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and trying to learn new things
I’ve been in Vegas all week for a writing intensive. It’s always good to keep studying to up my craft game! The class kicked my butt in a good way, and as a consequence, I’m working on an essay about learning.
It’s funny, being in Vegas. For years I held a strange sense of pride in the fact that the only two times I’d been in Vegas was while traveling en route to the Nevada Nuclear Test Site in Mercury, heading out with a bunch of other radicals to meet with Shoshone elder Corbin Harney and walk the sacred, desecrated lands, usually ending with most of us getting arrested. One of my arrests there was NYE 2000, with Daniel Berrigan and Martin Sheen. That’s a night I won’t soon forget.
So yeah, Las Vegas. Why was I here again?
Because my writing mentors moved to Vegas from the Oregon Coast. As a consequence, I’ve been to Vegas several times now, though never for the usual reasons. It’s a strange, liminal place filled with art and lights and drunken tourists and low level gamblers, like my father was. It’s also filled with working people, of course, who keep things running for tourists like me.
Vegas is a spotlight in the desert night. A glittering thing that obscures all of the stars.
I try to approach places like Las Vegas as a way to study people and surroundings I would not normally place myself among. This is hard to do, because my first impulse in places filled with lights and noise and gambling and drinking is to shut down and set my own course.
My photography practice—and morning meditation—helped me here, a lot. They both reminded me to pause and notice the small things when the totality could feel a bit much. The small things ground me again, and as result, I caught flashes and moments of beauty I would have otherwise missed.
I hope you are getting some flashes of beauty and finding ways to learn about yourself and the world this week.
And meanwhile? It’s really nice to be back home.
best wishes - Thorn
This week’s Magic Mindset YouTube video is called What is Mindset, Really? Thanks to my Patreon supporters who make these videos possible.
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