anna brones

writer + artist + activist

Posts Tagged ‘inspiration

Share What You Make

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A few months ago I was visiting my friend Amy on Cape Cod. While there, we went to a cafe for lunch. It was a cozy place, the kind you could sit and read for awhile, and they had an assortment of magazines – the bright, beautiful indie ones with gorgeous photos, you know the kind. I happened to have a copy of Comestible (the food journal that I publish) with me, and I stashed it in the pile, my own small act of guerrilla marketing.

Thanks to Instagram, I found out that a few weeks ago, someone happened upon it while visiting the same cafe. The person was so moved by it that she wrote about it on her blog. The entry was titled “Hope.”

Here is an excerpt:

“While I waited for my breakfast, I paged through a short stack of literary journals with titles I didn’t recognize. Some were rich in bold, brash photography, but one in particular — a collection of essays and poetry called Comestible — stood alone. Stark in detail and void of ads, each page is an unvarnished offering from writer to reader. 

The candor and vulnerability present in every piece reminded me that sometimes life on Earth is beautiful and sometimes it’s sufferable; expecting it to be different is the real mistake. Also, though our creations will be flawed, we should share them anyway. Doing so is a reminder to self and other that we are alike more than we differ. To create is to live, and to share what we make is to offer hope and healing from the inside out.”

I was so touched by her words, and it was the reminder that I needed that whatever we put into the world inevitably has an impact.

Creating, whatever our medium is – words, painting, dance, food – can often feel like a personal act, something that we do because it sustains us. I know that I write and make art because I just feel that I need to, it’s how I process the world around me. It’s what keeps me balanced and sane.

But when we share what we create, we have the opportunity to impact someone else. That might be someone that we know, or it might be a total stranger. Those moments of exchange can be small and individual, or larger, but regardless of their size, they are all meaningful.

What if as part of our creative practice, we included a sharing practice? Not to show off our work, not in the hopes of getting acclaim, but simply to bring joy to someone else.

We all have the power to inspire each other, to encourage each other, to help each other heal. In a time where it feels like we need more of that, why not take time for the little acts which do just that?

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Written by Anna Brones

June 29, 2018 at 09:51

Words for Winter Solstice

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A reminder to acknowledge the dark, and celebrate the light. Bring kindness into these dark days.

Kindness with no expectations, kindness given to someone else simply for wanting to put good into the world. Kindness to bring warmth to the coldest and darkest of moments. Kindness to keep us open, accepting. Because when we give kindness to others, we feel it in return.

One kind word to the postmaster who is dealing with the line of ten people, all trying to ship unruly boxes.

One kind word to the cashier working overtime.

One kind word to a friend who needs it.

One kind word to a stranger, because it could be the only one they receive today.

One kind word to a family member.

One kind word to yourself.

Written by Anna Brones

December 21, 2017 at 09:18

A Pro Bono Lawyer, Who’s Entirely Mobile

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This week I was excited to publish a story about Melanie Gleason, an amazing woman who is running a 100% pro bono legal service out of her Smartcar. I profiled her work, particularly work with farmworkers, in a story on Civil Eats.

Gleason doesn’t charge for her services, and she isn’t tied to an office; that makes her work – which she calls Attorney on the Move – pretty revolutionary, and ensures that she is allowed to bring legal services to people in rural communities who might not otherwise have the access. If you have ever doubted that one person can make a difference, Melanie is sure to change that.

Inspired by her work? You can support Gleason and her services on her crowdfunding page.

Read the full story on Civil Eats.

Photo: Melanie Gleason/Michael Fagans

Written by Anna Brones

February 12, 2016 at 07:33

Posted in Portfolio

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The Ten Commandments That Block Creativity

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Path in Brittany by Anna Brones

My mother sent me a photo of a typewritten piece of paper this week. It’s a list, titled The Ten Commandments That Block Creativity. Actually it’s written in all caps, since whoever wrote it down thought it was very important.

I assumed she sent it as a push towards creative inspiration as I plugged through deadlines. Deadlines which I am procrastinating on right now by writing this. Mothers are good like that.

The list is credited to Stanley Krippner, and I don’t know where he published the original, but I did see it made an appearance in the 1973 book Child Development and Learning.

In his commandments, Krippner was writing specifically on children, and the cultural norms at play that hamper their creativity from an early age. But I think that as adults, particularly in a creative field, we can find truth in these.

The full list of the commandments goes into detail on each one of them, but I think that they stand for themselves.

The Ten Commandments That Block Creativity

by Stanley Krippner, PhD

1. Everything Thou Doest Must Be Useful

2. Everything that Thou Doest Must Be Successful.

3. Everything Thou Doest Must Be Perfect.

4. Everyone Thou Knowest Must Like Thee.

5. Thou Shalt Not Prefer Solitude to Togetherness

6. Remember Concentrated Attention and Keep it Holy.

7. Thou Shalt Not Diverge From Culturally-Imposed Sex Norms.

8. Thou Shalt Not Express Excessive Emotional Feeling.

9. Thou Shalt Not Be Ambiguous.

10. Thou Shalt Not Rock The Cultural Boat.

So here’s to rocking cultural boats, learning to not be perfect and reminding ourselves that not all we do has to be a success.

Written by Anna Brones

April 14, 2015 at 16:32

Why We Write

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House in Vals, Switzerland photo by Anna Brones

“One of the gifts of being a writer is that it gives you an excuse to do things, to go places and explore.”

-Anne Lamott, Bird By Bird

I finally picked up a copy of Bird By Bird this week, a book that has been on my reading list for far too long. It’s exactly what I needed. A reminder of why I love to write, and a reminder of what it takes to be a writer: just.keep.writing.

And exploring of course.

Written by Anna Brones

March 20, 2015 at 19:06

Posted in Quotes

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I Don’t Believe in New Year’s Resolutions, But I Believe in This Daily One

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Beach glass by Anna Brones

Resolutions.

This time of year the “R” word abounds, always filled with aspiration and yet an impending sense of guilt. Few people keep their resolutions, and most of the time by the end of January, those good intentions have melted away, like the snowbanks by the side of the road, that once shone in pristine white and that have inevitably turned to a wet, grayish mush.

But the reason that resolutions can be so hard to keep is that we put so much pressure on them. Our expectations are high. This is the year I will change! This is the year I will be better!

Those are admirable desires, but when one day out of the year is the day slated for the beginning of all of your enormous life changes, it’s easy to crumble under pressure.

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Written by Anna Brones

January 5, 2015 at 09:37

1,000 Miles: Month 6

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“What’s in like to run in Paris?” friends sometimes ask.

Paris is one of those places that has a certain reputation. It has an identity that’s known around the world. But like with anything, there’s an identity that we see from the outside and the one we see from the inside.

When you live in a place you come to know that inner identity. You live the everyday things that no one ever talks about outside of that place, and that’s particularly true when it comes to Paris. Because who would be silly enough to criticize Paris?

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Written by Anna Brones

July 4, 2014 at 16:47