Thursday, August 28, 2014

Introducing the Moose-Click App for Happy Thoughts

The Moose-Click app debuts today. My brother Eric designed it for me (thank you!).
Click on Moose the Dog (in the column to the right) for an encouraging thought. Click as many times as you like. Every minute it produces something new.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Planning is Memory in Reverse


For the most part, we run our lives in forward gear, or at least we think we do. We're thinking ahead. We're planning. But we also have these memories of things that came before. We spend a lot of time looking in the rear-view mirror. And that's okay.

Because planning and memory are the same thing, really. They are two modes of creation.

With our imaginations, we can think of things that haven't even happened. We can create a whole new world. And we can make some of those things come true.

Memories are creative, too. We have a tendency to think that memories are different, that they actually happened, they're verifiable. But it's really not that simple. We remember certain things and forget others. We discount those memories that don't fit with our worldview.

So really, memory is planning in reverse.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

It Could be a Genie. Or Not.


For five years, the same piece of trash has sat in my neighbors’ front yard. A bottle. And it’s not a classy bottle, either, like Sapphire Gin or Enjoli Perfume. No. It’s hard to tell because it’s so dirty, but I think it’s fuel additive or brake fluid. Something automotive.

They must know about it. They mow the lawn. The bushes are trimmed, the fence is new, the windows shiny.

Every day, surely, they walk out to the curb to check the mailbox for bills or tax refunds or Valupak coupons, and surely, they see the grimy bottle nestled in the bush at the base of the post. And then they refrain from picking it up.

I itch to make it tidy.

But then I remember the time I found a quartz crystal the size of a mouse at the base of a tree by the road. It must be a sign, I thought! It must be there just for me! So I brought it home. My friends were disgusted. Someone left it there for a reason, they said. It’s a shrine, or an offering or something.

I didn’t care. I put it on my patio. It looked really awesome there. And then, for the next three months until I took that crystal back where I found it, everything in my life…sucked.

So I kind of learned my lesson: don’t mess with stuff. Don’t assume.

A fuel additive bottle seems an unlikely shrine, however, so what else could it be? The possibilities are limited. I have compiled a list:

1.      A genie lives in the bottle. It’s the kind of genie who grants wishes sporadically and always has a sarcastic comment. He smells. He never changes out of his velour pajamas. But he’s useful, so they keep him nearby, but not too close.

2.      Secret messages. In the middle of the night on a new moon, the accomplice creeps out of the darkness to fish slips of paper from the bottle which direct his role in the coming depravity.

3.      A portlock. If you grasp the grimy bottle and say the magic word, it whisks you off to a faraway land where everyone understands how such things work. It is the kind of place with friendly dragons, and all the colors are much richer than in the real world, and people participate in valiant quests that make their lives meaningful.

4.      Sentimental value. “Yes!” she replies to his mumbled proposal, just as he reaches to pick up the piece of litter. He stands, brushing off his knee, and overcome with relief, he says, “Let us keep this here as a symbol of our love.” Secretly, however, he’s superstitious. He’s afraid that if he picks up that grotty bottle now she will realize that he’s not good enough for her and change her mind.

Or not.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Memory is Story

Every memory is a story, and by that I mean a fiction. But fiction has its own truth, which is deeper and more useful than mere facts.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Self-loathing


Self-loathing always means one thing: your beliefs are at odds with your behavior.

And the cure (not an easy one, but simple) is to change either your behavior or your belief.

Sometimes it’s not obvious whether it is your behavior or your belief that is suspect.

It’s not even always clear what underlying belief is causing your misery.

But asking questions is the place to start.