“Ignite the fire within and explore unknown territory.”

werner herzog bearWerner Herzog is one of my favorite filmmakers. Happy People, his movie about life in Siberia, with all its hardships and stark, hard beauty, is one of my all-time, desert-island favorites.

Today I stumbled across this gem from back in the day: “24 pieces of advice from Werner Herzog for filmmakers.” I don’t agree with every single one—”take revenge if need be,” for example—but I adore his badass worldview. Here are a few of my favorite bits:

  • Always take the initiative.
  • Send out all your dogs and one might return with prey.
  • Learn to live with your mistakes.
  • Carry bolt cutters everywhere.
  • Learn to read the inner essence of a landscape.
  • Ignite the fire within and explore unknown territory.
  • Don’t be fearful of rejection.
  • Thwart institutional cowardice.
  • Get used to the bear behind you.

Read the whole list here.

Jenny Slate is a wise little chicken.

jenny slate is my hero
I
 fell in love with Jenny Slate in the brilliant indie movie Obvious Child. After the credits rolled and I finished drying my leaky eyes, I went back and rewatched all the Marcel the Shell videos before falling down the YouTube rabbit hole of Slate appearances. Obsessed is far too strong a term, but I do really admire this lady. Especially since all her interviews make her sound warm, funny, kind, thoughtful, and fascinating. Check out this little nugget of wisdom from a recent article in Rookie mag:

The goal should be that when you’re on your death bed, lying next to your body [there] is another beautiful body that isn’t physical, only you see it, and that body is your body of work. That to me is very comforting and exciting to imagine sometimes–who’s lying next to me when I’m dying? There’s me, my husband, and who’s on the other side of me as my body of work? What does she look like? Is it even me, is it even a woman, or is it an animal? A lot of times it’s an animal. [Laughs]

Your body of work doesn’t need to be seen by others, necessarily. It just needs to be yours, and to be beautiful to you, and to be something you love. I can’t help but imagine my body of work as a large, skinny-legged dog with gray hair and a wild streak. But who knows? Maybe my body of work will change, and someday I’ll find myself in bed with a kind old Garrett and an invisible giraffe with black hooves and brown eyes.

But Jenny knows she’s not there yet (and obviously, neither am I). When asked, “What stage of your career are you currently at?” she replies:

Hmm…building? I would say that if I was a chicken, I would have hatched out of the egg, but still have a little bit of egg goop on me. I don’t look like a [grown] chicken yet, but I’m almost to a fluffy, yellow chick [and] a little bit dirty, still. In a few years I’ll be a fluffy chick, then a slightly larger fluffy chick hanging out with a lamb, but I don’t think I’ll be the chicken until I’m 60 years old. Then I’ll be, like, the chicken. Right now, I’m still hurting my little foot by stepping on a bit of shell.

I look at Jenny Slate and I think: What a successful, put-together person. She sees herself as a chicken stepping on shells (side note: girl has a way with similes). It’s all so relative. I have time to shape my skinny dog still.