It’s so simple to say, to learn, to not expect. Nothing is ever promised, not a long life, a fair shake, a returned compliment, a thank you, or an apology.

You can start believing in your own idea that you don’t need it. Harder, though, is initially or continually lying to yourself that you don’t want it, the feelings of validation, shared and connected excitement, a firm result, revenge, or a sense of justice. Persistence in denying the thoughts makes it a habit, but often feeling like an ascetic labor rather than a focused discipline. Our minds really want to feel our way in the world as much or more than reason with it. That’s who we are.

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The reason that it isn’t revealed outright is that reason is a blanket over fear.

Perception, a finer instrument, already knows.

The hidden does not own a sharp edge, but the hiding itself has the teeth,

the perjured grin waiting for a tempest to call for it that it may

revel in just conclusion, snapping at a wind already departing the lee.


Negative thought, welcome and goodbye. Mindful. Deliberate. Authentic.

Thank you Marcus and Zeno, although I have been hardly ideal or exhibited temperance in my appetite for consuming philosophy the past month,

Laozi, Sartre, Hume, Plotinus, Siddhartha… all the A-list thinkers.

Today, I favor the stoics in practice, the existentialists in foundation. I have only viewed the highlight reels, read the cliff notes.

Mindfulness seems to spring naturally from the wells of insight and inconsistency. Timeless and dated simultaneously.

A year

A one-of-a-kind year

of recycled materials and new construction,

a new game group and frequent calls with friends

a planned solo expedition and a new license I will likely never use,

corporate intrigue, a raise, and a role I built where nothing existed but the need,

a big rise and a bigger fall, and a bit of floating,

white and orange and yellow colored belts,

a year with periods of being by myself, about myself, but not always far away,

falling into and all the way through love,

finding something new on a familiar path,

new adventures, new ways of seeing,

aged demons sleeping, infant demons born,

carrying a lot less weight, putting on too many pounds,

trading in an old shield for a new swagger, and some new phone numbers,

a year of helping them grow, and letting them do it on their own,

the year of anger, heartache, resolve, and learning to live without a fixed outcome, without answers,

and eventually not needing any,

being hungry,

a year of finding a core, achieving goals, and trusting myself while tinkering with the entire framework,

walking, boxing, writing, saving, reading, meditating,

painful consequences, just desserts, rewards, kudos,

sunrises shared with my hound, sunsets watched only with myself,

endless projects, travel, podcasts,

new shoes getting worn through too quickly,

a year of me, finally but not final, after too many years.


The same song breathes again, in through the nose and out through the mouth with every bruise-raising kick on the bag.

Or, I oddly long to feel that, but not now. Lately, it’s the bag, the sweat, all new, somehow. Fresh, coming in from somewhere keen and blazing. An unshakable indifference to all familiar and stale stimuli whose edges have been blunted and sanded smooth, except the…

Whap, shuffle, whap, whap, umph.

My arms, my time, my life, more.

A break in the sky

Sun storm, horses pounding
through silver boulders,
lowering their heads to
snort vaporous spouts,
mist laminating their blazes,
a trailing cyclone of clouds
braiding their tails,
they land at speed,
full gallop through the lifeless
shadows of March.