Start a Huge Foolish Project

“If people aren’t calling you crazy, you aren’t thinking big enough.”
— Richard Branson

On the Waterfront. Photo courtesy John Heino.

In one of my files of notes and quotes I found this poem by Rumi and it spoke to me this morning. Its title is “These Spiritual Window Shoppers.”

These spiritual window-shoppers,
who idly ask, ‘How much is that?’
Oh, I’m just looking.
They handle a hundred items and put them down,
shadows with no capital.

What is spent is love and two eyes wet with weeping.

But these walk into a shop,
and their whole lives pass suddenly in that moment,
in that shop.

Where did you go? “Nowhere.”

What did you have to eat? “Nothing much.”

Even if you don’t know what you want,
buy something, to be part of the exchanging flow.

Start a huge, foolish project,
like Noah.

It makes absolutely no difference
what people think of you.


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Author selfie.

I like the instruction here, “Start a huge, foolish project…” Why not? Why puddle around in the glum fog of nothingness when you have so much stirring inside of you that you don’t know where to begin? Isn’t it true that we concern ourselves too much with what others will think?

The poem makes me think of our 2011 Red Interactive project and the attempt by John Heino and myself to use an abstract concept, like the color red, to spark the imaginations of a whole world… engaging hearts and minds and cultures by spreading the red. I think, too, of my effort to publish four books in two months that fall. What a crazy notion when six months previous I had never published a one.

How about you? Where lies the dream that you are passionate about, but have been afraid to share for fear of what another will say. Treasure it. Nurture it. Feed it. And maybe one day your ark will save a world.

Originally published at on November 9, 2018.

An avid reader who writes about arts, culture, literature & other life obsessions. @ennyman3 Look for my books on Amazon

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