March 01, 2009



The last issuance of the Pact Invitational was what--a year ago? Eighteen months? The pact was light as a feather it seemed--early '08 was a time of innocence evidenced in that mine was to make all my clothes for six months, which lasted about a month or so, but you know, you do the best you can and sometimes your best is positively marginal and you wind up with some very whimsical capes. Anyhow, I figure it's time to task up for PACT 2, as we are in next level times and need a pact of renewed acuity--something to bind us as we flail. It goes something like this:

1. Pick a goal, one that is meaningful but not egregiously hefty or high stakes.
2. It must be personal, but it doesn't have to be private.
3. It must be fore the greater good of your emotional or spiritual life or for the health of your creative spirit.
4. It has to last between 2-6 months. It can be longer if you need.
5. You have to appoint a role model--so you can ask "What would Anita Hill/John the Baptist/Dan Higgs of Lungfish do?" when you are in dire straights with your applied risk-taking pact. Print a picture of yr role model off the internet and put it in a copious place to remind you that you are on a path, you and your pact. Frame it for added seriousness.
6. In your application, you must be as gentle as you are rigorous. Yelling at a baby pony doesn't make it learn to walk any better.

There is no reason not to start today. Even if it's something that seems hard, you can probably do it. This pact is to help us move beyond where we are today. And we are all gonna do it together, ok?

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My pact-goal has to do with my writing, with approaching art with intent. My 2009-pact role model is Werner Herzog, seen here on a canoe makingFitzcarraldo 500 miles from civilization, pursuing his art with total commitment even though everything around him is going to shit. Below him, Julia Childs swinging her meat tenderizer on her cooking show and an ancient azz Georgia O'Keefe hard at work. A little triumvirate above my desk.

When she was making her first cookbook, Julia Childs tested some of her recipes literally hundreds of times until she mastered them--the book about how she fostered her career is really inspiring. It's weirdly akin to Steve Martin's Born Standing Up (the best book on tape I heard all year) as far as showcasing art as a craft, that you study and nurture and apply yourself to your whole life, of a decades-long arc of understanding what it is you are trying to do. I would recommend it if you practice a craft of any sort.

I digress. Lets pact it up. You and me and whomever you else that wants in. It's an open invitation and it will give us some purpose and take the edge off capitalism's meltdown.

with love,

Posted by jessica hopper at March 1, 2009 11:23 PM | TrackBack