joshua chamberlain is a writer, director, musician, and visual artist. He's the author of numerous short stories, plays, and poems.

It's often said that certain kinds of success are comparable to getting struck by lightning.

This might be true, but there are ways to attract lightning. Just ask Ben Franklin.

When the storm rolls in over the golf course, the guy who packs up his cart and goes back to the clubhouse likely won't get stuck by lightning. But the guy who pulls out his five iron and holds it above his head in the middle of the fairway has a much better chance.

Success is drawn to people who prepare themselves for it by doing the work.

I've been thinking a lot lately about the nature of my relationships.

It seems there's often an implicit code that dictates a friendship should be transactional. I do something for you and you do something for me. It's very apparent this is capitalism bleeding into intangibles that should transcend commodification.

Ultimately, when you give someone a gift or do something for someone, it should always come from a place of generosity. You give the gift or perform the deed without the expectation of reciprocation. Nothing about giving to those we love should be considered a transaction.


To give selflessly without ever receiving anything in return is masochism. Case and point: The Giving Tree.

This childhood classic isn't the story of a tree who gives selflessly, but the story of a tree who doesn't know how to say "no," who doesn't set boundaries, and eventually gives everything she has to a boy who remains incapable of offering even the simplest, "Thank you."

Relationship is a dance. It requires the ebb and flow of mutual generosity. We must give without the expectation of return, while also stopping before we've given too much.

As with so many things, this is a balance of contradiction, the kind it takes a lifetime to figure out.

We talk about productivity as if it's a faucet that can be turned on and off.

Not so.

Most days, I sit down to write and I'm lucky to get a few drops.

It may take forever, but you can fill the bucket one drop at a time.

©2018 by joshua chamberlain |  photos by gabrielle boltz of gabriell.e.lizabeth studios | created with