Seeing What Others Don’t
Because I am known to be an artist people aren’t surprised when I see things like patterns, details, connections, concepts, etc. that they don’t. They just chalk it up to ‘that’s because he is an artist.’ But I think people get it backwards. Seeing all those things is what made me an artist, not the other way around.
Not Saying No
Why did I and other artists see those things when others didn’t? Because we didn’t say ‘no’. We don’t dismiss an idea because it is not approved. We don’t dismiss a vision because it doesn’t make sense. We don’t dismiss a connection between things because the connection has never been made before. In other words we don’t follow rules.
Rule Followers, Rule Breakers
Wait, I take that back. We don’t follow some rules but we do follow others. That is why some artists are radicals and shock everyone (they follow very few rules) and other artists are the darlings of the rule followers (because they only break very insignificant rules, if any).
How Radical Are You?
in the context of the quote and illustration above you might say the skeptic is the radical, right? She broke the rules of her religion, no longer believing what her religion says she must believe. But if that skeptic merely exchanges one set of rules, the religious ones, for the skeptics’ set of rules, how much has really changed? How much has she really seen in a new or fresh way? It might appear she has at first since obviously there is a breaking away from a set of rules, but then she becomes as doctrinaire as she ever was as a religious follower and nothing really has changed.
The truly free person is the one who holds their ideas and rules lightly. It’s not that they never hold on to them but they aren’t bound to them to such an extent that they don’t see beyond them. They are willing to consider new and strange ideas, issues, images without judgment beforehand. They are willing to see connections that aren’t immediately apparent.
Drawing and commentary © 2018 Marty Coleman | napkindad.com
“Skepticism is like faith: both are substitutes for seeing.” – Bert Hellinger, 1925 – not dead yet, German Psychotherapist
The Adventures of Medusa
Medusa Walks the Runway
Medusa decided she wanted to be a model. She went to Stone Mountain Modeling School and got a job as a runway model. She walked for the famous House of Gorgon but wore an outfit no one really liked. They sat stone-faced as she walked by and, Medusa being Medusa, you know what happened next.
When I was in my divorce years (the 2 years leading up to it) I remember how tentative my wife was in what she would say. She would say something like ‘Just because I am thinking about it, doesn’t mean I am going to act on it’. Then a few weeks or months later that thing she was just casually considering became real. Then it happened again and then again. Pretty soon I realized something. Some things are too radical for one to consider until they get used to the idea.
Little by Little
‘I will never get divorced’ becomes the mantra because getting a divorce is just too radical. Then after a series of mental and verbal negotiations with oneself it becomes “Divorce is ok if…”. Then more negotiations and “Divorce is what needs to happen.” It takes time but eventually people get there. But not at first. They talk themselves into it. I am not saying it’s wrong to talk yourself into it, sometimes it is, sometimes it isn’t. But it is how the process works because words and thoughts matter.
That is the dangerous power of continually thinking negatively in one direction. You become what you think and say. If you fight back blindly against any slight without thinking about if there is validity or something to learn from that slight, then eventually you do it automatically with minimal choice in the matter. Like a dog trained to fight, that becomes your natural and unthinking reaction.
It’s sometimes called being stupid.
Drawing and commentary © 2018 Marty Coleman | napkindad.com
“The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits.” – Albert Einstein
Before I forget
The day before December’s Dallas Half Marathon that I ran with my daughter we went to the runner’s expo. There we were lucky enough to meet Shalane Flanagan, the recent winner of the 2017 New York Marathon. What a thrill it was to meet her! Turns out her husband has just started a job with Fleet Feet in Portland, Oregon so we had something to talk about. She is definitely a big running hero of mine. The woman next to her, my wife Linda, is an even bigger hero to me for always supporting my running activities!
Shalane Flanagan, 2017 NYC Marathon winner
Man, time flies when you have guests for the holidays! Now I remember why I don’t like early spring marathons. Not only are you training in the cold and dark but you are balancing it with a ton of holiday activities. The result for me hasn’t been too bad on the running front. I pretty much kept on schedule with maybe 2 skipped runs over 3 weeks. The weekly mileage isn’t high, but it really doesn’t need to be quite yet.
However, on food front? That exploded. Family dinners after lunches after breakfasts after dinners of high calories, high carbs, high sugar. Could I have avoided it all? Sure, but I didn’t. I wanted the ham and turkey and mashed potatoes and cookies and salty snacks and pies and… you get the idea. So, basically from Thanksgiving to New years I gained 5+ lbs. But, I had already gained about 5 from my eating a lot during my fall marathon training so now I am about 7-8lbs over my maximum best running weight and I can feel the difference.
In cliché fashion I waited until New Years Day arrived and then I avoided the potatoes and dessert and bread and Fritos and chips and salsa and stuck to meat and veggies AND I went for a run in very cold temps.
Cruella de Winter
It is cruel to call this a spring training session. Week 2 the temperatures weren’t too bad, but the week before Christmas and the week after were REALLY cold. How cold? I’ve worn three layers on top with a wool base layer, two on the bottom, two pairs of gloves (one set heated), wool socks, ski cap and buff for the last 4 runs, that’s how cold. My cut off for comfort is right around 32º. Below that and it becomes a challenge. It doesn’t mean I don’t do it, I still do. I just have a harder time running is all. Add in the Oklahoma wind and drop the temps to 15º and it can be pretty brutal. This is especially true if you have to run alone, as I did several times recently. ‘Misery loves company’ is absolutely true when it comes to running. If I have to run when it’s 5º wind chill, I want my friends suffering alongside me!
My longest run so far this season has been 14 miles, which isn’t a stretch considering most weekends since October I have been doing mileage close to that. But in two weeks I will move up to 16 and i will start to hit the meat of the training. I am looking forward to it.
My goal marathon is the Oakland Marathon in California. It has a wicked elevation profile to it (13 miles up, 13 miles down basically) so I am going to be doing a lot of hill workouts this season to help prepare me. I also looked up the average temperature on March 25th over the years and the average low is 49º and the average high 64º. If it’s around those temps I should be fine, even though I would love the start temp to be closer to 40º. The Marine Corps Marathon I did in October had a starting temp of close to 60º and ending temp at about 75º and it really only affected me the last 2 miles. My long-term goal is to get my marathon time to 4:05 or below. That means I need to average 9:20 per mile, which so far I have been able to do. Whether I can do that in Oakland, we shall see.
My Xmas present from my daughter Chelsea in Oakland
That’s it for now. If you would like to read more from marathon training series, click in the ‘series’ drop down menu above on the right and find ‘Marathon Training’.
See you running,
Alone in the Lonely
She sat alone at the coffee shop drawing with no one around her in the lonely (no, there is not supposed to be a word after ‘lonely’, I like it just like that) on December 24th at the levitating table. She drank an iced pine needle latte because her friend Justin (who is not really her friend and is not really named Justin but is obsessed with Justin Bieber so likes to be called Justin even though she is a girl) said she would like it and she ordered a Christmas Mustard & Peas Pie because her friend Beau (who really is named Beau but isn’t a boy but a girl whose mother is French and that is why) said she would like it. She didn’t like either one, had thrown up in the bathroom at the coffee shop as a result while an adolescent girl with pimples stared at her and decided she would not listen to them ever again. She also was beginning to get shingles and it hurt all over and she wasn’t suppose to be out because she might infect someone but she didn’t care. All she really cared about was if she could infect her pet ferret. She looked it up on the Google and it had nothing to say about it which proved to her how useless the Google was. Plus it was hard to eat anything with her bad tooth.
The Worst Story
She decided to write a Christmas story and made up a story about a Christmas Tree. It’s name was Chris and it was a talking Christmas Tree. He got famous when he made a video of himself talking early one morning before his owners were up. He posted it on YouTube and it got 25,000,000 views by the end of the day and became the most watched online video ever by the end of the week. Chris the Christmas Tree was flush with fame and money as a result but it couldn’t save him. Before the month was finished he was old, dry and brittle. He lost his ornaments, his tinsel and his gifts under the tree. His owners, not knowing how rich and famous he was online threw him to the curb where he was picked up and brought to the landfill. They found out about the million dollars in profit Chris had on YouTube, that they could have collected because Chris was a minor and the money would have gone to them, after it was too late and the profits had been distributed to a ‘Save the Christmas Trees’ charity. They sued YouTube and the Google and lost everything. In addition they were named the ‘Dumbest People of the Year’ in People magazine. They ended up addicted to Evergreen Car Fresheners, living in a trailer park and hating Christmas after that.
Worst Christmas Story Ever
Then she decided that was the Worst Christmas Story Ever, crumpled up the paper and wrote her shopping list instead, which included canned Spotted Dick, because it would be funny to put in the stocking of her mean uncle who groped her every holiday.