This is a message about forward motion. Let's expect it.
We're moving onward, but — because of unpredictability and uncertainty — it's always weird. So: "onweird."
I'm thinking about moving forward chronologically, because time can't be reversed.
Years ago, in an ingenious print campaign by International Paper, one advertisement featured Garrison Keillor, explaining "How to write a personal letter."
Amid his many suggestions, one has stuck with me: learn how to write without backtracking. Don't edit. Don't use the backspace key. Keep moving forward. Whatever you have written, however ill advised, just dig yourself out. Keep moving forward. This will make you a better writer, because you will learn how to write rather than edit.
(The campaign was written before delete and backspace were keys on the keyboard. Mr. Keillor was advising against resorting to Liquid Paper, Correcto-Type and my beloved Smith Corona Correctable Ribbon.)
This is more easily attempted while handwriting. There is less temptation to backspace.
In his A Prairie Home Companion radio show, Mr. Keillor demonstrated this talent. While reporting from Lake Wobegon, Keillor would travel in directions that led, at times, to uncertain places. You could hear it in his voice. You could almost hear him thinking, "Oh, dear. I've put myself out on a limb. What now?"
What now? He never backtracked. He just kept going forward. He had trained himself to jump to the next tree's branch like a squirrel.
Of course, now there is an app. A friend recommended a new application that can lock us out of the delete button. This would train us to learn how to move forward, never editing in reverse.
That App Is Called Mortality.
Backspace is an illusion. We can't backspace. We are always moving forward.
We can't backspace.
- Words are exchanged, sometimes heated. Our best move is to get in the car together and drive on.
- Foolishness and ignorance are displayed. Our best choice is to teach each other lovingly.
And the delights: a delicatessen is sold and the founder can breathe anew. And the new owners can slice new pickles.
Our only direction is onweird.
As we move onweird,
let us pause, heart-to-heart.
Srikumar Rao visited Better (Vistage CE Group 415) last week. He brought centuries of ideas, including this:
"And whether we shall meet again I know not.
Therefore our everlasting farewell take.
Forever and forever farewell, Cassius.
If we do meet again, why, we shall smile.
If not, why then this parting was well made."
— Brutus, V.i.116
The Tragedy of Julius Caesar
"None of us have the capacity to do this — to part well — all the time," said Professor Rao. "But all of us have the capacity to do this some of the time."
May our partings be kind and loving.