The Grind

I’ve been a fan of self-improvement for a long time, though I’ve always struggled with where self-improvement ends and actual living begins. For a neurotic like myself, it’s too easy to divide life into a series of goals whose parts, when added, are a poor substitute for the pulsing spirit inside. Too often I’ve sacrificed the very life I was hoping to improve upon for ephemeral benchmarks that only leave a bitter taste of something having been missed when looked back upon. It’s a cycle I’ve found myself caught up in a number of times, often only realizing what I’ve done when I resurfaced six, nine, twelve months later, overwhelmed with the idea that I’ve not quite lived as fully as I could have.

And yet, there are two options when childhood ends: to build yourself—to leverage your talent and willpower for the sake of your dreams—or to rot. The first option is the long game, and requires never-ending sacrifice. For as soon as you stop moving forward, you begin to slide. Life is a game of decay and your only chance against it is to never stop moving, to constantly be fighting back. This is why you can’t just get in shape or learn a language once. You must continue to practice, to work, in order to not only move further along your path, but even just to stay right where you are. And this fight demands the exchange of the present moment for a future payoff that has no guarantee of ever coming. No wonder the second option—to blindly live for the moment, oftentimes ignoring that which we know very well we should be doing, or accepting what we know we shouldn’t be doing—is so appealing.

It’s important to note here that I’m talking in generalities because I don’t believe in one definition of a life well-lived or a person successfully improved. How I believe life should be lived and courted is by no means what I expect from you, dear reader (though, for the love of God (or whoever), be compassionate to one another!). I merely speak in a way to induce that feeling of guilt we all experience that lets us know something is amiss and we are not being our best selves. This guilt, I think, can never be fully assuaged since the struggle of life, and the joys and pains we might draw from it, do not end until we draw our last breath. We can always be better, and whenever we reach where we originally thought we needed to be, we quickly learn that there are always bigger mountains to ascend. But the details of your mountains are not important to me, just as mine aren’t to you. Let it suffice to say that we are all chasing, as Paulo Coelho would say, our ‘Personal Legends’.

As mentioned above, it’s important during this chase not to lose yourself to your vision of the end goal. For the goal, one finds in the end, and as cliché as it is to write, is the journey itself, since it is all we have, lacking as we do a true final destination. By focusing merely on how to move forward, and not how we shall be when we get to where we’re going, we will find the greatest happiness of our short existences.

Even so, this does not mean one should not have destinations in mind when moving. Without personal visions of grandeur to guide you, you will lack direction and thus will get nowhere, or rather you will get somewhere you never wanted to go (cue the image of the man on his deathbed regretting the time he spent in the office). Couple this with the fact that upon reaching whatever star you decide to chase there will be another star on the new horizon to lead you forward and we can see how every decision affects the ultimate arc of our lives. Everything we do becomes but building blocks for bigger and (hopefully) better palaces of the future.

This is why it is so important to get started right this instant building the life you always imagined. For, while you can work harder some days and less so others, you and I will always be bounded by time. A minute now wasted is not one that can be retrieved in the future, even if you work extra hard in those future minutes. It is like walking along an endless forest path. The ground you don’t cover now must be covered later, and so with every decision that does not move you forward, you are sacrificing the extra miles further along that you might have reached.

So then, back to my original predicament: how can one always be striving and yet not lose themselves to the future? Well, most importantly, you must rewire your mindset. Work, the work that is necessary for your personal fulfillment, must instead be thought of as play. And play is nothing more than creation, of which there is no more regenerative nor fulfilling act. There should be a constant joy in every action you take as you paint the canvas of your life, whether it be the joy of knowing that you are investing in yourself (reading for knowledge or growth, exercise, and so on) or just the joy you get in the very act of doing what you want to become (writing to become a writer, drawing to become an artist, engineering to become an…engineer). By turning every act into an act of joyous creation, an expression of who you are, you are forced to remain present since the purpose of each activity is no longer what can be gotten out of it (though this is a wonderful benefit) but the joy of doing the activity itself.

The second step, secondary to the first but the point of this rambling discourse, is to recognize that building and improving and becoming who you’d like to be is not just about doing but about not doing as well. It’s not just every action that makes us who we are. Every inaction shapes us too. So we must be mindful of cutting out the shit that misguides us. Oftentimes, doing what we know we shouldn’t be doing keeps us future-focused because it leaves us no time to address the steps we know we should be taking to get us where we’d like to be.

This is an idea I’ve been toying with for a while. When I first started on my probably-neurotic, possibly-unhealthy obsession with building my best self, I had a mantra that I would say every morning before wiping the sleep out of my wee wittle eyes: One Step At A Time. It was meant to remind me that, regardless of the events of the day, my duty was to move towards my ultimate self at least a little. I figured that if I kept moving eventually I’d get to where I’d hoped to get. It was inevitable. And in a sense, it was true. Before long, I could see the progress I was making, however slow it was, and knew that I was finally on the right path.

After a while, though, the slowness and inefficiency of it all began to grind on me. Though I never went to sleep without taking a small step forward (writing for fifteen minutes, exercising, etc.), I was oftentimes struck by the idea that if I had just lived my life as I truly knew I could, cutting out all the fat of my day and making the best decision for every decision, my progress now would be laughably pitiful to what I could achieve. I was finally catching a whiff of what my full potential might be.

So I expanded the thought. Now every moment was thought of as an opportunity to take a step forward or back. I was in a constant flux. From the moment I woke up in the morning, I was climbing my mountain. If I was hungry, I would pause before reaching for what I knew I shouldn’t have and ask myself if I were taking a step forward or a step back with that small decision, even if I could undo its negative effects by eating better or less later. If I was tired but needed to work, I would ask if I was moving forward or back when I decided to lie around rather than be active. And on and on until it was a constant question dogging me throughout the day. Luckily, I was wise enough to recognize that this little mantra of mine could easily send me spiraling into a closed loop of neuroticism, and so sometimes the answer to my question would very well be the opposite of what it might be at some other time. Sometimes, it was just as necessary to take a day off or to eat three-quarters of a cheesecake (mmm…). Soon, this all came to be known The Grind, to borrow from Bukowski: the constant churning of day-to-day living that could either be utilized to achieve my wildest dreams or squandered for the fleeting pleasures of easy choices. And damned if I was going to pass up the opportunity to become someone worthy of myself. Finally, I was making real progress and feeling happier and healthier, mentally, physically and spiritually, than I had in a long time.

Which leads me to the present (or the near past as you are reading this) and why I’m writing about this in the first place. For the last few months, I’ve been living what I might characterize as the most exciting time in my life. Aside from some big life changes, some good, some bad, some as-of-yet unclear, I am also the busiest I’ve ever been with several jobs and competing projects vying for my time, of which seems to be in short supply. But I’ve got a nagging feeling that this (the feeling of a dearth of time) is not true. Though my productivity has increased tenfold since the start of 2017, I am hounded by the idea that I am but at the cusp of my true potential. And so I’d like to figure out just what that potential is.

As such, I’ll be taking each of my goals and unifying them into one grand action plan, a project which I’ll reveal later this week and will chronicle over its course on this website. I want to know just how long and how hard I can push myself, and to what degree I can transform my life by cutting out the chaff and keeping the wheat of day-to-day living. What I hope to accomplish I do not think will be sustainable in the long run (as Tony Robbins would say, we must see the difference between Achievement and Fulfillment), though I’m hopeful it might teach me a thing or two about what I’m actually capable of, as well as the difference between true relaxation (which does not necessarily denote inaction) and mindless activity.

These be exciting times, folks. Exciting times, indeed. Stay tuned.

50 things happening right now, this very instant, as we speak

Lying in bed tonight, staring up at this ceiling, no sound save a cat outside my window making love to a opossum in the bushes, my mind sparks with all of the various variations of life. So many people in this world. So many people doing so many different things. And what amazes me most is that everything is happening this very instant. For only space separates us; in time we hurtle through the void together.

As the cat quiets down, the opossum having had his way, I let loose my mind to roam, peeking into windows and wandering door to door. This is what I imagine to be happening right now somewhere in our world:

  1. A withered man in a hospital bed is drawing his last breath as the people he’s leaving behind gather over him, their fingertips pressing gently into his frail legs.
  2. A baby is drawing her first breath as a doctor wipes his sweaty brow and a new mother falls back exhausted against the hospital bed.
  3. At least 1,000 people are taking a shit, ranging from a fat, sweaty man dropping dainty deer pellets into a pristine porcelain bowl to a beautiful woman pouring forth liquid fire from an angry rectum into a dank hole in the ground.
  4. A catheter is being inserted into an unfortunate urethra.
  5. A million people are sitting on subways staring idly at their smart phones.
  6. Someone is masturbating in the bathroom at work (it could be you!).
  7. A man is beating the shit out of another man for some perceived slight.
  8. An old woman and her daughter share a laugh over a steaming cup of coffee.
  9. Someone has just vomited a little in their mouth and swallowed it.
  10. Tears of joy, heartbreak, belief, despair, and ecstasy are being shed.
  11. Every major god is being prayed to.
  12. A person has just crested a mountain and is struck by the awe-inspiring view as he munches on a sandwich.
  13. A driver hurtles across the desert listening to morning talk radio, the newly-risen sun his only companion.
  14. Hundreds of people lie awake with me, shooting their thoughts off into the night.
  15. An obese man chastises himself for the food he can’t stop shoveling in, waging war once again with his guilt.
  16. A bulimic girl does the same, comforted by the thought of the toilet and toothbrush nearby.
  17. As does a bulimic boy.
  18. A dangerous animal is mauling someone, his sharp teeth piercing flesh.
  19. A dangerous animal snuggles up to someone, gruffling with affection.
  20. Someone is stuck listening to a boring story they’ve heard too many times before from someone who is lonely and doesn’t realize they talk too much.
  21. Someone who has just snapped at their elderly parent is trying to allay their guilt with reason, promising themselves to do better next time.
  22. A man pounds a steering column in his car, angrily cursing at the bland faces surrounding him in midday traffic.
  23. A person in the car next to him sings along to Taylor Swift.
  24. A knife misses a vegetable and instead bites deep into a finger.
  25. An awkward couple is having sex for the first time.
  26. A couple is having awkward sex for the 100th time.
  27. A spouse sits at work while his significant other cheats, the spouse none the wiser.
  28. A group of children, some begrudgingly, are singing happy birthday to another child.
  29. Two people who have not seen each other in a long time clink their drinks together and toast their long-awaited rendezvous.
  30. Someone is being shot at.
  31. Someone is shooting at that person.
  32. A customer service representative is being bitched at by an entitled “adult”.
  33. A wisp of a human is mainlining in a public bathroom as someone who is about to pee themselves paces outside the door.
  34. A boy is peeking around a corner between classes, working up the courage to ask out that girl.
  35. That girl has just said yes.
  36. A group of scientists huddle in tents, the night sounds of the jungle blotting out their thoughts.
  37. 800 soccer goals have just been scored, and 800 shirts have just come off.
  38. A man pets his dog and is reminded of his childhood and wonders how his best friend is doing.
  39. A woman remembers her mother and is struck by regret for the time she’ll never get back.
  40. Someone is being raped, though they won’t ever tell.
  41. A million “I love you’s” are leaving lips and reaching ears.
  42. A kid is cheating on a test, obviously.
  43. A man is adrift in a lifeboat, wondering if starvation or the sun will get him first.
  44. A gay man debates coming out to his family, afraid they won’t understand.
  45. Thousands are confusing words of hate with words of love..
  46. Someone just told a knee-slapper of a joke.
  47. A boy turns the last page of a book and sets it down calmly, his mind abuzz, the course of his life forever altered.
  48. …and down a cliff someone tumbles.
  49. A grandmother holds her grandchild, giggling and cooing as her wrinkled hands caress that baby’s adorable belly, the past and the future sutured together.
  50. A man sits at a computer in the middle of the night, typing up some nonsense blog post, wondering if anyone will read it.

….and on and on and on. How endless! How incredible! How terrible and sad and wonderful and unique!

Drifting off alone in my room, I pull the blankets tight around my shoulders and wiggle my toes. Goodnight, beautiful world!

4 Ways to Spend a Cheap and Pleasant Afternoon in Tokyo, Japan

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Japan. Kingdom of cherry blossoms and geishas, sake and sushi, Pokémon and Toyota. All but a dream within a dream. A somewhat expensive dream.

After traveling throughout The Land of the Rising Sun for the last month and a half, I now feel safe naming myself an expert in all aspects of Japanese culture, history, language and national character. As such, I’ve compiled four of my favorite (and cheap, for all those budget travelers out there) ways to let a lazy afternoon roll one along in Japan’s largest and most famous city, Tokyo.

Formalities aside, let’s begin.

1. The Arcades of Akihabara

Akihabara Arcade

What it costs: ¥200 – ¥500

How it works:

While there’s plenty to see walking the streets of Akihabara (Tokyo’s electric town), eventually you’ll tire of being accosted by girls dressed like maids trying to get you to pay to be creepy. Look for one of the many big game arcades (the sign should read “Sega” or “Taito Station”) and head inside.

Let me first note that the money you shell out here isn’t so important. Arcades in general are expensive, and these are no exception. Most games run at ¥100/game, but luckily the spectacle here isn’t the playing itself. Walk around until you find a machine that catches your eye. Like me, you’ll likely be overwhelmed by the sheer complexity of the games, many having all sorts of doohickeys, whatchamacallits and other gadgets requiring coordination Westerners just don’t possess. My advice? Stick to something that necessitates only the most basic button smashing.

If you can, find a fighting game. Many allow you to play with a human opponent on the other side, and from what I’ve experienced, the Japanese are only too happy to administer a thorough ass-whooping. Your two hundred yen will last upwards of a minute, and you’ll walk away frustrated and convinced that you picked the shittiest Street Fighter character and, oh well, your machine wasn’t working anyways.

You are now ready for Phase Two.

Phase Two

Akihabara Arcade 2

I’m not sure why I’ve divided this into two phases, as Phase Two is quite simple.

Here it is: walk around the arcade. Admire the incredible skill of Japanese teens beating on drums, rocking on “guitars”, and smoking all the while. Akihabara is known for hosting the best of the best in the arcade world and you’ll wonder if perhaps these aren’t robots you are watching. Most of them are (this is all part of the pilot program for driverless taxis). Still, some could be real. Touch them to be sure.

When you tire of trying to calculate how much money these people must spend practicing, head down to the first floor and watch the hopeful crowds try to win something from the insidious claw machines. If you see someone win something in your first three hours of observing, consider it the same as stumbling across a unicorn, a stuffed version of which will likely be the prize. The extra ¥300 I’ve built into the cost of this activity is for when you decide that you of all people can beat the machines and step forward to challenge fate, your heart hopeful and your head awash with visions of glory and giggling, impressed Japanese girls.

2. Get lost in the streets

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What it costs: Free – Canned Coffee + Subway Fare Home

How it works:

This activity is self-explanatory, but I’ll write a few paragraphs about it anyway.

Getting lost is a great way to learn any city. You’ll see things you just won’t see from the beaten tourist track. You’ll come across real people living real lives, doing the real mundane things you do when you are back home. You’ll see shrines most people don’t care about. You’ll have your own, unique story to bore your fellow travelers with should you make it home. If you’re lucky, you’ll meet someone friendly and build a truly deep connection. If you’re unlucky, you’ll be raped, murdered, raped again, chopped up into little pieces, fed to a group of unknowing Japanese elders, and then end up as a short Wikipedia entry.

So then, how to do it, how to get lost? The best way I’ve found is to wake up early one morning, put on yesterday’s clothes, tickle your significant other until they wake up only to tell them to go back to sleep, and then go outside. Pick a direction. Start walking. When you get the impulse to turn, go one street further and turn the opposite direction.

When you start to lag, look for the nearest convenience store (you’re probably inside one already) and get a canned coffee. Go back outside. Continue your rambling. It’s likely that some part of you will soon begin to crave direction and purpose. From here on, you’ll have to get creative.

Find an old lady shuffling to nowhere. Fall in step. Better yet, find a cat to follow. They are usually up to something good. If you start to recognize where you are, or the cat decides to take a nap on an enticingly sunny porch, look at the ground and amble aimlessly, taking turns haphazardly and without pattern. Avoid maps, streets signs, and all people who look like they know where they are going.

Once you’ve walked as much as your little 21st century body can handle, it’s time to head home. Fall into the nearest subway hole. As a bonus, if you are so lost there is no subway hole, this is a good opportunity to meet an AUTHENTIC JAPANESE PERSON to ask for directions.

3. Bow battling

In the throes of an epic showdown

In the throes of an epic showdown

What it costs: ¥100 – ¥500

How it works:

The Japanese are a lovely, kind people who find it of utmost importance to show respect to one another. All this activity requires is for you to take advantage of this fact.

Armed with your ¥100 coin, once again find the nearest convenience store (it is likely your hotel is actually one big convenience store, and you are sleeping in a capsule wedged between the sushi section and the robot section). Now go buy something small, such as a candy bar or a ball of mochi.

Approach the cash register. Aggressively slam your item of purchase on the counter. Smile absentmindedly as the cashier greets you and says lots of other words I haven’t made sense of yet.

When the cashier has finished ringing you up, they’ll likely ask if you need a bag. Shrug your shoulders and look confused, then say a random string of words in your native tongue (my go-to choice: “Jeremiah was a bullfrog”). She (or he) will hand you the bag, and hold her hand out for your money. Place it towards the back of her palm where it is difficult to reach without using her other hand. She will drop it into the register, bring her hands together, look at you solemnly, thank you and give a slight bow. Thank her and return her bow.

Prepare yourself, for the battle has begun.

When you’ve bowed back, she’ll feel obligated to bow back, bending slightly lower, and will thank you again. Repeat your bow. She’ll look confused, but will bow again. No matter what, just keep bowing. Each time bend a little further. Keep this up for as long as you can stand.

When it gets to be too much, or when a line has formed behind you, bow deeply one last time. When she next bows, her head should bend below the counter. As soon as eye contact is broken, run out the door.

Cross the street, enter another convenience store, fish out your second ¥100 coin, and find your next opponent.

(Note: this game can be extended almost indefinitely by buying the individual candies near the cash register instead of full priced candy bars. Each candy is roughly ¥30.)

4. Sipping sake in Shinjuku Gyoen National Garden

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What it costs: ¥200 for garden entry + ¥200 – ¥700 for alcohol

How it works:

Item #4 is the most expensive activity on the list, but also the most enjoyable. Shinjuku Gyoen is the pride of and joy of Tokyo’s gardens, and when mixed with alcohol, makes for a most forgettable afternoon.

But first, a quick aside on the history and layout of Shinjuku Gyoen:

Built in the late 1700s, the gardens first belonged to some important lord in the Edo period. After the Edo period ended and the Meiji period began, the gardens were converted into an experimental agricultural center and then into some fancy imperial gardens in 1879. Towards the end of WWII in 1945, the gardens were completely destroyed by the air raids on Tokyo, but were rebuilt after the war and opened to the public in 1949. The current layout hails from 1906.

Shinjuku Gyoen spreads over roughly 58 hectares and is a blend of three distinct styles of garden: French formal, English landscape, and Japanese traditional. Geographically speaking, that makes them vaguely Russian. There are over 20,000 trees in the garden, made up of about 17 million different species.

Okay, enough of that. Back to our activity!

Before you head into the park, take a break from the convenience store you work at, and pick up a few bottles of the alcohol of your choice. If you are really strapped for cash, or you just like seeing how low you’re willing to go for a fix of the good stuff, I suggest bottom-shelf sake. For ¥150 to ¥200, you can get a 200 ml cup (That’s right: cup. For your convenience, god bless the Japanese.) at 14-15% ABV. In case that’s not enough, you can also find 20-25%ers nearby on the shelf. This last suggestion comes with a warning though: the high-octane sake tastes like something your deadbeat dad just threw up.

Grab as many bottles as you need and waltz on over to the park (Tip: buying anything anywhere is always a good opportunity to take part in a quick bow battle!). Pay your ¥200 entrance fee, and follow the same directions that come with activity two on this list: get lost. As you wander, surreptitiously crack open one of your sake cups and glance around furtively as you take a quick gulp. Down the first bottle as fast as you can and start the second one before the first has time to kick in. About midway through the second, you’ll notice the world take on a fascinating, lurid glow.The sky will grow brighter, the people will seem friendlier, babies will wink and old men will nod knowingly. Are those deer frolicking amongst the trees, or are they just stumps that happen to be looking at you funny?

Keep drinking. About now is a good time to look for an open field. Fight your way through that goddamn hedge and kick off your shoes. Breathe in the pure air. If a soccer ball ventures near you, boot it with all your might. Pick a spot on the green, green grass, half in the sun, half out, and plop yourself down. Crack open the third sake.

A view of the gardens

A view of the gardens

Drum your fingers on your leg and remember that concert you went to years before where all the music spoke so deeply and you were sure it was written just for you. Laugh and mumble one of the meaningful lines. Take a big gulp. Look around every so often with one eye closed, the other straining to see. Smile at a dog. Do a handstand and fall onto your back and laugh, breathless. Try to picture what the future could possibly hold and then think back to ten years prior and marvel at how wrong you would’ve been about today. Watch a beetle amble through the grass. Play with the notion that gravity means your friends and family across the world are technically upside down from your point of view. Envision what they might be doing in their upside-down lives. Remember some old high school flame and cradle one of your many painful, happy memories. Give thanks that everything has changed. Picture today’s love, and send a quick heartfelt sentiment to her somewhere across the universe. Finish the third sake cup and lay back to watch the clouds.

When you wake up, it’ll be closing time and the sun will be setting. Collect your strewn-about belongings and stumble on out of there. Nod at the gate attendants and pretend all is normal. Congratulations. You did it. Now go home and take a much-deserved rest.

Naturally, you can always visit the gardens sober and walk through the beautiful landscapes having only spent ¥200, but why limit yourself? Why sightsee when you can sightfeel?

Closing Remarks

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The above four suggestions were written specifically for Tokyo, but can be applied without much adjustment most anywhere in Japan. For those outside of the country, look to numbers two and four for your key takeaways. What I mean to say is, if you aren’t having fun, get drunk and get lost. Something interesting is bound to happen.

Happy travels!

On the Overwhelming Complexity of the World…and Pessimism

As a man who vacillates between keeping up with world affairs and saying “Fuck it”, I am continually struck with the same feeling of futility whenever I’ve spent any appreciable amount of time perusing the news. It’s not that I’m a person who believes in the hopelessness of man as a rational, kind creature. Nor one who only sees the bad and pretends the good doesn’t exist. For the most part, I’m downright idealistic about our future ability to make positive changes. But sometimes when I see the current manifestation of humanity, and look back at all past iterations, I can’t help but temporarily lose faith and wonder just why the hell it matters anyways.

The list is endless. It has always been endless, and sadly, unnecessary. War (preventable), famine (preventable…for the most part), poverty (preventable), greed (preventable), violence (preventable), utter selfishness (preventable) and utter complacency (preventable): all are too-large parts of our history. All have been immortalized in oral tradition, in literature, in our legacy, sometimes as warnings, sometimes as just punishment, sometimes as necessity, and sometimes as worthy examples.

And it’s not just the buzz words of man’s problems that get me down. Take even a surface survey of the world and I come up with specifics that suck the life right out of me. ISIS. Ukraine. The Gaza Strip. Gun violence in America. Deforestation of the world’s most incredible natural and diverse resource, the Amazon. Slavery. Rape. Masses of refugees with nowhere to go. Animal abuse. Etc. Etc. Etc.

And then dive further down. Look at public opinion on such issues. Examine the various sides and their arguments and see that–barring those people who don’t seem to have a heart, or at least have a heart hidden behind many layers of misplaced hope that has turned into hate (because to know what is wrong is almost the same as knowing what’s right, right?)–there are possibly more correct answers than one. Or at the very least, that it isn’t clear which answer should be right. That it is understandable all those different points of view exist and that it is, and like always will be, impossible to distill down to a formula that fits every person. Where, then, do you even begin to change the world’s problems?

And if you can’t, if you can’t as a person do a goddamn thing to make the world any closer to the vision you have of it, to the vision you still believe somewhere in your heart that most people approximate, is it worth it to try? Is it worth it to take your one good life (assuming those reading this are privileged and haven’t had to suffer at the hands of the world’s unfairness; and if you have, I am sorry) and spend it trying to change something that might not be able to be changed?

This is where I get whenever my thoughts are given free rein. Especially whenever I consider just how complex life is: when I think of all the various people in my general vicinity living their lives that have nothing to do with mine, when I think of all those people, and then the ones in this surrounding town, in this country, this continent, this hemisphere, when I think of all the millions of bodies laughing, crying, hurting and being hurt, when I think of all those watching TV or driving their cars or yelling the same frustrations up at the stars, when I think of all the personal intrigues and problems and hopes and dreams and needs. What can a man do in the face of such unfathomable complexity? What can a single man do when he can’t even control himself at times, when he still says the angry word, gives voice to the hurtful thought, greedily clutches what should go to another?

I don’t know. I doubt I ever will. But something compels me to try, to keep trying to find something despite the odds. Despite maybe never living a simple, carefree life. Despite always having to question myself, to go up and down, to take a step forward and a step back and steps sideways and no steps at all. I won’t give up the hope, even in hopeless moments like these, that somewhere, under some stone, hidden in some unexamined hallway of my heart, is an answer, an answer for what to do, as to how to make it all better, as to how to start, no matter how slowly, unraveling this terrible knot we’re so tied up in.