Provoke Anxiety


I don't know what nationality this werewolf perched in London is, but I have to think he's American.

If I were to make blog t-shirts, the first would say PROVOKE ANXIETY.

This feels like a founding principle to me – of the way I write, the way I live, the way I encounter the world.

If I’m doing something that doesn’t make me anxious – that doesn’t make me delay, worry, perseverate, talk about it endlessly – it doesn’t feel worth doing.

I don’t want to waste my time feeling safe and comfortable.

I provoke anxiety – in myself, in others – because that’s where art lives.

Art is anxious. Not safe.


In an effort to take you behind the scenes here on the blog, I bring you a picture of this blog post being written -- in the lobby of The Hoxton, London.



I’m listening to Julie Klausner’s amazing podcast “How Was Your Week.” She really loves the things she loves (1970’s stars, animals reading her book, musical theatre, reality T.V.) — and helps you love them too.



5 thoughts on “Provoke Anxiety

    1. That’s a very good question that I haven’t entirely solved for myself yet. Maybe I’ll write another post with the basics of what I’m figured out so far ….

  1. I haven’t been by in a while and am, as always, awed by your honesty and self-examination.  

    On migraines — both my kids occasionally get them.  More often, the older one.  He is my most sensitive child — prone to temper tantrums when he was young and high reactions now that he’s in elementary school.  I was under a lot of stress when I was pregnant with him — a LOT — and I can’t help but believe it’s all related.  Add to that, an incredibly traumatic and difficult birth (induced too early due to complications).  He’s just always been a kid with big, big feelings.  He runs hot and cold.  The thing is… he’s awesome.  He plays guitar and he writes songs and stories and he can dance like Michael Jackson… but again, I think it’s all related.  That sensitivity that makes him so creative, maybe it’s also what makes his body react to — whatever it’s reacting to — with migraines.  I can tell you that eating unhealthily and stress and dehydration all seem to be triggers (which makes me sound like I’m giving him cupcakes and denying him water and then screaming at him… not true).  If he comes home from school and has inexplicably not eaten his sandwich, I make sure to give him something healthy right away.  

    My youngest kid — who gets them way less — had one a couple months ago right after a trip to the pediatrician for shots.  In retrospect, I think he had been stressed out the whole school day, just worrying about the afternoon doctor trip and the shots he knew were coming.  He did fine during the shots… and then got a migraine immediately after.  Immediately.  Like, still on my lap in the office.  He then fell asleep and I ended up carrying him out to the car.

    I’m rambling.  My point is — I think you’re onto something with the sensitivity.  

    On everything else I’ve been reading here —

    1.  Reading about you feeling so sick and alone in L.A. broke my heart.  We have comfy couches and the most casual type of socializing/calendar.  Ask our mutual friend — people constantly stay here and come over and hang out.  I will adopt you any day.

    2.  Going to London for a month is BADASS.

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