The Artist I Buried

My great grandfather was a painter.

He worked in oils, and painted these incredible landscapes. Occasionally a portrait or a still life, but mostly landscapes. He had a very particular style, easily identifiable as a Zilsberger painting. There are several in my family’s various houses, and we treasure them.

His daughter – my Gramma Ruthie – was also a painter. She picked it up later in life, in her 60s in fact. She loved watercolors, and in the later years of her life, particularly enjoyed painting flowers and florals. I have one of her originals on my wall, and another on some bookshelves.

You could say that the artist thing was in my blood, but I just never felt it. [Read more…]

It’s Okay If You’re Not An Entrepreneur

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The hype train about entrepreneurship is at full speed these days.

You can’t swing a dead cat online without hitting a pile of articles about why now is the time to own your own business, why you need to quit your day job and follow your “passion”, why The Man is just in it to keep you down and how being an entrepreneur is the only path to wealth and redemption and legitimacy.

I call bullshit.  [Read more…]

The Life Out Loud Manifesto

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The web makes authentic, personal communication both easier and more challenging than ever before.

We have been given incredible technology that allows us to connect and communicate regardless of geography, regardless of circumstance, with people and ideas that we may never have otherwise encountered.

Online, there is always a way to find someone just like us. Whether we love mallard ducks or glacier climbing or quantum physics, we can reach out and discover the people who whole-heartedly love and are passionate about the same things that make us tick.

We can also expand our universe, our horizons, our minds and our hearts. By sharing the fabric of our humanity that is uniquely our own and opening our eyes and thoughts to people who do the same, we can find beauty in both our commonalities and our distinction.

But the only way to truly forge those connections in a lasting, valuable way is to put our genuine selves out there. To say boldly: “Here I am. Here is what I stand for. Here is what I love and what I don’t and what I would like to know more about. Here is where I hurt. Here is where I stumble. Here is me, unapologetically, without pretense, without shame.” [Read more…]