Sometimes it’s like every step I take is with my eyes closed, just feeling around with arms outstretched.

So I ended up in DC, which is somehow not surprising. I knew I was not done with this city. I don’t think life is written or predetermined, but this felt inevitable, inescapable. So I began my kind of Robinson Crusoe existence here, though I’m sure without the religious apotheosis of the Buñuel film, which I loved dearly. I liked that eden represented there, in the strange washed out colors of degraded film from the 1950s. In many ways, this city feels like a good one to start in; so much to do, familiar things, and also the manageable distances in a town of only a few square miles. I’m not sure if I fit in here, but I’m not sure if I fit in anywhere.

I have found good places in the few weeks I have been here: a few nice bars and restaurants, and some truly world class bookstores. The mass transportation is terrific and I like my new job. I read an entire book in about three days. This is a first in years and years. I have finished only three books since 2011. I’m hoping this warming trend continues.

I have considered retiring Asphalt Eden so many times, but I couldn’t do it. I picked it so long ago, and it continues to be appropriate; it continues to be more and more appropriate as time passes.

posted 2 June 2014


After a while, I don’t think the images mean anything.

Strange arrangements of columns have followed me around in life, from The Prisoner and Johnny Got His Gun, to some strange park my parents used to take me to that had a strange arcade of columns — I’m not sure those really existed. I’ve dreamed of columns repeatedly, and they continue to recur throughout my life, and I don’t know what they mean. It’s easy to see symbols everywhere, if you’re looking for them.

I felt a deep calm and sense of belonging in Seattle, like I was among my people, and then: columns. Comical, because in the early 90s, it seemed the very opposite of a place I would have wanted to be; back then I was sure I’d live in London or New York. It’s good to know I’ve been around enough to know when a place feels like home, though I’ve still never been to England.

posted 17 February 2014


Good heavens I am so easy to understand.

The Twitter feed is a funny thing; I guess the cliche is that it is an alt-lit fortune cookie generator, and I have contributed to this in some certain way during my time there. I’m not sure what else to do but put those things in there — little thoughts that have no other place or venue. I am not good at using it to find out information or network with interested people in the way that LiveJournal worked in its estimable heyday. I miss the latter and how it laid our psychologies bare, but I do not believe we can ever go back to that time (it is beyond my capability), and I think internet “progress” has made that type of community impossible. Maybe in some far future when we have forgotten how to curate our own personas online.

Other than this site, I have no other venues online. It suits me, it seems to help preserve what little mystery about myself remains online. I think about coming back to these places in twenty or thirty years and trying to figure out what I meant when I wrote certain things. Or maybe I will know, maybe the words will take me back instantly to all the tiny frictions and minute revelations from this era.

posted 31 January 2014


The concept of progress is something I find myself thinking about constantly.

Are we far enough along given the time that it has taken to get here? What does that say about our overall commitment to getting there? It’s hard to know, it all seems very arbitrary. It might be considered from multiple angles.

For my own part, despite it being a core element of my career’s job description, I have a very difficult time measuring true progress, even in the broadest of increments. Have I gone far enough? Could I have done more? Was I working too hard at ensuring the wrong outcomes occurred? Despite Buddhist thinking to the contrary, comparison with others’ presumed progress is all I find it possible to do in these instances.

In 2013, did I go far enough? I don’t know. I traveled much more than ever before. I felt as though I made a lot of discoveries about myself within a kind of vacuum (and loneliness or aloneness) because I was the only thing in my life that seemed willing to move forward, even if that internal pace was far too slow for my liking. The time is now done; it has to be enough.

In 2014, I have set the milestones on a private calendar of my own making.

posted 20 January 2014


Stayed out late Tuesday night to see Stars of the Lid play Brooklyn, in a big church in Sunset Park. It was real pretty.

I keep looking for patterns in things, most specifically in life events, and it’s really a fool’s game. The patterns are the ones I cause myself, by acting or reacting in the same ways repeatedly. I’ve tried to ease that in myself, but it’s not always easy to detect when it’s happening until afterward. Trying to detect things happening inside of me, as they happen, is the kind of meditation practice that will likely take a lifetime to master.

Case in point, when the band played through “Requiem for Dying Mothers” (so resonant in such a large space, there were times it felt like the church was vibrating), it made me think of a song that started so quietly (and played so long) that it was undetectable for years. That’s something strangely familiar to me: currents that work their way through me for years undetected until I finally wake up and notice what’s been going on around me. I’ve gotten better at that in the last two years, listening to that voice deep inside of me, actually communicating what I want out of life. It’s been a hard road in some respects, but I can feel it getting easier all the time, gradually resembling a kind of flow where I’m just me, all of the time, without notable interruption.

posted 21 December 2013

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