Wanting: The Power Of Mimetic Desire In Everyday Life

Rene Girard says most of what we desire is imitated, not intrinsic.  We don’t want the successful career because we intrinsically value success.  We want the things (and life) some more successful, happier, wealthier, cooler, more attractive, better sleeping, rock star of a human has in their successful career.  The brilliance of Girard, and the … Continue reading Wanting: The Power Of Mimetic Desire In Everyday Life

How To Have Your Cake And Eat It Too (Tao Te Ching Edition)

"Freedom," or chapter 80 in Ursula K. Le Guin’s interpretation of the Tao Te Ching has this footnote (and it’s as good as the chapter): Lao Tzu thinks the materialistic dualist, who tries to ignore the body and live in the head, and the religious dualist, who despises the body and lives for a reward … Continue reading How To Have Your Cake And Eat It Too (Tao Te Ching Edition)

Optimism And Pessimism Are Copouts

Leave it to Wendell Berry to drop a stoic line like this, The programs of optimism and pessimism are copouts because you’re taking the responsibility off of yourself to keep trying.  Leave it Nick Offerman to interpret said Wendell Berry stoic line like this (paraphrased):  You can say, “everything will be great, so let’s watch … Continue reading Optimism And Pessimism Are Copouts

There Are Stones In Your Passway. Get Past Them. 

My guitar teacher when I was 13 or so had a poster of Robert Johnson on the wall of the glorified music store closet he taught lessons out of.  There you’d be, trying your damndest to stumble through Stairway, and Robert Johnson was just posted up, staring you down. At the time, the image burned … Continue reading There Are Stones In Your Passway. Get Past Them. 

Nora Ephron On Owning Your Path, Your Past, And Your Present

Here’s Nora Ephron on owning your path, your past, and your present: My religion is “Get over it.” And I was raised in that religion. That was the religion of my home -- my mother saying, “Everything is copy; everything is material; someday you will think this is funny.” My parents never said, “oh you … Continue reading Nora Ephron On Owning Your Path, Your Past, And Your Present

Podcast Of The Week: Boundary Setting For Stoics

Terri Cole met Ryan Holiday when she negotiated an illustration job for her husband for one of Ryan’s books. Ryan was impressed, not just with her skills, but at the awareness of the roles, responsibilities - the skillsets and the delegations - they had in their relationship. As he got to know Terri more, he … Continue reading Podcast Of The Week: Boundary Setting For Stoics

Sunday Music: There’ll Be Days Like This

There. Will. Be. Days. Like. This. Whether your mama told you or not. Whatever it’s like. Tell ‘em about it Van Morrison. When it's not always raining there'll be days like thisWhen there's no one complaining there'll be days like thisWhen everything falls into place like the flick of a switchWell my mama told me … Continue reading Sunday Music: There’ll Be Days Like This

Hope For The Best. Expect The Worst. Happy New Year.

As 2021 draws to a close, I want to say thank you for everybody who reads these little emails/posts I’m sending. I know how many newsletters I personally subscribe (and have unsubscribed) to. The idea that you spend even a few minutes a day sharing a thought with me… I am incredibly grateful. Making these … Continue reading Hope For The Best. Expect The Worst. Happy New Year.

Sunday Music: Trying To Ignore The Elephant (Somehow)

3 recent deaths, one milestone birthday, and I’m thinking a lot about the lots we draw in what’s turned into a lot of life (not, ahem, enough yet, just for the record). Jason Isbell’s “Elephant” keeps playing in my head all the while. It’s a song about a friend with cancer. It’s a song about … Continue reading Sunday Music: Trying To Ignore The Elephant (Somehow)