I’m Chase Reeves. I collect and develop thoughts on how to make and live matterfully. Mostly for men. Make sense? Hmmm... lots of ‘m’s.

Enter your email to get a Saturday morning note from me with good stuff.

“Drums West” cut-paper animation from Jim Henson. This newly rediscovered short was created in Jim’s home studio in Bethesda, MD around 1961. It is one of several experimental shorts inspired by the music of jazz great Chico Hamilton. At the end, in footage probably shot by Jerry Juhl, Jim demonstrates his working method.


First:

The more I go back, back
See the first makers
When it was all new

Before rules
Before white men
Had their books

The more I go back, back
I see exploration
And boys and hearts

Before me
And now I
have their books


And now some still images from this paper animation:

(more…)

Billy Collins on Finding Your Voice

“You ‘find your voice’ when you are able to invent this one character who resembles you, obviously, and probably is more like you than anyone else on earth, but is not the equivalent to you.

It is like a fictional character in that it has a very distinctive voice, a voice that seems to be able to accommodate and express an attitude that you are comfortable staying with but an attitude that is flexible enough to cover a number of situations. The character I invented, if I had to describe him, is probably an updating of a character you find strolling through the pages of English Romantic poetry. He is a daydreamer, obviously unemployed, plenty of time on his hands, spends a lot of time by himself, and has an unhealthy fascination with his thinking process, his own speculations and fantasies. So he is not a really new character. He is kind of a remodeling of this earlier Romantic character, the poet who would find himself daydreaming on a wayside bench somewhere.”

Billy Collins


Great lil’ inner-view into someone responsible for several poems that make me laugh. Like this one.

Another quote I enjoyed:

“I thought I would be completely content if I was recognized at some later point in my life as a third-rate Wallace Stevens.”

If I called you a “third-rate so-and-so,” is there any so-and-so out there, any hero or iconoclast you admire, that you’d actually be proud grateful and proud of being compared to them in this way?

I see myself as a bit of a third-rate Merlin Man. Probably a fourth-rate Louis C.K. But i don’t think I’d be proud of being called those… they’re just true.

I think I’d be proud of being described as a third-rate Robin Williams or a third-rate Bob Goff (but that one needs some explaining… some day).

Depression’s Insights & Laughter’s Forgiveness

“The Harvard psychologist Daniel Gilbert once told me that ‘there are people who have no delusions; they’re called clinically depressed.’ Depression’s insights aren’t necessarily invalid; they’re just not helpful. Depression uses clarity as an instrument of torture; humor uses it as a setup. Comedy tells us, ‘But wait – that’s not the good part.’ Depression condemns the world, and us, as hateful; laughter is a way of forgiving it, and ourselves, for being so.”

Tim Kreider via Kleon

“For me to fail is only to change the way.”

Jodo in Jodorowsky’s Dune


This was an incredible movie for me. Wonderful. So many bits I wanted to share. This one won.

Slomo on the Most Absurd, Stupid Way to go Through a Life

“I reckon what I’m talking about is my experience in the middle part of life. The large part is a grinding affair, working away, having a family, making the whole thing happen and, at the end of it, most people are pretty worn out. They don’t believe in God, they don’t believe in anything beyond this ephemeral existence that we’re in now, their attitudes are cynical. They’re what we call “assholes.” And I was one of them.

It occurred to me one time when I was driving to work — I had a lot of reports to dictate that day — that I was still shoveling shit. Which had been the way I started my life on the dairy farm. If I look back on it, I’m just thinking, “this is the most absurd, stupid way to go through a life that a person could ever dream up.” But we’re all being pushed on to do this. And then I had the opportunity to stop.”

Slomo


Sensational video. Don’t know how they make it hit so well, but it does. Go. Watch!

“Writer’s block is the equivalent of impotence. It’s the performance pressure you put on yourself that keeps you from doing something you naturally should be able to do.”

Neil Strauss

Some of the Better Things I’ve Written

A friend is interviewing me for his podcast. He wanted to immerse himself in things I’ve written to prep. I wondered what I’d tell him.

So I looked through the analytics, ran my favorite engagement report, and collected the most engaged with stuff. Here’s that list, with a few other bits and bobs.


Some of the most engaged with posts at IceToTheBrim.com:


My posts at The Sparkline & Fizzle:


The two biggies from Medium.com


Rowan stuff at the Tumblr:


However, my life’s work will probably be the marginalia found in the descriptions here:

You DID say “immerse.”

Frederick Buechner on The Fearsome Blessing of Hard Times

“The fearsome blessing of that hard time continues to work itself out in my life in the same way we’re told the universe is still hurtling through outer space under impact of the great cosmic explosion that brought it into being in the first place. I think grace sometimes explodes into our lives like that—sending our pain, terror, astonishment hurtling through inner space until by grace they become Orion, Cassiopeia, Polaris, to give us our bearings, to bring us into something like full being at last.”

Frederick Buechner

Maya Anglou on Legacy

Oprah: What will my legacy be?

Maya Angelou: You don’t get to decide what your legacy is. That’s not up to you. So do your work.

Recounted by Tom Shadyack

David Foster Wallace on the Value of Education

“[...] this is what the real, no bullshit value of your liberal arts education is supposed to be about: how to keep from going through your comfortable, prosperous, respectable adult life dead, unconscious, a slave to your head and to your natural default setting of being uniquely, completely, imperially alone day in and day out.”

David Foster Wallace

Joie de vivre: a cheerful enjoyment of life; an exultation of spirit. […] may be seen as a joy of everything, a comprehensive joy, a philosophy of life.”

Wikipedia

And more from an excerpt in Carl Rogers’ book On Becoming a Person:

Mrs. Oak illustrates this trend rather nicely in her thirty-third interview. Is it significant that this follows by ten days the interview where she could for the first time admit to herself that the therapist cared? Whatever our speculations on this point, this fragment in-dicates very well the quiet joy in being one’s self, together with the apologetic attitude which, in our culture, one feels it is necessary to take toward such an experience. In the last few minutes of the inter-view, knowing her time is nearly up she says:

C: One thing worries me and I’ll hurry because I can always go back to it – a feeling that occasionally I can’t turn out. A feeling of being quite pleased with myself. Again the Q technique, I walked out of here one time, and impulsively I threw my first card, “I am an attractive personality”; looked at it sort of aghast but left it there, I mean, because honestly, I mean, that is exactly how it felt – a well, that bothered me and I catch that now.

Carl Rogers in On Becoming a Person, emphasis mine

Maya Angelou on Anger + Bitterness

“You should be angry. But you must not be bitter. Bitterness is like cancer. It eats upon the host. It doesn’t do anything to the object of its displeasure. So use that anger. You write it. You paint it. You dance it. You march it. You vote it. You do everything about it. You talk it. Never stop talking it.”

Maya Angelou (to Dave Chappell)

If you haven’t seen the Maya Angelou and Dave Chappell episode of Iconoclasts, schedule time for it. A light cocktail and 3-4pm tomorrow would be perfect for you. It’s wonderful.

Here’s another couple quotes I liked:


This is why it’s dangerous to make any person seem larger than life. Because a young person coming up sees this larger than life figure, this outrageously gigantic personality, and has to say, “I can never do that. I can never be that.” You see? When the truth is those men and those women were in the right place at the right time and got hold of something and something caught hold of them.


It’s important if not, in fact, imperative that each knows that there is a line beyond which you will not go. When lots of money is dangled in front of people’s eyes, many times they will tell you ‘yes’ when they mean ‘no!’ Because it’s dangling before their eyes. And they will say, ‘Damn, jack, I’m giving this up? I’m not making this money now because you aren’t.’

But the thing is that you have some place that nobody, kith nor kin, can take you beyond. Somewhere in the bend of your elbow. Nobody.

Play, Rules & Important Work

The sons of Hermes love to play,
And only do their best when they
Are told they oughtn’t;
Apollo’s children never shrink
From boring jobs but have to think
Their work important.

W. H. Auden, Under Which Lyre