The Spoon Theory became very real for me earlier this year. Along with all of the other challenges, getting into Clarion almost seemed more a curse than a blessing at times.

“Your living is determined not so much by what life brings to you as by the attitude you bring to life; not so much by what happens to you as by the way your mind looks at what happens.” – Kahlil Gibran
My friend John, who started Clarion West tonight, wanted to know where he could mail something to me so it would reach me before I left for Clarion. The package arrived a few days ago.

Inside the box was a book:

And behold! 42 spoons, some bearing quotes of imagination, wonder, and inspiration. Someone out there knows of or shares my fondness for Kahlil Gibran.

“A friend who is far away is sometimes much nearer than one who is at hand. Is not the mountain far more awe-inspiring and more clearly visible to one passing through the valley than to those who inhabit the mountain?” – Kahlil Gibran

Whether or not you write well, write bravely. – Bill Stout

Anyone who loves within their means suffers from a lack of imagination – Oscar Wilde

Emergency Spoon. In case of emergency:

  1. Remove spoon from wrapper. 2. Exchange spoon for towel. 3. Don’t panic.

“To be great, we must attempt so much that we not only are in danger of forever failing, but that we do fail… and in the failure create something greater than if we had set our sights lower.” – Jeff Vandermeer, Booklife

The pen is mightier than the sword if the sword is very short, and the pen is very sharp.

You cannot fail Clarion — you can only succeed after you’ve left. — Emma Bull & Will Sheterly

In the depth of my soul there is a wordless song. – Kahlil Gibran

For small creatures such as we the vastness is bearable only through love. – Carl Sagan

Finish Things

There aren’t many things happening these days that I’d consider easy. Being separated from Andrea is just about the hardest thing I’ve had to deal with. It’s a daily stress that weighs on me every day, and the uncertainty of when we will see each other again makes it almost unbearable. Having Clarion ahead is almost a guilt to face; a giant what-if. If I hadn’t gotten in to Clarion, all of my excess energies would be spent on getting home to her and that’s hard on the both of us.

I bear the guilt alone. I chose to apply, knowing the possibilities, however remote I thought they were that I’d get in. I knew that six weeks separation would be difficult for us but that it would be for our greater good. I didn’t expect for it to balloon this much. With the time away helping my mom after her surgery, we’ll have spent at least three months apart this year.

And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful then the risk it took to blossom. – Anais Nin

I dream of a day, hopefully not too far off, when all of my debts are paid and behind me and Andrea and I finally have a place to call our own. The yard is fenced in so the dogs can roam freely and play. There’s a gazebo out back where we enjoy the summer weather and a grill where we cook, and a hammock where I nap when the breeze is just nice.

Inside, we have adjacent offices where we work during the days. We’ll break for lunches together and share kitchen duty, and enjoy relaxing evenings together. If there is any travel to be done, it’s either a very short work trip or something planned that the both of us take together. There’ll be no more of this separation bullshit. If health, genetics, and luck are in our favor, we’ll litter the place with kids and turn them into geeks and nerds to plague the earth.

I must not fear.

Fear is the mind-killer.

Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.

I will face my fear.

I will permit it to pass over me and through me.

And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.

Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.

Only I will remain.

Bene Gesserit litany against fear, Dune

Thank you, friends, for your spoons and your thoughts. They bring me comfort and peace.

Adam Israel
Author ꞏ Genealogist ꞏ Software Engineer

My interests include genealogy, cloud computing, and all things open source.

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