Break Time Musings

How can I commune with the natural when suffocated by concrete? At least the breeze still gently kisses the leaves of trees younger than I.

Cold comfort for the bees choking on neocotinoid cocktails courtesy of chemists cajoled into crafting poisonous concoctions for profit.

May they see the error of their ways. Inshallah.


A Writer Who Does Not Write

I am certain I am not the only writer who feels all of the sentiments contained within the above blog title.

It is of little comfort.

In an effort to rectify the situation, instead of sitting down to write only when I am inspired or feeling the need to get something out of my head, I am going to schedule a healthy block of time once per week devoted solely to practicing my craft.  If I manage to sneak a bit of wordsmithing in betwixt the day job, parenting, and exhaustion so much the better.

Returning to the title of this entry, what is the good of a writer who does not write?  I am of the opinion that as a practitioner of a craft, be it an intellectual pursuit, artistic pursuit, or physical pursuit –  the simple of act of doing is virtuous in the traditional sense.  I do not claim with my words or by my actions to be a consistently virtuous human being, but when it comes to writing, or even reading for that matter, I attempt to be that classical champion of virtue.

Imagine the shame felt of having left my sword to rust!  All of the reasons I gave myself held hints of validity, but as I examine them in retrospect they ring hollow.

A writer who does not write is not a writer.  It is as simple as that.

I have no problem being known as, and even embodying, a husband, father, brother, son, friend, and those myriad other designations we as humankind ascribe to ourselves and have ascribed to us by others.

But what else am I?  What am I known as aside from the obvious?  What is my purpose?  Does it even matter?  These are the questions I ask myself consistently.

I am a writer of words.  I am a writer of words!

No matter what else is bouncing around inside of my cranium, that is the answer that bubbles to the surface time and time again.

The jury is still out on whether or not that is my penultimate identity or being, but aside from my family and friends it is the one pursuit and practice that sings out to my innermost self.

Whether tapping away on a keyboard or scribbling in my notebook I feel completed when creating words that express feelings or ideas.

Even if no one ever reads them the act of bringing them forth into existence outside the confines of my own brain gives me a completeness I do not otherwise feel.  That sense of completeness is how I know I am following a good and true pathway.

I am of the opinion that we all have an innate sense that can guide us throughout our lives once developed.  Some are more aware of it than others.  Others deaden it through various distractions to the point that it may be difficult to call upon for guidance in times of need.  Many willfully ignore it outright.

To continually strive for completeness is not realistic for most human beings.  Mundane life tasks, physical or mental limitations, and a host of other barriers tend to obstruct the way.  Some of these obstructions represent parts of my existence that I cannot see myself living without, but others must be excised in order to make room for the goodness and truth that comes out of practicing my craft.

That is my challenge going forward.  My quest!

I must shed the detritus to create space for the completeness that comes of writing words.

Additionally, it is my sincere hope that by reading these words it may at the very least, provide a sense of solidarity in knowing that you are not the only one struggling when it comes to practicing your craft, whatever it may be.


Finally…A Winter Wonderland


The Portland Metro Area may have had this much snow fall when I was a young lad, but since I cannot remember clearly I am going to say that in 34 years of life on this good earth in this general area the record has been broken.  Ten inches in less than 24 hours!

I took the day off to go sledding with the wife and kids.  We were at the local sledding hill before 9am so we can get in a second sesh later in the day!

Winter weather is a tremendous creative inspiration not only when I am trudging through shin-deep wet snowfall, but also when I gaze out of my back window staring at random snowfall patterns and the frolicking squirrels so despised by my spouse.  If I weren’t nearly halfway through Dry January I would likely be sipping an Imperial Stout and just zoning out in cozy, slightly inebriated bliss.  Eh, another cup of coffee sounds just as appealing.

Enjoy your day be you out of doors or in!

Happy Thanksgiving

Today I am going to attempt to temporarily suspend fixation on the past atrocities associated with this holiday, the massive injustices being committed against the original inhabitants of this land as I type these words, and the systemic inequalities and divisions that plague these United States of America.

I am going to spend quality time with my family, enjoy the fruits of the harvest, and acknowledge the multitude of blessings that have fallen into my lap.

Tomorrow I will avoid rabid consumerism that only serves to feed the Beast.

Be grateful for the little things that we all tend to take for granted.  Seek contentment however fleeting.  Spread unconditional love.  Embrace humility.

Block15 Brewing Company – Sticky Hands Marmalade

I realized recently that it had been a minute since I had posted a beer review and thought what better occasion to remedy that mortal sin than upon pouring my one and perhaps only, Sticky Hands Marmalade canned pint.  Brewed by Block15 Brewing Company in the best damned college town in the USA, Corvallis, Oregon – Sticky Hands Marmalade takes the base Sticky Hands Hop Experience IIPA recipe and flips the script on the usual hopping parameters with Amarillo, Appolo, Belma, and Chinook hops.  This results in a citrusy, peachy, slightly sour marmaladeriffic Imperial IPA.  It looks hazy and mysterious as it pours and settles, deceptively calm as it waits for consumption.

Easily up there with the Tropical Slam one-off, I was absolutely gutted when I thought I was not going to get to sample this ambrosia due to a perfect storm of financial embarrassment and lack of transport.  Enter the BFF to save the day with a single pint can in the form of a late birthday present.  I even waited an additional 24 hours because my palate had been corrupted by lesser ales before the hand-off.

It.  Was.  Worth it.

Take Five Deep Breaths

The anxiety-ridden haunted fun house that has been the 2016 Presidential Election is almost over.

Now look to the person to your left and right.

No matter who each of those people is voting for they are both (hopefully, unless they are aliens) still fellow human beings sharing the same time and space on this rock hurtling through space.

Let’s agree to disagree, compromise, and for gods’ sake, BE CIVIL.

About Last Night

I posted an expression of frustration and hopelessness.

I tossed and turned all night thinking about why I felt the way that I did.

I decided to delete the post this morning because while I do still feel frustrated I do not feel hopeless and I certainly do not feel like giving up.

I did not want to leave a post up that might make others feel hopeless or contribute to a sense no matter what they might do it does not matter.

I am hopeful and I know that while I cannot alone change things on a gigantic scale, I can change things in myself and my family.  And those changes will spiral outwards and have the chance to promote change within others.