From "Connected (with Abe + Isaac) — Volume 1"

Friday, August 21. This is our inaugural email. Thank you for joining in!

Our intent here is to give ourselves, you with us, more space to breathe. Social media is great for quick takes, and for the occasional longer diatribe, but this format gives us some more room to spread our ideas out where we can see them, so we can arrange them and give you something you can walk through more peaceably, more placidly than social media affords.

It must also be said that your presence on this list means that you’ve purposefully given us more room in your life – and that is a gift that we intend to use well, for everyone’s benefit.

So! Here, today and in future installments, you will find things that make you feel good. Simple as that. The kind of good that you get from being connected to yourself, to the self-aligning energy of the universe, the kind of good that leaves you alert to all the good around you, and within you. There is so much good to be had. And we’re going to share with you what we’ve found, and what we find. Family, business, health, home, travel, food, the mind, the heart, the body.

And at every point, you are invited to share with us. Hit reply, send us a note, let us know anything you’d like us to know.

Again, thank you for being here. :) Onward and upward.

Come in, come in, come in

I’m writing this next to a warm tea kettle, of blackened cast iron, and a small handmade teacup of pale green. From the kitchen island, I can see Abe off to the left in his studio, tanned bare feet on a loose shag rug, grey. My screen has these written words on it, next to reams of white code flying by on a jet black canvas in another window, telling me that the work I did earlier today is doing well. Lo-fi hip-hop plays, because you know.

We’re a week and change into life at The Fort v5. We expected to name v5 retroactively, maybe slapping that label on our suitcases or our passports, since the January versions of us were moving out of Chicago to travel, indefinitely. lol. We got out of New Zealand in time, the borders slamming shut behind us, and spent a few months back in Isaac’s native Wisconsin, waiting. It’s okay to wait. Hold the intention, give it as much shape as you can feel (no more, no less), and wait for it.

We waited for v5, and found it in Denver. It’s our first house. It has a backyard, and the tree that I thought I was going to get in front of that Chicago condo that we tried to buy before it told us that it wasn’t time. The last string of Forts have all had progressively more impressive windows, and curiously this Fort is much darker on the interior – which tells me that the theme here is reinterpretation, and casting off old patterns, giving ourselves leave to wander the much larger space that we now find ourselves in. (I am talking about the house, and also about everything.)

v5 is our space for these COVID times. It’ll be mostly us here (hilarious, given the bedroom count), but as we feel ourselves calming and stretching out, it’s already clear that this space is tailor-made for this moment. It’s good to be home. :)

I found something! Can I show you?

It’s this tetsubin (a Japanese tea kettle). Thirty bucks. I found it on Amazon. It’s from a small workshop, of 8 artists. It came with a little leaflet, describing the history of cast iron in Japan. Towards the end, they quoted Zeami Motokiyo (1363 - 1443), a Japanese aesthetician, actor, and playwright: “Remember your original intention”. They went on to say (after apologizing for “any printing or translation error” ❤️): “Our company craftspeople make this exquisitely ornate cast iron teapot with the Japanese tea ceremony spirit all the time. From small beginnings come great things! The only way to realistically achieve a goal is to do one thing really well. Our company strongly believes that small products to the extreme is a big business. We are doing what we love; this is much more success than being rich or famous. Thanks for reading!”

I resonate with this, so hard. I find that, when I’m shopping (for objects, for services, for whatever), if I’m selective about the vibe of the thing as I make my selection, I later discover something really wonderful, something that I didn’t see on the surface. So many of our Amazon purchases (we just moved; there have been many) come with little flyers asking for reviews, or trying to sideline unhappy customers into customer support – all of which is reasonable, but it’s refreshing and soothing to see these folks just sharing of their own happiness, asking for nothing more than that.

To watch the sun sink behind a flower clad hill. To wander on in a huge forest without thought of return. To stand upon the shore and gaze after a boat that disappears behind distant islands. To contemplate the flight of wild geese seen and lost among the clouds. And, subtle shadows of bamboo on bamboo. -Zeami Motokiyo

Wishing you warmth and flow today. You have everything you need for this moment. ❤️🔆

Originally sent out via email

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