The other thing that struck me was that the bean man had been making this Saturday crack-of-dawn drive, and usually another Sunday drive to another city market, for decades. He was one of the originals still at the market. He was an Eastern Shore truck farmer, he sold the only fresh beans around — cannellini, Navy beans, red beans, black beans, October beans, lima beans, Dixie butter beans, speckled beans, black-eyed peas — and in the spring, oh my goodness, he sold fresh peas. That is, he had something that the Baltimore of all colors and incomes loved, he could make a living at it, it was good to do, he did it, he never stopped.

From The Last Word On Nothing | In Praise of the Bean Man via

#commonplace #grind


When I’m not writing, I’m often surfing. Something most non-surfers don’t realize is that surfing is mostly waiting. You paddle out and then wait for the right wave to roll in. When a promising set rears up out of the deep, you try to catch it. If you hesitate, even for a moment, you’ll either miss the wave or, worse, get sucked over the falls as it breaks. To catch a wave, you have to fully commit.

I suspect the same principle is at work when writing about something changes your mind. The brain is an intricate, sparkling, densely interconnected maze—an easy place for ideas to hide in vague generalities. But writing forces you to commit to specifics as surely as surfers must commit to waves. Seeing an idea reveal itself on the page, you may find yourself entranced or repulsed or inspired by its specificity, its naked meaning.

From Writing is a Tool for Making New Ideas – Every

#writing #commonplace


What was the ocean like? I couldn’t tell him. The sea was too big, and my bucket was so small. Also, it had a hole. I put my hand on the back of his calf. It seemed like my best available answer.

From Bewilderment by Richard Powers



When we communicate, the real issue isn’t how many bits of information are available. Instead, I think there are three forces at work:

Are we using all the information we can? (The baker can choose how the store smells and how the display looks).

Are we showing up with permission, in the right moment?

Is there a path to emotional connection and trust?

From The resolution of communication



“I have to tell you this: this whole thing is not about heroism. It’s about decency. It may seem a ridiculous idea, but the only way to fight the plague is with decency.

Albert Camus, The Plague

From Forget Heroism – Obligatory Note of Hope via



So stop eating yourself up. Things will go where they're supposed to go if you just let them take their natural course. Despite your best efforts, people are going to be hurt when it's time for them to be hurt. Life is like that. I know I sound like I'm preaching from a pulpit, but it's about time you learned to live like this. You try too hard to make life fit your way of doing things.If you don't want to spend time in an insane asylum, you have to open up a little more and let yourself go with life's natural flow.

From Norwegian Wood (Vintage International) | by Haruki Murakami

#commonplace #Murakami


There are two key reasons that the distinction between maker and manager schedules matters for each of us and the people we work with.

First, defining the type of schedule we need is more important than worrying about task management systems or daily habits. If we try to do maker work on a manager schedule or managerial work on a maker schedule, we will run into problems.

Second, we need to be aware of which schedule the people around us are on so we can be considerate and let them get their best work done.

From Maker vs. Manager: How Your Schedule Can Make or Break You

#management #time #commonplace


I was thinking about what it means to honor the word habit, and I realized: I honor the word habit not on the days when it’s easy, when I feel energetic, or inspired, or whatever. I honor the word habit on the days that it is hard, but I show up anyway.

From The Habit of Adequacy – Accidentally in Code

#commonplace #showingup


A library is more than a building, he explained. It’s a mind-set, it’s the exchange of ideas: “The library comes with us wherever we go!”

From Sharing a Bike Lane with Emily Dickinson and Maya Angelou

#libraries #commonplace


Ancient wisdom, in other words, doesn’t so much prescribe that we follow our passion, as it does that we approach with passion the trials and responsibilities placed before us.

From Ancient Complications to Modern Career Advice

#commonplace #advice