Sticky Notes - I ran into Malcolm Gladwell, again.

Don't panic. Don't panic.
Don't panic. Don't panic.
Don't panic. Don't panic.

I’m not easily starstruck.

And, I know what you're thinking: it's always the person who says they're not easily star-struck who is easily star-struck

But, seriously. I'm not. 

I've seen Lizzo having brunch at a cafe in Los Angeles.

I've seen Conor McGregor halfway out the window of a pitch-black SUV, sporting a pair of sunglasses the size of the vehicle's windows.

I've seen Jon Hamm in an underground bar in New York City, hitting on a brunette and finding a tremendous amount of success.

I’ve seen Jack Harlow waiting backstage, looking both very excited and very anxious at the same time.

I’ve seen Timothée Chalamet dressed in white from head to toe, in a booth the same color.

I've seen all of this and remained mostly unphased.

(Though, I did feel myself overwhelmed with the urge to punch McGregor in the jaw but knew better not to...)

The “celebrity” I’ve had the most run-ins with isn't really a "celebrity" but a fabulous writer by the name of Malcolm Gladwell. 

I first saw Malcolm four years ago at a coffee shop in a trendy little Nashville borough called Germantown. I sat down to write, finding a nice flow, when out the corner of my eyes a gent sat down at the table beside me.

He had large spectacles and a head of hair that resembled Chuckie from Rugrats (minus the orange) and I recall thinking to myself… huh, that looks like Malcolm Gladwell. 

A couple minutes later, a guy walked up to him and handed him a gift card to the coffee shop and said, “I love your work and I just wanted to say welcome to Nashville…”

Upon realizing I was sitting next to The Malcolm Gladwell, I kept to myself, continued writing, this time in a blaze, living up every moment of the experience. 

There I was a struggling, twenty-three-year-old writer with big dreams, writing next to arguably one of the greatest writers alive.

The next time I saw Malcolm was four years later –– two months ago, actually –– at a motorcycle coffee shop in Upstate New York. I was there with my girl enjoying a weekend getaway after a demanding week of work in the city. 

Again, upon seeing him, I kept to myself.

I just drank my coffee with my girl and once we had our fill, we left out the way we came and followed the cobblestone street down to our hotel.

While our stroll was really very lovely, we were interrupted a couple times when she was mistaken for a singer-songwriter that neither of us had ever heard of.

We assured both enquirers that their hunches were incorrect but not to be sorry because she gets it all time and we continued our stroll. 

The next morning, I saw Malcolm again, at our hotel, down in the lobby at a cafe, enjoying a cup of black coffee.

This was the third and last time I saw Malcolm and while I'm proud to say that not once did I interrupt him, I’d be lying if I claimed these run-ins haven't had a tremendous amount of influence on my life and work as a writer.

If you're wondering what makes Malcolm a great writer, it's that he spends all his time in coffee shops, writing. 


But, I digress. 

By Cole Schafer.

P.S. Keep scrolling. There's more.

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Last week on Twitter...

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"Schafer is feeling conflicted and claustrophobic beneath the ambitious expectations and deadlines he places around his life and work whilst under the influence of the drug, caffeine.In a moment of intense, overwhelming emotion, he lashes out, urging humanity to pay heed to the stimulates they're consuming and the spoken intentions being made whilst existing on these stimulates."

Tweet me (I'm funny).

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Where are you learning about NFTs, Ethereum, Web 3 and everything Crypto?

I'm intrigued.


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Or, buy me a Moscow Mule.

Why was Leonard Cohen so obsessed with shaving?

Somerset Maugham was one of the most prolific writers of the 1930s and is widely believed to have been the highest-paid. Not unlike many writers, he was a deep thinker and had a tendency to romanticize the kind of mundane human affairs that so many of us overlook.

Like, shaving.

Maugham once wrote a line that left me scrambling for my pen…


“ 

In each shave lies a philosophy.

” 


When I first laid eyes on it, I thought… Isn’t this true for anything mundane?

Doing the dishes…

Cutting the grass…

Shopping for groceries…

Washing the dog…

Vacuuming the floors…

When we can muscle through the loathing of these activities and truly become immersed in them, we have the chance to turn the mundane into an opportunity for flow, meditation and self-exploration.

Leonard Cohen, a writer that would be born during some of Maugham’s most productive years, would arrive at a similar conclusion in regards to shaving, with the help of his mother…


“The Shaving Ritual” was a short story inspired by advice Leonard Cohen once received from his mother.

She told him that whenever things got bad, he should stop whatever it was he was doing and have a good shave and he would feel better.

Cohen’s fondness for shaving would come up throughout his career again and again.


“ 

Whenever I come into a hotel room”, writes Cohen, “There is a moment after the door is shut and the lights you haven’t turned on illumine a very comfortable, anonymous, subtly hostile environment, and you know that you’ve found the little place in the grass and the hounds are going to go by for three more hours and you’re going to drink, light a cigarette and take a long time shaving.

” 

So, perhaps for Cohen, shaving was less philosophical and more so healing. 

But, shaving isn’t really the point, is it?

The point is that life’s mundane doesn’t have to be a means to an end, but instead an end in and of itself.

Here's the article in the flesh.

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