10 Reasons to Be Thankful Today

November 26th, 2014 in Reflection

I am thankful for sobriety. That steep mountain that helps pull others up from the muddy sickness of addiction. My beautiful sister is several years clean. She sees life around her and can now enjoy the view.bamboothanks

I am thankful to have a body: all parts working, 26 years old used. I could feed and care for it better. But it is all working. With my hands I can write, fold laundry, pet my dog. I am grateful, especially for the writing part.

I am thankful for time, the sharp spark that hits you in the ass and reminds you to get going already. Live life because it is only with you today. I am also thankful for this time I live in. I am grateful for the age of digital storytelling.

I am thankful for community, the crowd of people always there to cheer you on and share your pains. Life is a whole lot lonelier without a tribe to share it with. We’ve found the community in Detroit to be kind, creative, funky, and full of a hell of a lot of great people.

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Getting Your Viral On

November 12th, 2014 in Digital Storytelling

Driving down Woodward towards New Center you pass under an overhead bridge. It is grey and crumbling but the center holds clear with bright white words: viral, viral, viral, viral, viral.

You swoop right under these words and they stick with you for a moment, graffiti of the mind.

I have a love / hate relationship with the word and the action of going “viral” online. It sounds like a disease - the spreading. It is something any writer should want today: millions of readers reading and sharing as their work goes viral. Yet it can be manipulated, obnoxious, the cat memes and lists, the best of our days.

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What We Can All Learn from This 85 Year Old Sushi Chef

November 5th, 2014 in Inspiration

Jiro dreams of greatness. jiro

The 85 year old sushi chef has been acclaimed as Japan’s Greatest Sushi Chef. Somehow Marc and I stumbled upon Jiro’s story, the documentary “Jiro Dreams of Sushi" and I'm completely inspired by this man.

Jiro doesn’t just dream of the food. He wakes up every day trying to be better than the day before. He works so hard to create the best sushi, and he’s received very high honors for it.

His work ethic is something anyone can develop in order to be truly great at your work. What can we all learn from him?

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The Rhythm of Three in Writing

October 30th, 2014 in Inspiration

One interview I will never forget was with Artist Tyree Guyton. Tyree created the Heidelberg Project in Detroit, an outdoor arts project on the East Side not too far from my Grandmother’s house. Listening to him talk was a spiritually inspiring moment. dots

Tyree lost three brothers to the street. He saw his old neighborhood turn into rows of crack houses. Instead of letting the blight and drugs remain, he was called to do this bright, beautiful work. The images and materials he uses are recycled, colorful, and symbolic of transformation.

“Like the wheel in the automobile or the brightly colored Heidelberg dots, everything Tyree Guyton see’s is part of a circle of life.”  I wrote in this interview a while back.

Now, years later, I am called again to think back to a topic he shared with us two young writers in the room. Tyree explained that he believed everything was cyclical, but in this cycle life moved in rhythms of threes. A snapshot example:

  • beginning, middle, end
  • morning, afternoon, evening
  • life, birth, rebirth
  • child, adolescent, adult
  • breakfast, lunch, dinner

And Onward.

The circle still pops out often to me when I’m in Detroit. It’s a bright flash of this cycle, this colorful connection. It also reminded me of my own work as a writer.

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About Me

Amanda Lewan - Digital StorytellerOn a mission to inspire others with storytelling. Digital stories and cultural insights included. Read more about me.

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