From the Editor’s Desk 52


Thanks to guru Mel Hunt I have embraced the mantra, “Don’t let frustration into the mix,” this week. When a turn of phrase or thought seizes my frontal lobes, it is like a teenager in love with a new song, I will overplay the shit out of it. Repeating the words in my head, the same way I will play that new tune umpteen times.

“Don’t let frustration into the mix,” was what she said. She said it on a day when there were distractions and inputs aplenty. Embrace and imbibe and be anyway, for you can’t not. Be still, if you can.

This week’s family events and out of town visits enveloped my schedule in a loving crush. Like most modern Americans I don’t have much spare time to begin with, add in further obligations, and I quickly become harried.

“Don’t let frustration into the mix.”

I hugged that family love and joy close and didn’t worry about busy.

Saturday morning when I felt obliged to go into the office to finish writing and editing some of the profiles I have been working on, I made sure to bring my yoga mat. The calm and the still of being early and alone allowed me plenty of physical and mental space to lay out and reward myself for not allowing frustration into the mix.

When I finished writing and editing, I was able to embrace my accomplishments rather than feel the weight of working on a Saturday. I felt open to the power of them.

The world is hyperbolically busy for most of us right now.

“Don’t let frustration into the mix.”

I survived this week’s craziness on those words and making time to practice admidst the deluge.

But generally, I wonder how long we can all go on like this…at this pace.

In recent weeks, I have had so many conversations about the flood of emails we all receive. I will share only two quick stories to illustrate the madness.

In one, a dear friend, a civil engineer, was fired after only two weeks on the job for the terse tone of his emails. Albeit he didn’t use a salutation in the one I saw, starting with the person’s first name, rather than “Hi, Hello, Good Morning, etc.” The rest was standard, if sparse, fare. At his dismissal, there was no smoking gun email. He didn’t fit their culture.

On the other extreme, recently I had a friend tell me that he once had a boss in a Fortune 1000 company whose strict policy, known to all his underlings, was to delete any email longer than five lines without reading it. My friend, initially taken deeply aback, said his feeling grew to a modicum of begrudging acceptance of this forced telegram like directness.

Is that where this is all headed? Away from sentences STOP Back to phrases STOP Singular ideas STOP


“From the Editor’s Desk” is written by our Editor: Aaron Mandel

Aaron Mandel

Aaron Mandel

Aaron Mandel is a writer and an accomplished public speaker. He is the publisher of the Clarion Content. For more than a decade, the Clarion Content has covered Durham’s arts, politics, music, and cultural milieu. From breaking news stories to the hottest local acts, the Clarion Content is on the scene. The Clarion Content published more than twenty distinguished guest columnists and garnered nearly a million views. Mandel is a volunteer for the Durham Mighty Pen Literacy Project and serves as the President of the Board of Sustain-A-Bull Durham, a local small business collective with more than 200 members. He writes regularly on the Clarion Content and has been quietly writing fiction since the 4th grade. Mandel has been published in the Raleigh News and Observer. He has also produced numerous art shows, including, “Durham under Development”. He was a featured speaker at “The State of Publishing” conference. He has presented to Durham Chamber of Commerce, “Chamber U” on the “New Media”. He has also served as the play-by-play announcer for the D.B.L., a Durham youth basketball league. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Religious Studies from Indiana University in Bloomington. An avid policy debater at Indiana and a Nation Debate Tournament qualifier, Mandel was also a member of the New Jersey State Champion two-person Policy Debate Team. He has lived in North Carolina, New Jersey, California, Texas, Illinois, Colorado, Indiana, and Baja California, Mexico.

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