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Taking up spaces
Let me jump straight into the seven things I thought were worth sharing
There are the things that I do for me and there are the things I do for a living. I tend to share more of what I do for me, never really talking about what I do for a living. But, for once, I wrote about a gig I hosted in Working on the OPPO Find N2 Flip For a long time, I have grumbled about the format (and formula) used for technology launches. It was nice to experience and work on one that tried to do things differently.
I remember when I first heard about the Minimalists and watched the film they did about their journey into a minimalist lifestyle, a part of me was drawn to it. That same part had visions of drastically reducing my material possessions and living a clutter-free life. But, even before considering my family, I am a collector of things. Fountain pens, figurines, comics, books, records and CDs. And I still have a list of things I want to collect, when my budget is more aligned with my interests.
And then I realised I might have been taking minimalism a bit too literally. On their site, the Minimalists write, “Minimalists don’t focus on having less, less, less. We focus on making room for more: more time, more peace, more creativity, more experiences, more contribution, more contentment, more freedom.” I reckon I do this better, having simplified how I live my life and prioritising having time for actually living.
Before I got into Haruki Murakami’s writing - I am currently halfway through Killing Commendatore and have 1Q84 (all three books) on my bedside table next in line for reading - I randomly came across a Spotify playlist of what purports to be based on his comments on his 10,000 record collection. With 3,500 songs I have yet to listen to the whole playlist but I do like to dip into it infrequently, when I am working.
If you have been following this newsletter for some time, you will know that, from the first time I heard Massive Attack’s Blue Lines in 1991, I have loved their music. 2023 marks 25 years since their third studio album, Mezzanine was released. I enjoyed reading Mezzanine at 25: How Massive Attack Soundtracked Things To Come. If you are interested in a more in-depth look at the group, Melissa Chemam’s book Massive Attack: Out Of The Comfort Zone.
My father left a collection of at least 2500 books. I reckon mine is sitting at about 1000 books, with the bulk of them being in storage. My dream is still a home where I have space for all my books and other collectibles. 10 Famous Book Hoarders.
We all grieve in different ways. At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, I shared some thoughts around grief at an (online) event for a client. I am still, as most of us are, navigating my way through it. This is moving and painful …. A decade after his wife was swept away in a tsunami, Yasuo still searches the sea
I just finished reading How To Be Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi. And it has my mind racing and there are so many thoughts he has expreessed that I am working my way through. For example, “The opposite of racist isn't 'not racist.' It is 'anti-racist.' What's the difference? One endorses either the idea of a racial hierarchy as a racist, or racial equality as an anti-racist. One either believes problems are rooted in groups of people, as a racist, or locates the roots of problems in power and policies, as an anti-racist. One either allows racial inequities to persevere, as a racist, or confronts racial inequities, as an anti-racist. There is no in-between safe space of 'not racist.”
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I welcome comments, thoughts, etc. A big thank you to those of you who have sent me messages. I have been experimenting with both Substack’s new Chat and Notes features.
And if you would like a copy of my book Listen To Your Footsteps, it is available online and in bookshops (primarily in South Africa but also on Barnes & Noble and Amazon) both in digital and physical form. If it isn’t available in your local, South African bookshop, ask for them to order it. Or you can mail me and I can make arrangements to get a copy to you.