Sunday, December 28, 2014

The Perks of Disability:

The nice thing about being deafblind is that nobody really expects much from you in terms of earning power or achievement. So, you might as well do what you like doing.
     -Christina Hartman

Friday, December 26, 2014

Dead Christmas Trees:

My beerdrunk soul is sadder than all the dead Christmas trees of the world.
Not that I'm any sadder than usual. I just like the metaphor. Dead Christmas trees are really sad. All the huge buildup to the holidays, the anticipation, the waiting, and then the days after? Dead trees lying along the streets, waiting for the next garbage pickup.

Born on Christmas:

 Mass-murderers are simply people who have had ENOUGH.
     -Quentin Crisp, The Naked Civil Servant

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The Innkeeper:

Do you know what it is like to run an inn - to run a business, a family, to run anything in this world for me that matter, even your own life? It is like being lost in a forest of a million trees, and each tree is a thing to be done. Is there fresh linen on the all the beds. Did the children put on their coats before they went out? Has the letter been written, the book read? Is there money left in the bank? Today we have food in our bellies and clothes on our backs, but what can we do to make sure that we will have them tomorrow? A million trees. A million things.

Until finally we have eyes for nothing else, and whatever we see turns into a thing. The sparrow lying in the dust at your feet - just a thing to be kicked out the way, not the mystery of death. The calling of children outside your window - just a distraction, an irrelevance, not life, not the wildest mirracle of them all. That whispering in the air that comes sudden and soft from nowhere - only the wind, the wind...

      - Frederick Buechner, The Birth

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Are You God?

Butterfly: I can see it. I can see it all. I can see everything there is in this world.

Boy: Are you god?

Butterfly: No. But I think I've met god.

Boy: There's a coincidence. I met god too, once. When I was in the hospital with an injury a while ago... god grieved for my unhappiness and brought me a gift. This little tin box. Inside is magic that will grant any wish, but only once.

    -Inio Asano, Nijigahara Holograph

Monday, December 22, 2014

The Longest Night

It's the longest night of the year in the northern hemisphere. Say a prayer and remember Goethe's final words: more light.
Ever since we crawled out of that primordial slime, that’s been our unifying cry: more light.

Sunlight, torchlight, candlelight, neon, incandescent, light to banish the darkness from our caves, to illuminate our roads, the insides of our refrigerators. Big floods for the night games at Soldier’s Field, little tiny flashlights for those books we read under the covers when we’re supposed to be asleep, light is a metaphor.

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet. Rage, rage against the dying of the light! Lead, kindly light, amid the encircling gloom, lead thou me on. The night is dark and I am far from home, lead thou me on. Arise, shine, for thy light has come. Light is knowledge, light is life, light is light.

-Northern Exposure

Friday, December 19, 2014

Thursday, December 18, 2014


"If you want it.... you got to make it out of badness. Badness.... And you know why? Because there isn’t anything else to make it out of."

"If, as you say, there is only the bad to start with, and the good must be made from the bad, then how do you ever know what the good is? How do you ever recognize the good? Assuming you have made it from the bad. Answer me that.”

"You just make it up as you go along."

   -Robert Penn Warren, All The King's Men

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

What's Missing?

I was really hoping for joy and happiness, but it's not one of the choices.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Only the Present is Left:

"Yeah, but man that was good."

"How Good?"

"Like there's no past or future anymore."

"The pure present is an ungraspable advance of the past devouring the future. In truth, all sensation is already memory."

 -Haruki Murakami, Kafka by the Shore

Monday, December 15, 2014

The Human Heart:

The heart is but a small vessel; and yet dragons and lions are there, and there likewise are poisonous creatures and all the treasures of wickedness; rough, uneven paths are there, and gaping chasms. There also is God, there are the angels, there life and the Kingdom, there light and the apostles, the heavenly cities and the treasures of grace: all things are there.
   — Saint Macarius, Homilies, 43:7

Sunday, December 14, 2014

What Do You Want:

You have this one life. How do you wanna spend it? Apologizing? Regretting? Questioning? Hating yourself? Dieting? Running after people who don’t see you? Be brave. Believe in yourself. Do what feels good. Take risks. You have this one life. Make yourself proud.


You are terrifying and strange and beautiful, someone not everyone knows how to love.
   ―Warsan Shire

Saturday, December 13, 2014

If You Could:

If you could read my mind, you would be in tears.

Next Year:

I think I need to shake up my life next year and get a goldfish or something.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Don't Touch:

If you meet thousands of people and none of them really touch you, that's probably because you're living in a virtual world.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Not Okay:

She stood looking out the window at the deserted streets. I could see her face reflected in the glass. She looked so lost, but there was nothing to be done. I reached and patted her shoulder. "It's going to be okay," I said.

"No, she said, "it won't." She turned to face me. Her eyes had the dead look of windows in an abandoned building. "And it never will be."

She walked past me, leaving me alone to look at the desolate streets. They looked as empty as I felt.

   -An Ending to a Story I'll Never Write

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Not Enough:

The truth is there’s not enough miracles to go around, kid. And there’s too many people petitioning God for the winning lotto ticket. And for every answered prayer, there’s a cricket with arthritis.
― Shane Koyczan, The Crickets Have Athritis

Shame & Guilt:

Of the seven deadly sins, which do you think is the most fun? The seven deadly sins are as follows:
  1. Lust
  2. Gluttony
  3. Greed
  4. Sloth
  5. Wrath
  6. Envy
  7. Pride
As the sex drive is second only to the drive for self-preservation, lust is going to get a lot votes. Plus it is the first in the list, so it's probably one of the more enjoyable ones.

Gluttony? No way. Eating is great, but nobody wants to be fat. Losing the weight is too painful. It should probably be removed from the list.

Sloth isn't a bad one. It feels great to be able to sleep late and generally do nothing all day. But doing nothing gets boring fast.

Frederick Buechner thinks that wrath may possibly be the most fun:
To lick your wounds, to smack your lips over grievances long past, to roll over your tongue the prospect of bitter confrontations still to come, to savor to the last toothsome morsel both the pain you are given and the pain you are giving back--in many ways it is a feast fit for a king. The chief drawback is that what you are wolfing down is yourself.
I have to agree with him. It does feel good to relive old wrongs and lash out at the one that hurt you last month or whenever and inflict as much pain on them as they caused you. But if it's someone you care about, what does it get you?

Shame and guilt.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014


Loneliness is like the tide. It ebbs and flows and you think you think you can ignore it. And then one day, a rip current drags you out to sea and you realize you're going to die adrift and alone.

Light for the Darkness:

Your weirdness will make you stronger. Your dark side will keep you whole. Your vulnerability will connect you to the rest of our suffering world. Your creativity will set you free. There's nothing wrong with you.
     -Light for the Darkness

Monday, December 8, 2014

A Gift:

The boxes of hope offered by Our Lady of Perpetual Suffering reminded me of a poem by Mary Oliver. In the poem, she writes how someone she once loved gave her a box of darkness. Years later, she understood it was a gift:
The Uses of Sorrow
(In my sleep I dreamed this poem)

Someone I loved once gave me
a box full of darkness.

It took me years to understand

that this, too, was a gift.

Why I Write For You:

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Perpetual Suffering:

Semi-occasionally I attend church services at Our Lady of Perpetual Suffering. Today was of those times. It was the promise of cookies and hot chocolate during the lighting of the church Christmas tree that drew me out.

Something during the service today fired my imagination. It was a box of hope. The church was offering everyone a box of hope. An actual physical box with hope written on the outside. It was symbolic of course, but you could take as many boxes as you wanted.

Wouldn't it be great if you could give hope, instead of clothes and food or money? "Here, have some hope. This should get you through next week. I wish I could give you more, but it's all I have."

Friday, December 5, 2014

Love Equals Insanity:

Edgar Allan Poe claimed to have never suffered from insanity. To the contrary, he enjoyed it. It was only near the end of his life though, when it became apparent why he enjoyed insanity. He said he was never insane  except upon occasions when his heart was touched. I think he enjoyed the insanity because he was in love. Everybody enjoys being in love, even if they're insane.

Thursday, December 4, 2014


99.99 percent of the people online would not care if I killed myself. Perhaps 0.01 percent would care. Of those, maybe one half, about 0.005 percent would weep and be sad if I committed suicide. You're one of the 0.005 percent.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Await Your Reply:

We are on our way to the hospital, Ryan's father says.
Listen to me, Son:
You are not going to bleed to death.
Ryan is still aware enough that his father's words come in through the edges, like sunlight on the borders of a window shade. His eyes are shut tight and his body is shaking and he is trying to hold up his left arm, to keep it elevated. We are on our way to the hospital, his father says, and Ryan's teeth are chattering, he clenches and unclenches them, and a series of wavering colored lights - greens, indigos - plays along the surface of his closed eyelids.

On the seat beside him, in between him and his father, Ryan's severed hand is resting on a bed of ice in an eight-quart Styrofoam cooler.

    -Dan Chaon, Await Your Reply

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

They Say:

They say you're the average of the people that surround you. I think I need to up my game because I'm holding everyone back.

My Most Common Thought:

I'm never getting out of this country.

Monday, December 1, 2014

The Famine:

In the future people will sit around campfires outside their caves and tell stories about the wondrous past. They will marvel over how being fat was a problem. They will regale one another with tales of people in the past running merely for exercise and not because they needed to kill something to eat. In sum obesity is cured in the future by one of the four horses of the apocalypse: famine.