Every day emails arrive in Improvised Life’s inbox that start: Dear Improvised Life Team. I’m always flattered, assuming that between the WE voice many posts take, and the amount and quality of content, that people feel there is a whole team of people at work here.

Actually the “we” is, well, me and brilliant 10ish-hours-a week assistant editor Mira Keras. In our meetings, we brainstorm tons of ideas, move forward longterm projects (often figuring out how to do them as we go),  photograph, make messes making things, collaborate with very cool people…

Mira Keras
Mira Keras

It is impossible and a groove: following the threads of one idea to another and in the course, discovering so much…

At a recent meeting in a cafe in the Garment District where Mira and I met to shop for fabric for a project, she pulled out a roll of tape and a marker and wrote MOVE SHIT FORWARD. I’ve made a new kind of graffiti, she said. You can stick it anywhere and it’s removable. No police worries. GREAT IDEA!!! (Graffiti is a favorite activity of ours.)

She stuck MOVE SHIT FORWARD on one of the cafe’s walls. (Who knows HOW its stealth message might infiltrate a random soul stopping in for a coffee?)


I/we are in way over our heads with all there is to do to make a site go these days. I sometimes find myself thinking: Am I fucking crazy? Improvised Life does not yet earn enough to ensure longterm survival, or even survival past this year. Yet it FEELS like something on the verge (Am I fucking crazy?), well worth doing for the astonishing feedback from readers alone, as we see if we can transform enough of the TOO MANY ideas we are working on simultaneously to keep afloat, thrive, grow.

With that hope in mind we MOVE SHIT FORWARD

…and encourage you to do that same, even if you don’t quite know what you are doing.

It is the only way you find where you need to be.




Postscript: As I was writing this, I was very aware of all that I had learned and discovered and grown into via Improvised Life. Some big question about “my next work” that started in 2009 is gradually being answered.  A friend remarked that “Improvised Life is a sort of raft I created to float myself down a new river, as many people have had to build in the midst of changing economy, world, personal lives etc. We are all Huck Finn these days.”

If you’ve found illumination, joy, or inspiration in this post, please consider supporting Improvised Life. It only takes a minute to make a secure donation that helps pay our many costs. A little goes a long way towards helping Improvised Life continue to live ad-free in the world.

Support Improvised Life ♥

11 replies on “Move Shit Forward Even If You Don’t Quite Know What You’re Doing

  1. Dear Sally and Mira,

    Thank you for the joy and energy and inspiration I receive from you regularly – here is a blessing from John O’Donohue that I’ve posted on my fridge to remind me to try to let my work feed and refresh me.

    Living an artistic life requires such courage and stamina and we lose sight of our magnificence – we need to remember that it is soul work, and it feeds and heals the world – and it’s vital. It is so noble to be engaged as you are – I wish you strength, renewal and vision, and that you continue to trust yourselves and your inner voices. You are wonderful.

    May the light of your soul guide you.

    May the light of your soul bless the work

    You do with the secret love and warmth of your heart.

    May you see in what you do the beauty of your own soul.

    May the sacredness of your work bring healing, light and renewal to those

    Who work with you and to those who see and receive your work.

    May your work never weary you.

    May it release within you wellsprings of refreshment, inspiration and excitement.

    May you be present in what you do.
May you never become lost in the bland absences.

    May the day never burden you.

    May dawn find you awake and alert, approaching your new day with dreams,
Possibilities and promises.

    May evening find you gracious and fulfilled.

    May you go into the night blessed, sheltered and protected.

    May your soul calm, console and renew you.

    From Anam Cara
    John O’Donohue

  2. Your newsletter is one of only 3 that I stay signed up for. I’m always purging my email and unsubscribing to things that don’t bring me any value but your stuff always worth reading 🙂

  3. Thanks “Team IL”…

    Perfect mantra for right now!

    Also appreaciate the Leonard Cohen verse from a few days ago.
    “Ring the bells that still can ring, forget your perfect offering…
    “There is a crack in everything, that’s how the light gets in”…

    The cracks of imperfection that ring us to those illuminating “aha moments”!
    Keep it moving ….

  4. All I can say is thank you both!

  5. I really appreciate your writings,
    your sharings.
    (the word ‘blog’, does you nö dignity)

    Two things,
    ….and a smile.

    1.) a poem.

    Intent with sorrow,
    he thought he could borrow,
    …a little more time,
    to leave ’till tomorrow.

    So, he held his breath,
    to save what was left,
    ….which unfortunately caused,
    …his untimely death.

    (keep going for it!)

    2.) 10$,..the bank is willing to lend me. ?

    ,…..and the smile. ?
    [i wish they had BIGGER ones,…smiles]

    I enjoy your sharings.

  6. Thank you so much for your moral and $ support. I deeply appreciate it.

    Another way of viewing your poem: If I were to do in a minute/hour/day/week/month/year, how would I feel about what I did with my life?

  7. Thank you for actually posting the words from that Leonard Cohen song rather than just reference them. I really needed to SEE them. Perfect timing!

  8. I’m happy and honored to hear that Improvised Life is one of three that pass the cut. A good sign.
    Thank you so much Chelsea.

  9. So here is what writing Improvised Life is like:
    I put something out there,
    and something amazing and right on target always comes back.

    I can’t thank you enough for your words and that blessing from John O’Donohue. Such timing!: An antidote and infusion of very affirmative, very kind energy first thing in the morning.

    I’ve printed it out to put on my wall, an essential reminder. We NEED blessings in our lives. So I will hold it to post for other readers.

  10. You and Mira are the Improvised Life and so I imagine that by asking the questions, “How can we simplify?”, “Am I fucking crazy?” from intention, the answer/s will come. Everyone’s preceding comments reflect my experience and heart’s whisper, especially,..

    “Living an artistic life requires such courage and stamina and we lose sight of our magnificence – we need to remember that it is soul work, and it feeds and heals the world – and it’s vital. It is so noble to be engaged as you are – I wish you strength, renewal and vision, and that you continue to trust yourselves and your inner voices. You are wonderful.”

    So, I trust that each moment you are fully present in these questions, as you are, will lead to the next moment and the next, in this crazy constellation and will feed us all regardless of its form or lack there of. One thing for sure, The Improvised Life is ALIVE and that dear ones puts you in the land of the unimaginable…some say, the fabric of miracles…unknown territory for sure…so fuckin’ great! Thank you for being crazy enough to embark on the hero’s journey and for inviting us all along for the ride…it’s enough.

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