w: ajleon

The Deep Breath In Between

As we begin to follow the Destiny of our own choosing, and start making things that actually matter – launching new writing projects, crafting new wild eyed campaigns, taking our art seriously – something very interesting begins to take shape.

Our demeanor evolves.

We do less talking than we used to, and much more quiet building. We seek any opportunity, every free moment to return to our studio, our typewriter, our chamber and simply get back to work.

The evolution is one of posture.

We’re not on our heels anymore. We lean in. Our solitary desire is to be standing, bent over that anvil with hammer in hand, chiseling and ironing and perfecting. And once the piece is complete, we simply want to toss it into the basket and begin immediately on the next one.

Creation (or making things), unlike Reflection, is like a drug.

It buries itself deep within the sinews of our vessels begging us to pick of the brush immediately. To do it again. To take another hit and move on to the next book or website or print design or campaign.

However, I would posit that we must resist this urge.

The deep breath in between is just as important as the the work itself.


After the stage lights go out, the curtain descends and the crowds exit the theatre, a short period of pensive contemplation takes the role as a necessary detoxification. Allowing us to both rest and gaze backwards on the adventure or project or piece, and simply Reflect. What would we have approached differently? Did our assumptions hold? Would we do it again? Do we need more people involved? Would we want it to grow or keep it exactly like it is? Did the magic show up? 

The Good Misfit project, by all measures, was an absurd and unexpected success. We raised 33% more than we anticipated, the Windmill was actually constructed in record time and is now operational and we were able to produce live GoToMeeting HD video calls from the foot of the windmill with those 30 brave misfits who led this project. But now, having had a moment to reflect, I’m considering possible alternatives. Could we host small dinners throughout the year to fund micro-projects? (i.e., seedlings to kickstart village farmers). Should I legally form an NGO in order to more easily facilitate Good Misfit donations to our partner organizations on the ground? These and about 30 other considerations have been sketched in my trusty moleskin.


Without allowing our finished work to ruminate, all we receive is the immediate gratification of making and Exhibiting, and not the deep satisfaction that comes from memorializing the various Triumphs and Tribulations we confronted, and retaining the lessons and verities we gleaned along the way.

Sure, go forth and create things. Don’t ever allow yourself to devolve into an idle, hot dog eating spectator in the bleachers of your one and only Life.


Don’t move so fast that you forget to Remember. To recount. To celebrate. And to analyze. In the end, the only thing that connects one scaled mountain to the next is the deep breath in between, the serene valleys where memories are forged into legend.

From a little village in the North of Kenya
Your Fellow Misfit,

546 words



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