“The Known and the Unknown” – #9

a writer's word polished or rawThe Known and the Unknown – #9
Excerpts from the Essay “Fail Safe”
Written by Debbie Millman
Post Sunday 14th September 2014

The Essay titled “Fail Safe”
Taken From Anthology
Look Both Ways: Illustrated Essays
on the Intersection of Life and Design

Debbie Millman is an Artist
Strategist & Interviewer

“Fail Safe” The Essay-Explores Existential Skills-Living With Uncertainty-Embracing The Unfamiliar-Allowing For Not Knowing-Cultivating What John Keats Famously Termed “Negative Capability”

psychedelic cat

The Known and the Unknown – #9

I recommend
the following
course
of action

for those
who are just
beginning
their careers

or

for those
like me,
who may be
reconfiguring
midway through

heed the words
of Robert Frost

Start with
a big
fat Lump
in your throat

start with
a profound
sense
of WRONG

a deep homesickness

or a crazy
Love Sickness

and run
with it.

If you
imagine less

less is
what you
undoubtedly
deserve.

DO
WHAT
YOU
LOVE

and
don’t stop
until
you get
what
you Love.

Work
as hard
as you can

imagine
immensities

don’t
compromise

and

don’t
waste
time.

Start
N0w.

Not
20 years
from now

not
two weeks
from now.

Now.

blk & wht fluid abstract painting

“The Known and the Unknown” Part #9 - Jennifer Kiley

Remember

“Do What You LOVE

“The Known and the Unknown” – #8

a writer's word polished or rawThe Known and the Unknown – #8
Excerpts from the Essay “Fail Safe”
Written by Debbie Millman
Post Sunday 7th September 2014

The Essay titled “Fail Safe”
Taken From Anthology
Look Both Ways: Illustrated Essays
on the Intersection of Life and Design

Debbie Millman is an Artist
Strategist & Interviewer

“Fail Safe” The Essay-Explores Existential Skills-Living With Uncertainty-Embracing The Unfamiliar-Allowing For Not Knowing-Cultivating What John Keats Famously Termed “Negative Capability”

psychedelic cat

The Known and the Unknown – #8

The grand scheme
of a life,
maybe
(just maybe)
is not about
knowing
or
not knowing

choosing
or
not
choosing.

Perhaps
what is
truly known
can’t be
described
or
articulated
by creativity
in logic,
science
or
art

but perhaps
it can be
described
by the most
authentic
and
meaningful
combination
of the
two.

As
Robert Frost
wrote

a poem
“begins
as a lump
in the throat

a sense of wrong

a homesickness

a lovesickness.

It is
never
a thought
to begin with.”

blk & wht fluid abstract painting

“The Known and the Unknown” – Part #8 - Jennifer Kiley

Remember

“Do What You LOVE

“The Known and the Unknown” – #7

a writer's word polished or rawThe Known and the Unknown – #7
Excerpts from the Essay “Fail Safe”
Written by Debbie Millman
Post Sunday 31st August 2014

The Essay titled “Fail Safe”
Taken From Anthology
Look Both Ways: Illustrated Essays
on the Intersection of Life and Design

Debbie Millman is an Artist
Strategist & Interviewer

“Fail Safe” The Essay-Explores Existential Skills-Living With Uncertainty-Embracing The Unfamiliar-Allowing For Not Knowing-Cultivating What John Keats Famously Termed “Negative Capability”

psychedelic cat

The Known and the Unknown – #7

“…but I will
do nothing
unless commanded
to do so.”

I think
people
are
the same
we like
to operate
within
our abilities.

But whereas
the computer
has
a fixed code

our abilities
are limited
only by
our perceptions.

Two decades
since determining
my code

and after
15 years
of working
in the world
of branding

I am now
in the process
of rewriting
the possibilities
of what
comes next.

I don’t know
exactly what
I will become

it is not
something
I can describe
scientifically
or
artistically.

Perhaps
it is
a
“code
in
progress.”

blk & wht fluid abstract painting

“The Known and the Unknown” – Part #7 - Jennifer Kiley

Remember

“Do What You LOVE

“The Known and the Unknown” – #6

a writer's word polished or rawThe Known and the Unknown – #6
Excerpts from the Essay “Fail Safe”
Written by Debbie Millman
Post Sunday 24th August 2014

The Essay titled “Fail Safe”
Taken From Anthology
Look Both Ways: Illustrated Essays
on the Intersection of Life and Design

Debbie Millman is an Artist
Strategist & Interviewer

“Fail Safe” The Essay-Explores Existential Skills-Living With Uncertainty-Embracing The Unfamiliar-Allowing For Not Knowing-Cultivating What John Keats Famously Termed “Negative Capability”

psychedelic cat

The Known and the Unknown – #6

Just the
POSSIBILITY
of failing
turns into
a dutiful
self-fulfilling
prophecy.

We begin
to believe
that these
personal
restrictions
are in fact,
the fixed
limitations
of the
WORLD.

We go on
to live
our lives,
all the while
wondering
what we
can change
and
how we can
change it.

And we
calculate
and
re-calculate
when
we will
Be ready
to do
the things
we want
to do.

And
we dream.

If only.

If only.

blk & wht fluid abstract painting

“The Known and the Unknown” – Part #6 - Jennifer Kiley

Remember

“Do What You LOVE

“The Known and the Unknown” – #4

a writer's word polished or raw
The Known and the Unknown – #4
Excerpts from the Essay “Fail Safe”
Written by Debbie Millman
Post by Jennifer Kiley
Post Sunday 10th August 2014
The Essay titled “Fail Safe”
Taken From Anthology Look Both
Ways: Illustrated Essays on the
Intersection of Life and Design

Debbie Millman is an Artist Strategist & Interviewer
“Fail Safe” The Essay-Explores Existential Skills-Living With Uncertainty-Embracing The Unfamiliar-Allowing For Not Knowing-Cultivating What John Keats Famously Termed “Negative Capability”

psychedelic cat

The Known and the Unknown – #4

I am not profoundly unhappy
with what has transpired
in the years leading up to today

most days I consider myself lucky
that I have a fun, secure job
and a good paycheck.

But I know deep
in my heart
that I settled.

I chose financial
and creative stability
over artistic freedom

and I can’t help
but wonder
what life would be like
if I had made
a different decision
on that balmy night
back in
the West Village.

blk & wht fluid abstract painting

“The Known and the Unknown” – Part #4 - Jennifer Kiley

Remember

“Do What You LOVE

The Known and the Unknown – #3

a writer's word polished or rawThe Known and the Unknown – #3
Excerpts from the Essay “Fail Safe”
Written by Debbie Millman
Post Sunday 3rd August 2014 2014

The Essay titled “Fail Safe”
Taken From Anthology
Look Both Ways: Illustrated Essays
on the Intersection of Life and Design

Debbie Millman is an Artist
Strategist & Interviewer

“Fail Safe” The Essay-Explores Existential Skills-Living With Uncertainty-Embracing The Unfamiliar-Allowing For Not Knowing-Cultivating What John Keats Famously Termed “Negative Capability”

psychedelic cat

The Known and the Unknown – #3

As I LOOK back
on that decision
20 years later

I try to sooth
myself with
this rationale:

I grew up
in an atmosphere
of emotional
and financial
disarray

so my impulse
as a young woman
was to be
tenaciously
self-sufficient.

As a result,
I have lived
within a fairly
fixed set
of possibilities.

I am not
an artist

I am
a Brand
Consultant.

I don’t work
alone painting
canvases
and
Sculpting clay
in a cold
and
quiet studio.

I work
in a bustling
skyscraper
and
create Logos
for fast-food
restaurants
and
packaging for
mass-market
soft drinks,
salty snacks,
and
over-the-counter
pharmaceuticals.

blk & wht fluid abstract painting

“The Known and the Unknown” – Part #3 - Jennifer Kiley

Remember

“Do What You LOVE

“The Known and the Unknown” – #2

a writer's word polished or rawThe Known and the Unknown – #2
Excerpts from the Essay “Fail Safe”
Written by Debbie Millman
Post by Jennifer Kiley
Post Sunday 27th July 2014
The Essay titled “Fail Safe”
Taken From Anthology
Look Both Ways: Illustrated Essays
on the Intersection of Life and Design

Debbie Millman is an Artist
Strategist & Interviewer

“Fail Safe” The Essay-Explores Existential Skills-Living With Uncertainty-Embracing The Unfamiliar-Allowing For Not Knowing-Cultivating What John Keats Famously Termed “Negative Capability”

psychedelic cat

The Known and the Unknown – #2

I dreamed of being
an artist and a writer,
but inasmuch as I knew
what I wanted,
I felt compelled
to consider what
was “reasonable”
in order
to safeguard
my economic future.

Even though
I wanted
what my best friend
once referred to as
“the whole wide world,”

I thought
it was prudent
to compromise.

I told myself
it was more
sensible to aspire
for success

that was
realistically
feasible

perhaps
even
failure-proof

It never
once occurred
to me
that I could
have it all.

All

ALL

blk & wht fluid abstract painting

“The Known and the Unknown” Part 2 - Jennifer Kiley

Remember

“Do What You LOVE