Giving Sorrow Words

For the most part I’m upbeat and content—I have to be! I try to never sweat the small stuff, and I tend to sail through life brushing off any nonsense that comes my way.

The best car I ever had was totaled, and I went broke on rentals while trying to sort out the mess—to no avail. Hey, no problem!

Student loan debt has nearly doubled thanks to that “low” interest rate. Hey, no problem!

I found out my best friend… Read More …

Message to a Mystery Girl

I dream constantly, but most are just flashes that I vaguely, if it all, remember. A lot have to do with practical, everyday things or things so unreal they mean little. I know my brain moves ninety-to-nothing at all times, and sleep is no different.

But occasionally a dream is so connected to reality, that I forget I’m supposed to be asleep. This was one one such dream.

We should first put aside that… Read More …

Man in the Mirror

In my head, I’m still that 20-something guy, absorbing all I can and working on that long journey to figure out myself and the world.

If I close my eyes and sing along to some song that means anything to me, it’s still 1993. I’m sitting on the bed in that rented room on Dallas Avenue, wearing tattered jeans and a tie-dyed shirt while lip-syncing Toad the Wet Sprocket.

For a split second, I might even get the urge to hop on the old Schwinn mountain bike and head to… Read More …

Little Man Big Man

We had to put our heads on our desks and raise our hands to vote. There were no paper ballots, no ballot box, just a simple count of hands. This came after each category called for nominations: secretary, treasurer, reporter, representatives, vice president, and president of the class’s 4-H chapter.

I was at the age where I thought formalities like this mattered, and any positive attention or recognition I could get was automatically a good thing. This was fifth grade, and it’s when… Read More …

If I Seemed too Quiet…

At a time in my life when I hated the world and it seemed to reciprocate beyond all expectation, there was always one bright spot—my silly little brother Kevin. I had been the youngest of three kids for 12 years, but I never really felt the part. It got me no special treatment, and if anything I felt like the quintessential middle child from the beginning—and that made perfect sense when Kevin was born five days after my 12th birthday.

To our delight, Kevin was… Read More …

Everything and Nothing

I’ve never been a big fan of Robin Williams’ comedy. I often found his frenzied standup painful to watch and sometimes had to turn from talk shows during his segments, because even his interviews were just too manic during my “wind down” time. I was wary of his movies for the same reason, and I haven’t seen many of them. I have, however, always been a fan of Robin Williams, the man.

No, he wasn’t a hero by any stretch and didn’t accomplish… Read More …

Happy Discoveries

In case you haven’t figured it out yet, life is pretty short. I try to spend mine discovering anything and everything, big and small, bizarre and mundane.

No matter where I go—to and from work, out for a stroll behind my building, or walking through my neighborhood—I am constantly taking inventory. My eyes scan everything around me, detecting the least little speck of something out of place. (Ask Susanne—she’s witnessed me spotting the tiniest of things in the forest floor on many of our hikes together.)

So it was nothing new to… Read More …

Magical Mystery Tour

Anyone who knows me knows that, despite my Southern upbringing, I’m not a religious person. I do have spiritual moments, though, typically about the beauty, magic, and mystery that life sometimes holds. Last month, I had the good fortune of enjoying a good dose of all.

We were down in Worcester, Massachusetts, to attend an intimate wedding of my good friends Carla and Deb. The wedding itself was rife with beauty and wonder, perhaps amplified in the absence of any ostentation or needless formality. The ceremony was everything a wedding should be: two people in love formalizing their commitment to each other in front of a few good friends. The minister was… Read More …

Life in a Northern Town

I’ve been in Vermont for just over two months now, and it feels like I’ve been here my whole life. It’s comfortable. It’s peaceful. It’s home.

What’s it like for the outsider though? First off, I’ve yet to meet a cranky person. People here are relaxed, friendly, and welcoming. Even the tourists here are happy and easygoing, a far cry from the chain-smoking screech-owls common at most tourist destinations I know.

What’s it like for me? Well, I walk the half-mile to work each day. I pass by a coffee shop, useful when I’m running late, and a supermarket or drug store if I need something on the way home. I can … Read More …

Glimmers

Sometimes life just gets to be routine. I think we all experience such periods, where time passes but nothing seems to be happening. Hell, some people like it that way, but I don’t. I need change. I need substance. I need life! Typically, I have those things—but not always.

Lately I’ve had one of these periods, almost since the time I finished my master’s degree in 2009. Sure, I stay busy, learning all I can about the things that I hope will be helpful in my career or at least in my hobbies. I’ve designed and helped edit two books. I’ve also been applying for jobs off and on, but believe me, there is nothing in that process that feels like life other than the slight hope of landing that perfect job. And that hope isn’t always there. Sometimes it’s just… Read More …