All Posts By Owen Sader

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

The Loop

Posted on 1 min read

I woke up terrified of things I don’t understand. It’s a Saturday. I was supposed to sleep in. But instead my thoughts are turning over and over, getting caught in the same corrupt loop. A well-worn half-baked control mechanism, but it doesn’t stop me from doing it. Today, the loop goes like this: Time is relative. Our past, present and future existing simultaneously. Blackholes absorb light, stretching time to a standstill. Our galaxy has a billion-sun density black hole at it’s center that we swirl around. This black hole will grow until it inevitably reaches out and we pass it’s event horizon. Therefore, if past, present and future exist in …

Envy

Posted on 1 min read

Sometimes my reactions startle me. I found out today that a close friend got some important news: his daughter (who lives in South Africa) will probably come live with him in Minneapolis. He was so excited that he didn’t eat all day. Literally, all day. “You’re going to see a new side of me,” he said. And I get that. It’s an event you never think will come. You resign yourself to living away from your child. And then suddenly, the possibility of raising them is very real. I can imagine that’s crippling. Along with the happiness and relief that I felt for my friend, I also felt envy, anger, …

A Simple Flight

Posted on 1 min read

They hand me a small disposable Purell Wipe as I board the plane. It’s a nice touch.  The entire boarding process is so remarkably smooth that the only changes I register are the anonymity of masks and the palatable decrease in cortisol being released on a plane where overhead isn’t a precious commodity and the flight attendants aren’t engaged in a Sisyphusian task of boarding an over-sold flight and getting it out with just enough time to allow another crew to scrape by the skin of their teeth. I know it’s not economical. I know it’s not practical. I know it can’t be maintained. But there is a calm that …

August, Again

Posted on 1 min read

On cue, in the tail end of July, seasonal allergies explode inside my head. Growing up they called it hay fever. It happens when things start to die. Which means I was fine in the Spring. But in the Fall, everything breaks loose. All those fields of plants drying and browning in the sun with no concrete and glass to slow it down. More than anything hay fever reminds me of youth and home. They make me reflect on how my home was probably never a place I was made to live. I don’t remember having allergies in Europe. But here they’re crippling. Millennia of my inherited inoculation means nothing …