For All Intents and Purposes — Dylan Andersen

My good friends, I would like to introduce to the newest member of our blogging community, a man who is like a brother to me. We have spent years now, he and I, discussing every facet of this thing called life together, over beers, over texts, through e-mails, and over more beers. When I was new, I counted on this man to tell me if I could write. When I failed, at times, to make my point, I counted on him to tell me to try again. He always did. And now, his thoughts have joined ours; his wisdom added to, augmenting, our own. He says he wants to “add to the narrative of human experience,” and I have no doubt that he shall. Please give his introductory treatise a look, and join me in welcoming him to the world of online writing. 👏👏👏

I’ve always wanted to be a writer. More accurately, I’ve always wanted writing to be the underpinning through which my inner voice worked tirelessly to make sense of our shared reality. I hold great reverence for those whom language is the chosen weapon. I’m attracted to the misfits and outlaws of our society. The drunks […]

via For All Intents and Purposes — Dylan Andersen

So, Thanks

Hey. You. Thanks.

Thank you for being there for me when things have gone wrong. Thanks for being there when everything was fine.

Thank you for being a good Christian. Thank you for being a good Muslim. A good Orthodox Jew, a Catholic, a Buddhist, an Atheist, or just for being you.

Thank you for teaching the children right from wrong.

Thanks for being a good human being today, from whatever country or nationality you hail. Goodness knows no borders. The first day of thanks certainly knew none.

The first day of thanks was a coming together. The native populace of the land that would be called America, and travelers from abroad, faced a harsh winter together. Together, they endured. Later, the celebration of survival became a celebration of victory, as the newly-crested United States of America gave thanks for overcoming British rule. George Washington made it a national holiday. Abraham Lincoln made it the last Thursday in November. Congress made it legal in 1941.

Thanksgiving.

The name itself, broken down, means “giving thanks.” Being grateful.

Modern life is so much easier than native life. Colonial life. Industrial life. We are less war-torn, and there is more bounty, in modern life. We have much to be grateful for, you and I.

Off the top of my head, I am grateful for my wife, currently dressing the turkey.

I am grateful for my beautiful children, though they are but dogs to some.

I am grateful for my wife’s mother, who lives with us, and is scolding the children in the other room. Ludo must be biting Moxie’s face. He does that.

Above my head, a roof. A good one; I appreciate it greatly. I have a good job, a great family to work for, whom I adore and who adore me. They told me so, yesterday, as I left work (early and ill).

I’m grateful today that I feel (slightly) better than yesterday.

I am grateful to be living in a free country. I’m fearful that these freedoms are being challenged by authoritative forces, but I am grateful that there is so much resistance to tyranny in America still.

I am especially grateful for the fresh orange-cranberry muffins my wife just set next to me on a plate.

“Brain food,” she says.

I am thankful this particular bug I’ve caught doesn’t affect my appetite. The muffins are gone already.

I just wanted to take a moment, today, and say something. Thank you. I am grateful to all of you who read my words, and encourage me to write more of them.

I am so thankful that I can.

Have an incredible Thanksgiving day, my friends, and remember to give thanks for all you have, all you love, all you are, and all you still shall be.

After all, that is what today is truly all about.

So, really.

Thanks.

Whatever You Can Do, Begin It

On November 1st,  I was challenged to get involved in NaNoWriMo. I had never heard of such a thing. After a quick Google search I realized I was too late to be involved in NaNoWriMo this year, and that was that.

Except it wasn’t.

For those of you unfamiliar with the term – and I certainly was not 17 days ago – I’ll explain. NaNoWriMo is short for “National Novel Writing Month,” which is November. The premise of it is to encourage participants to write a 50,000-word novel in 30 days, as a way to get the creative juices flowing. It is designed ostensibly to aid the procrastination-inclined writer such as I. The movement began in 1999 and today has over 200,000 participants worldwide.

I am now one.

Thanks to the encouragement of my peers, I decided to give it a whirl, 3 days after I was introduced to the idea. In other words, I started several days behind, without a concept or outline to my name.

So, to expedite the process, I reached back into the archives of my mind and began to write a novel I had outlined back in 1993. This novel, never writ, became the basis of a superhero RPG campaign I started instead. That campaign is still active today, and nearing its 600th serial episode. Mrs C loves it.

When I started writing this novel, I quickly learned what I had done wrong the previous 437 times I tried to write a novel. Namely, I was trying to correct it as I go. Inconsistencies, bad grammar, half-witted thoughts, they would all be written out at the end of each session, or the beginning of the next. Consequently, I never made it past the 3000-word level of any previous attempt.

Shame on me.

So, the first thing I learned was not to fix my novel as I go. Write the novel. Fix it later.

In NaNoWriMo, you have no choice. You have a deadline. You have to complete the first draft in 30 days, or, in my case, in 27.

Luckily, the first 50 pages (approximately 15,000 words) pretty much wrote themselves. It helped that I knew these characters, and knew what I will call the “unleashing” part of the novel, almost by heart.   Details changed, of course, but the premise stayed the same. The characters were a joy to rediscover.

After that, for a bit, I struggled. I struggled to transition from the introductory section of the novel to the discovery section of the novel; when the main characters began to learn what they had become. Filling in the blanks of a novel is not like filling in the blanks of a game. You have to write your way through it. I did.

I am currently 27,000 words into the novel, and well into the discovery phase. At this point, the story has begun to write itself again and it is not frustration in the morning that stops my writing, but the clock. I have to go to work. I have to pay my bills.

Even though the story is coming along smoothly again, the hardest part is keeping track of the characters. There are 9 main protagonists in the novel; for this novel to work the way I need it to, there must be. So remembering where I left each one, as I jump back and forth between scenes, is a challenge. But a fun one.

A week ago, last night, I met up with some friends for drinks after work and, in a spontaneous moment, I went around the table asking each of them, in turn, what the best part of their week had been. Last night, I met up with them again and one of them asked me, immediately, what the best part of my week was. The answer, both Friday nights, was the same. The best part of my week was working on the novel.

Where does it go from here? I don’t know. In the last 14 days I have written 27,000 words, averaging just over 1900 words per day. To finish on time, this month, I have to average just over 1900 words per day the rest of the way. I am confident I will meet that goal. I am less confident that the entire story can be told in only 50,000 words. I’ll know more about that in 12 days.

Is it any good? I don’t know that yet, either. I don’t get to read it until it’s done.

But I know I won’t stop writing in 12 days, either way. The marathon may stop, and the rewriting will begin, but the process itself will never cease now. NaNoWriMo has taught me to be a writer, like I’ve never experienced writing before.

My eyes watered up when I wrote that last line.

Thank you, my friends, for your encouragement, your prodding, these last 14 days. These last 21 months. I began a process of learning when I launched tombeingtom.com, almost two years ago, and it has led me to this precise moment in time. I owe you for that.

If I can return even a part of that favor it would be with this quote from Goethe: “Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it; boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.”

It is probably my favorite quote of all time, and has been for twenty years or more. I wish I would have listened to it sooner. Please listen to it now.

Whatever it is you dream, begin it.

You will not regret having tried.

Dragonfeed — A Light Circle

I have been impressed with so many things I have read from fellow bloggers since I started my interactions in this universe mid-summer. One of the most impressive and thoughtful writers I have encountered is M.P. Baecker. Her depth of thought and expressive mastery of language consistently leave me in awe.

Here, she recounts her encounters with this world’s dragons; those people who live to feed on the perceived weakness of others. We are an insecure species, we sapiens, and we have learned to compensate for our insecurities by preying on others. The lizard brain is strong. But, MP proves to me that the terrible lizard does not always win. The princess can slay the dragon. Not only that, but she — we — have the power to learn from our battles with our aggressors. We can become better princesses, better lords and knights, better humans all around.

Let the dragons come. Let them seek to feed. With allies like M.P. Baecker, I believe it is the wise, not the wrathful, that shall inherit the earth. Please give her a read, and explore her many other contributions to the blogosphere, and to the world entire.

You are the princess we feed to the dragon. A male coworker once said this to me out of the blue. It was a strange thing to hear (or say for that matter). Was it supposed to be a compliment or a thinly-veiled threat? Or both? Should I say thank you that I’m the princess? […]

via Dragonfeed — A Light Circle

Responses

My last entry, regarding my thoughts on the anniversary of the election of Donald Trump, brought on some interesting responses.

As expected, I had the regular detractors on social media. Mostly, they are people I know quite personally, or have known most of my life. The usual suspects. They are the ones who, for one reason or another, hated Barack Obama. Hate Hillary Clinton. Ostensibly, they also love Donald Trump, but that doesn’t necessarily have to be so. They may, but they may just love what he represents, to them. That could be anti-establishment. That could be a chaotic response to what they perceive as a liberal-biased media and political machine that has, for too long, worked too well against their own agenda. It could very well be that they simply revel in my own disdain for the man, and the disdain others who would align with me ideologically also feel. It could be they just like to troll me. I’m okay with that, too.

There are other responders, of many ideologies – both aligned and opposed to mine – who wish to avoid the public social media discourse altogether. I don’t blame them for that. They can get silly, these Facebook clashes. I hear from these others in private message, text, or in person. Some of my best conversations have come that way. I know those on the right and left of the argument that will turn the public discussion into personal attacks, whether for anger or lack of substantive retort, and it is unfortunate. I see no call for that. It has been said many times that no argument on Facebook has ever changed the mind of another. Not one meme. Not one ALL-CAPS-ENDING-IN-AN-EXCLAMATION-POINT! sentence has ever made someone say, “oh my, this person nailed it and my entire way of thinking is flawed.”

But I suspect those angry railings are not targeted to change people’s minds. They are either not targeted at all, simply a knee-jerk and often regrettable moment of passion, or they are targeted to remind those of like ilk that there is someone fighting for their cause. I generally don’t begrudge such things. I admire passion and understand anger. The only manner of these outbursts I begrudge are the personal attacks I mentioned. I wince when I see them. When they are directed at me I will respond, mostly like an adult scolding a child. “No need for that. Play nice or go sit in the corner.”

I will not tolerate it.

I even unfriended a person, recently, for the first time in my life. They would not heed my warning, and added nothing to the discourse beyond the occasional “you’re an idiot, Tommy.” Actually, most of the time they didn’t say it like that. Most of the time they misspelled one of those words. Sometimes all of them.

In recent months, my dissertations have added a new level of response, one I am distinctly proud of. Another online community. A community of writers. Really good ones, with working brains and thoughtful compositions all their own. These people I interact with at the bottom of my own blog, on WordPress, and in conversations in the comment section of their own entries. To say that they have illuminated me, in many ways, is to fall short in descriptive terms. I am ever so grateful for their input, their feedback, and their own expositions.

Later today, or over the next few days, I plan to introduce you to many of them. If you get to know them, as you’ve gotten to know me, you will not be disappointed. Tom’s promise.

I appreciate all of you. All of you who interact with me on social media. Each of you who contact me personally to talk about my blog. All of you who enlighten me with blogs of your own. As I have told many of you, I do this primarily for me. I love the process of writing, and the clarification of thought that comes from expressing my own inner self, my own thoughts and beliefs. But I don’t do it just for me; I do it for you, too. I do it to hear what you have to say about what I have to think. You are all welcome to join the conversation. You are all encouraged to do so.

But please leave the vitriol behind. Bring the passion. Disagree. Write in all caps. But keep it civil. We are both humans, you and I, with thoughts and histories and methods of processing information that differ. You are probably not an idiot. Maybe I am. But I’m smart enough to know how stupid I am. No need to remind me.

I am almost 50 years old, and I am still learning. Every day. So are you, whatever age you are. I will try to teach you what I know, and learn what you have to teach. I will do it with respect.

Tom’s promise.

Never Forget

“Poor man wanna be rich, rich man wanna be king. A king ain’t ever satisfied, ’til he rules everything.” ~Bruce Springsteen, Badlands

It has been 365 days since America had to choose between the two worst presidential candidates in modern American history. It was one year ago today that the American people elected the second-worst of those two candidates, but got stuck with the worst one through a technicality. Twelve months have passed since the big joke turned into a nightmare reality.

Administratively, and legislatively, Donald Trump has accomplished little since his inauguration. I’m not here to harass him about that. Much of what he wanted to do, on the campaign trail, was improbable, impractical, and, by most reasonable accounts, would do more harm than good. I don’t blame him, or Congress, for not “repealing and replacing” Obamacare. I blame them for trying, and applaud certain members of Congress for having the guts not to throw away something flawed for something altogether rotten. I don’t blame Donald Trump for not having a wall yet; the wall was a silly idea that garnered the votes of a disenfranchised, and disillusioned, middle America. It was never really going to be a thing.

I know that many of Donald Trump’s followers want to credit him for the rising stock market and low unemployment – even though they called both indicators fake during the campaign – but the truth is those were reaching historic highs years before the election. Donald Trump inherited a better economy from Barack Obama than Barack Obama inherited from George W. Bush. Not that any of the three have any real affect on the economy; presidents often get too much credit or blame for such things. In 2008, when then-candidate Barack Obama was facing off with then-candidate John McCain, I turned to anyone who would hear me and said that no matter who won, the economy will be in a decent place in 2016. Obama won. It was.

In 2008, for the record, I voted for Barack Obama. Really, though, I voted against Sarah Palin. It was my contention that nobody that stupid should ever be President of the United States. The last laugh was on me on that one. In 2016, we elected somebody dumber.

Just before Inauguration Day, in January of 2017, I wrote a piece called On Giving the Man a Chance. I said, in no uncertain terms, that I would not give Donald Trump “a chance.” He was a despicable human being. A corrupt businessman. A misogynist. An idiot, by his railing tweets. A man who stumbled into a position of money and influence before he ever entered the world and then used bullying tactics and a sociopathic nature to take what he wanted everywhere along the way. He was the worst kind of man we would want to lead the free world. I said he had to prove he deserved a chance. He proved exactly the opposite, very quickly, and ever since.

Instead of giving him a chance I proposed that we held him accountable. He had to prove to us that he was going to be a better president than he had ever been a man. I remember when he went tweet-silent in the first few weeks after his electoral victory. I remember when he said kind things about his political opponents. I thought … maybe …

But the real Donald Trump came rolling back before the middle of December and then never left again. The most reprehensible man on the planet proved to be the most reprehensible president. I’m not happy I was right.

And now, as the dark clouds close in around him, as we begin to see at least the vestiges of penance foreshadowed in the indictments handed to those who helped him win, there is some hope. Donald Trump might finally get what he truly deserves, and all the bluster in the world won’t save him then.

And, if not, if he somehow slides his way through another investigation into his perpetually shady dealings, then we will persevere, America. If the most corrupt man in America serves his entire 4-year stint as president, we will persevere. We have seen how ineffective it will be. We have seen the turnover, the tantrums, the abuse of power, and we know … this is just a bump in the road.

As this presidency – this great American mistake – plays itself out, the 66% of us who know better will learn a valuable lesson. We will demand better candidates. Better than Hillary Clinton. Better than Donald Trump. Much, much better.

Don’t let today be a sorrowful day, America, but a somber reminder of how far we fell. Never forget.

Never forget the time we let the bad guys win.

Never forget the time we almost let in authoritarian rule.

Someday we’ll all laugh about this together. We’ll look back, nearly all of us, and wonder how we ever let it get this far. How we ever let it get this low.

How we ever let Donald Trump be President of the United States.

With November Ahead

Happy November 1st, my friends. What an October it was. As we adjust our rear-view mirrors to get a quick, last look at all the wonderful costumes and harvest decorations, we set our sights forward on the cold days to come. There are only 61 days left in the year 2017. That ain’t a lot. Are you happy with the 304 days behind? Forget for a moment the failed, greedy American administration, we knew that would happen. Forget the self-serving Congress. That won’t change. Set aside the hopes and disappointments of your football team, your baseball team, the economy, the antics of the mother-in-law, and the lament we feel when the sun goes down and the icy chill sets in.

These things we can’t control.

In fact, it seems, there are more factors in our wild and wooly lives we cannot control than those we can. Loss of control is, in fact, one of the great triggers of our anxieties. As if life wasn’t hard enough without anxiety.

And these fears are worse for some than others. For some, control is all there is. I used to call myself a control freak through the earlier stages of my life. I used to tremble when I felt I could not maintain dominion. There are some I know that are like that now, to whom utter control is the only state in which they feel safe. And because utter control is impossible, safe is the last thing they ever feel. They call that a viscous circle. A self-defeating view, to be sure.

But we can let those anxieties go, for now. As the last 8 or 9 weeks of the year wind down we could – we should – focus on what we can control. What we can change. When the year was new we all had hopes and aspirations for what is to come. We all had fears. Some of these goals we’ve realized, some we have not. Some of the things we hoped for depended on others, or on fate, some simply on ourselves.

Go back. Think of the freshness of a wonderful new year. The coming spring. The renewal, inside and out, that we hoped for. The things we wanted to accomplish, for ourselves.

It’s not too late.

The tenth month of 2017 is behind us, in that tiny mirror at the upper center of the windshield. But the windshield is still before us, and the view through it much vaster. Focus ahead. Forge ahead. Make the last days of the year the best ones yet. Be the person you promised you would be. Live the life you said you would. Start now, again. There is still time.

Happy November 1st, my friends. What an October it was. What a year it has been. And what a year it will be, when your best self and my best self face the rest of it together … and another one to come.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Lately we’ve heard more and more about nationalism. In fact, the idea of “America First” was the central theme that boosted the current American president into the White House. His populist message struck a chord among the disenfranchised, particularly the rural disenfranchised seeking meaning in a changing world.

This has not happened in a vacuum. Not that long ago, the idea of “Brexit” seemed preposterous. Now right-wing populism, protectionism, and economic nationalism have not only infected the United States, but can be seen in many elections throughout Europe. It is perhaps a natural swing of a frightened electorate to turn to protectionist policies when their “way of life” is threatened. It is an understandable but disturbing trend.

The world grows smaller. Every day the world grows smaller. Technological gains, many also unthinkable not that many years ago, give us up-to-the-minute real-time views around the globe. We are connected at the speed of light. As unindustrialized countries advance, we see low-wage alternatives to our country’s workers, and we seek protection for our own. As other nations experience growing pains, or resist growth altogether, their people understandably flee to greater pastures, to lands filled with opportunity. Lands like ours. But they are welcomed with sneers and revulsion, again with the idea that these “others” threaten a longstanding way of life.

And they do. There is no way to integrate sudden cultures without somehow bringing elements of each culture together. The very history of the United States of America is a mixing of cultures. This is why we call it the “melting pot” of the world. Those who resist the restraints on immigration brought on by populism use that very metaphor as a defense for immigrants entering this country. As the world grows smaller, though, the melting pot gets larger. Cultures, in every advanced human society, clash and merge ever more.

And the history of the clashing and merging of societies hasn’t always been a good one, though there are exceptions. Certainly, in the past, when cultures have collided there have been great casualties. The Neanderthal did not fair well for long after meeting the Sapiens. The European colonists crushed the Native Americans. A similar fate befell the aborigine in Australia.

We can learn much from these histories.

What we should not learn from these histories is fear. We should learn, instead, the prospect of successful cultural merging. With the information of thousands of years of progress at our disposal we should be able, now, to forge a path forward. Our natural inclination to resist change should begin to evolve into a natural understanding of it. We should open our arms, not build more walls.

Populism and nationalism naturally build more walls. Literally and figuratively. They are a natural outcropping or our inherent fears, our innate prejudices. They are the worst part of our history.

To succeed in the world to come, we have to overcome those fears and prejudices. We, and they, must get beyond the “us” vs “them.” Although cultural distinctions can vary, we are still all the same. We are still all humankind. The world we can create together can change all the rules of history. The world we create apart follows them. Populism is isolationist. Nationalism is divisiveness. We should have overcome this by now.

Nearly 70 years ago, after the last world war, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was produced by the United Nations. This document dreams of a world yet to come. A world where all people, around the globe, share the same unalienable rights. Big dreamers, in the wake of defeating a terrible evil, came together to hope for a better world. Their dream remains unfulfilled. In fact, it is challenged today by the fear and prejudice I have mentioned.

We are still in the middle of an awakening, worldwide. A new renaissance. A period of enlightenment. This time will be wrought with peril, setback, darkness, and ignorance. But to succeed where the dreamers have thus far failed, we must continue to dream. We must continue to fight back against fear and prejudice. We must renew our promise to people everywhere.

Please read the document linked above, written on December 10, 1948. The promise of a world coming together. The dream of a united human race. As hard as it will be, let’s renew this promise.

For all humankind.

Without Somnus

Writer’s block!

Not really. I’ve just been busy working on other things this week and haven’t had time to focus entirely on my efforts here. When I have written I’ve found that what I write scores very badly on every Yoast SEO algorithmic indicator known to man. Bad. Very bad.

But I don’t let that get me down. I understand the why. Partially, it’s the doldrums of the changing seasons, as I indicated last week, and partially it’s all the portions on my plate. My eyes have been bigger than my stomach.

I haven’t written a Rams article in weeks. And the storylines have been the most remarkable in 14 years. My editor has probably disowned me by now.

What I have worked on the last couple of days was a terribly written but thoughtful article on world peace and the hopeful unity of all mankind. It hasn’t panned out. None of it. The world peace part. The hopeful unity part. The writing about it part. None.

So I guess that piece just isn’t ready. Likewise, I’m not ready to write about the Rams and their sudden winning ways. I am ready for tomorrow night’s outrageous Halloween party, so maybe that’s where I am right now.

Shallow. In need of reverie. Discombobulated intellectually.

I had an old friend visit in the middle of the night, last night. You call him insomnia, derived from the root word “Somnus,” who was the Roman god of sleep. He was the son of Night and the Brother of Death. That last part is a fascinating distinction because what kept me from the arms of Morpheus was the very haunting and infinitely intriguing new Netflix program, “Mindhunter.” The missus and I watched the final episode of the first season last night and sat mesmerized, saying, in unison, “That is a great fucking show.” It is. But it is haunting. It makes you want to learn more about the topic of the show, but the topic of the show is the most disturbing thing in society. The further you delve, the less likely you sleep.

Thus, my unfortunate quarrel with Somnus this evening past.

And lack of sleep does nothing to ameliorate our discombobulation.

So, despite the voices of my better angels, I write in the throes of a discombobulated fervor, asking for your patience and hoping that a grain of sagacity somehow finds it’s way through the flowing sands of balderdash.

If not, please read the Universal Declaration of Human Rights upon which today’s post was to be based. This, then, is what we should be focused on instead of populist protectionism.

After that, read my favorite article of the week, by local writer, military veteran, and former Trump-supporter R.V. Scheide, “On Bending the Knee.” The comment section, too, is a source of great erudition.

After that, feel free to come read this piece again. Maybe you’ll find that grain of sand I proposed. Or maybe not. Maybe the mindhunter stole it.

I don’t think I’ll be staying up tonight exploring that idea.

I can’t live another night without Somnus.

Into each life some rain must fall …

The first rain fell last night; the first rain of fall. The cold weather all week, in the morning hours, has kept me in bed til 6 or 7. The pounds are piling on. The chores, the writing, the AM walks around the block with the golden dogs, all are pushed to “tomorrow” every day. Winter is coming.

Group activities are in a lull. I’m spending more Sunday hours at home. There is no deck reading in the evening. The sun is already fading behind the trees; the shivers come out by 6. The fading light and whipping cold steal away the urge to sit, blow the pages to and fro. I reach for my joggers and sweaters instead of my shorts and tanks. I wear layers to work. Pants and shoes. The flip flops are hiding in the closet now. Autumn has come. In earnest.

I remember fondly the summer days. I remember pool parties and swamp cooler sweat. Ice chests full of beer. I remember it being too hot to sit on the deck for long. Too much light still coming through the window for an early sleep. The air conditioner blaring all night. I remember two weeks without air conditioning, and all the 100-degree days we endured through that. I’m recalling the anticipation of football coming back.

I think about the years, the seasons through each one. Each 13-week succession through 49 years of life. I love change. I’m the rare bird that loves when things are suddenly different than they were. My body doesn’t like the process of the change, though. The sleeping in, like I mentioned. The cracked skin, this year choosing the right-middle knuckle for that. The legs, they itch like crazy when the weather turns cold. I don’t know why; I’ve always suffered that. I move slower in the cold. We all do.

My wife says to me, “we can finally have a fire again!” She loves the ambiance of fire at the hearth. Our current abode has a fireplace that produces no heat, or too little to be of measure, so it is just for the ambiance. But the feeling of things is somehow just as important as the utility of things. Atmosphere matters.

My mood has been affected this year, by the fading light, the rising chill. I get so little time to do the things I love, these days, and the shortened days seem to want to steal away even those scarce moments. I’ll adapt. I’m a reasonable man, a critically-thinking human being, who understands this feeling is fleeting. Tom will return.

He will.

But one thing I learned a long time ago is that we cannot always be ourselves. Our best selves. Like the seasons, we change. Like the daylight, we ebb and flow. Sometimes we shine so long it feels like the day will never end. Sometimes our shine hides behind the gloom. It seems like night all day. It was one of those weeks where the shine was hid, for no reason other than a change in pattern. A change in season. A cold front on the horizon.

It is in these moments that I appreciate the complexity of life. Everything is fine. Perfect, as a matter of fact. Love is strong within my house. Work is lucrative and busy. My writing feels right. A bad president’s numbers are down. Even the Rams are winning games. The perfect autumn. A serendipitous fall.

So excuse my unusual entry. Forgive my lack of witty banter. I’m not in the mood for the light today. I am embracing the gloom. Enjoying the rain.

I feel a little down these days.

And I kinda like it. 😊