Fearless Friday: Renaissance People

It’s been a rough week at The Green Study. Its injured denizen (me) was extremely grumpy. Knee injuries take from 2-4 weeks to heal. I’m in week two and severely out of sorts. I broke my ceramic tea kettle and when trying to repair it, managed to Superglue a couple of fingers together. Limping and lumbering about also caused my Kindle to fall off a shelf and hit me in the head. It was like being taken over by the spirit of Mr. Bean.

I’m shaking it off and this week, the theme is Renaissance people – people who cultivate a wide range of interests and practice skills in multiple areas – people who will never utter the words I’m bored. Welcome to Fearless Friday.

Feacanstockphoto13410470rless Fridays are about lives lived in spite of our fears, living a life that is about curiosity, compassion, and courage. If you just got published, something wonderful happened to you, you witnessed an act of kindness, or you have someone in your life who amazes you, drop your story into my contact page or email it to TheGreenStudy (at) comcast (dot) net and I’ll run it on a Fearless Friday. If you’re a blogger, it’s an opportunity to advertise your blog, but this is open to anyone who would like to share.  These will be 100-300 word stories, subject to editing for clarity and space.

New Readers

When I have time, I go through this blog’s follower list and try to visit as many blogs as possible. I’m giving a shout out to a couple new readers this month who exemplify the theme of Fearless Friday.

canstockphoto1323495Jamison Hill at Jamison Writes. One of the things that will keep me reading a blog is the author’s voice. Jamison has a clear and authentic voice with a compelling personal narrative. I had to make myself stop reading his posts, because I wouldn’t have gotten anything else done today. Check out his Bio and Bylines for articles he’s written for a variety of publications.

canstockphoto46705839Cheryl Capaldo Traylor at Giving Voice to My Astonishment is a writer, yoga teacher, and gardener. She opens her page with an Annie Dillard quote that sets the tone for her blog. Her About page is what you’d expect from someone who cultivates curiosity just as much as she does her garden.

Karen has a concert card!

canstockphoto8525201She’s a neuroscientist, goes geocaching, plays the violin and viola, practices photography, writes, and juggles (I made that one up). K.L. Allendoerfer at A Thousand Finds is the perfect example of a Renaissance person. She writes about her music, geocaching, and neuroscience, as well as posting book reviews and photos she’s taken. You can read her music blog and bio at violinist.com.

Over ten years ago she began to play violin and then viola after many years of not playing. This is something that I connected with, the idea that it’s never too late to learn and to excel. You can see her playing with a quintet here. Despite all of her experiences and education, there was one thing she hadn’t done before – had her face associated with a concert. Congratulations, Karen – wishing you an appreciative audience and a stellar performance!AllendoerferConcertCardFlight of the Dilettante

canstockphoto10628495My resume and personal history reads like the life of someone who is very…confused. It wasn’t until I read Margaret Lobenstine’s The Renaissance Soul that I began to re-frame my aspirations. She defines a Renaissance soul as a person who thrives on a variety of interests and who redefines the accepted meaning of success.

I think that’s a very cool thing to think about. When you’re like me, a jack-of-many-trades, master of none, it’s easy to feel like a failure, because it’s hard to explain at the family holiday gathering that you gave up Chinese painting because now you’re learning Swahili and woodcarving. Flighty. Dilettante. Hobbyist.

Now I just say I’m a writer and call it research. And run away before they ask me about my work.

Have a wonderful weekend!

26 thoughts on “Fearless Friday: Renaissance People

  1. Your opening paragraph had me laughing out loud — not at you — at myself. That’s everyday in my life. You have a great weekend Michelle.


    1. I try not to have too many weeks like that. It’s amazing how one thing can throw a person off-balance so easily. I’ve been distracted all week with this knee injury – it drives me crazy not to be able to move and to have to force myself to rest. Patience is not a strength for me.

      You have a good weekend as well, Fransi!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks, Michelle, for introducing me to some great new (to me) bloggers to follow. Hope your knee mends quickly and there are no more attacks of the flying Kindles (which, I understand, are replacing monkeys in the next reboot of The Wizard of Oz).

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks, Donna. I’m also keeping you in mind for Fearless Friday for nearer to September, when your new book will be released. I feel like I’ve neglected the community aspect of blogging for a little too long and hope this is one way to reinvigorate things a bit, with a positive spin.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. How kind, Michelle! Thank you . . . I’d be honored. I’ve been thinking lately about the blogging community and it really is remarkable. Unlike other platforms of social media, there is an absence of rancor and rudeness. Even if people disagree, they do so civilly and engage in reasoned discourse. There’s a desire to support one another. Community at its best!

        Liked by 3 people

  3. Yes yes, Michelle, so great! This column is terrific, and I’m still so honored to have been featured here last week!

    Your last paragraph has me laughing, since I too run away quick when they start asking too many questions about my work. Only other writers really get what we do anyway!
    I say, Fear not and carry on!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Michelle, Thanks! Your blog is wonderful and I tend to think of you as a Renaissance person too, so it’s fun to be featured as one here. (BTW I actually do (sort of) know how to juggle. Only 3 balls at a time, but still.) This is a great idea, and I’m honored to be included in this company of accomplished people with wide interests!


    1. And p.s. thanks for the book recommendation of Renaissance Soul. I’ve been on and off frustrated by the emphasis on finding your one true passion in life and it is so nice to see a fresh take on not necessarily having one!

      Liked by 2 people

    2. That’s funny that you do some juggling. You just never know what skills people have! I love Renaissance people – it speaks to a curiosity and openness and interest in the world. Given the choice between success in a single field or doing a little in a lot of subject areas, I am definitely more suited to the latter. It’s sometimes a hard way to be in a culture that is goal-oriented and single-minded in how it defines success, but once you get used to being on your own path, none of that matters.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think I’m finally getting there (to being used to being on my own path) in middle age. My kids, especially my daughter, are like this too, and the whole college admissions rat race was hard on her. It seems like, if you do a sport or music or whatever, you can’t just do it for fun, you have to do it for achievement purposes. And you have to do a *lot* of it. To me that’s a way to burn out and start hating your activity.

        I just took up golf. I was a little concerned because some people take it too seriously and get frustrated, but so far I’ve been able to just enjoy being outdoors on the course. I’m not talented at anything athletic so there’s no danger of my ever being “good” and that’s kind of freeing.


        1. I absolutely agree that taking up hobbies or sports that you may not have a gift for is great. That was Taekwondo for me – doing something that required coordination was a challenge, but it served the purpose of getting me out of my own head. I really enjoyed it and when you’re an adult in a class of giant teenagers, looking foolish didn’t quite bother me as much as I expected it would.

          Liked by 1 person

      2. And I love the way you phrased this: “Given the choice between success in a single field or doing a little in a lot of subject areas, I am definitely more suited to the latter.” Yep. I am definitely *more suited*. I don’t think we are actually given the choice. I spent most of my twenties and thirties trying to choose the former and failing.


    1. In some ways, I think it is easier because of accessibility, but accessibility also allows us to take a lot for granted. We’re not learning things through experience or practice, but vicariously through others, because the information is already there. Of course, some pedants would point out that true Renaissance people are polymaths and not just, as I am, interested in a lot of different subjects.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. True Renaissance people … sounds like an elite club I’m probably barred from! Seriously though, I’m sure the key thing is how one puts everything together – that’s perhaps where shallow becomes deep. Ah well, here’s hoping …


        1. I would imagine most of us wouldn’t qualify. There is something to be said, especially of writers, who can make connections between disparate subjects – they’re my favorite kind to read, because you walk away feeling like you gained something.

          Liked by 1 person

  5. Thank you for including me in your Renaissance People list! I’m honored. I mostly think of myself as perpetually spread too thin and focused on too many sparkly objects. Renaissance Person sounds much cooler:) It looks like I’m in excellent company. I will check out their blogs soon. I often run a little behind with all of my blog reading, but eventually I get to it. Thanks, again.


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