Our energy, we have to conserve and spend vigilantly like money. It’s precious and it runs out if we’re overspent but it is a naturally renewable resource.

Professional athletes deny themselves a “night life” to protect their resting time; but that philosophy resonates for all of us. One too many agreements to do a favor for someone, to do something with someone, and the next day I find myself unable to be “in the zone” or perform at 100% anymore. I pay for it dearly, in my ability to be sensitive and alert to inspiration, in my performance, in the creative caliber of my photography and my generation of new ideas, in my fluidity of Spanish, even in the bland language that I use. I get tired. Even though it is invisible to everyone else, our ability to finely adjust to changing circumstances and be useful relies so much on the way we budget our energy, our attention, and our mental agility on a daily basis.

Physical energy and mental energy are given to us in limited quantities, and if we are too liberal with it, if we say ‘yes‘ too often and lend our time (to trips, to opportunities, to experiences and projects that sound just too good to pass up) we become overworked, tired, more moody and useless to our craft. We become less pleasant, less fine-tuned, less generous, and end up thinking less for the team. We burn out.

By yesterday, I was feeling stale, not spontaneous. After a whole day working to the bone and a night of trying to organize my files, I craved (but didn’t know how to achieve) imaginative operatic delirium… with a grammar of textural rhyme and visual syncopation. To breathe freshness into my work at Taller Leñateros, I went bed early at 9:00pm.

I thought about Gwen Stefani, her funky sensible style, and how she grew up practically the same way I did, barely 10 minutes in distance from my house. And then of Nelly Furtado, her Portuguese-Canadian-Spanish maniacal genius. And last night during a glorious ten-hour rest which I forced myself to take in spite of all the things that demanded my attention, I dreamed something amazing like this in my mind. (These two music videos were the last thing I watched before going to bed.)

Yummy + Wind It Up | Gwen Stefani

Nelly Furtado | Powerless


Spanish Words of the Day: birlar” to pinch, to swipe | “luciérnaga” firefly | “revoltijo, fárrago” mess, jumble