My world in pictures & words:

These are some of the sayings I've accumulated since about 2010, which just so happens to be about when I started accumulating sayings.





Mantra: Healing happens in relationship.

Healing happens in relationship, sometimes to the detriment of blog posts.



Credit where credit is due:

"Healing happens in relationship." Ellie Klopp


Mantra: Don't take what isn't yours.

With cunning enough to steal, my restraint makes a show of grace. Some things which we can have, without the notice of others, are better left alone. Stolen goods, stolen glances, stolen moments, these stolen morsels steal away the strength of conviction, steal away the force of resolve, and steal away the elusive substance of Presence.

To be vague is of no help, the fact is, sometimes I take things which don’t belong to me. So far on this trip I’ve stolen a book from every continent, but that’s hardly the kind of stealing I’m talking about. Nor is the fact that the greatest of my greatly relished sneaking exploits found me in Versailles, for free. Looks, listens, and feels, are the stolen treasures my storehouses are brimming with. I listen, surreptitiously. I look, with furtive glances. I feel, imagining myself involved other people’s business.

When it happens I remind myself to leave what is not mine alone, and instead of taking, I focus on having, and retaining, me, and balance on the existential fulcrum of being (t)here.


Mantra: You are not at war with your body.

When the thought crosses my mind to invite a pair of pliers into my mouth, clamp down on one of my teeth, and yank it out, it’s pretty easy to dismiss. Likewise, thoughts of jerking the wheel to launch me off the edge while navigating outer contours of mountain roads, are easily ignored. These compulsions and the others like them—hurling myself off of cruise ships’ upper decks, driving nails through my own hand, and on and on—play themselves out on the stage in my mind from time to time, but I don’t yield to them.

Instead a far worse, more subtle, and incredibly insidious reality beyond these fantastic and morbid personal cataclysms is my daily downfall. The members of my physical body are at war. My teeth and jaw collaborate against my inner lip, the muscles in my back plot against the bones in my neck, I hold my breath, crack my knuckles, and slowly, steadily, draw my limbs in to my core in what may one day play out in a reenactment of my episode on the kitchen floor in the fetal position. The rising tide of an unknown, unidentifiable, anxiety and dread draw the ropes tight between the buoy that is my head and the anchor which holds me to the earth.

I know not which moon pulls at my members and draws the tide of dissent high among them. It is incredibly difficult to explain, as darkness is; but I feel it--darkness is so easily felt. In feeling it I remind myself that my body doesn’t, shouldn’t, and can’t, follow the dictates of my conscious mind. My heart beats without prompting from my will. The muscles in my legs carry me, though I don’t know their names. The mysterious subconscious collaboration of my cells, organs, bones, and brain remind me that I am one, and that it is good to treat my parts, the delicate and the strong, the sentient and the biological, with love and care.


Mantra: The only valid comparison I can make between people is the comparison between who I was in the past and who I am now.

There used to be parts of myself that I didn’t like; I pretended they didn’t exist, or weren’t part of “who I really was.” Now, I welcome dark and light, hot and cold, flattering and frightening as informants of my identity.

I used to herd cats. Now I run with bulls.

I used to have a respectable life, with a wife. Now I live in sin with a curvaceous stringed instrument named Annie who I picked up on the streets of Cairo.

I used to ask people a lot of questions. Now, I sing, usually alone, but more publicly every day.

I used to have a nagging feeling that I had seen too much porn. Now I have a nagging feeling that I spend too much time on Facebook and checking my email.

Inadvertently, my niceness used to trump my honesty. Now I try hard say exactly how I feel, sometimes even with a tinge of meanness, just to see what it’s like.

I didn’t used to sing, throw my head back and laugh, or cry. These are all things I now do with gusto and relish.

I used to feel like I didn’t have enough space. Now, I have one very big circle.

I used to spend a lot of time thinking about other people’s business. Now, I mind my own.


Credit where credit is due:

"The only valid comparison between two people is the comparison between who I was then and who I am now" ~Anon. [Overheard]


Mantra: These are my decisions to make.


Oh Question Mark, dear friend, chum, old buddy old pal, what distant lands we’ve explored and ancient civilizations we’ve excavated. You are and will forever be not only my favorite punctuation mark, but also one of my oldest and most dear friends. Forever will I love you, forever will my hands bear the imprint of wielding you, of scraping through books together, of uncovering, and of prying open with your crowbar hook secrets reluctant to expose themselves without force. Remembering, and articulating, the depth of my love for you makes it all the more difficult to say, I’m so sorry, but we can’t go on like this.

Forgive me for being so direct and airing our laundry out for all the world to see, but I’ve used you. You were my shepard’s crook, surgeon’s probe, and ten foot pole. Now I must now set you down and do my own dirty work, with my own two hands. It’s time for me to jump into the variegated muck of life, and no longer prod it from afar with your long pointy end, lasso it with your magnetic full stop, nor snare it with you hook. I’m so sorry to have to let you go and leave you behind, but this journey I’ve got to go alone. I am compelled to jump into the world we have so long enjoyed probing together. I refuse to hide behind you any longer from the hard, sharp, and dirty realities of life. If I’m mistaken and my actions are reckless, so be it, but I’m convinced the time for investigation, collection, and segregation have come to an end, and my migration from questions to decisions is at hand. Please understand. Don’t be mad.

Oh, how I wish I could take you with me on this journey, on this leap. You would play the umbrella to my Merry Poppins and soften the inevitable crash when I hit down on terra firma.

If you will though, grant us one last communion. Consider with me, will you please: as I stand upon you and prepare for my migration is it best if I edge over to the cornice or your upper left side slowly, one foot at a time, and peak over the precipice before leaping, or do you reckon I should take my place supine over your elegant arch one final time and stretch my way into a backwards slide without looking?

On second thought, don’t answer that; these are my decisions to make.  Geronimo!