you know you're legit, cuz you never quit
Dâm-Funk reshaped the word "continue" from a task to an artful and unquestionable push towards the mystery of what's next. He might write about something difficult happening in the world on Twitter (where he is legit the most positive human), and cap it off with a "Continue."
This in mind as I drove around West Tucson bumping Architecture III a couple of months ago, riding the heaviness of another inevitable wave of overwhelm, grateful for his lead, positivity, and gravity.
Continuing feels very Buddhist. It's repping for the hard times and good times equally—everything combining and we stay on our path towards whatever is happening. The forever easier-said-than-done practice.
It's hustling for what we're capable of. Our inner-David Goggins continuing to crush, one foot in front of the other. Goggins talks about the mind stopping before the body, something that came to him while running laps for 24hrs straight to qualify for an ultra-marathon. We can witness our minds getting in the way of our ability to create and live fully too. Trying so f'n hard to distract us from our path.
Lately, I've learned to listen more intently to elders, and especially elders of color. DUH, you might think—but this isn't something that I was taught to value explicitly growing up as a white kid from the burbs. I'm lucky that part of my work puts me in touch with many of these wise women.
Innesse is probably 75 or so and part of a faith-based anti-racist group I worked with. She passed down this quote from her grandma, "Inch by inch, it's a cinch... yard by yard, it's hard." What's incredible is she shared this in reference to a defensive reaction to our film and partnership from a high-ranking white leader in her community. Unfazed in her badass self, she guided us to continue.
Continuing is also quite anti-capitalistic (so is chilling), as it's going at our pace. Continuing, not because of made-up rules created by capitalism and social media, but because we're doing what we want to do at our core.
It helps me feel less daunting and overwhelmed. I don't need to do something extraordinary today. Continuing on this path is extraordinary. Its work and growth and effort and lounging all wrapped up into one. Breathing.
It's acknowledging the work we've been doing. It's good. It matters. Keep doing this stuff! I like to catch myself feeling my art and make a little note (7/22/21 — digging this!). These end up being super helpful weeks later when I'm feeling less confident.
Continuing allows us to make mistakes and grow, judgment-free. "Fucking up on my own terms," as my bud Nisey so honestly put it in a conversation we recorded. Cruising with change and learning how to do more of what drives us. Here, to continue is recognizing the real us. It forces us to see where we put our energy and reveals what this looks like behind the curtain. We can discover more deeply where our intention and attention are landing.
Following our path, our heart, our hype. Learning about one artist from another. Taking a rabbit hole towards more of what we love and inspires us. Pausing for a sec to see what's unfolding in front of us and trusting ourselves to move forward towards these paths opening up every day.
I hope this is helpful for you too. I hope it empowers the choices you have to live this life and keep going. To continue listening, learning, and doing.