Pastrami and Preferred Architecture 

Multi-floored buildings packed with people are great examples of giant pastrami-like layers of ideas.  

Delicious, but I don’t want a meat lover’s sandwich right now, or ever actually, but that’s just me. All good if that’s your thing. 

I have a preferred architecture. I forgot I did. Or I never thought consciously about it until now.

It operates in curves and waves. It is a rolling diagonal of tree covered mountains. It has equal parts blue sky and clouds for remembering that life is bigger. It swoops in and out of time. It speeds up on a wind current, and slows down to rest. It takes in the sun and connects dreams to experience regularly.

Now I just have to remember that when I’m between pastrami slices. 

This week I overworked again. I felt I had to, which is a problem I’m having. I felt it was the only way out. It cascaded across the week until I felt a panic on Saturday night. I started thinking “I could take on that project at 8pm and work til midnight or 1. After all I won’t have internet on the day’s drive from Portland to Grass Valley on Sunday and Monday I deliberately took off in order to really recoup, get myself, the house and fam prepped for the week.” Something in me said stop. Perhaps it was the part that was aware that I had confused three projects during the week, and that I would never have the clarity of mind that I want if I keep diving in. It’s not effective. Overworking is not effective. And it’s not my preference despite somehow having a PTSD muscle memory response and continued bad habit of participating in it. 

“I have to” and “I can’t” are my horse blinders. Here are some that I discoverered were active without my conscious signoff. Some of these hurt to think about in the sense that I realize I wasn’t the person who thought I could, who broke through whatever wall was in my way. Acting - I can’t be cast. There’s no one who looks like me or my family on the screen (This was back in the 90s.) I can’t have money/get credit. I can’t pay my bills. I have to break my back for things I believe in. I have to work for little to no money. I have to feel separate. 

That’ll shape your perspective and break your heart a little in the - as Michael Pollen said on a late night interview on his book Reluctant Psychonaut, “I am not my ego.” - sense. 

How to reapproach? Stop. Stop before I start. Stop again. Stop ‘til it feels like a risk; ‘til it feels like I’m going in the wrong direction and until I see a new one.  

That works.  

I didn’t let myself overwork on Saturday. I can see the three hours I need on Tuesday very clearly and they can wait til Tuesday, when I’m rested. This is much better than 5 hours on Saturday, exhausted, panicked and not seeing clearly or feeling confident about my work. 

Not following the “fight” reflex makes space for me to see my preferred line: green,  ascending, multi-dimensional, calm, conscientious of the structures my actions exist in, in order to move from reactive to responsive, transcend, find, operate and build in superstructures. 


“With a Thought” ends our Chapter 2.