I could remember tasting. Ever. Dark, sensuous, chocolatey, rich and clear, with zero bitterness and a highway maximum caffeine wattage.
It was perfect.
But! Things are not SCIENCE unless they are repeatable. So the next day I tried the same method and reaped just the same results; a smouldering whirlwind of orgasmically coffee-scented bliss.
When it worked for the third time I tweeted this:
I have discovered how to make the perfect cup of coffee.
If you have the right audience social media can be a barometer for what is: cool, valuable, and of worth to others. It can let you know what connects, what is interesting, and what is needed in the world. But there is just so much stuff online that sometimes good things can slip through the cracks.
With that in mind I’ve decided to post a different kind of blog this week. A short, curated collection of the most interesting, popular, and impactful stuff I’ve put out in the last span; mixed in with some news about what’s coming up in the very near future.
This post is experimental so please feel free to let me know your thoughts in the comments section. If enough people like it I may do more.
It may sound strange but I get a lot of work done in the hills. Ideas for pieces of music and writing; revelations about love, life, truth and beauty – you name it – they all seem to come more easily than when I’m staying in the city.
I guess it could be the silence or the wide open spaces; it could be the change in environment or the result of a more primal mode of living. Hell, it could be divine intervention for all I know.
Whatever the reason, I always have a notebook ready.
This micro-blog is one of my favorite captures from my time away: