This will be the last newsletter you receive from Attack & Flux.

I'm done with Attack & Flux.

No it's not clickbait... okay maybe it kind of is. Attack & Flux is changing, or dying, or resetting, or some strange combination of all three (it will most certainly be getting renamed).

I've had a hard time showing up to write for this space as of late, and for reasons you may not expect. You see, when I started Attack & Flux I was finding life extraordinarily challenging, I was circling the drain as the saying goes. Writing and publishing here was my way of throwing a grappling hook over the side of the sink while I was sliding helplessly towards the center. The good news is that writing worked, publishing the newsletter worked, my hooks caught and I was able to rappel myself up and over the edge. Even better, when I found myself standing on the lip staring back down at where I came from, I was amazed at how far I had come and learned from the feat, but also just how close to the drain I got. Now I find myself in New York City, nearly 30 editions later, 3000 miles from where I started my writing journey and I'm encountering a new and perhaps refreshing challenge.

I pause and glance left over the East River.

The Empire State Building is flashing thin alternating columns of white light up the sides of its tiered and towering crown. This particular light show is common through out the year, I like to think its purpose is to announce the arrival of night. The sky is deep blue except for a fading gradient of orange and green far off in the distance behind the skyline, the Sun's final pièce de résistance pulls away slowly over New Jersey.

The challenge: how do you write beautifully when life feels peaceful, when your mind is content and satiated? How do you write passionately when your needs are met and your days feel safe and routine?

Oddly enough, this is not my first time encountering this exact problem. When I was in high-school I was a rapper, I wrote and recorded hip-hop music with the full conviction that I had found my calling, that I was going to be one of the greatest artists of my generation. I had momentum, grit, support, and all the validation needed for running forth towards that goal, but then, the unthinkable happened.

The unsightly circumstances that conditioned my fervor evaporated. The well of unhappiness that poisoned my heart and mind and coursed its way through my pen and onto paper had run dry, almost as if each word contained a drop of sadness, and once I had run out of drops to drain I had consequently run out of words to write.

Was I ever actually destined for greatness or simply another chance at basic survival? The answer became unclear. If the talent I had worked so hard to obtain could be vanished with a simple stroke of good fortune; then was I ever passionate or talented, or simply good at convincing myself I had found something to live for? A breath of air in a closed coffin. Already 6 feet under but still fighting.

The good news; as I write this I find myself enjoying the prose as it falls to the page, so perhaps I'm not only convincing with my words when the sky is falling. But the difference is; when life is hard I need to write, I feel a deeply rooted physical compulsion to do so, I begin to slip if I don't, the cracks in my facade begin to deepen and splinter. When life is easy I have to want to write, I have to convince myself. In these circumstances, something that felt like second nature feels distinctly distant and almost out of character to engage with. There's a gap between who I am then and now. It's almost as if when I find myself cracking-up I ignite with a fierce flame to feed whatever avenue of self-expression I can find, soon thereafter I want to share that expression with everyone, I develop delusions of grandeur, I conjure visions of that fierce flame engulfing the world. I feel what I felt then, at 18, alone in my bed room empowered by the fantasy of changing the world with my hard-wrought talent.

How quickly it changes when I find peace. I suddenly want for little more than I already have, and with that influx of gratitude comes a hushing of ambition. My talent and drive atrophy and wither into whims, into history, into something I once did, someone I once was but am no longer.

I used to be a hip-hop artist believe it or not.

A common icebreaker. A lost future. A dead dream. An escaped vision.

So the challenge becomes embodying the art unconditionally, keeping the fire alive even when it feels you've got but an ember left in you. Easier said than done but a choice in the matter is the choice between life and death (in my opinion). To create or not to create. To mark the passage of time or to let it slip. To remember who you were in the gilded days of your youth or to struggle to recall any day but the overwhelmingly good ones or their inverse. This is what I need to get better at. I document my thoughts and days as they relate to my most immediate challenges - my most intimate thoughts. I solemnly reflect on a day, on a moment, on a time just for the sake of cataloguing the words I heard, the smells and sights I sensed, the feelings I felt.

I've admittedly dwelled in the dark corners of the mind these last few years; pondering worst case scenarios, accepting them far in advance of their arrival, trying to make peace with every devilish thing that could befall my time on Earth. I felt this made me less fragile and more resilient, and perhaps it did, but to some degree I feel it made me less able to write about the beautiful things, the simple things, the things that create a poetry of the heart that radiates with warmth and vibrancy. It's not that I don't recognize those things, I often find myself in awe of the quiet moments that arrive on the morning's breeze to nudge the soul, I just don't know how to talk about them as well, to speak to them, to communicate with words how and when and why they arrived.

This is what I hope to learn in the coming year, how to be equally parts light and heavy, black and white, yin and yang, excess and dearth. For some reason, Attack & Flux no longer feels to be the proper vessel for that expression. So, going forward this newsletter will be known as Gilded Minutes. I hope you'll all enjoy the change as much as I'm enjoying enacting it! Let's talk more about what I have in store next time.

📚 A Quote to Consider

Some-where out in space there was a planet where all people would be born again. They would be fully aware of the life they had spent on earth and of all the experience they had amassed here.

And perhaps there was still another planet, where we would all be born a third time with the experience of our first two lives.

And perhaps there were yet more and more planets, where mankind would be born one degree (one life) more mature...

Of course, we here on Earth ( planet number one, the planet of inexperience) can only fabricate the vague fantasies of what will happen to man on those other planets. Will he be wiser? Is maturity within man's power? Can he attain it through repetition? Only from the perspective of such a utopia is it possible to use the concepts of pessimism and optimism with full justification: an optimist is someone who thinks that on planet number five the history of mankind will be less bloody. A pessimist is one who thinks otherwise.

👋 Until next time...

I understand how sacred privacy is in our day and I feel tremendously honored when someone trusts me enough to let me into their inbox week after week. Thanks for being here ❤️.

If something resonated from this edition please do not hesitate to reach out, I hope for this to be a two-way communication channel. Let's chat and discuss music and/or ideas.