• solo spaceship


    Whenever I am by myself in a room, and I know I will be in that room for awhile, I have a mental container:

    I pretend I’m in a spaceship.

    It’s not just any spaceship. It’s a little solo craft, and the living capsule/habitat is about as big as a room (whatever room I’m in).

    I can look out the window, but I know whatever I see is just a projection. It’s just me and the ship, and whatever it is I decide to do. Writing, reading, napping, stretching, catching up on some long overdue personal project I’ve been meaning to get to.

    The first time I remember thinking about this is maybe 10 years ago. I started writing a short story where most people go crazy on long solo journeys, but some “couriers” are comfortable by themselves for a long time. What’s different about them – does something in the way their brains work differ significantly from how others’ brains work?

    Looking back, I was probably trying to figure out something about myself.

    Now, though, I kind of like it. This little container, lit with lamps and no overhead lights, mostly quiet with intermittent hums and pings of air conditioning or pipes or electronics, shuttling me to whatever is next. Protecting me while I hurdle through space.

    Does anyone else feel cozy when they’re so alone?

  • Golden by Zorn & Marz


    Golden articulates the zietgeisty feeling that our world and our minds are too daggum noisy. We need less less less, and we need things to quiet down. In this book, authors Zorn and Marz diagnose the problem, look at the benefits of silence, and then provide examples of how to bring more silence into our environment. By environment, I mean internal, communal, and global.

    First, what is silence? The authors make the point from the very beginning that silence isn’t the absence of noise so much a fullness of something else. (This is similar the related idea that peace isn’t the absence of violence or disagreement, but a kind of communal fullness or wholeness.)

    What’s in the way of silence? Everything! All the usual culprits – social media, Big Business, the U.S.’ general insistence on extraversion and contribution and production as a means of proving value. Even the Reagan administration takes a few hits here. The book also spends time exploring the idea that silence can be scary. What happens when we’re truly quiet in our minds and see things more as they are? We might not like what we see!

    The authors seek solutions from across the globe and across time. Many religious ideas and texts get some nods, including a falsely accused prisoner who turned to Buddhism to find silence in the noise, the iconic Christian mystic text The Cloud of Unknowing as a guide for finding peace in the unease of silence. If religion isn’t your thing, there’s also mention of silent dance retreats! And lots of nature.

    I have a feeling that this book will mostly reinforce the convictions and practices of people already looking for silence, rather than converting others to it. However, I did find several of the little practices immediately helpful.

    (Example: If a podcast stops streaming, just enjoy the silence instead of trying to fix it or launching a new one. The larger idea here is to observe silence in everyday instances rather than filling our aural spaces with unnecessary noise.)

    (Example II: Bringing walking shoes to work so I can enjoy the sunshine on my lunch break. The idea here is even quick fixes of nature – trees and birds and wind and sun – are helpful for us.)

    If you think this might be the book for you, it probably is. At least check it out from the library and jot down some of the “Thirty-Three Ways to Find Silence” at the end of the book. But, you know, don’t rush around to do it.

    PS – I listened to the audiobook version. Narrator Prentice Onayemi understood the assignment, as they say. Talk about some dulcet, soothing tones!

  • running down a dream


    I signed up for a 5k in February. Three point one miles sounds like something that one should be able to do without having to do any preparation. It sounds like just, a, you know, a basic fitness thing.

    Unfortunately, I’m so sedentary and overweight and out of practice that I’m tre slow. I doubt I could just bang out a mile right now, let alone three of them in public.

    That’s why I signed up for this race. My poor overall health is interfering with my quality of life. I don’t have the energy to play with my family like I want to, I’m embarrassed by my body, reflux is constant.

    I don’t even know what happened. I was physically active for DECADES and then all of a sudden it just…stopped. “For reasons unknown,” to quote The Killers.

    I’m sure depression didn’t help. Having a family made it harder. Maybe getting older. Maybe hiding, somehow. (One hundred percent of posts on here thus far have featured me hiding my true self!!)

    Whatever the reason, I’m going to go ahead and download the daggum C25K app and train and invite my family to come watch me. Maybe we’ll start doing races together and it will become a cool tradition. Maybe I won’t have to hide so much, anymore.

    I’m scared and excited.

  • words words words


    I have started and stopped putting words on the world wide web since the 1990s. At first, I created my own websites through HTML 1 coding (and tested them in glorious Netscape Navigator), then I used templates on places like Geocities, Angelfire, CJB, etc. As “blogging” became a thing, I moved on to Xanga, Blogger, Blogspot, yada yada.

    My nature is to think, write, and then, *POOF* put up the words like a magician nailing a trick and disappearing in smoke. The words are there, and me, but not me. Hence all the stopping and starting. Many sites, many deletions and starts. Sometimes that is a good thing but sometimes I wish I just had a plot of real estate that had been the same for 25 years and counting.

    I don’t have though, because (1) it’s not my nature and (2) my profession requires anonymity. It’s at odds with my temperament in some ways, but parallel in others.

    Running and changing is…behind me, I think. It’s been…draining and unfruitful. All I have is a pile of files and words, that, due to their own ontological value, should be allowed to exist.

    My plan here is to give my words (or, the words that have manifested through me) their due ontological honor by allowing them to exist.

    My name won’t be here, anywhere. Not because I’m embarassed by these words, or that I don’t think they’re True, but because it’s about the words words words.