Archive | September, 2012

wild and gorgeous

25 Sep

The world is not mean. No, it’s just too busy yelling, “Have you seen the motherfuckin’ aurora borealis?!…I did that!” And you know that it has a point: it’s awesome. But the universe’s duality also makes it callous and destructive. We ask that it take a moment to listen to us and ease up. But adulthood begins once we realize the world is a wild and gorgeous beast that has no time to be kind.


he was.

20 Sep

“You can’t be serious?”, I said.

“Well, it’s an awful last name,” the she-devil said.

He nodded, in a sitcom sort of submissive happiness. I half-expected a shrug, a cheesy smile, and a laugh track.

“It’s your family’s name! How can you drop it?”

“It means ‘nipple’!

We’re using mine instead.”

I held back, but stabbed her throat in my head. She had taken over completely. Who was ‘he’ now? I didn’t know, and soon his mother wouldn’t either.

two wolves

16 Sep

A grandfather said to his grandson (1):

“All men have two wolves inside them. One is evil – he’s anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego. The other is good – he’s joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith. These wolves fight inside you and everyone.”

The grandson thought for a minute, then asked:

“Which wolf will win?”

The grandfather simply replied: “The one you feed.”

(1) This is an old Cherokee legend that I’m paraphrasing here. It’s a fabulous depiction of the fight inside each person, our crosses and our choices.

8:46am 9/11/01, World History Class

14 Sep

A TV cart. “We watching a movie today?”, we shuffled into Mr. Byrd’s classroom. “This is a History class, and today we are witnessing history.” For the next hour we locked our eyes to disorienting and outrageous images: falling bodies, symbols aflame, sidewalks filled with terror. Mr. Byrd, the masterful teacher, made it all resonate with teens in Illinois. He died a few years ago, and every 9/11 I remember him, because he made me never forget.

iterations of man

11 Sep

Men aren’t born. As Orwell said, unlike women and animals, men have little inherent value–we have everything to prove (1). Our personal growth comes from erasing and refining that rough (rough!) draft we all started with: our inner forever-boy. The wicked skip this step, and let their reckless, bratty boy run amok to break and bruise. But a true man will try to be better than yesterday, because yesterday just won’t do. A man is always a work-in-progress.

(1) “Man is the only creature that consumes without producing. He does not give milk, he does not lay eggs, he is too weak to pull the plough, he cannot run fast enough to catch rabbits. Yet he is lord of all the animals. He sets them to work, he gives back to them the bare minimum that will prevent them from starving, and the rest he keeps for himself.”
– George Orwell, Animal Farm

the political crater

7 Sep

Progressives see society as a web connecting grandma, strangers miles away, you/me. Conservatives see society as many cliques trying to climb the good life mountain. When Progressives talk about progress, they think of the web: when one rises, they pull up the rest a bit, too. For Conservatives, everyone must make their own way up the mountain, and helping non-clique members is conditional. The crater between is silly, because they both need the strivers to pull and climb.

einstein was right

4 Sep

The best quotes don’t say anything new, but vividly capture those lessons and happenings that we forgot to put into words. One of my favorites is from Albert Einstein:

If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.

So as a personal challenge, I will keep all of my blog posts for as long as I see useful under 79 words. This word limit unofficially defines the short short piece of fiction, or the standard paragraph of non-fiction. By sticking to the 79 word-limit I will not only have to condense what I want to say, portray, or spread into bite sized morsels, but also make them fulfilling and tasty with very few garnishes. I’ll have to cut fat. I’ll have to focus on the most important ingredients. I’ll have to really understand what I want to say and keep it simple.

So here goes. (btw, this post doesn’t count [a bloated 151 words and counting!])

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