Thursday, November 19, 2020

Gotta Wonder Sometimes, If You Keep Digging For Grace, At The Bottom, Is There A Giant Box Of Irony?


Keep going with the list above, you've got your own terms and you know you want to add a few. You can make each one a knot on an infinitely long (Gordian) knot ladder and climb it, or swing on it (my preference), and shit, maybe even one of those knots comes up sevens for you. "I don't know." In the last 5+ years I realize that I say this phrase like every fucking paragraph when I am having a conversation with someone. The irony is, even if I know or even if I don't know, I seem to prefix it or suffix it with "I don't know." But what do we know? What do you know? If we all knew, we'd either be a saint, luminary, billionaire, or something at least more than we are, and instead, we all buy books to find the guide to make us something more than we are. My thought for tonight was that all the fucking saints died in a sad, depressed, and miserable state, and here we are all are, chasing their supposed canonical BS and really -- likely all that they had to say was some sort contemporary meme that survived history in some ridicu-miraculous way (or was bankrolled or financed by someone who had a a vested, but non-humanitarian, interest). I don't know, you know? 

You're on the thrill of the chase and I am cowered deep in the bushes, frozen, because freezing is a skill. You're making yourself the talk of town, the most illustrious of the illustrious conquerers, but when you miss shit, that -- in and of itself -- is a very unwritten story. Perhaps that story never gets written, I'm guessing it never does, but "shit never found" doesn't surrender its allure just as well.

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

The Box In The Hall Is Gone

When I was a child (I thought as a child no no no no!!), I was sad and reluctant to use things that required batteries because I knew the batteries would run out of energy and that I couldn't afford to get new ones. Same with magic markers, soon they'd run out of magic and then they couldn't be used to make fanciful pictures with loop de loops to a better place, real or imaginary (in some childhoods it really fucking doesn't matter).

Stream of consciousness prose (from last year) 🤢:

The Whiskey Buddha:
Sometimes you drink the bitterness to make the sweet taste better,
There’s no BS in my blood. 
There’s unrelenting light 
There’s the arc of a madman 
There’s the edge of the moment 
As only the moment knows. 
There’s blistering demand 
To the Demian path
To the things that shatter comfort
And ring the silenced bells 
There’s no pageant with a permit,
My sandwich board don’t have no neon lights. 
There’s demand
There’s demand
There’s demand
To take the pain for the gold,
To paint pictures with loops and curls,
To admonish the mirror, 
To the appointment with the stone.

Deliberate prose 🤮-- written for my beautiful cat who never wanted to let go -- better to have known (than not at all) for absolute sure. Carry on: strength, perseverance, resilience, adaptability!!! 
The box in the hall is gone,
It's tangled in the earth.
And the price that it takes to love,
Is set by the cost of the hurt.

You followed the road to yourself,
To its appointed end,
You never looked back
To the things that might have been.

The light from nothing
Is always there when you're down.
And your light from nothing will be here
When you're gone.


Friday, September 25, 2020

The Only Real Courage Is To Give It All Away

I think I am on the brink of this ^ title tonight. Why fight it? You know your truth and forever is a mighty long time -- and this is something I very much learned in my Minneapolis days. And your truth might be the truth but proving it would take eternal energy and all I've got for you (or all you've got for me) is what remains for tonight. I can't even find Lorna Doone's in Seattle anymore, so, what does that mean? Don't be a Capricorn in December? I think it all goes back to the moment. If you want a good moment, spend it with me. If you want a bad moment, spend it with me. I'm both sides of the yin and yang -- it makes it hard when you are betting on the Sunday Night Football game. I've had to stare into some exceptionally challenging things in life and there's zero reward for this. I mean, you may win a game of pool along the way, tell a joke where someone laughs, write a blog post that gets 2+ hits, but where's truth? Where's belonging? I used to believe in sacred shit until someone told me that sacred is just a word that someone invented. On the other hand, I do believe in rivers and Steller's Jays and moments that were meant to be -- and the aggregation of moments, they are the defining pillars of my life. "Save my life I'm going down for the last time" -- I heard that once buying a $1.25 schooner of beer. I was dumb enough believe it. 

Tuesday, September 1, 2020

Sparkly-Rainbow Was My Daughter's Favorite Color For About Five Years

Sparkly-Rainbow, I get it now, all the colors jammed into one, but that's not enough so you gotta add sparkles to it. Which, inside joke to my non-readers, I still keep promising that I am going to write about sparklers and don't do it. Today at least, we got as close as sparkly and that's going to have to suffice. Sparkly-rainbow represents my emotional state for the past month, all the feelings jammed into one and then add sparkles, 'cause shit, once you are on the roller coaster, make it higher, make it lower, put the cars on backward, let's go. This isn't a bad thing. Well, it is if you are trying to go all Fortune-500 and hide from vulnerabilities and make some sort of impression that can be indelibly printed on a CV. I don't know, we have all these societal ills that could simply solved by real, deep dialogue but then when someone genuinely opens his/her mouth everyone else in the room freaks out and points the collective finger of shame. Everyone is just trying to figure it out, are we not able to give everyone her/his/their grace? And, while I can see the upside to social media, I think social media has really buried truth so far into the ground, it's never coming back. Everything's got to be perfect for now and evermore. Marketing was genius 1950 - 2000 and now marketing is just an insidious presence that no one has any grip on. Ouch! I need to catch myself. This whole post was supposed to be about how old school y'all can't all be wrong was an unfortunate arrogant take about falling into depression and how new school y'all can't all be wrong is a transcendence of that state of mind -- and, it generally has been, but then that first "paragraph" just happened. Maybe the new blog version is just sparkly-rainbow, a preschooler's definition of karma.

I can find joy in that today is September 1st, which could be just a day or could be any date. Or, I can attach meaning to it. It's up to me, and that's the point. Gotta find joy in your environment because when you do, your environment finds joy in you. 

I wrote while listening to many songs tonight, likely all of them (and add sparkles) -- so while the non-marketing decision would have been to choose David Bowie's Let's Dance, I'm going with the varnish of marketing tonight, sap and 70s beer commercial all in one, and hey, Fee Waybill, so it can't be all that bad! 

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

All The Feel Good You Ever Need Is Captured On Both Sides Of The First Cheap Trick Album

I heart being from the Midwest because to me, "being from the Midwest" means that you are capable of riding in the back of pickup truck, on a hot summer day, on a country road, cheap American beer in hand, and that's all you need. As if the universe collapsed back into a singularity of just you in the truck at that moment and completeness was completed: bliss, nirvana, pick a term. I left the Midwest for California because as a kid in a band in the late 80s, all the cool stuff happened in California: the weather better (truth), the women hotter (partial truth 😆), the music better (umm...) and if only you could get yourself in a van and drive to LA, all your dreams would manifest and life would be lived happily ever after. Well, shoot, I never even made it to California, I flirted with San Francisco, enough so to call on a few apartments, but then I asked a potential employer if I needed a car. The answer? "Kid, this is California, everyone has a car." As an alternative and like everyone else in the Midwest, I moved to Washington State, the poor person's California (and safer too, no hair bands and no women that David Lee Roth would have sung songs about) and this is home. But I will forever miss the Midwest and the polarization of folks (current Zeitgeist) pains me beyond belief because I lived in both worlds and seeking disagreement between the two seems so forced and artificial to humankind. Don't believe me? Pick two random people and put them in the same room with a six pack of beer between them and watch what happens. Face to face, people almost aways try to find what's common and harmonize with each other. 

OK, enough of that ^, don't have enough time today to solve the world's problems, but, yeah, Cheap Trick and their first album, there are no hits but in aggregate it's bliss, it's Midwestern joy at its best, it's a bottle of feel good that you can pour at any moment, and maybe in the 40 minutes it takes to listen to the whole thing, you can forget about polarization and think more about the back of that pickup truck. 

Friday, August 14, 2020

The Original Title Of This Post Was "Freedom At Point Zero" But No, Delays, Always Delays! Why Delays?

Well, I wrote the "Hillary Wins!" narrative and then Trump fucking won the election. Then what to do? Only so many bottles of rosé that you can consume and that's just a path to emptiness; empty bottle, empty soul and I want neither of those things. I wanna listen to the Steller’s* jays tell me their stories on a river's edge because maybe someday I'll get a 'C' or a 'V' in my title but the only fulfillment I need is a great piece of music, an awesome stereo, and well, maybe just me alone, but a coterie of music freaks, intellectual junkies, and spirits who can dance with words, I want them in my heart too. Writing exhausted again because I like writing exhausted, I like metal on metal. If you are looking for liberation, try all 4 parts of Lou Reed's Metal Machine Music on repeat, then get back to me and we will compare notes (I may be writing to Metal Machine Music right now). Truthfully, just bail out of Metal Machine Music, it's bad advice and it will lead to nothing good. Freedom at point zero is never far away, live your life in truth and with integrity, maybe pick up some Hesse influence along the way, and always fight the good fight because a clear conscience is requisite for transformation and transcendence. Sure, grab a six pack of Pabst (every now and then), put on Lou Reed's Rock 'n' Roll Animal, and grab a hold of stuff when's it right in front of you, because, you know, and I will just say it, when it gets too far away, it's too far away. Rock on Milwaukee (and any other city that you may reside in!)

*It's very messed up that a bird name has an apostrophe in it -- how do you even fucking deal with the scenario when a Steller's jay possesses something? Seriously, I may get a 'C' in my title but that just makes me want to quit. 

Sunday, August 9, 2020


Grace is the greatest word ever invented. I learned the word, likely in my Catholic days, but like everything religion, I was just praying to god that we could skip the 2nd and 4th verses and just get home to watch football. Some families say it before dinner too, but I never really thought about what it means. It's like the word sudden, everyone says it, and everyone is fucking convinced that you cannot talk about part of a sudden, but no one really knows what sudden means. I currently have grace metaphorically wrapped around my left wrist in the form of a silver metal bracelet that my sister gave to me when I was in high school. The bracelet is a constant reminder that I've come a long way. I used to never take it off and then hubris said it's OK not to wear it and not wearing it led to sameness and catastrophe. I don't think I'll ever take it off now. People say don't be superstitious and/or believe in the small things that seem to point to fate -- and then you don't wear your lucky socks and then your sports team loses the big game and then you know it -- it was your fault! I'm going to wear my bracelet and my lucky socks!
Grace is hard, grace is like all the hard words: love, hate, anger, elation, betrayal, guilt, they're all easy when you are smoking your cigar, rejoicing on your front porch, drinking espresso and reviewing your brokerage accounts gains from the last decade. So easy to talk about those words when you are removed from them. There should be a law that you are not allowed to expound about grace unless you've been flattened and are in the middle of something where giving grace is the very last fucking thing you'd ever want to do. Someone said that "life sucks and then you die" but it's really "life's tough and then you die." I'm so utterly fascinated and challenged by grace because in some sense you can only learn grace by suffering and empathy and who really signs up for those things anymore? I also have no idea if I can even succeed. (I know I write cryptically, just protecting the innocent, but, god, tonight, I would so ❤️to name all the names). And, not once, but twice in my life I traded a million+ dollars for wisdom, so there's that and that's painful (and who does that?) and I don't even know if I can survive that. But, with grace, it's starts with yourself and you can inwardly examine and love and hurt and cry and then when you survive that, then you can direct it outward, and you're gonna get hurt, likely not permanently, but it will happen -- and, if you transcend, then you will know what it really means to give grace.

Monday, August 3, 2020

The Other Side Of Sparklers

I keep promising writing about sparklers and maybe it's just bait and switch? But it's necessary to consider the other side of sparklers, 'cause you learn something when you go through turnstiles enough. Temper the highs, boost the lows. Got a lesson today from the book I mentioned in my previous post
"how much more questionable is the accuracy of our thoughts when bad lands and we are breaking apart? How rooted in reality are our thoughts when we are in emotional upheaval, our stress levels are high, we are traumatized, or we are struggling with PTSD? When we get hijacked by the amygdala and we are deep in fight-or-flight mode, we will say or do almost anything to save ourselves."
For context the quote is in a chapter where the theme is "not believing everything you think" -- so when the spark hits in darkness, what to do with it? It was dark and now the spark hints at direction and you want to chase it. Is chasing it saying or doing almost anything to save yourself? Not chasing it doesn't seem correct either. I guess I can just think both thoughts (chase/don't chase) and then I can choose which of those thoughts I don't want to believe! That's how we would do it in the Midwest -- you just kind of keep tweaking the wheel until it lines up with the sentiment you are comfortable with. Ha, sure, that's funny, but it's the control boat again, who is really steering it? Nobody seems to want to answer that question (and I need to write about this soon!). 

One thing is certain for me tonight, if sparklers had a song, it would be this:

Saturday, August 1, 2020

Just Gonna Have To Admit Exhaustion

I know I promised sparklers and I will deliver, but writing about sparklers requires energy that I don't have tonight. I put a lot on the line today, spiritually, emotionally, and physically. Got a great workout in under the hot sun. Had I become a rock star, I would have played all my gigs shirtless in the blazing sun (here's looking at you Phil Collen -- cannot believe I just referenced Phil Collen). For me, the sun only gives and I lost my stuff during the 2017 eclipse. I will forever chase them. Maybe I only get energy when I exhaust myself? But exhaustion is not defeat and if anything a single spark in the sparklers I've promised burned more brightly this afternoon, perhaps even danced. I'm not sure, but like the good Wisconsin kid I am, I'm drinking 50/50 soda under the ascetical sun during my ascetical summer (2020 style) and I can now return to my co-studies with my BFF in the book that we are jointly reading: When Bad Lands -- pulling things back to a personal lens, to something I can own and forget about narratives beyond my control. From the book:
I engineered this hurricane of self-deception. I designed it. I was lost, and without any planning, I steered myself into a dead-end that forced me to choose to either be a coward or to wake up.
I don't know what my point is, other than to say that I am truly exhausted and yet also waking up -- but also that today was off the charts in the energy plane and I guess you gotta pay attention to that? Because what else is there? I mean, machine learning and statistical analysis can take you a long way there, but only sensing gets you beyond the door.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

I Used To Have The Courage To Write Two-Line Posts

And now I don't, but the next post will be about sparklers so it will all be worth it (even without sparklers, but, I promise sparklers and more than two lines, so, ha!).

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Gotta Post Quickly Before The Chariot Turns Back Into A Pumpkin

Awesome moonset tonight and then I looked at the clock and realized it's been exactly six months since the start of my dark night of the soul. I'm guessing the moonset is the semaphore of change. Dark nights apparently start benignly, long before catastrophe really strikes. You'll know it when you look back but you'll never know it in the moment. Mine was about Zen books and walking everywhere and reconnecting to me. Then I looked at lemons in a tree, heard the hummingbirds overhead and looked down at my glass of wine from a post-funeral reception. There was a cool reflection in the wine glass and I shot it with my iPhone. That was the beginning and I was innocent in the moment, as I have always been. You can vomit on your dark nights but I realize that mine will lead me to greater heights and it all starts in about 15 minutes and you'd better believe that the slipper's gonna fit. 

RIP Peter Green

Friday, July 24, 2020


The coolest thing that has ever been said to me was by my best high school friend -- and, perhaps I wasn't her best friend, but I'm willing to admit my vulnerabilities. I want to admit my vulnerabilities. On the back of her senior picture to me, she wrote:

"...don't change (too much)"

And that stuck with me. The necessary canonical part of me that jammed energy into the world, that rocked other worlds up and down. Holy shit, really? don't change? I'd never considered the impact of me upon my environment. It's important to note here that this was a platonic relationship and the lack of other motives strengthens the impact and genuineness of her quote. To that end, she's someone that to this day, I can surf on into her house (like I did a few nights ago) and talk deeply and introspectively and there is trust and respect and loyalty, AND, her husband (thanks B!) trusts the situation. I mean, how fucking cool is that? And, I have done the work, put the energy into this where my trust is honored and respected. Namaste! 

Too much
Those two words of her quote are playful but also a caveat because of course we must change and I have. She gave me a new word this week, adaptability -- something that I know about but haven't considered too much, and, not that I haven't adapted, I just haven't pondered it. It's time. It's also painful, but it's time. Someone told me just yesterday that you cannot transcend until you have confronted grief directly and compassionately, with grace and acknowledgment. And hah, I definitely haven't been there, but, here I am, with open arms, navigating the darkest waters, turning things loose that need to be turned loose and looking to the horizon, perhaps Kerouac style, but more likely and more accurately Pirsig style (fuck that was a long sentence!). Pirsig bled in his book and, then, THEN!, he lost his son. That's grief and I surely don't know what grief is! 

This ↓ BTW, is the worst album cover of all time, but, it's an amazing song. Namaste!

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Fake Coolness Requires Polarity

But what is coolness anyway? It's really just the work you need to do to get back to the center, to equilibrium. It's always easier to dish out hurt, there's no real effort or thought required, you just act and don't think. But coolness, as we know it in Western terms, requires some sort of fake, if not sick acquiescence. But, the dopamine hit is large and in the meantime the Crazy Horse Memorial just gets chipped away at slowly, all the while hundreds of thousands gawk at Mount Rushmore. I mean, don't get me wrong, I can find coolness in everything, but the coolest of the cool have mental and emotional discipline, an ascetical bent that can kick your ass and my ass combined. I mean, if I dropped a world class selling album, I could only be so cool as to follow up it with a song like Over & Over -- it's iconoclastic, humbling and full or grace, and maybe it does require a listener's acquiescence, so maybe I am just talking in circles, over and over!

Friday, July 17, 2020


Shoot! I think I was looking for something, not directly, sub-consciously. I referenced it twice, once in my "Power and Money" post from a few days ago, then again to my eldest daughter:  "about that book I bought" for her on her birthday this year. 
I don't think it's a particular quote from Demian this time, I mean, it could be and I can quote it upside down and inside out -- no, Demian stands alone! Demian is strength. It's elemental. Demian simultaneously builds and destroys, just depends which side of which you need. In that sense, Demian is balance. It's equilibrium, but it's brutal 
equilibrium because it's a really bright light on the soul -- there are no dark corners and it can cause vulnerability, perhaps even desperate vulnerability. But that's the point, it forces harmonic convergence, an inner-peace like none-other that rides just between the moment gone and the moment to arrive. 




Thursday, July 16, 2020

In Complete Darkness The Tiniest Spark Is Fucking Bright

After that title ^ you'd have to bare your soul to write anything good and shred your soul to write anything great. I ain't got that in me tonight. Perhaps someday, but I'm always waiting to prove myself so I can justify that an autobiographical piece has worldly worthiness. I know it doesn't work that way. I'm a monk in an Audi; I'm the crow with blue eyes and the duality is loud. Just look at that illustration over there ->
I once put a 9V battery across my top and bottom braces -- do not do this!!! It's mofo-highly contraindicated! That sucked but tonight is harder -- god likes to play jokes and you just have to laugh otherwise god is likely to play another one. And despite the vastness of the universe, almost everything gets reduced to a choice of two (unless you are a computer scientist and then you've got null). Black/white, yin/yang, plus/minus, you get the picture. So, when you are flattened, you either shake your head out like the cartoon character after the anvil hits it, or, you don't. And, where's the fun in choosing don't? Plus, once that spark hits, the one you really need, then there's no doubt, just direction. For tonight, I'll take it. It sounds like a Cars' song but that cheapens it. I'm going with Todd is god. 

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Power and Money Die In Transparency

The best thing about Gerry Rafferty is that, when you type Gerry into the TIDAL search box, only Gerry Rafferty appears. Gerry bled and we should respect him for that:

Whatever's written in your heart, that's all that matters
You'll find a way to say it all someday

Power really defiles. It's sick and certainly not transparent. I say it all the time -- because it's patently true -- you and I both get the stone at the end of our lives, no one hides from that, it's the great equalizer. So, people abuse their power, they spew their abuse, they manipulate, and then Gerry Fucking Rafferty comes along and bleeds truth and there's nowhere to run after that. I mean, who writes this shit? It's worth repeating:

You never wanted me to get too close
We love and hate the ones we need the most
I tried to find a way to you
One thing I could say to you.
Whatever's written in your heart, that's all that matters
You'll find a way to say it all someday

Gerry didn't want no power, he just wanted to bleed transparency and we should respect him for that. I hope he was loved. Surround yourself with good people folks 'cause money don't buy your way out of pain, and, despite Gene Simmons' take on power, power can create powerful illusions of truth, but power don't hold shit to someone bleeding his/her soul. Bleeding always wins. Bleeding is transparent, transparency conquers all. And, if you don't believe that, just wait, 'cause "The tree does not die. It waits."

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Resilience / Knock Me Down

Knock Me Down! Resilience! 

Can't have one without the other.
Lot of folks can conspire together,
Or, you can knock yourself down.
Either way, if you are dialed in to the energy layer,
Things speak to you, and you know you know, but it's nothing if you don't listen to it.
Sometimes those smallest voices are the loudest.
"Hey Ray - I never went down Ray - you never got me down Ray." -- I mean, I'd use another name other than Ray, but the sentiment is the same.
I use two words with my girls all the time, perseverance and resilience and resilience always wins!

Sunday, June 28, 2020

Lessons From COVID-19

A lot of stuff is going to be learned after all this COVID stuff is done. We are all connected, all of our energy is here all the time. If you have a little voice, or inner voice, or you believe that there is an in-between in the here and now, y'all gotta pay attention. Complacency builds like sediment and soon-enough the river has a new shape, if not new course. Rivers, however, always reach their destination so they are the embodiment of resilience, however twisted they are.
So, with texting, and emails, and Slack, and FaceTime, and fill-in-your-communication-choice-here, the minutia communications of life get rolled in with the important ones, and every message effectively gets diluted. And emoji use, just doesn't convey enough: maybe that ❤️ really means a 5 paragraph letters of hearts -- how is anyone to know? 
So advice. Yes, I am actually offering up advice, something that I am forcefully loath to do. For all the stellar dyads out there, each of you grab an email address that only your other half knows about (well, excluding Wayfair, but, you know!) so that each of you have a dedicated communication channel. Then, when a message gets sent on that channel, you know that it's the real deal, that it conveys real meaning and it requires real attention. It can be any message, a message of love, a playful message, a somber message, but you know it was sent with serious, deliberate intent. The shuffle will lose everyone, avoid playing its game.  

The Difference