Tag Archive: journalism

Disappearing Act

August 7, 2018 2:20 pm Published by 5 Comments

Life does not ask if you want to see a dead body dredged from a river on your bike ride or if you want to wake up one day and realize that most everyone you thought you might marry someday is now engaged to someone else or if you were ready for another year to be two-thirds over, for everyone you love to be two-thirds a year older, for your checking account to be two-thirds a year emptier. The disappearing act forces you to put your thoughts in a centrifuge in a noise-cancelling vacuum and distill them and listen to them until you are aware just what they are.

A Nightmare is Still a Dream

August 2, 2018 4:09 pm Published by 6 Comments

I do not need distractions or white picket fences. I need to write. I need to push myself to the limits so I have something to say. And I need to read what others have said, that I may remember the vague, gnawing feelings I have all day have names.

Being Alive

July 16, 2018 6:39 pm Published by 4 Comments

Existing is a fickle thing, some combination of biological bare-minimums and feeling profoundly satisfied which ultimately makes us who we... View Article

Watering the Plants

May 4, 2018 11:33 am Published by 3 Comments

Spending too much time thinking may have its downsides, but that is only if you subscribe to the notion that there is such thing as “spending too much time thinking.”

Bear Country

February 27, 2018 12:17 pm Published by 1 Comment

In a way, it is a refreshing feeling to be constantly aware of your surroundings, to know what it is you are most afraid of. To have a common fear with all fellow men, to have a lingua franca that everyone speaks about dangers and preparations and the haughty laughs we must have if we are to survive it at all. In the Yukon, everyone has a bear story or ten. In Alaska, people speak more in “how bad” bears are than whether there are bears at all.

Sutherland Springs

February 11, 2018 12:34 pm Published by 2 Comments

As time passes, I am stricken by many things: the urgency a brush with death places upon us. Our ability to normalize and gloss over such a traumatic experience in order to ‘move on.’ The way survival is so fickle and random that it can all feel very pointless or extraordinarily meaningful. The difference a day makes.

Peeing in the Arctic Circle

October 11, 2017 2:58 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

I stood there in a long sleeve T-shirt and blue jeans, exposed in all the most vulnerable ways to the elements, and felt a certain type of ridiculous freedom that men often chase their entire lives. One would never explicitly state that they aspire to something as trite as peeing atop Atiguin Pass, but that may be part of the problem.

In Lieu of the Cosmos

August 26, 2017 4:33 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

We pulled into the shallows, and the dizzying pace of the water just beyond the barrier island gave me something to focus on. “I think that big eclipse is starting right around now,” I offered. “What eclipse?” he asked me.

Fifteen Minutes from Alaska

August 24, 2017 9:51 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

These snippets are always taken out of context, and they often make others feel inferior and the sharer feel isolated, as if their reality isn’t living up to outsiders’ expectations of it. Happiness is not guaranteed by the sight of snow-capped mountains, though they are never unwelcome. A smile in a moment does not tell the full story. One does not and cannot cross a border or climb a mountain every second of their lives.

The Middle of Nowhere

July 5, 2017 3:44 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

“The middle of nowhere” is a loaded idiom. It’s a vague-yet-precise phrase that invokes a certain situation or location, and which could be positive or negative depending on who says it. It offers up visions of amber waves and orange plateaus, of abandoned filling stations and faded glimpses of the past’s future. It is a place devoid of the decades of social construction required to populate a city with its traps and trappings.

Darkness, Light, and a Sunset in Maine

April 4, 2017 12:19 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

This moment turned out to be a subtle turning point in the narrative. Since picking up the Land Cruiser and having a hilarious Saint Paddy’s Day that was blessedly free of self-awareness sabotaging my enjoyment, I now presented the trip as not just a salve for the pained brain clanging around in my head but also as a concerted effort to rediscover the simple joys that make me who I am and thusly make me worth spending any time around.

A Place to Call Home: The Almost-Ghosttown of Centralia, Pennsylvania

March 27, 2017 1:32 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Signs stood in the trees warning hunters not to hunt in this area. We were quite near a State Game Land, of which Pennsylvania has many, and I suppose if you spent enough time in the woods and chased a deer far enough, you could wind up here. Of course, if you missed, your rifle shot might go through one of the remaining houses in Centralia. Or its sharp crack may just be the straw that breaks the asphalt’s back and sends you or the deer into a deep, hot hole.

The Stories We Long to Tell

February 9, 2017 10:06 am Published by Leave your thoughts

I don’t want to tell myself a story about the woods while sitting under fluorescent lights in a cubicle somewhere far away from them. We needn’t delude ourselves that our masterpieces are just a few months away, if only we keep biding time.

Trusting Strangers

October 4, 2016 10:27 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Many of us remember being told as children to never trust strangers, or at least to never accept candy from them or get into their cars. I’ve long since broken all of those rules.

Town, Country, Action

November 6, 2015 3:57 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

There is so little practical difficulty in the day-to-day of most of us that we have to create solutions to nonexistent problems for our own entertainment, to provide that sense of accomplishment and satisfaction where none can be found... In comfort, so few demands are made of us that we can sit and pontificate until we unravel. I don’t have to wallow in sorrow and self-loathing to be at my artistic best—maybe I’d write a more poignant novel in the Modernist style if I allowed myself to keep feeling as I did two years ago—but I can be informed by that knowledge of high art as I create something filled with high hope.