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What The Hack? / 9 . 28 . 15

What The Hack? / 9 . 28 . 15

Hey everyone…

The gnarliest thing happened after I launched my new site… it got hacked. Major bummer. Sleepless nights and a lot of confusion, but it’s since been resolved.

My blurred mug is back up at EvanLaRuffa.com, as is all the hard work I put in building the new version of my site. I’m very happy about that.

Particulars aside, I wanted to share some poetry with you.

I’ve written poetry off and on for 20 years, almost always giving way to the ebb & flow of inspiration. For some reason, while in Southeast Asia at the beginning of 2014, I started writing more poetry… a lot of it. Something about the sights, sounds, smells, flavors, and people kickstarted my tendency to combine words with rhythm. I’m happy to say that the trend has continued.

So, between thoughts & questions, I’ll be sharing the ones I think ‘succeed.’ For me, it’s about creating images subconsciously, then pairing that with rhythm. To be honest, I could care less about iambic pentameter or deconstructing poetry the way you might have in an English class… it’s so much more about the feeling you get when the words come together in a new way. It’s about possibilities and being open to them.

Whether a writer like Borges or a painter like Dali, both were focused on new ideas, realities, and options. In my funky little modern way, I hope to do the same.

One disclaimerpoems are best when read aloud, and/or when read slowly…..

So take your time. I beg you! Hell, even read this next poem aloud. An extra 15 seconds is what’s needed for the words to do their thing. Please give them the time, they’re so much more worthwhile if you do.

I hope you enjoy this something I wrote the other day.

I’ll be in touch, Ev

– – –

9 . 28 . 15

wires invaded from
10,000 miles away,
while just out of sight,
resides a being who’s
planting positive intentions.

you know, seeds, effort.
and a new way
to uncover circles.

there’s proof for either,
coupled with a
resonant experience.

a curated convergence
where ideas & matter
dance as we let them.

from dispassionate levelers
to the happy mad man
blissfully unaware of it all,
the equation is…
what we’ve been given, plus
what we decide on.

in lieu of perfect information,
let’s be that.

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How can we do, what we do, better?

How can we do, what we do, better?

I realize it’s a lot to do with cutting to the chase. Push ahead, experience, find, go, be, or do… right now! This resonant impatience is something that feels embedded in our own evolution.

We don’t want to be incrementally better than we were yesterday, we want to be fully delivered, and now, dammit!

I think this is about often getting caught up in viewing our end goal and as the entire point of doing anything. As I write this, I’m reminded that it isn’t.

We all derive so much pleasure, meaning, and community from the process of doing the things in which we contribute & excel. That’s precisely as much reason to improve what we do, as is the obvious upside of creating something great.

Whether it’s my good friend Dan Koentopp who passionately & painstakingly builds custom guitars from scratch, or a company like Simple Green Smoothies that lives its mission so incredibly authentically, fulfillment & joy encircles the process of making the thing, and making it well.

The experience of building the solution is as valuable as the goal itself.

Feeling joy, growing our missions and serving our communities are important results. With that in mind, how can we do, what we do, better?

If we can sniff that out both individually and collectively, we’ll make an indelible mark.

– – –

P.s. Thanks for subscribing to the list. I’m really happy that you did… welcome.

 

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A Space That Feeds Us

A Space That Feeds Us

Hey everyone, Evan here. I hope this message finds you well.

I’m reaching out because I’m starting a newsletter for my new personal website, EvanLaRuffa.com! The site will serve as a digital umbrella for my projects and the newsletter will be a place to ask questions, offer perspective, unpack strategy or enjoy creativity.

If you’d like to subscribe, I’d love to include you.

At the same time, I’d be honored if you checked out the first few posts that I’ve written, & I hope they convince you to stick around.

But I can relate. Email has definitely gotten out of hand.

I recently started using Trello & Slack for my teams & projects for that exact reason. These tools have allowed me to greatly reduce the amount of time I spend in my inbox and I highly recommend them. Productivity tool nerdery aside, if you’d like a little nugget from me (or someone I think highly of) every once in a while, I think this could be fun.

Over the past year, I’ve thought a lot about the concept of asking questions versus having answers. It can be easy to get swept away in the solutions, and we’ll certainly take a look at those; but it can also be super useful to ask (at least) one more question.

Whether creative or strategic, there will be plenty of room to play, and I’d love to hear what you’re gravitating toward. I want to spend time on areas of interest I’m passionate about, and that we can all dig into from one angle or another. Art, writing, curating, nonprofit development, digital strategy, meditation, vulnerability, running a business & similarly worthwhile shit.

The goal is to create a space that feeds us.

I hope you enjoy the ideas, questions, words, & images I share with you, and feel free to email me with any comments, questions, or suggestions. I’d love to hear from you.

Your Friend, Ev

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1 . 16 . 14

1 . 16 . 14

having taken a moment,

having stolen a few even,

phrasebanks mix with ETA’s

and hummingbirds exceed optimal altitudes

saluting the child in all of us.

 

it’s not about being naive,

but fitting into our productive place.

 

sketches of all kinds

waft away like purple smoke

cast by artists,

heart vandals & color junkies,

saluting the wanderer in all of us.

 

it’s not about rewinding,

as lines not so surreptitiously

curl into circles.

 

Hoan Kiem thumbs up, and we move.

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1.10.14

1.10.14

perfumes that ebb like memories,

mental antidotes

for a path traveled

 

aromas that remind

much more aptly than images,

while strangers smile

and world’s overlap

 

it’s not as much about

minding the gap,

as it is

falling in from time to time

 

leaving behind sanitized realities

so as to remind one’s self

that “easy” isn’t

the same as “good”
jump. right. in.

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5 Questions On Craft & Perspective

5 Questions On Craft & Perspective

It’s interesting thinking about what it takes to get good at something.

How much effort goes into achieving something resembling mastery, while balancing that with the rest of what makes us who we are.

I’ve always identified as a dabbler. A lot of things interest me.

As a writer, I’ve always harbored distrust of the Gladwellian rule that says you need 10 thousand hours of practice to become masterful, or truly successful when it comes to your craft.

I see that two ways now:

  1. It a daunting task. I’m intimidated. Practicing anything for 10,000 hrs require discipline. It’s not untrue that I’m interested in all these various aspects of life: art, food, music, travel, relationships, meditation, but I do realize that I might be spreading myself thin. I know there’s work to do (craft).
  2. And secondly, it’s about what I uniquely bring to the table. Honoring my varied interests and experiencing as much as I can gives me the ability to describe life with words. I’m an experience junkie, so variety is key. It’s what makes me feel alive. I know there’s more to experience (perspective).

When it comes down to it, it’s great to dabble.

I also see the value of honing a craft.

I just hope to manage that better, giving myself the time to practice while staying open to new roads.

So, do you dabble or hone? And what does that tendency say about you?

The questions we ask ourselves give glimpses into what we face when making our mark. These 5 in particular:

What will I be known for?

What do people think of when they think of me?

How do I make people feel?

Will I be judged if I don’t become a master?

Will people see my skill?

Regardless of the answers, fear of not accomplishing something can’t keep us from trying.

We’ll probably have to both dabble & hone. I wish us luck.

Originally published on Medium.com

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Freak Flags & Gifts Given

Freak Flags & Gifts Given

What does it mean to be ‘yourself’?

We’ve all heard that being yourself was the best thing to be. As if somehow being who we are in a single moment is an authentic thing to be forever.

I don’t believe authenticity has anything to do with staying who or where we are; it’s about being present in a way that makes others feel at home in who they are. When we do this, genuine connections ensue.

For that reason, I’ve always been a huge proponent of flying my freak flag high. The thing is, I’m a big proponent of everyone flying their freak flag high, assuming the gifts given are the items in focus.

Showing your feathers is about implicitly encouraging others to show theirs.

Living freely & openly is about what it does for other individuals, not the fact that you’re the subject of a larger story when you express yourself. However, being the subject does put you at the center for a moment, and there’s something dubious about that.

Dubious, in that other people can react to it in two ways based on how genuine they feel you are. They can celebrate with you or they can play the naysayer. They can high-five you or cut you down.

As someone with the personal tendency to live colorfully, I’ve experienced both. I’ve also noticed that my personal authenticity, which is a sensation I can feel in myself, is directly correlated with how people feel when I speak my mind, turn up my volume, or otherwise express myself openly.

We all know the difference between ego & equanimity. We’re all plugged in, despite our various ways of describing it.

Even so, there are times when the ego wins out. It says, ‘I want the glory dammit!” and well, that’s a hard voice to reason with sometimes. But being attuned to it is good for all of us. It creates the space to come together, occasionally mutually digesting things instead of pitting them against each other.

Checking in with ourselves, the worthwhile question seems to be the following:

Is this expression of mine about being the subject, or is it coming from an authentic place?

As long as we can keep an open dialogue with our ego, life can be about what we create for others when we live authentically.

Living your truth, following your bliss, growing your passions, developing your skills, engaging with your community, and constantly learning, are about giving others permission to do the same. As great it feels to live your life that way, it’s really not about us.

It’s about leading by example with so that everyone can ‘be themselves.’

Fly your freak flag & give a gift. It’s one of the most generous things you can do.

Don’t you think?

Original published on Medium.com

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