The Courage to Be Irrational

Originally published in Dumbo Feather. Courage might just mean discovering the lost and hidden parts of ourselves I was never a risk taker in my twenties. Not really. When confronted with a daunting challenge I usually crawled back into my comfort zone, where it was safe. I even signed up for a bungee jump in New Zealand and when I stepped up to the platform I backed out at the last minute. What happened to the adventurous boy who spent his youth climbing trees? The truth was, he had disappeared into the sanctuary of rationality—something we all do by living safe, conservative lives. It wasn’t until my late twenties that I realised being rational had its own restrictions. So in 2010 I did what any irrational person would do—I sold all my possessions and moved to Berlin. My decision was met with immediate skepticism and raised brows. I understood their concerns—I had maybe enough money to live frugally for several

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The Exodus From Social Media Has Begun

If Nils Frahm Can Do It, So Can I I woke up this morning to a newsletter from one of my favorite music labels, Erased Tapes. Still rubbing the sleep from my eyes, I read the headline: Nils Frahm… withdraws himself from social media. I lay back in my bed and smiled. I discovered Nils’ music in 2010 just after I moved to Berlin (for 2 years). In winter I would walk through the cobblestone streets, thick with sleet, listening to his album Felt. I was immediately transported. Each piece sounded fresh, heart wrenching and life affirming — an avant-garde brew of modern-classical and electronica that spoke directly to my dislocated spirit. Nils’ music quickly became the soundtrack to my new home. So when Nils announced he was withdrawing from social media this week, I took his message seriously. “Dear friends, This page is soon not going to be active anymore. After giving it serious thought, I have concluded that Facebook will be

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HOME, LIKE DYING EMBERS (part 1)

Home, Like Dying Embers is a weekly – fortnightly story series and bit of an experiment in self discipline. One of the problems many writers face is the inability to finish what they begin, including me. And while I don’t believe in lumping all your stories onto your blog, I do believe in sprinkling them out like fairy dust … let them exist … breathe or eventually splutter and die. Live and learn. But let them exist. Another reason I began this story is to play with prose. You can map out a story (called plotting and not overly recommended) or you can let your characters follow their feet. This is what Home, Like Embers is all about, seeing where my characters will go next; inspired by a recent writing workshop with the wonderful Claire Keegan. Some of the characters are also based on my experiences while living in Berlin, and they are rarely exaggerated, merely reshaped. The story begins with Hannah and her life in Berlin as she decides to return a family photograph to her dying father. I hope you enjoy this series. – Jakob

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