The Work

Posted on 1 min read

Sometimes during the beautiful and loving moments with my daughter, I feel an anger and sadness come up in me, that I struggle to control. Anger because distance creates scarcity. I lost so much time. It feels unjust that she lives 5,000 miles away. To love someone so profoundly and then to be separated from them. It is the most desperate kind of heartache. For seven years I’ve wandered in that desert. I searched and sacraficed, until I finally arrived at ‘self’. And a new view of the circumstances. Maybe this has been preparation. A costly but valuable lesson. If this had never happened, would I have been able to …

Share

Driving

Posted on 1 min read

Today is a long drive to Omaha. There was a time after coming home from Prague (for a 2nd time) that I used to drive for long hours for work. Five hours a day through rural Illinois and Wisconsin. At the time I remember feeling nothing but impatience. Now I look back and see the creativity that came out of that boredom and the freedom of being alone. Sometimes I have this urge to get in my car and drive. Just drive for hours, days, weeks – not because I love driving, but because of the spontaneity and autonomy that it provides. Because that time in my life represents freedom. …

Share

2021 – In Review

Posted on 1 min read

It feels like a full year. And for that I’m grateful. I’ve come to realize don’t need things to feel perfect, or even ‘good’. I just need them to feel full. I’ve heard people say that the perception of time speeds up as you get older because each year is a smaller fraction of the whole. 1/36 being naturally much less than 1/10. There’s an elegant logic to this. But I don’t think it’s true. It doesn’t explain why 15 months in Prague or Madrid feels like a decade, but my years of high school loneliness have merged into something indistinguishable. There’s a different theory regarding time: that our perception …

Share

Dialectic

Posted on 1 min read

If there’s one drum that my therapist beats over and over, it’s the dialectical. And I find it as grating, as I do, true. Given that much of my innate nature tends towards the extremes. Take even something like judgement. ‘I shouldn’t judge’, (a statement with it’s own self-contained judgement). I often find myself believing this statement. And yet, there are times when I do need to judge. I need to judge to determine if I’m safe or if I should move forward with a business transaction. But it can also be blindness. You start to see things not as they are, but through the lens of your dream. And …

Share

Dog Days

Posted on 1 min read

The dog days of summer. The leaves are finally beginning to turn. And only now at the furthest places from the ground. It reminds me of the gray hairs I find around my temples. As cliché as it is, I can’t help but see my own fate in the changing leaves. Optimism and energy in the spring, contemplation and curiosity in the autumn. I feel on the cusp of something. But what, I have no idea. Maybe that’s why it’s so much easier to pretend that nothing changes when you’re in a warm season-less place. Not matter the age, we’re young, shallow, and joyful. That’s probably envy I feel. Maybe …

Share

Leonhard

Posted on 1 min read

There’s a beautiful walking path near my apartment in Germany. On this path is a small garden with a bench and shade. It’s a memorial. In the place are small gravestones. My daughter and I use it as a backdrop for making a home movie about time travel, dinosaurs and zombies. It’s only as we’re filming that I begin to read the simple graves. 10 men. Everyone died in 1945. And I realize what it is. The youngest are 17 and 18. The oldest are in their early forties. She must be able to sense my interest, because she asked me how they died. I explained they died in a …

Share

Not

Posted on 1 min read

I wake up almost every morning (or night) with a song in my end. Often a new song. It’s rarely one that repeats for long. Sometimes I like the song. Sometimes it’s annoying as shit. How I feel about it has no bearing on how long it will echo through my mind. Today I woke up with Big Thief’s Not. Normally, I try not to peel apart meaning in the song that my my brain has chosen, because I’m afraid it will just lodge itself even deeper. But today, the lyrics that kept repeating seemed to resonate: “You’re not the hunger revealing or the ricochet in a cage”. The lyrics …

Share

Blank Page

Posted on 1 min read

My output in terms of writing for ALA this past year is objectively less than previous years. I haven’t stopped writing. I still write every day: Picking at the novel. Sketching out ideas for new novels. And then when fatigue sets in, shifting gears to a short story or two. That lack of reflection isn’t intentional. I want to write more about my life, but I’m unsure of what to say. I have passing thoughts that seem so interesting in the moment. But then when I try to write them down, they’re gone like waking from a dream. I’m sure the Covid-malaise is partially responsible. But the last thing I …

Share

Alcohol

Posted on 1 min read

I’ve never stopped liking alcohol. Alcohol just stopped liking me. Nowhere is this more obvious then after a birthday. A day to both consume and compare yourself to a previous version. At 36, it only takes a handful of drinks to have me pacing around in the middle of the night with a racing heart and pounding headache. These days I try to outsmart my body by falling asleep with a stomach full of Advil and Ativan. I always assumed it was a conscious choice. People got older and they became more mature, and with that maturity came responsibilities, and so naturally they felt compelled to cut down on their …

Share

The Divine Masculine

Posted on 2 min read

I was asked recently about my interpretation of the divine masculine and the divine feminine. I’m not sure I’ve ever personally experienced those things. When the surface is stripped away, what’s left for me doesn’t really feel attuned to men or women. The fears, wants, and needs just become shockingly human. And sometimes not even that. That feeling of neutral human commonality resonates with my own childhood, before I realized the societal differences between men and women. And so I watched closely, and then emulated it, and then forgot that it had even started as emulation. After I came back from Peru two years ago as a bag of broken …

Share