Time and Value

I am 5. I have my whole life before me. What will I become? A fireman. A policeman. A construction worker.

I am 15. I have my whole life before me. What will I become? A lawyer. An architect. An inventor.

I am 21. I have my whole life before me. What will I become? A writer. An artist. A god.

I am 44. I have lived more than half my life. What will I become? Dust. Ashes. A fading memory.

We think differently at different times about how much time we have before us and what we can become with this time. But who among us can spend, right now, anything more than the present moment?

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The Self

This week I noticed an interesting question on Quora: Do we exist? When I followed the link I was expecting to see Descartes, and no doubt if I poked a little further I’d find him. Instead, what I found was a lovely illustration using a handful of geometrically arranged toothpics.

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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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People's Stories

People’s stories change lives. Letting people and their various perspectives into your own life can be threatening for this very reason. Hence xenophobia. Hence othering. Hence culture wars. Hence an epidemic of loneliness in our society. I grew up in an environment where being gay was felt to be one of the most revolting perversions known to man. And for reasons I’ve never understood I was repeatedly accused of being gay. [Read More]

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