Monday, August 6, 2012

Unknowable landings

Milton Glaser speaks to us about fear of failure, a theme to contemplate as the world has just seen NASA/Jet Propulsion Lab successfully land its Curiosity rover on Mars. Had they not been willing to risk failure, how could such an unknowable mission have been launched?  How would any venture with an unknowable outcome ever be attempted?  As I believe it is all, every moment, a mystery in the process of unfolding, for better or worse, we seem to have two choices: do nothing or do something.  Neither of them comes with a guarantee.

“We are all born with genius. It's like our fairy godmother. But what happens in life is that we stop listening to our inner voices, and we no longer have access to this extraordinary ability to create poetry.”
Milton Glaser

Among his iconic art, Milton Glaser created covers for every album produced by Tomato Records.   Here, with covers, are songs from the School of the Bold and Willing, performed by Nina Simone and Etta James.


Kerry O'Gorman said...

Yes, sometimes we are just afraid to venture out into the unknown. We must risk failure in order to taste success. It wouldn't be as sweet an after taste if we knew the outcome was a sure thing.
By the way, another kindred song favorite in both Etta and Nina...cheers.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Kerry - For me, timidity might be a more accurate reason for remaining stuck, rather than fear of failure, though they may be synonymous. Glaser presents it so clearly and I gave loud thanks for his outspoken rejection of "branding," a truly odious word and concept. So glad we share (no surprise there) our Etta/Nina appreciation. xo

RachelVB said...

This reminds me of 'Stranger than Fiction' the movie when the professor tells Will Farrell's character to sit at home and not do ANYTHING. Don't change the channel, don't answer the phone, don't brush your teeth because his narrator was trying to kill him. So he spent all day inside watching the nature channel and a wrecking ball smashed through his apartment anyway.
It's hard to know when to chase life of when life chases you. I think if we do a little of both, we'll be in pretty good shape.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Rachel - HELLO! I am behind in visiting you in your new city. I will catch up. Yes, the choice of doing nothing, which has its own unforeseeable consequences. And sometimes no action is the only right action. Ah, life, the infinite conundrum. A little of both is a sign of balance, one of the desirable states.

Marylinn Kelly said...

Rachel - P.S. from my drifting brain - xo.

T. said...

Marylinn, holy crap! This is exactly what I need to read today. You have no idea how overwhelmingly relevant this is to a nagging dilemma.

I'm sitting here with my jaw agape, in awe of the universe, the gifts it offers.

You gift you offered, here.


Marylinn Kelly said...

T. - Don't you love it when the universe has been paying attention (not that it ever doesn't but we don't always know about it)? I am happy for your day of relevant revelation, my favorite kind. xo