When you follow your bliss, doors will open where you would not have thought there would be doors and where there wouldn't be a door for anyone else -- Joseph Campbell.


I see you in the beginning of sunrises,
when we sit across from each other
at our glass-top table, trying to see our

Did I ever tell you I hope you will put down
that newspaper, because I think it smells like glue,

and because I can't see you through the folds of black and white and wrinkled words.

There are stains on our table now
- faint rings, crusted remains even,
where spotless glasses once stood side by side

And between them, from the window, seeps in
just enough of a handful of sky.

The Other Me

Somedays I think about living an alternative life. In my mind, another person swirls around, doing some things differently than I would. I'm not sure if that person is another me or just another person swirling around. I like that word, swirl. It has a great mouth feel to it...like custard. It's velvety, fun to play with and goes down easily. Swirl.

But my alternative life? It combines every element of creativity known to us. Photography, painting, writing, music, food...it's what makes the world go around. It's what makes me go around and round the block, and over the tree top and under the bush and into the basement and out into the sky touching the roof.

My alternative life has an art studio of my own. A room of my own. You like that? yea, I do too.

So anyway...my art studio? It isn't terribly big. I imagine it to be a small, rectangular space, just big enough to fit a few drop cloths on the floor, an easel, paint brushes, enough shelves on the wall to fit oil paints and pastel and a window. I need a window. Light and warmth are my saviors.

This is my room. The room where I dip brushes into pots of paint and let the motion and mood of my mind direct where my hand goes on the blank canvas. I swirl circles, dot on some polkas, play with short, choppy Van Gogh like brush strokes in every color imaginable and then I pull a Jackson Pollock and just end up framing my cream colored drop cloths tinted with body art.

In the background, I have reggae music playing on my nearly extinct and highly dusty tape recorder. Bob Marley, maybe. Maybe even pretend reggae from UB40. I think that's better. I can sway my hips to Red, Red Wine and sip it from my cup too. Outside, from my window, I can see the sun and the clouds playing with each, trying to outdo the other's presence and turning the light into my studio into a controlled havoc.

From my window, I can even see delicate, green tendrils of vines beginning to break through the ground and shoot up, bending their own bodies towards the sun, trying to follow it in the sky. Never mind that in this life, I have ten black thumbs. My alternative life has my own vegetable garden growing squash and corn and peas and potatoes and onions and carrots and cucumbers and tomatoes. I have a hen that lays eggs. I have a desk that is covered with sheets of paper with poems and artist statements and speeches scribbled all over them.

And my own little Pulitzer prize, egging me on to skip the attack of the lazy, spend my days working and my nights in the company of the people I love.

Oh. And my Pulitzer is a door stop. Because I like fruit cake.

The First One for 09

I’m trying out a new venture. For years, I’ve thought about waking up early in the morning to spend at least half an hour writing before I start my day, but I’ve never actually done it.

Since I’m making some major changes in my life, waking up early to write is going to be one of them.

The others are to exercise more (check), eat and drink better (check), read more outside academia (working on it) and imbibe the principles of Buddhism into my life past intellectual knowledge (working on that too). As an aside, I’m quite enamored by HH The Dalai Lama, and I’ve begun reading a book of his quotes. The key is to live by his teachings. Nirvana? Some day.

It’s difficult to break old habits. I’m not an early riser – never have been. Even more so because my bed is the center of gravity. But no matter – I’ve always taken stock in the old proverb, “A bad workman always blames his tools.” I’m rigorously applying this adage to myself so I can stop whining and making excuses and just write. I mean, seriously.

Early morning observations today….
1. I’ve woken up to a morning after a snow fall and right now it’s really, really quiet. The only sounds I hear are of the snow shovels scraping the ground, the floorboards creaking under the weight of the weather, and of my feet, and the tap-tap-tap of my keyboard.
2. There’s perfect stillness in the air. In a short while, the day will begin, the world will get back to working and the stillness will be gone.
3. I may keep waking up this early just to breed familiarity with this stillness. Perhaps, someday, I may even be able to write about it.

Hopefully, I'll be back tomorrow. But like JGT told me...I ain't gawn sweat it...