Interesting connections between dissimilar notions

I cannot resist interviews. I suppose it's those honest moments that are sometimes found within, moments that provide a peek behind the unblemished facade we tend to present. It's the same reason I enjoy one-on-one conversations.

I particularly enjoy musician interviews because the craft is such a mystery to me and the artists tend to be more unguarded than most. Radiohead's Thom Yorke was interviewed by Alex Baldwin earlier this year and I've been thinking about one section ever since.

Yorke talked about the need to take a break from touring and recording in order to recapture the energy and excitement of it all. It's the way he described it, though, that's stuck with me:

It's like anything. You start to go in small circles, so you've got to stop when that happens.

We start with broad brushes and infinite variety, but as time goes on, our horizons narrow and we begin to mine familiar territory. Our filtered feeds transform the infinitely diverse web into an efficient delivery system for who and what we know and like.

When I find myself going in small circles, I try to remember to take a break, reach out to someone new, be willing to be bad at something, read and listen to the unfamiliar, and otherwise push the boundaries of my circle until I can breathe again. The extra room provides space for ideas, new friends, and the unexpected.


Last week's dispatch asked, Is there something you've lost that you've never forgotten?

Wesley wrote:

Only love. And a scarf. Mostly things that keep me warm.

Marjorie wrote:

When I was very young I lost my Gumby and Pokey figures and the idea of where they could have possibly gone always confused me. About 20 years later, a fellow I was dating showed his affection by purchasing a Gumby and Pokey for me. The relationship has since ended, but I certainly know where the play figures are affectionately stored.

Rok wrote:

There were times when I didn't understand that moments and places around me are special, and I didn't understand that I have to seize them, contribute to them and cherish them, because they will slowly, unnoticeably fade away, and never come back.<br><br>Moments I wanted to be grown-up but was a kid, moments I wanted to be a kid but found myself being a grown-up, moments with friends snowboarding the white hills of Alps and surfing the deep blue oceans, moments with loved-ones on the green hills of my home, and moments with lovers on beaches burning with passion.<br><br>I wish I could go back, enrich those moments, sense them with even greater passion, and engrave them in my memory even more.<br><br>Those were the moments I've lost and I've never forgotten.<br><br>I'm richer for this insight now. I sense that all I really have is now, with everything and everybody that witnesses and creates it. I'm passionately looking for ways to enrich and chip-in to now, living my life carefully listening and looking forward to new moments that I'll never forget.

Meg wrote:

I lost a ring that my husband bought me on our honeymoon. I lost it a few years after we had already separated. After I had already pawned my wedding band and engagement ring. You wouldn't think it would have mattered or have hurt. But oh how it did! That was a few years ago. I still miss that ring.

Andrew wrote:

Ignorance of many things. Not to worry though, there are many more to go.

Mona wrote:

The thing I feel I've lost and never forgotten? When I was 15 years old, on a soft Saturday afternoon, my mostly healthy father lay down on his bed for a nap. I'll never forget trying to wake him up, thinking that he was playing a joke on us. Instead, the screaming siren of the ambulance arrived and neighbors curiously wondered what happened. What happened was that I lost my father to a nap. 48 hours after that nap, the doctors said he died from major organ failure. In response, my mom swore us off of instant noodles.

Marius wrote:

I was at my Grandparents home for the weekend, and we were going fishing. I had been given a new fishing rod and was eager to try it out. We were standing at a pier, and my grandfather had to cast for me before I could start fishing. However I was not pleased with his casting since my dad used to cast a lot further. I therefore intended to show my grandpa how you should cast the proper way. Unfortunately, my proper way ended with the whole fishing rod at the bottom of the sea.<br><br>The end of the story was that I blamed my grandfather for this happening and he bought me a new, identical fishing pole.

Jenny wrote:

I lost my grandfather 22 years ago, when I was 9. I have very fond memories of him.<br><br>The little me used to get "angry" at petty things, perhaps to seek attention from the adults. My grandfather would find me on the balcony, sulking and staring down at the street. He would sit himself on a low wooden stool, waiting for me to break the silence and stop acting silly. His loving presence on the balcony at those times is something I have not forgotten and never will.

Joel wrote:

I can't find my ticket stub to Nolan Ryan's 7th no-hitter. I hold out hope it'll turn up someday. I was there. I was hoarse for a week.

Ivan wrote:

I was just a kid when "The Death of Superman" was published, and I couldn't believe Superman died, so I immediately made my mom buy it. I read it eagerly and treasured it until I lent it to a cousin of mine and he lost it. Also, I had a small toy hammer which I buried in the garden and could never find again.

Matt wrote:

I was three, maybe four years old in northeastern Ohio on an autumn afternoon. My parents made us rake up the leaves one afternoon. It was one of those magical afternoons where the sunlight filters down through the mature forest and motes of dust hang between oaks, silver maples and beech trees.<br><br>I took my shoes off, like I still do. There is nothing like the feeling of green grass and crunchy leaves underfoot. These shoes were the first sneakers I remember picking out for myself. They were blue with white stripes and had a rubber sole that wrapped up and over the toes. On the bottom of the sole, the tread had a zig zag pattern that made you faster just by looking at it. Because these shoes were special I put them to the side before I tackled one of my siblings into the mountainous pile of red, orange and yellow leaves we had raked together. Unfortunately the pile of leaves scattered the more jumped and wrestled on top of it. And then we had to rake them up again. So we raked them into the woods by the edge of the ravine.<br><br>When mom called, I went to grab my shoes, but I could only find one. Knowing the other was in the pile of leaves – I jumped back in and began casting about trying to find it. I felt it and grabbed on with my left hand. Then my sister jumped on me and we went tumbling through the pile of leaves into the woods and part way down the hill on top of the ravine. The shoe was gone. Now, instead of a pile of leaves on top of green grass, there was a think pre-winter blanket of leaves above my knees and covering the forest floor. It was hiding my shoe.<br><br>I went back to that spot often looking for that shoe until it snowed that year. I kept the mate until spring cleaning and when I cleaned out my closet I let it go and moved on.<br><br>I still think about the shoe that went missing. I never start by thinking about it. Often, I remember the sunshine filtering through the forest trees, an enormous pile of leaves and laughing with my siblings on a cool fall day that ended with a lost shoe.

Ellie wrote:

Our 14-yr old son, John, vividly remembers when he was 18 months old, losing his favorite yellow Matchbox car in the water while crossing the footbridge going to Sandy's Island in Winchester, MA.

Drew wrote:

No, I don't think there is. I wracked my brain trying to identify something that I've lost that would have that kind of resonance and there isn't anything I have had that strong an emotional attachment to that would rise to the level of the unforgettable. Now, if the question was reframed as, "Is there someone you've lost that you've never forgotten?" then my answer, to paraphrase Walt Whitman, would contain multitudes.

Uncommon reads

Live Like a Hydra by Buster Benson:

An antifragile way of life is all about finding a way to gain from the inevitable disorder of life. To not only bounce back when things don’t go as planned, but to get stronger, smarter, and better at continuing as a result of running into this disorder.

Toting a Dumb Phone by Joseph Epstein:

Digital life, with its promise of keeping one up to the moment, is very jumpy. The mind, the rabbis tell us, is a great wanderer. In its wanderings it often comes upon memories of dear but now dead friends, interesting connections between dissimilar notions, random observations, ideas for stories and essays. No app exists to organize the wandering mind, thank goodness.

In the mood for interviews? Paris Review is an endless source of history and inspiration. The Great Discontent has amassed quite a library in just a few years. And I love the photos and interviews on Sunday Routine, inspired by the New York Times series.

Your turn

Who would you love to interview?