Hello. I’m Jacob Sam-La Rose, and here’s what you need to know: I’m a published poet; I devise and facilitate projects for schools and other institutions, emerging poets, teachers, literature professionals and other creatives; I’m a geek for web technology and productivity; and I’m pretty handy with a camera. I exist in a few different places online – this particular site serves as my lifestream, an overview of what I’ve been doing on the interwebs. The content you see here is aggregated from:
- Jacobsamlarose.com (my professional face)
- Miscellany (my personal blog)
- Forthen&Evermore (my photoblog)
- Twitter (text messages to the world)
If any of the above sparks your interest, don’t be shy in saying hello (mail at jacobsamlarose dot com).
A) What are the fixed points in your life? The anchors; the constants by which you navigate?
B) Consider the concept of inversion in some aspect of your experience, something you may not have considered previously, the way we recognise the light of the Milky Way, while the Incas found value and things to worship in the Milky Way’s Dark River
In responding to either of these prompts, try to allude to the source material in some way— practise navigating between the received information and your own personal experience…
I’ve been thinking a lot about passive supporters recently, and how we transform them into active supporters. I manage a few communities, and I’ve always come up against a Pareto weighted breakdown of participation: 20% of the people involved make 80% of the effort required to keep the community/enterprise/initiative going. Which is not sustainable (can we say: burnout?).
I’m thinking about solutions. Maybe we need to consider active expansions and contractions. Maybe on a regular cycle you need to rededicate to your core audience, to draw a line and define what it means to be a supporter. At this point, you may well lose some of the “passive support”. And maybe that’s a good thing. Maybe that allows you to move forward with clarity and focus, which could in turn entice new supporters? Something like razing a field to have it grow back. Burn it all down, but the enterprise (if strong enough) will survive…
1: write the poem. The language of it. The actual words are important. The music is as important as the idea. If the music isn’t there, the idea doesn’t take flight.
2: don’t get precious. Write until you find your way. You’re a millionaire of words. Speculate to accumulate.
3: figure out how to get into the sweet spot between idea and music as quickly as possible, ever more directly.
4: no time to second guess yourself. That’s what later is for.
“You don’t get to decide the truth. Other people have their own experiences, just as valid. This is…”
When we teach poetry, we often encourage poets to deepen their internal focus or extend their technical range and critical faculties. How often do we encourage people to engage with other people, other perspectives? To not just look beyond themselves, but to actually attend to other people, real people, in a meaningful and authentic way?
And name you my country.
I throw all my dictionaries in the fire,
And name you my language.”
- Nizar Qabbani (via kathleenjoy)
“I showed you a picture I took that day using the camera that leaks light in a way that makes me want…”
- Time Expanding the Air Forcibly— Sam Ross
“Art is very good at capturing what’s lacking in our life. You can tell what’s missing from a person…”
- “The more enemies Alain De Botton makes in the art world, the better off for all of us.” | gapingvoid (via sparkspring)
“It’s even more complicated than this, because within the two extreme primary identity states, there…”
Work: Surviving the Arts | [PANK] by Scott Pinkmountain
This, and: “Once you’ve established the partitioning, work.”
"I have no shrewd advice to offer developing writers about this business of snatching time and space to work. I do not have anything profound to offer mother-writers or worker-writers except to say that it will cost you something. Anything of value is going to cost you something."
—Toni Cade Bambara, author, filmmaker, feminist, professor and social activistAll. this. truth. (cc:grownladynotebook)
Sunday afternoon, and no rest for the wicked…
- Kamau Brathwaite (via mountstnobody)
“I would like to be remembered more for being a good person who helped others advance themselves as…”
- Jon Setzen on The Great Discontent (TGD)
A 100-year artwork. Mmm.
Yes, we do our work day by day. We build monuments to our creative obsessions and preoccupations brick by brick. How many of us are invested in the kind of vision that might not come to fruition in our lifetimes— something that extends so far beyond us? How many of us think on a scale that even approaches this?
“I no longer have patience for certain things, not because I’ve become arrogant, but simply because I…”
- Meryl Streep, via I no longer have patience | Ioadicaeu’s Blog
“Creators do not ask how much time something takes but how much creation it costs. This interview,…”
Yes to this.
What Lens Do You Use? | The Story of Telling - Bernadette Jiwa
I’m contemplating getting back into photography again. As in: with a camera, not just the iPhone. If you were ever familiar with my photoblog, you’ll know that it’s become an archive for images I’ve captured at the poetry event associated with one of the communities of young/emerging poets I work with. That aside, I’m crushing on a full frame Sony A7 for as the next vehicle for my on-again-off-again love affair with taking pictures.
My favourite camera to date has probably been a Bronica ETRSi. Apart from the quality of the images, the physical sensation of framing a shot through the top-down viewfinder and releasing the shutter was… well, I’ve never got anywhere close to it with any digital camera I’ve owned. My current goto is a Sony NEX 5N, which is capable of pretty darn fine images, particularly bearing in mind its size. But I had the opportunity to hold an A7 over the weekend, and I was reminded of shooting film all over again. Could be time to EBay some camera gear to justify the expenditure…
Of course, as the quote reminds, none of that matters if I’m not doing the work of getting out into the world and taking pictures in the first place.
(Nod to LazarusDodge
"There’s something about the cosmic perspective, which for some people is enlightening and for other people it’s terrifying. For those who are terrified by it, they’re here on earth and they have a certain self-identity, and then they learn that earth is tiny and we’re in this void of interplanetary space and then there’s a star that we call the Sun and that’s kind of average and there’s a hundred billion other stars in a galaxy. And our galaxy, the Milky Way, is one of 50 or 100 billion other galaxies in the universe. And with every step, every window that modern astrophysics has opened to our mind, the person who wants to feel like they’re the center of everything ends up shrinking. And for some people they might even find it depressing, I assert that if you were depressed after learning and being exposed to the perspective, you started your day with an unjustifiably large ego. You thought more highly of yourself than in fact the circumstances deserved."