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2021 – In Review

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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 …

Dialectic

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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 …

Dog Days

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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

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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

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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

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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 …