Welcome in to horizontal with lila, the podcast that makes private conversations public. We discuss the details of intimacy while the opposite of vertical, wearing robes.
In this episode, I lie down with my dear friend of 11 years, Matthew Stillman. Matthew Stillman is a genius. Matt’s friendship, ingenuity, sheer breadth of knowledge and depth of compassion, keen interest, curiosity, and the ability to forge connections between seemingly unrelated subjects illuminates exactly what you were trying to unearth in essence but perhaps didn't have the cultural or historical vocabulary for ... He's changed my life. He's made my world bigger many, many times over. I owe my life at the Villa (and thus, this podcast) to his curiosity and insatiable desire to share.
In 2012, Matt loaned me a series of books to read (sometimes I think of it as my independent study / book club of one in human sexuality) and made himself available for all sorts of conversations surrounding those books. Each one vastly expanded my perceptions of what is true and possible. First came Arousal: the secret logic of sexual fantasies. Then Sex at Dawn. Then Esther Perel’s mating in captivity.
For years, Matthew enacted a beautiful social experiment slash performance art piece. He sat in Union Square with a table and two folding jars, and a jar with a sign on it that read, “CREATIVE SOLUTIONS TO WHAT YOU’VE BEEN THINKING ABOUT: PAY WHAT YOU LIKE OR TAKE WHAT YOU NEED.” He used his astonishing breadth of knowledge and ludicrous reserves of memory to offer people an expansion around their problems. My book club of one was not the most out-of-the-box creative approach Matthew has ever offered me in my life (that probably had something to do with “sacred rage”), but I didn't know about those books before then, who knows if and when I would have found my way to them if it wasn't for Matthew. They form the beginnings of how I started to live into my purpose.
As a person who knows a little bit about a few things, I had never personally known anyone who knows so much about so many things. Perhaps you are seeking a creative approach to something you’ve been thinking about. If so, get yourself over to stillmansays.com - The reason you should have a creative approach session with Matt, more than anything, more than the knowledge, more than the widsom, is his cavernous capacity for empathy. It is from a landscape of empathy that he will draw on all the reading and all the study and all the discourse that lives within him. Without his empathy, this wouldn't strike the chord that translates through you into action. But with his empathy, the springing forward, the impetus, the desire to shift, is the real gift of this work.
If you enjoy lying down with Matthew and I, become a patron of the horizontal arts! Patreon is a great advancement in the life of the artist, a website that crowdsources income. It can make it possible for me to continue creating independent, uncensored, ad-free, homemade radio. For $25 a month you’ll get a monthly recorded love poem, two tickets to a live recording, quarterly lullabies, an invitation to a secret FB group that I curate, and a post of what I call GPG: Genuine Public Gratitude (or not! If you want to remain a private patron, that’s ok too!) There’s loads of other perks on patreon.com/horizontalwithlila
And if you want to lie down with us in person, the next horizontal storytelling pajama party will be held in Brooklyn on Sunday, April 29th. Details when you sign up for my lovely mailing list at horizontalwithlila.com
In the first half of this episode with Matthew, we speak of villagemindedness, our elders, orphan wisdom school, Matt’s first great love, his wife, and proceeding as if you are needed.
Come, dear one. Come lie down with us.
This episode was edited by Chad Michael Snavely! Listen to the rest of the podcasts in his catalogue through chadmichael.com. My sumptuous cover art is by the illustrator Shana Shay, whom you can hire through 99designs. The theme music is by Alan Markley, on Instagram as plasticcannons.
In order to hire Matthew’s brain to help you creatively approach your challenges, find him through stillmansays.com