Written by Robert Kuykendall, @rkuykendall.

Transcript of Ze Frank's “An Invocation for Beginnings”

23 February 2013

Hi new viewer. I know what you're wondering: “how does he keep his nostrils so clean?”

I was the new viewer, on July 6th, 2006, and so I sat and watched. The video ramped from a whisper to a shout and then ran at breakneck speeds through ugly myspace pages, ranting comment replies, science news, international politics, and ended with a chess move in a game against the audience. The video was 3 minutes, absolutely hilarious, and informative. Then I found out there would be a new one the next day, and every weekday after that, for one full year. This was The Show, with Ze Frank, and it went on to inspire many. more. videos of that type and is considered the birth of modern video blogging.

Five years after that last episode of The Show, Ze began again, with an invocation for beginnings. What Ze is doing now is amazing, but it's just not for me. However, I come back to that invocation time and time again for inspiration and motivation.

Here is the full text of Ze Frank's Invocation for Beginnings:

  1. Don't call it a comb-back; I'll have hair for years.
  2. I’m scared.
  3. I’m scared that my abilities are gone.
  4. I’m scared that I’m going to fuck this up.
  5. And I’m scared of you.
  6. I don’t want to start, but I will.
  7. This is an invocation for anyone who hasn’t begun,
  8. who’s stuck in a terrible place between zero and one.
  9. Let me realize that my past failures at follow-through
  10. are no indication of my future performance.
  11. They’re just healthy little fires that are going to warm up my ass.
  12. If my FILDI is strong,
  13. let me keep him in a velvet box until I really, really need him.
  14. If my FILDI is weak,
  15. let me feed him oranges and not let him gorge himself on ego and arrogance.
  16. If I catch myself wearing a too-too (too fat, too late, too old)
  17. let me shake it off like a donkey would shake off something it doesn’t like.
  18. And when I get that feeling in my stomach
  19. you know the feeling when all of a sudden you get a ball of energy
  20. and it shoots down into your legs and up into your arms
  21. and tells you to get up and stand up and go to the refrigerator
  22. and get a cheese sandwich,
  23. that’s my cheese monster talking.
  24. And my cheese monster will never be satisfied by cheddar,
  25. only the cheese of accomplishment.
  26. Let me think about the people who I care about the most,
  27. and how when they fail or disappoint me…
  28. I still love them,
  29. I still give them chances,
  30. and I still see the best in them.
  31. Let me extend that generosity to myself.
  32. Let me find and use metaphors to help me understand the world around me
  33. and give me the strength to get rid of them when it’s apparent they no longer work.
  34. Let me thank the parts of me that I don’t understand
  35. or are outside of my rational control like my creativity and my courage.
  36. And let me remember that my courage is a wild dog.
  37. It won’t just come when I call it, I have to chase it down and hold on as tight as I can.
  38. Let me remember that the unintended meaning that people project
  39. onto what I do is neither my fault or something I can take credit for.
  40. Perfectionism may look good in his shiny shoes
  41. but he’s a little bit of an asshole and no one invites him to their pool parties.
  42. Let me remember that the impact of criticism is often not the intent of the critic,
  43. but when the intent is evil, that’s what the block button’s for.
  44. And when I eat my critique, let me be able to separate out the good advice from the bitter herbs.
  45. There are few people who won’t be disarmed by a genuine smile.
  46. A big impact on a few can be worth more than a small impact.
  47. Let me take the idea that has gotten me this far and put it to bed.
  48. What I am about to do will not be that, but it will be something.
  49. There is no need to sharpen my pencils anymore.
  50. My pencils are sharp enough.
  51. Even the dull ones will make a mark. Warts and all.
  52. Let’s start this shit up.
  53. And god let me enjoy this. Life isn’t just a sequence of waiting for things to be done.

Robert Kuykendall — Say hi at , @startcomics, or in the comments below.