I’m Chase Reeves. I collect and develop thoughts on how to make and live matterfully.

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Bill Clinton on Work

“Work is about more than making a living, as vital as that is. It’s fundamental to human dignity, to our sense of self-worth as useful, independent, free people.”

Bill Clinton

Every Morning I am Pulled Apart

Every Morning I am Pulled Apart Every morning I need an hour or so to remind myself that the significance and notoriety I seek won’t make me feel what I think they will, won’t give me what I feel I need.

I am already as significant as I can be. There’s other columns in the spreadsheet — notoriety, influence — they have no real weight to me if I survive past my 60s.

I am already as significant, as important, as meaningful as I can be. Every morning that feels lame. Every morning I have to breathe through it, sink into it. Every morning I remind myself, ask myself to live in the way of my already-there-ness, creating from rest instead thrusting outward at more, always more.

I am ripped apart by this every morning. The call for significance, the impulse to matter more, to be more than the average person erupts every morning like survival’s older brother, an animal instinct evolved. Even as I write this: will they see it? Will they see me? All flows from the source. Every morning I search it out, reminding, re-membering.

And every day I forget: I clutch and reach. Leaning, top heavy, I end the day off balance. I bring myself to my son, my wife, this way. I bring myself to movies and shows and books this way and I thrill: here is the thing I want, to make THIS. I lean into them. Do they support me or just my lean? Is this codependence?

Everyday I remind myself: I am enough. And everyday I forget. I am everyday pulled apart and reformed from the scraps. I hear Allan Watts tell me I am not a put together thing, I am the pulling, I am togetherness, I am all of this. I see it for true, yet there’s some dark magnet inside that won’t let me transform, a black hole in the deep, pull-push of… of what? Creativity? Life-death? Insecurity? Life-death seems best but too on the nose. What’s really here is: WILL THIS MAKE ME FEEL IT!? I am an inconsolable child, my parents love me and whisper over me but I rage on incapable.

There is deep debt within me; there is also enormous wealth. This year, my 33rd, is the first I’m able to say: everything is OK.


“There’s a wonderful moment that comes when you realize, ‘I’m not striving for anything. What I’m doing now is not a means to achieving something later.’ Youth has always to think that way. Every decision a young person makes is a commitment to a life course, and if you make a bad decision, that angle, by the time you get [older] you’re far off course. But after a certain age there’s no future, and suddenly the present becomes rich, it becomes that thing in itself which you are now experiencing.” ~ Joseph Campbell

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This post was originally published at Medium.

My Best Writing in 2015

This year I found a bunch of amazing moments and quotes about the creative process. I’ve collected the best of the year here in the Editor’s Picks page. Some of my favorites:

If you’re interested in how amazing people think about creative work get on the list and I’ll send you one email every saturday morning with a few to chew on: get on the list »


Essay-ish Posts

I’m experimenting with using medium for more thinky-writey stuff, using IcetotheBrim.com for quotes, links, and smaller stuff this year. We’ll see how that works in 2016.


Podcast Episodes

If you only listen to one, do the first. These episodes are some of the most popular this year from The Fizzle Show. I hate how these headlines sound but if you give us an hour of your time you’ll see how much further these conversations go than you’d expect.


Large Small Business Pieces


Big Ass Projects


Heading into 2016

My wife and I have been in therapy together for almost a year now. It’s been excellent. I’m seeing a little under the surface of the desires and impulses that push me around my life. I’m very engaged in this process and it’s just getting started.

Here’s a piece that shares a bit more about what I’m seeing and what I expect to shape what the first part of 2016 looks like: Every Morning I am Pulled Apart.

Happy new year, you guys.


Personal Moments of 2015

Highlights from my reading of Dune

“It should be one of the tests,” the old woman said. “Humans are almost always lonely.” Highlighted on Friday, December 18, 2015 at 9:01 AM in Dune by Frank Herbert

A world is supported by four things … ” She held up four big-knuckled fingers. “… the learning of the wise, the justice of the great, the prayers of the righteous and the valor of the brave. But all of these are as nothing … ” She closed her fingers into a fist. “… without a ruler who knows the art of ruling. Make that the science of your tradition!” Highlighted on Friday, December 18, 2015 at 9:21 AM in Dune by Frank Herbert

This world has emptied me of all but the oldest purpose: tomorrow’s life. I live now for my young Duke and the daughter yet to be. Highlighted on Friday, December 18, 2015 at 9:01 AM in Dune by Frank Herbert

Then, as his planet killed him, it occurred to Kynes that his father and all the other scientists were wrong, that the most persistent principles of the universe were accident and error. Highlighted on Friday, December 18, 2015 at 10:09 AM in Dune by Frank Herbert

That girl! She was like a touch of destiny. He felt caught up on a wave, in tune with a motion that lifted all his spirits. Highlighted on Friday, December 18, 2015 at 11:03 AM in Dune by Frank Herbert

“I’ve been a long time waiting for you,” she said. “Here is my life.” Highlighted on Sunday, December 20, 2015 at 9:01 AM in Dune by Frank Herbert

knowledge about it, understand what it was doing to his mother, but the knowledge lacked a natural rhythm, lacked a system of mutual reflection. Highlighted on Sunday, December 20, 2015 at 9:07 AM in Dune by Frank Herbert

This drug–he could assemble knowledge about it, understand what it was doing to his mother, but the knowledge lacked a natural rhythm, lacked a system of mutual reflection Highlighted on Sunday, December 20, 2015 at 9:07 AM in Dune by Frank Herbert

Paul felt himself at the center, at the pivot where the whole structure turned, walking a thin wire of peace with a measure of happiness, Chani at his side. Highlighted on Sunday, December 20, 2015 at 9:12 AM in Dune by Frank Herbert

I am a theater of processes Highlighted on Tuesday, December 22, 2015 at 4:42 PM in Dune by Frank Herbert

When religion and politics travel in the same cart, the riders believe nothing can stand in their way. Highlighted on Tuesday, December 22, 2015 at 5:48 PM in Dune by Frank Herbert

She had quoted a Bene Gesserit proverb to him: “When religion and politics travel in the same cart, the riders believe nothing can stand in their way.

Their movement become headlong — faster and faster and faster. They put aside all thought of obstacles and forget that a precipice does not show itself to the man in a blind rush until it’s too late.” Highlighted on Tuesday, December 22, 2015 at 5:48 PM in Dune by Frank Herbert

I must not die. Then it will be only legend and nothing to stop the jihad. Highlighted on Tuesday, December 22, 2015 at 9:11 PM in Dune by Frank Herbert

I know the reasons for this, she thought. I shouldn’t let it stir me. Highlighted on Friday, December 25, 2015 at 11:48 PM in Dune by Frank Herbert

Expect only what happens in the fight. That way you’ll never be surprised. Highlighted on Monday, December 28, 2015 at 1:53 PM in Dune by Frank Herbert

Walt Whitman on the Pride & Sympathy of the Soul

“The soul has that measureless pride which consists in never acknowledging any lessons but its own. But it has a sympathy as measureless as its pride and the one balances the other and neither can stretch too far while it stretches in company with the other. The inmost secrets of art sleep with the twain.”

Walt Whitman

Maya Angelou on Known and Unknown Poets

“Oh, Black known and unknown poets, how often have your auctioned pains sustained us? Who will compute the lonely nights made less lonely by your songs, or by the empty pots made less tragic by your tales?

If we were a people much given to revealing secrets, we might raise monuments and sacrifice to the memories of our poets, but slavery cured us of that weakness. It may be enough, however, to have it said that we survive in exact relationship to the dedication of our poets (including preachers, musicians and blues singers).”

Maya Angelou

Walt Whitman on True Genius, Dignity

“When I pass to and fro, different latitudes, different seasons, beholding the crowds of the great cities, New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Cincinnati, Chicago, St. Louis, San Francisco, New Orleans, Baltimore—when I mix with these interminable swarms of alert, turbulent, good-natured, independent citizens, mechanics, clerks, young persons—at the idea of this mass of men, so fresh and free, so loving and so proud, a singular awe falls upon me. I feel, with dejection and amazement, that among our geniuses and talented writers or speakers, few or none have yet really spoken to this people, created a single image-making work for them, or absorbed the central spirit and the idiosyncrasies which are theirs—and which, thus, in highest ranges, so far remain entirely uncelebrated, unexpressed.

Dominion strong is the body’s; dominion stronger is the mind’s. What has filled, and fills today our intellect, our fancy, furnishing the standards therein, is yet foreign. The great poems, Shakespeare included, are poisonous to the idea of the pride and dignity of the common people, the life-blood of democracy. The models of our literature, as we get it from other lands, ultra-marine, have had their birth in courts, and basked and grown in a castle sunshine; all smells of princes’ favors. Of workers of a certain sort, we have, indeed, plenty, contributing after their kind; many elegant, many learned, all complacent. But touched by the national test, or tried by the standards of democratic personality, they wither to ashes. I say I have not seen a single writer, artist, lecturer, or what not, that has confronted the voiceless but ever erect and active, pervading, underlying will and typic aspiration of the land, in a spirit kindred to itself. Do you call those genteel little creatures American poets? Do you term that perpetual, pistareen, pastepot work, American art, American drama, taste, verse? I think I hear, echoed as from some mountaintop afar in the west, the scornful laugh of the Genius of these States.”

Jack Dorsey’s Definition of Success

“That was the concept that I’ve realized over time is the most important thing for me to do – is to see a picture of where I want to go, see a picture of what I want to do in the world, and then figure out how to work backwards from that and to make sure that every single detail of working backwards from that, I’m proud of.”

Jack Dorsey

Gary Snyder on the Surprise of a Poem

“I finished off the trail crew season and went on a long mountain meditation walk for ten days across some wilderness. During that process—thinking about things and my life—I just dropped poetry. I don’t want to sound precious, but in some sense I did drop it. Then I started writing poems that were better. From that time forward I always looked on the poems I wrote as gifts that were not essential to my life; if I never wrote another one, it wouldn’t be a great tragedy. Ever since, every poem I’ve written has been like a surprise… You get a good poem and you don’t know where it came from. ‘Did I say that?’ And so all you feel is: you feel humility and you feel gratitude. And you’d feel a little uncomfortable, I think, if you capitalized too much on that without admitting at some point that you got it from the Muse, or whoever, wherever, or however.”

Gary Snyder

Meister Eckhart on Excellent Work

“It were a very grave defect in God if, finding thee so empty and so bare, he wrought no excellent work in thee nor primed thee with glorious gifts.”

Meister Eckhart

Lewis Hyde on Creation vs. Invocation

“An essential portion of any artist’s labor is not creation so much as invocation. Part of the work cannot be made, it must be received; and we cannot have this gift except, perhaps, by supplication, by courting, by creating within ourselves that “begging bowl” to which the gift is drawn.”

Lewis Hyde

Theodore Roethke on Receiving a Poem

“I was in the particular hell of the poet: a longish dry period. It was 1952, I was forty-four, and I thought I was done. I had been teaching the five-beat line for weeks—I knew quite a bit about it, but write it myself–no: So I felt myself a fraud. Suddenly, in the early evening, the poem ‘The Dance’ started, and finished itself in a very short time—say thirty minutes it was all done. I felt, I knew, I had hit it. I walked around and I wept; and I knelt down–I always do after I’ve written what I know is a good piece. But at the same time I had, as God is my witness, the actual sense of a Presence–as if Yeats himself were in that room. The house was charged with a psychic presence: the very walls seemed to shimmer. I wept for joy.””

Theodore Roethke