I’m starting over — again! (Smiley face)

Stand back, this could get messy … I’m going to slaughter my internet presence in plain view. [“Where do you want this killing done? Out on Highway 51!” Bob Dylan]

There’s really no other choice — I either start right now, right where I am, with what I have, or I dawdle, procrastinate, lie to myself about how I’m almost organized, almost ready to launch — launch what? How can I decide when every five minutes I think of another way to say what it is that I want to say? That’s me: Own it, I say. Do it. Simply Be!

Besides, I already started — been blogging since 2008, staking a claim in the rush for internet gold, silver, brass and aluminum. This is a restart, a do-over, a Mulligan.

So instead of presenting an idealized frosted cake with candles ablaze blog, I’ll be showing you the grinding of the flour (Hell, the growing of the grain!), the gathering and cracking of the eggs, the mess and mystery of creation as it’s happening. Welcome to my world, where words are all I have, and perhaps all I need to help make the madness calm, the killing stop, and the equal worth of every life be the rule.

It’s okay to worry … a little

Are you one of those people who can’t stop worrying? Does the evening news fill you with dread? And let’s not even talk about our children!

I think I’m a person who doesn’t worry enough. Things have a way of working themselves out, I’ll say. And what can I do about the debt crisis in Greece anyway?

Somewhere between these two extremes is where most of us probably end up. We find that constant worrying is exhausting, and blissful optimism is impossible to maintain, so we worry just enough to be cautious, or ask a question, or make a phone call, or plan ahead.

And if plans aren’t enough and it’s all still too much, I recommend faith. Knowing that everything is in God’s hands puts worry to bed.

[Thanks to my dearest wife for the idea.]


302/365 – Facing our fears

DSCN3135Fearsome?  Not really, more cute, I’d say, this Halloween display across my my cube.  Yet it has many icons of dread: a black cat, bats, full moon, haunted house, ghosts.  Even the faces we carve on punkins [sic] are meant to scare away evil spirits.  It’s all about facing our fears, making fun of them, really, celebrating them, taking on disguises. trying to scare each other. 

I used to really, really hate Halloween as a kid, not sure why.  Probably because I went out in a new neighborhood (we moved a lot, Army brat) and got feakin’ lost.  Then as a twenty-something, our Chicago loft was on the same street as a costume shop, and by raiding their dumpster, I came up with a nice 17th century waistcoat — instant costume.  Later as a parent, I enjoyed giving out candy.  Now I’m pretty much sick of it all, but tolerant.  Here’s my one concession:

DSCN3138Happy Hollow Weenie!

301/365 – Cloudy Wenzday

DSCN3131The crunch and whispering rattle of leaves as you walk through them is one of the joys of this time of year.

I think it would be easier to write explanatory prose if someone were asking me questions, but to start, I need to pose the questions myself.

One of the pernnially favorite questions is: “What is the meaning of life?”  To which I would immediately counter, “What makes you think life has meaning?”  For that is the key, that we have brains which try to impose meaning on the chaotic universe around us and inside us.  I would ask instead: “What gives your life meaning?”

For me, I derive meaning from:  Being loved and loving.  Having faith in something greater.  Sharing true intimacy.  Having mutually satisfactory conjugal relations.  Doing a good job.  Cooking for my loved ones.  Intelligent conversation.  Movies.  Music.  Pets.  The list goes on. 

I suppose some would put “helping others” higher on the list, rather than as a second thought.  Let’s say it’s higher on my list of what will be meaningful in the future, while a lot of that other stuff was what was most meaningful in my past.


283/365 – I’m nobody, who are you?


Caption: Accidental self-portrait while testing batteries in camera.

It’s one thing to keep a journal and never have anyone read it, including yourself.  It’s quite another to put one’s thoughts on the Internet. At this point in my 365 project, I know that a daily blog without a focus is not for me.  Neither is a daily blog focused on me.  I resent the spotlight and don’t want the attention.  Like Emily Dickenson, “I’m nobody”* anyway.

“How the world looks to me” is a good line, but who cares about my point of view?  What I’m seeking is truth and goodness, and how to bring both to people so they can be at peace.  That takes examination, reflection, debate, and time.  Meanwhile, I will finish what I started, because it always seems to surprise me.

*I’m nobody!

Who are you?

Are you nobody, too?

Then there’s a pair of us — don’t tell!

They’d advertise — you know!

How dreary to be somebody!

How public like a frog

To tell one’s name the livelong day

To an admiring bog!