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Irritated By This Little Tidbit.

April 12th, 2009 - written by Brian Utley

Reflection Is A Deeply Personal Activity that takes different forms for different individuals. However, we can also tap into the reservoir of the reflections of other human beings through the ages. We do this through reading, through conversation, and through art, and it is a great consolation and source of strength to us. Thus, Stefan is right when he says Traveling alone is helpful for a new perspective on life, but in another way, we are not alone. Stefan is traveling with us.

This is an excerpt of a group of essays found in my current book. And my question is, Why is Stefan traveling with us exactly? I suppose it would be true if I was actually reading his book while traveling and thus, taking his personal reflections with me. But this isn’t what Daniel Nettle is saying. Perhaps he is just not saying it clear. But why is Stefan Sagmeister always traveling with me? Is it because the moment I read his book, his reflections are forever in my brain, and therefore always with me when I travel? I have no idea, but the statement was just outright odd. I’ve read many books, and I’ve been confused by many statements, but obviously there is a collaboration between Daniel and Stefan. Daniel wrote the essay, and Stefan placed it in his book, so he agrees as well. Why the hell is Stefan traveling with us?? And why would we want that?

I have a feeling I’m either missing his point or this guy really is God’s greatest gift to me.

Someone help me sort this out. Here, Daniel, maybe if I link to you using your name, Daniel Nettle, you will see this and answer me. Thanks in advance.


I wrote this post, and 5 seconds later I said “screw it” and wrote the dude an email. We’ll see if he responds.

Hi Daniel,

I’m currently reading Stefan’s book and I read your essay and was wondering if you could take a moment out of your undoubtedly busy day to expound a little more on your last section of your essay contained therein.

Contained therein? I don’t really talk like that, honestly.

I have a simple question, why is Stefan traveling with us? I read quite a bit, and consider myself having above average intelligence, but for the life of me I could not sort out what this line was really saying. This was by far the clearest and most poignant of all the essays, but then at the end I read this line and stopped dead in my tracks. I thought and thought and thought, but for the life of me I couldn’t make sense of it. Was it the spirit of Stefan that was with us? Was it that we, having read/viewed his inner reflections, would have a bit of Stefan with us as we “travel”? Was it a cryptic metaphor? Is Stefan the symbol of inner reflection and thus, always with us? I’m not quite sure what you mean. Everything else you wrote, that I understood, was brilliant.

Thanks in advance for the clarification,

Brian Utley Cottonwood Heights, UT USA

UPDATE: http://resolution52.com/update-on-recent-irritation

Irritated By This Little Tidbit.

Stefan Sagmeister, Things I Have Learned So Far

  1. Brian Utley
    April 12th, 2009 at 21:31 | #1

    Based on Daniel’s credentials, which are lengthy, I can’t help but feel my misunderstanding is due to my intelligence, not Daniel’s.

    But doesn’t the statement hint of arrogance?

  2. Brian Utley
    April 12th, 2009 at 21:51 | #2

    Two books added to the reading list based on one single page of this book:

    A Year With Swollen Appendices: The Diary of Brian Eno
    Bowling Alone : The Collapse and Revival of American Community

  3. Brian Utley
    April 12th, 2009 at 22:18 | #3

    Sentimentality. That’s the word I was looking for. The word to describe Daniel Nettle’s comment.

  1. April 16th, 2009 at 22:40 | #1