Friday, November 17, 2017


…Isn’t it funny how part of yourself can be in a place while at the same time the most important parts are in a different place?

…I is the hardest word to define.

…The harsh reality is life is fleeting.  Everyday there are reminders of this.

…Sometimes you delete things in haste and can’t ever get them back.

…Sometimes, like yesterday, I go on Facebook and 80% of it, or more, is some type of whining.  One thread started off by being aghast at the rollback ban on imported ivory.  Then someone replied to that saying the war on Iran is what we should be worried about, and from there it just turned into a shit storm.  I stopped reading after comment number 23.  Then people complained about Al Franken and the proposed tax bill and on and on.  It was exhausting and tragically annoying.  Maybe that’s why I’m rarely on Facebook anymore.

…Wish I didn’t know so much.

…I like being outside at night in summer.  It gives me this weird feeling, like I’m homesick but not for home.  It’s kind of a good feeling, though.

…In some ways, pain is the opposite of language.

…Your now is not your forever.

…I have felt like a fish before, like my whole story was written by someone else.

…People always say, “It’s too good to be true,” but nobody ever says, “It’s too bad to be true.”

…Being vulnerable is asking to be used and not caring about it.

…Out of focus—that’s how most people really are.

…Mental disorders are vastly overrated.

…I realize that I’m just a bubble on the tide of the empire, and I’m okay with that.

…My best lines are always the ones I borrow or twist. 

…One of the defining features of parents is that they don’t get paid to love you.

…Being “in love” is a weird phrase in English.  Like it’s a sea you drown in or a town you live in.  You don’t get to be in anything else—in friendship or in anger or in hope.  All you can be is in love.

…Having someone read your poetry, hearing you read it out loud, is like letting them see you naked.

…I like short poems with weird rhyme schemes, because that’s what life is like.

…The most important part of the body is the part that hurts.

…We’ve sure been through a lot already.

…One of the best things in life is having someone who wants to take care of you.  I mean, who really wants to take care of you.  That’s something else.

…I need to be liked up close.


Wednesday, November 15, 2017


…For a lot of people, the ocean, or a star-filled night, is what makes them feel inconsequential.  For me, it’s a very crowded airport-- where you recognize absolutely no one, but you should at least know someone, recognize one person at least, because you live in the same space as them, yet you don't know anyone at all--that's what makes me feel small.  Smaller.  It's embarrassing to admit.

…I should admit more, but it’s hard.  It’s really hard.

…I was in Bismarck, N. Dakota a few days ago.  Bismarck, and North Dakota are not known for being diverse.  In fact, until this trip, I had never seen an African American in the state, and I was born there.  At one point my brothers and I stopped at this hip bar literally in the middle of nowhere and there were four African American employees working there.  The odd thing is that on one of the TV’s there was the imprint of a Confederate flag with an imprint of an AK-47 in the middle of it.  Hmmm...

Also, a 3 Doors Down song was playing shortly thereafter.  Hmmm...  I'm not down with the Confederate flag, and I'm definitely not a fan of AK-47's.

…Drinking when you’re depressed is like throwing kerosene on fire.  Then again, when has depression ever felt like fire?

…Sure, we’ve both got our own set of problems, but we’re in this together, right?

…The eye is simply a recorder, with or without our will, and the same can be said of the heart.

…“We should talk.”—is always a scary thing to have said to you.

…If I don’t know them, then I just wonder about them.  I'm always wondering, and maybe that's my problem.

…The daffodil knows more of spring than roses know of anything.

…We’re here because we’re here because we’re here because we’re here.

…I think I might be fiction.  Or am I only a set of circumstances?

…Something about looking up always makes me feel like I’m falling.

…The worst part of being truly alone is you think about all the times you wished that everyone would just leave you be.  Then they do, and you are left being, and you turn out to be terrible company.

…I keep trying to feel in present tense.  I also keep trying to see through the clouds.

…All of my habits are nervous.

…The weather decides when you think about it, not the other way around.

…Looking like you mean something can make you feel as though you have a purpose, even if you really don’t.

…The longer the memory, the longer the list.

…I keep reminding myself that it’s all about showing up.  Grab that cup of coffee, or whatever, and go go go.

…We all just need to be a little more patience   That usually does the trick.

…Sometimes you just forget.  It happens.  Doesn’t mean there’s something harmful or malicious about it.  Forgetting is a natural part of life.

…More than once I have left the best parts of me on the page.

…I like laughing a lot, but I enjoy making others laugh more.  Over the weekend, I made my brothers laugh a ton.  Most of the time they were laughing at me, but I didn’t mind.  At least they were happy.

…I hate giving blood, can’t look at the needle, have to turn to the side and read a book.  But I do it often, I give blood.  I’d like to think there’s some 0-Positive blood available if I ever needed it.

...If you think about it, "give" is an esteemed word.

…Anne Lamott (I can never remember how to properly spell her name) said that there’s no such thing as wasted writing.  I try to remind myself of that on days when all I spew is crap, when I sound all fourth-grade.

…What’s sad is looking at your phone and finding nothing.

…We still have the best and worst of it ahead of us.

…In the best conversations, you don’t even remember what you talked about, only how you felt.

…I don’t even know what I don’t know.  How about that?

…But the fact remains that I have been dreaming about you for quite some time, often when I didn’t even know I was.

…Those seatbelts will hurt you while they’re trying to save your life.

…Oh, yeah, it’s going to be a long night.  Hold on.

Monday, November 13, 2017


…I am ridiculously grateful, but I’m not a fan of turbulence or aisle seats.  One jostles you till you feel like puking, the other pokes and thumps you with a cart, a bag, or a very large derrière.

…Our moods don’t usually believe each other, and that can make a person crazy.

…When you’re stumped in conversation, try saying something you’re thinking.  That’s something I never do.

…Whether it hurts or not is often irrelevant.

…The way some people talk about their mother makes you glad not to have one.

…Worrying is the correct worldview.  Life is worrisome.

…Beauty is mostly a matter of attention.  The lake is beautiful because you are looking at it.  The fallen, dying leaves are beautiful because you notice their color and striations.

…When my dad died he left the house and yard in disrepair.  In fact, there were 27 vehicles hunkered down in the mud, most long, rusted-out sedans that resembled slumbering dinosaurs buried under layers of pine needles.  To go along with them, there was an old limousine, an equally ancient hearse, a camper, a broke-down semi, three snow mobiles, and three tractors.

I never asked him what he was doing holding onto all of it.  I guess there were a lot of things I didn’t ask him that I should have.

…All my scars are open when I’m sleeping.

…The good news is I feel like writing again.  Now I just have to do it.

…There is a chance I might become flippant about things you consider fragile and precious, and for that I am sorry in advance.

…Something tells me, it’s about to get loud.

…Last night or very, very early this morning, the sky looked cut up, lacerated.  Clouds like tree branches steadfastly waving.  A few mountain ridges elbowing their way into the picture.  In the patch where the moon hid, it had turned indigo.  In another corner, the yellow face of a ghost stared back it me, blinking with a nervous tic in his right eye.  You weren’t there to see it, but as I said, it was very, very early.

…When you get the chance to sing it out or dance, I hope you dance.

…When we only live by words, one vague, misunderstood note can rightfully cause a tragedy.  Words--the silence that lives in them--can be a slippery slope.

…Sometimes you just throw something out there and see if it gets noticed.  Isn’t that a lot like life?  What comes after the answers is a whole lot of questions.  And then, we begin again.

…“Blue is the one friend I can always count on.  It loves me when I am lonely and thinks of me first.”—Lucinda Williams said that, but there are days I can relate.

…Don’t you think the world would be better off if everyone had a book in their hands, reading intently?

…Maybe it’s the things that are nonnegotiable that we should pay special attention to.

…I often get sent halfway across the world in a cardboard box with the incorrect postage on it, but then some kind soul always sends me right back.

…A lot happens here, if only in my mind.

…All this time I have been trying to speak your language.

…No one says “Goodbye” or “See ya,” unless they really want to see you again.

…I want you to know, if you ever read this, that there was a time when I would have rather had you by my side than anyone else in the whole world.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

--OH, YOU...

…You, you've got what I need.  You got everything I need.  You’re like medicine to me…

…Love is almost always the right answer.

…She wants magnolias, out in the country, not too many people.

…I can see it all right now.  I’ll wear my black suit, black tie, hide out in the back.  I’ll do a strong shot of whiskey, straight out the flask.

…I could never hear this song too much, especially this version:

…Maybe my favorite video ever…

…Bandages and gauze.  The razor’s dull, the water’s cold against my skin.  The radio’s on, buzzing around like tin…

...I wear this crown of thorns upon my liar’s chair, full of broken thoughts I cannot repair.  …You are someone else, I am still here. .. What have I become, my sweetest friend?  Everyone I know, goes away in the end.... And you could have it all, my empire of dirt…

…This is a saber to the gut, right through the inners:

…Sometimes you close your eyes and you see the place you used to live, when you were young, and you think that was Me but it wasn’t really.

…I could never hear this song too much, either:

…When they call your name, will you walk right up, with a smile on your face?  Will you cower in fear, in your favorite sweater, like an old love letter?

…This one rips me apart every time:

…Maybe I shouldn’t think of you as mine…Seeing you, or seeing anything as much as I do you.  I take for granted that you’re always there.  I take for granted that you just don’t care.  Sometimes I can’t help seeing all the way through….You know that I’d be with you, if I could…

…How about this one?  So sad, for Nick, though:

…I saw it written and I saw it say, pink moon is on its way.  And none of you stand so tall.  Pink moon is gonna get you all…

…And this:

…Woke up for the first time, and the animals were gone.  You’ve left this house empty.  Not sure if I belong…And I love your depression, and I love your double chin…Waking up without you is like drinking from an empty cup.

…Okay, last one.  I love Miley.  I love this song, this version. (Google it).


…Well, this was fun for me.  I hope it was for you as well.  I’m a music junkie, especially sappy songs.  But maybe you found a new favorite?

…I’m headed to North Dakota tomorrow, quite early.  Wish me luck.  I’ll see you sometime around Monday, if you’re still here.

Monday, November 6, 2017


 …I’m still working on making eye contact, so please stand still, but look slightly to your left.

…Did you ever notice how one breath can be very different from the next?

…In the absence of peace, there’s only the hope of your own choosing.

…This is what I think: God is a mystery to be explored, not defined.

…“It’s just another birthday”—there’s no such thing.

…There are certain words that always bring me to you, and vice versa.

…The fact that I fall in love with sunsets ought to arouse your suspicions.

…Fortunately, I am quite dead now.  Those other things that were alive in me aren’t anymore.

…The turquoise ocean—to have seen such beautiful things is remarkable.

…People make the mistake of thinking that all desire is yearning.

…We don’t get to choose what or whom we love.

…I saw a scrappy tarp across the way flap in the wind.  It was essentially our lives.  It was shaking.

…The Art of Cruelty has a lot of breadth, and, in that way, it can be like infinity.

...We are all beside ourself at some point.

…Winter can be a brute.  It scares all of the little birds away and with them their happy songs.  Oh little bird, where have you gone?  I miss your hopefulness.

…The currents on the lake are a little unusual right now.  Wonder what that means.

…Someone once described me as “a pebble dropped through water.”  That can be taken a lot of ways.

…Sometimes blue wins.  Sometimes red.  There doesn’t always have to be a winner, but most times there is one.

…A long time ago I learned (I remember really odd bits of trivia, for whatever reason) that the average person’s feet sweat 5/8th of a pint a day.  I know--gross, right?  But it’s comforting to know I’m not too far out of the mean.

…I’ve seen things being born and I’ve seen things dying.  Oddly enough, in some respects they’re similar, but I far prefer the former.

…A quiet, collected state of mind is most often out of the question for me.

…Sometimes all I need is a proxy to get by.

…Why bother with a diagnosis at all, if the diagnosis is simply a restatement of the problem?

...Go on, take the money and run—is never a good idea.

…It’s worth it to keep one’s eyes open.

…At times, I fake my enthusiasm.  At other times, I’m incapable of describing the depth of it.

…What kind of madness is it to be in love with something that cannot constitutionally love you back?

…Parsing words is often an effort that can drive a person insane, yet it can be like a hobby, say, like placing jigsaw pieces together (or not)—it can be mind-stretching and a helpful, mundane activity to fight off dementia.

…Sequin is a great word, but I prefer spangle.

…Normal parents aren’t without real problems.

…I do this, and wonder why it doesn’t help.  I do that, and wonder why it makes no improvement either.  Maybe I’m just supposed to be this way, for a while anyway.

…I’d like to be the kind of person who emits optimism.  Wouldn’t everyone want to be that type of person, and if not, why not?

…What you should know is that everybody loves you.

…I still believe being hopeful is one of the most important things a person can be.

…The thing to remember is, life has a middle to it as well.

…Maybe we’re both our first beginning.  Have you ever thought about that?

…If you want, you can find me in Baggage Claim.

Friday, November 3, 2017


…Your life is a story told about you, not the one you tell.   You think you’re a painter, but you’re the canvas.

…Living sounds really good to me right about now.

…That’s the funny thing--fires don’t start all at once.

…The thing about a spiral is, if you follow it inward, it never actually ends.  It just keeps tightening, infinitely.

…I am trying my best to be a reliable narrator.

…Children tell you all the answers if you’re paying attention, if you’re listening.  It’s all hanging out, unvarnished.

…After a while, won’t everything be a cliché, I mean, if they’re not already?

…It should have been you, but it was me, who bit off a little bit more than I could chew.

…It might be a ruse, but everything always seems better in Paris.  Definitely magnified.

…I went to Paris with an attitude.  I was on Team NYC and that wasn’t going to change.  But it did.  Quickly.  Completely.  I could live the rest of my life there.  Everywhere you go in Paris, there’s something to admire or pay attention to.  Every sense gets its ass kicked, and in a good way.  Paris sounds really good right now.  Wanna go?

…I don’t even know what Shadow Dancing is, but I sure like the song and, technically, I can’t even call it a guilty pleasure.

…I’m such a baby that even the dolphins make me cry.

…I won’t die unless you tell me to.  What’s that?  I can’t hear you.

…Lord, please, just a little more time.

…One of the great things about angels is they have their whole lives ahead of them, plus they can help people who really need it.

…My wife’s assistant was an angel, an angel on earth.  Her name was Halla.  She lit up rooms in a quiet way.  On Christmas Eve she was driving her convertible jeep, stuffed with toys she’d collected and bought, to an orphanage.  There was a storm, freezing rain.  She wasn’t wearing her seatbelt.  She slid and collided with another vehicle on the freeway in Washington D.C. and was flung through the tarp roof.  When I heard the news I crumpled right where I was standing.

There’s a picture of Halla on her wedding day, in her wedding dress, holding my daughter who is maybe two in the photo.  We used to tell our daughter that Halla was her angel and for the longest time she believed us.  I hope she still does.

I like the idea of angels.  I know it’s weird, heeby jeeby stuff.  I don’t care.

…Sleep—it don’t come easy.  But then, not a lot of things do.

…You could either rock my world or wreck my day.  Guess which one I’m hoping for.

…It seems a shame to dodge the sun, but sometimes that’s the only way I can get anything done.

…Dollop is in an interesting word.

…My brain can seem like a really intense place.  Other times it’s a sea cave where the water keeps sloshing in and out, in and out, and seashells clatter off the walls.

…I realize I’m usually happiest when I’m doing a lot of talking.  Not always, but typically.  I suppose I could always talk to myself.

…It’s rare to find someone who sees the same world you see.

…I don’t like to throw the L-word around; it’s too good and uncommon a feeling to cheapen with overuse.

…No matter what comes next, we’ve won.  We’ve already won.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017


“All of life, for me, begins with books and art.”

“When you love something like reading—or drawing or music or nature—it surrounds you with a sense of connection to something great.  If you are lucky enough to know this, then your search for meaning involves whatever that Something is.”

“Maybe we can all agree that meaning is always going to have to do with love.”

“Beauty is meaning.”

“Some of us even pray.  Every time we choose the good action or response, the decent, the valuable, it builds, incrementally, to renewal, resurrection, the place of newness, freedom and justice.”

"In order to become who I was meant to be, I learned I had to waste more paper, to practice messes, false starts and blunders.”

“Maybe we don’t find a lot of answers to life’s tougher questions, but if we find a few true friends, that’s even better.  They help you see who you truly are, which is not always the loveliest possible version of yourself, but then comes the greatest miracle of all—they still love you.”

“When I die, the people to whom I am closest should grieve forever.  They should never quite get over me.  Otherwise I will seem dead to them, no matter how close I may secretly be.”

“Pretending that things are nicely boxed up and put away robs us of great riches.”

“Alone, we are doomed, but by the same token, we’ve learned that people are impossible, even the ones we love most—especially the ones we love most: they’re damaged, prickly and set in their ways.”

"When you watch the people you love under fire, you realize that the secret of life is patch, patch, patch.”

“Most of the time, love bats last.”

“Beauty is the miracle of things going together imperfectly.”

“The miracle is that we are here, that no matter how undone we’ve been the night before, we wake up every morning and are still here.  It is phenomenal just to be.”

“Our lives are made up of fleeting seconds.”

“We forget so much.”

“There can be meaning without having things making sense.”

“We live stitch by stich, when we’re lucky.  If you fixate on the big picture, the whole shebang, the overview, you miss the stitching.”

Anne Lamott