Openness of Thought—Doubting Conviction

Words: Creative and Limiting

Recently I was discussing with a friend my failed aspirations to be a writer. I have a complex relationship with words. On the one hand they are an art form capable of extending, composing, and in some sense creating the world of our perceptions. On the other hand, they often tend to confine, reduce, limit, and damn us to live within a tinny parody of our fullest experience.

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Chocolate Stout Cake Recipe

This chocolate cake is dense and rich, but not overly sweet, especially if it is divided into 4 layers. It has been Anastasia’s birthday cake since she was little.

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Dad's Burgers

These burgers are a family favorite. Simple, thick slices of everything, and finished off with a spicy dressing that balances it all out.

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Mash-Based Sourdough Starter

Sourdough Starter

I maintain a very small amount of starter between bakes—no more than 60–70g—otherwise I just end up with too much waste or stored old starter. (You can use the old starter for pancakes, waffles, crackers, and other things.) However, when building an initial starter, there is benefit to volume—greater room for error.

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Exercises from On Poetry

It’s been quite a few years since I last spent time on poetry. For whatever reason I seem to go through cycles where I read and write none of it, and then it comes back like some kind of need. So, I’m re-reading Glyn Maxwell’s On Poetry and doing some of the exercises this time. The exercises for the first chapter involve taking a number of blank pages and pretending certain things about them. What follows are my just-spit-it-out first draft attempts. Just getting the juices flowing again.

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For Anastasia

for Anastasia

I was wrong to ever try to teach you;

The things I want for you cannot be learned:

Swallow sun and dance upon the waters—

Swallow moon and skip stars across the sky.

—November 15, 2012

On Playful Seriousness

I remember my father reading to me. He made the stories into a spectacle of elaborate, silly voices. That spectacle became ingrained in me, and goes with me into the daylight spaces of my own adult life. This childlike play acting, the art of verbal exaggeration and caricature, has perhaps been my only salvation from an unbearably melancholy disposition. My father taught me many things, but the unintentional lessons have been the most cherished.

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Oh Hell…

2018 Update: I wrote these messages 11 years ago and numerous features of my beliefs have changed since that time. The core message stands. I refuse to believe that God is worse than me. I refuse to believe that God is a monster.

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