On Mystery

mysterious lady

“The biggest illusion is that there is a mystery.”

~ Tom Howe

Ha, I love that! Sponsors deep thought, in my opinion. Plus it’s brief and clear. ABC: accuracy, brevity and clarity. And try to think of a mystery it don’t apply to. Good luck. There are some, of course, but not nearly as many as people think. Not even close.

How about an ethical quandry? Duh. Follow your conscience, dumbass. That will take care of 90% of those mysteries in an eyeblink. Who doesn’t know their conscience is right? Nobody. On almost every occasion when people think they don’t know what is right to do, it’s because they’re blocking their conscience, for fear or sloth or shame or whatever.

And the other 10% isn’t hard either, just do what wise people have done through the centuries when confronted with a similar problem. There’s sure no lack of good role models for the confused. Lucky people actually have those in their own family.

For the rare bird with no conscience it’s not a bit mysterious, just do what you want and hope you don’t get caught.

Another example: Restaurant Impossible. Those owners are always so mystified… “Why Lord, why…where did I go wrong?”

After watching those shows I know exactly why—because they didn’t know what they were doing. Most of the time it’s because they didn’t have systems in place (such as posted rules or standard training). There was no mystery there. All they had to do was read a good book on how to manage a restaurant correctly and follow through. Plus you need excellent food. Mystery? Not.

Egomaniacs know they are assholes. It’s no mystery to them, they just conceal it…they create the illusion within themselves that there’s this big mystery why guys hate them and girls really dig them (for awhile anyway) but they know. No mystery there.

“Oh why am I here? What am I for? Why was I born?”

Everybody knows the answer to the Big Question. They’re kidding themselves if they say they don’t.

You are here to live your life, as long as you have it. Different folks down through history have answered the big question for themselves a thousand different ways, but you know deep down you have to make your own answer, for now anyway. Not a mystery, something you earn by living. And the fact that life teems with unknowable things is the antithesis of mysterious. It’s purely logical, since beings in our condition cannot know some things. Well, of course those mysteries are not mysterious in the least, merely unknowable.

There’s no mystery. Just live. Do well. Quit fucking off.

Ever Yours,


Filed under: Philosophical Brevities | Posted on May 7th, 2015 by LWIII | 0 Comments »

My Time in Politics

I had my stint in politics, where I was this guy on this thing for awhile. It was toward the end of something, and I was just filling in.


Can’t remember exactly what it was called, except that we were wrapping something up. We finished up all this one thing then went on to the next and called that a day, and day by day we got closer to the end. One thing led to the next and as each thing ended began, something else started to stop. So we went on like that for awhile and less and less came over our desks every day until one day we were done.

And that was it.


Filed under: Life | Posted on January 12th, 2014 by LWIII | 0 Comments »

My first poem

Ran across my first poem the other day, written on the signal bridge of the USS Juneau in 1978. Oh, I’d scribbled little ditties, maybe run through some stream-of-consciousness stuff that might have been construed as poetic, but never before had I sat down and decided to write a poem—a real actual poem by me. Probably why the first line is “Garnered on levels unspeakable with dread….” Ha, poetry ain’t all sweetness and light, you know, especially for angsty youngsters. Beware, words that rhyme to follow:

The Mastodon Spikes of Qualic Ten

Garnered on levels unspeakable with dread,
The Mastodon Spikes of Qualic Ten—

Remember the seething with spells of beyond?
The casualty bleeders in thinbone attire?
We flew into Hell on steeds built of fire.

The Caverns of Darkness, stalagmites of hate,
The dwellers recoiled as we threw down the gate.
Into the Maw of the Mutant Kings,
The horror of ancients—we hear the dead sing.
But onward we go, past the Krilligs and Trogs,
Our fury is mighty, they have no recourse,
One look at our eyes and they flee to their source:

The Mucus Brain of Eelious Quinsor,
That dastardly bastard of evil intent.
For him it is late, no time to repent.
The battle is brutal, the furious storm,
Our weapons are flashing,
He crawls like a worm.

And onward we go to the depths of the deep.
We hear all the mutants—
They slime and they creep.
Our courage is waning, still down we must go,
For if we should stop, the terror would grow.

We leap and we smile, to hell with it all:
For if we should go, so others will fall.
Our mission intent, as our purpose is true,
We keep to our course—as an arrow we flew.

But then from the shadows of darkness it crept,
The Century Eater, that horrible thing,
The Repulsive of Icki, with a sulfurous stink!
The cards had been dealt, our fate was below.
There’s nothing to do, so downward we go.

The minions of evil, in cackling laughs,
Think that we soon shall be in two halfs.
But our weapons unleashed, we fall to the fray,
Berserkers of old, we lust for our prey.

The wounds we receive are nothing to those
Of the Century Eater. Its putrid blood flows.
So onward we go, past the carcass of one
They said was forever, but now it is done.

To the heart of the madness, where treasures are kept,
No mortal had been, no human had stepped.
We seize the two prizes and leap to our steeds,
As the Hordes of Xarinza object to our needs.

But through them we go on our way to the top,
For now we are free, we never will stop.
Past fire and brimstone we fight our way out,
And then through the gate we go with a shout.

And now we are back from where we have been…
With the Mastodon Spikes of Qualic Ten.


Filed under: Fantasy, Writing | Posted on July 3rd, 2012 by LWIII | 0 Comments »

Wabi Sabi for football

Came across a new esthetic ideal the other day, which was a shocker to me, since I’ve been a beauty hound since I was a kid. An esthetician of the non-hairstylist type. The only thing I like better than beauty is happiness…and since to me they’re synonymous—voila!

The name for this beauty, or this Japanese style of beauty, is wabi sabi. As one might imagine, it partakes of the zen loveliness of a Japanese garden, leaning toward minimalism, in Western terms. The phrase comes from two words originally: wabi, meaning poverty, and sabi, meaning loneliness.

How cool is that? Pretty darn poetical, I’d say.

The most inspirational image of this style, for me, comes from the poet Basho, who said that an overdone artwork is like “painting a flower on a flower petal.” That is, let nature be, don’t futz around too much making things pretty. Let it go.

To Basho and his wabi sabi buddies, beauty is fundamental and universal, way beyond mere emotion. Way I reckon it, beauty is the building block of the universe, the one indivisible atomos of the Greek ideal. There’s molecules and atoms and electrons and quarks and gluons and as one goes deeper and deeper into the heart of reality, one finally arrives at the building block of matter: beauty. Whether it is a wave, a particle, or a doily has yet to be determined.

So what has that got to do with football? Everything, dude. Football is the most beautiful violence of all time: brutal ballet, except better. Like most violence that’s worth a damn, it requires officiating. And with officials come mistakes.


That’s where wabi sabi comes in, or anti-wabi sabi in this case. Since it wasn’t perfect, we had to make it better: that is to preclude all mistakes via instant replay. Supposedly, one could check back to make sure no mistakes were made, and then it would be perfect. Bullshit, they made it way worse—destroyed the integral fluidity of the game. It’s frankly horrific, esthetically.

All to avoid mistakes. Good luck with that. Blown replays are common as assholes.



Filed under: Spirituality, Writing | Posted on January 16th, 2012 by LWIII | 3 Comments »

More thoughts on editing

Went back and collected the last couple weeks of my #amediting tweets from Twitter. Editing is more fun than a barrel o’ wordmonkeys. Finished the novel. Sweet—plus the fabulous effect that it’s not mine. Love not being in charge o’ the art.

My best to everyone,


•    More words do not mean more power.
•    Sometimes okay is good enough and sometimes it ain’t.
•    Mellifluous prose is nice, but sacrificing meaning for it is the habit of an amateur.
•    Life may be hard, but at least I’m fat.
•    You don’t write for effect, you write to describe.
•    One doesn’t need to be taught to write. One only needs to read. If a writer is in you, it will come out.
•    Perfectionism has no place in a writer. Only in an editor.
•    Writing on impulse is great, but editing on impulse can lead to more editing.
•    I think editors must be in a conspiracy to not mention how freakin’ easy it is to spot boo-boos in other people’s writing.
•    Those arguments you have in your head with somebody after the fact? Good dialogue practice, keep doing it.
•    Artistic isn’t always better, especially in popular fiction.
•    A good editor is happiest when he’s wrong.

•    You know, if you were writing to you, that would be perfect. But you ain’t.
•    You need to quit treating your reader like a dumbass.
•    What makes a writer isn’t the way you say stuff, it’s having something to say.
•    Some words are so unusual you can only use them once a book. Twice, and you seem like a total ass.
•    What people don’t realize is that infinity is in everything.
•    Nothing can be pre-assumed or other-directed. It must come from your soul, pure.
•    If you never say ‘off on the necessary’ once your entire novel, I shall be pleased.
•    You’ll find expert writers don’t mind word duplication as much as inexperienced ones.
•    When objects and people become too artistic, they become annoying.
•    Nothing is ever always verboten.
•    All words are equal.
•    Band-Aids are bad.
•    Understatement is better than overstatement.
•    As long as you stick to the mighty principle that you can’t fix plot problems with narrative, you’ll be fine.
•    Hope is the fuel of self-discipline.
•    No matter how many rules you follow, eventually you come to stuff that’s in between all of them.
•    Not being a writer is the greatest failure I ever had.
•    You write out of your own head. You edit out of the reader’s head.
•    It’s actually possible to edit life the way you do a book: line up your options, be creative, pick the best one, continue onward.
•    You cannot give excuses in the description for a plot that is contrived. That never, ever works.
•    Never brag about your characters in the description. Let their actions and words do that.
•    I think there should be a law that you can make up a new word whenever you need one.
•    ‘The helicopter whirred thumpingly’ does not work for me.
•    The main thing that makes me better than normal editors is that they’re not insane.
•    Don’t write from the outside in, directing your chars. Write from the inside out, see with their eyes, feel what they would do.
•    One of the greatest things about being an editor is you don’t have to tell anybody anymore you’re a writer. Whew.
•    I am an artist. I am not afraid (it’s my job).
•    The main thing is to keep your writer from killing himself.
•    A writer writes on confidence the way an engine runs on gas. Do not tamper with that precious confidence.
•    Putting a word into italics so you can add a little special meaning of your own is disrespectful to the real word. Just tell it.
•    The problem is never the problem. It’s the despair over the problem that’s the problem.
•    How to tell if something is true: Heck if I know, it just is. You can tell, can’t you? It has an unmistakable ring to it.
•    Anything that is possible—if it’s true—you can make seem normal and natural.
•    What you don’t understand is that I like clichés. Just don’t use them in such a clichéd manner.
•    I know, it sucks, but sunset doesn’t last 24 hours a day. Sorry.
•    Overstatement is not our pal.
•    Novels are not sermons, fyi.
•    If you’ve got a favorite cause to flog, like diversity, for god’s sake don’t put it in your novel. Write a blog or something.
•    Being an editor is a good lesson in thinking twice before you act.
•    The artist’s ego is a precious thing, part of their engine, and it must be treated as if it were spun gold hanging on a thread.
•    Sometimes it’s hard to tell if the writer is being straight with you on an esthetic choice, or is just defending their ego.
•    Tremblingly is a word, but not a very good one.

Filed under: Editing Fiction, The Word Doctor, Writing | Posted on November 17th, 2011 by LWIII | 2 Comments »

On not being an artist

Lordy, what a relief. All those years and years of suffering off my back. —Suffering, boy I tell ya—you artists can have it. I wondered why I sucked so bad at it. Not the suffering part. I was great at that. If you could sell suffering I would have been on Easy Street. No, I just sucked at making a living at it, like most artists or crafty types.

But I got lucky. Turns out I’m one of them. And I like it. I am now the guy who used to sit on my shoulder and berate me unmercifully for not being better as I wrote. Sweet.

Not that I’m sadistic at all, or much. To me the artist (or in this case my client) is a precious jewel to be treasured and cherished and coddled. I want to be that dickhead guy I used to hate so much except good. I rip your prose to shreds in a good way, lol. I am now the Word Doctor by trade, but I don’t just love and heal words, I love people, and artists most of all. I heal words and wordsmiths both.

I just wasn’t brave enough to be one. But I am brave enough to help them. And I will try with all my heart and soul to help those mighty beings of light. Lieutenant Yourword, at your service, Cap’n.


The Word Doctor

Filed under: Editing Fiction, The Word Doctor, Writing | Posted on October 22nd, 2011 by LWIII | 0 Comments »

Am editing

Today’s friendly neighborhood blog is a collection of my #amediting tweets from Twitter. Whenever a thought crossed my mind while editing (which was rare, because my thoughts were generally caught up in crossing someone else’s mind) I took the time to go tweet it. Great procrastination technique, fyi, though us procrastinators usually don’t need tips.

Some of these are actually valuable for an editor, some are silly, some may be wrong. But one thing about them all, they’re short.

Since I collected them off Twitter, they’re in backwards order from when they started.


  • Any editor who don’t worship the paper his writer writes on ain’t worth the letter e.
  • Improvement is painful.
  • Never begrudge the writer their tantrums.
  • Beware of the writer’s resistance building up in you over time. Energy that should go toward story can leak into neurosis.
  • Just because something feels a certain way doesn’t make it true.
  • Words of wisdom: the, and, but.
  • Just because you have an excuse for why something could be some way is no reason to keep it that way, if it wasn’t deliberate.
  • We don’t need no stinking badges: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-lj056ao6GE
  • I just go by the rules. What’s the big deal?
  • If you’re a novelist you have to know everything. Sorry.
  • When I’m writing, it’s all about me. When I’m editing, nothing is about me. What a relief!
  • Unfortunate discovery #732: Even editors encounter resistance.
  • Not sure I would ever want to work on a novel that didn’t address the big questions. Maybe, if it was good.
  • I do want to change some of your words, but I never want to change any of your meaning.
  • Words are only scary if you have to write them. Otherwise not.
  • If you want to do more than tell the truth, you’ll have to find another editor.
  • If it’s a vague place in the south of France, a generic provincial villiage is okay. But if in Paris you better get the streets right.
  • Beware superlativity. Everything is not the biggest or the worst or the grandest or the whatever-est. Serious.
  • Let the non-fiction writers belittle stuff.
  • One thing about being an editor, you don’t have to be artistic in the least. Man, that’s a load off!
  • It’s all about levels within layers within mysteries of imagination.
  • Because that’s how it rolled out of my pen is not necessarily a good argument.
  • Killing your darlings is a heck of a lot easier when they ain’t your darlings.
  • Show me the money!
  • It doesn’t matter if something is a cliché or not. It only matters if it’s true.
  • The comma is your best bet, unless other punctuation is indicated (after the beloved period, of course).
  • The only thing an editor need really worry about is story. All else is extraneous, including the author’s poor benighted ego.
  • Someday I want to look upon coffee as more of a beverage than a drug.
  • Writing your own novel is suffering the torments of the damned. Editing somebody else’s novel is looking on and giggling.
  • Anytime you think something is about you, you’re probably wrong.
  • One never knows what other people know. Best to ask.
  • The finest tool of the writer (other than his ass of course) is the ability to learn. Most already know, so can’t be bothered to learn.
  • If editors were 100% honest with most writers, they wouldn’t get any clients. I prefer to call it diplomacy rather than lying.
  • Unless your editor is a better writer than you, you’re hosed, dude.
  • One bad thing about being an editor is pretty soon you edit everything in your head. Can be annoying. Thought-editing, oh yay.
  • Words are funny that way.
  • An editor is someone who will torment you when the chips are down.
  • As an editor it’s my job to advocate for the story in opposition to the writer’s ego.
  • It’s about the product, not the process.
  • Amazing how much easier and pleasanter it is to notice the screwups in other people’s writing.
  • Editing is not the process of sitting back and oohing and ahhing about how great everything is. Sorry.
  • Never realized editing was such a sweet gig. All the pain and suffering has been gone through already. Now you just word it up!
  • You can’t base your novel-writing on the opinions of civilians or you’ll always be small potatoes.
  • Other people are just like you, except different.
  • When deciding whether to pronounce coyote as cai-ote or cai-o-tee, I will always choose the one that’s closer to yodeling.
  • Emotions are the writers toolbox. They must all be instantly available at all times. Best keep insanity in that little drawer.
  • Just because you got words don’t mean ya gotta use ‘em.
  • The only difference between a good editor and a bad one is the bad one sucks.
  • Style is nice as a hobby, but you can’t make a living at it.
  • Writing dialogue is actually just listening to your character speak and taking it down.
  • Emotional blackmail is a good tool to use to get your clients to treat you more humanely.
  • A well-turned-out cliché, used at the proper time, is a marvel of originality.
  • An example of the problem with clauses: He went to the bathroom, running to the front door.
  • As an editor you have to remember it’s only fair if you have to suffer once in a while, too.
  • An editor works more for the book than the author, but don’t tell anybody.
  • A good editor should squeak loudly when being used as a whipping boy by the client—customer service always a priority.
  • It’s not a true author-editor relationship until the editor has been threatened with firing.
  • Fixing stuff is way way way easier than making stuff, especially if all you got to do is fix it.
  • Save your best writing for the dialogue.
  • Wanted to be concrete in a specific area of the mss, so changed ‘stone’ to ‘concrete’.
  • Changed ‘bottom’ to ‘top’.

Filed under: Editing Fiction, Writing | Posted on October 17th, 2011 by LWIII | 2 Comments »

My last blog

This ain’t really my last blog, just practicing up on my advertising copyrighting and playing the sympathy card. Lie, lie, lie, that’s me. Although that wasn’t really what I would call a downright lie, since I am gonna talk about that last blog that I wrote. Just did. Ha. Consider me with the same thoughtfulness you do the pictures of sandwiches on TV ads. Am I really as big as I look?

Might as well be my lastish blog, slow as I’ve been posting lately. Been busy, believe it or not. Lucked into the greatest gig on the planet. Never knew a sympatico editor/writer relationship could be so amazingly wonderful. I am an editor, plain and simple. Frankly, I’m the best editor I ever knew. In fact, I never knew editors could be this good. Born to be one. All these many decades, and I never had a clue.

I’m actually good enough at something finally to not give a shit what anybody thinks about my work. I know it rocks. Very solid. And editing is such cake. You fix other people’s stuff. How easy is that? The hard part is creating it. All I do is just point out where it could be better. Duh. It’s all pre-suffered. I’m just the annoying guy at the end. Emotional freedom is such a blessing.

I can’t believe nobody ever told me about this.

Went down to Taos to research the setting. Came back with some terrific pics. Here’s one, with a little editorial flair, a fictionalized graphic.


Your ever-lovin’ editor,


Filed under: Editing Fiction, The Word Doctor, Writing | Posted on October 1st, 2011 by LWIII | 1 Comment »

Elephant Girl, a review

This book broke my heart. I hate it. I loathe, despise, revulse, and malign it. And yet I love it with great passion and abiding joy. Am I crazy? Read it and see.

I don’t generally write book reviews on my blog. but came across a memoir a few days ago that makes it imperative that I do. Elephant Girl by Jane Devin reminded me why I love the written word above all things. As a writer and editor (editor mostly, as those who wondered where my blog went may have noticed lately) I whine, mope, and complain frequently about how words are fluff and not to be confused with reality. Words are the tools us writers use to jerk around our readers. They are also what the generality of everybody use to fool ourselves. Words felt useless to me, fake – or at least not enough to hold Truth.

Well, Jane Devin was a splash of cold water. Words do matter, hugely. How could I forget that?

Elephant Girl cover image from Jane Devin

* Cover design by Stephanie Cameron

The story of Jane Devin’s life as related in this memoir is something that is an action. Words as doingness. And her action has created an immense reaction in me, physiological and mental. For one thing I almost read myself sick. I could… not… stop in my second sit-down with her book and read all through the night, putting it down only when I finished after 8 a.m the next morning. Boy I felt like crap physically for two days later. That damn book. My mind, however, is still in joyland, despite how awful so much of her narrative felt, a litany of punishment for the compassionate soul. Too bad she draws you in so effortlessly, or I wouldn’t have had to feel so crappy about the whole thing. Darn that unobtrusive writing!

This story of her life is a human story, as it says in the subtitle. It is so universal, I can’t be the only one who reads this tale and is cut by its nature to my very core. It makes you look into places you wish weren’t there, and yet you’re glad you did, even so. I know many things, but I never knew this.

Jane Devin’s fine book is the product of an amazing human being. I’m kinda embarrassed to be wasting my skin so much after reading her experiences. Add another unwanted emotion to the effects. For people who have left any portion of their emotional equipment on the shelf for very long, Elephant Girl will bust it out in spades.

As a reviewer I leave much to be desired, since I would rather the reader learn from the book what it’s about, and not from somebody telling them. Besides, as far as I can tell, this book is about me.

In awe, wonder, and gratitude,


Filed under: Writing | Posted on August 16th, 2011 by LWIII | 0 Comments »

Fun Facts

I’ve started doing a new thing on Twitter, creating facts. Never been overly fond of facts before. They tend to slip my mind. And they change so much, depending on who you talk to.

So I began posting my own versions of factual truth, such as the indisputable fact that wood was originally made from rocks.

A sampling:

Pain doesn’t really hurt, it just seems that way.

Giggling was invented by a baby.

In the future, short people will rule.

Lawyers used to be Satan, but they sued and got out of it.

Science is the science of being scientific.

The ear of a beagle puppy is softer than a cloud by 1.42 softograms.

Monkeys used to be king of the world.

Burgeoning is a lost art.

They talk like that in Joisey ‘cause they ma got they gum stuck in they teeth.

Questions were the first answers.

Brains were originally located in the right asscheek.

Cinderella’s birth name was Elmer Fudd.

The diameter of a man is directly proportional to pie. 

Some people may call it stupid; others idiotic; while some may term it pointless or a waste of time. Not sure who to agree with. They could be right. And then again….

It’s true, I swear!


Filed under: Writing | Posted on February 24th, 2011 by LWIII | 1 Comment »

Is is is?

Now there’s a question for you. Depends on what is means, I reckon. Is can be a poem, and it is, inside the Hai Tree.  But is outside the tree is not the same as the one inside.

In fact, is is kind of funny that way. Depends on who you talk to.

Certainly there is a real is. What we experience with our senses ain’t it, even with machines to measure what we can’t see or hear or touch. Pretty close, maybe, kinda, I guess.

But what about that other is? The one that some people say they experience but usually they’re crazy? Sure can’t measure that one, since no one ever measured the human heart, or even saw it, for that matter.

Nobody knows. But despite that, and despite my own experience, I think that is is is.



Filed under: Philosophical Brevities | Posted on January 7th, 2011 by LWIII | 0 Comments »

Blog roulette

Blog roulette is played by opening your Favorites list in your browser, closing your eyes and clicking on something, then blogging on whatever you opened in your browser. You only play this if you made a stupid vow to blog daily until the end of the year.

It’s a page from Ken Wilbur’s site. He rocks. A quote from him:

Ego, good? bad? In fact, at this point in history, the most radical, pervasive, and earth-shaking transformation would occur simply if everybody truly evolved to a mature, rational, and responsible ego, capable of freely participating in the open exchange of mutual self-esteem. There is the ‘edge of history.’ There would be a real New Age.

Here’s a link to that page on The Tao of Twitter:










Filed under: Life | Posted on December 20th, 2010 by LWIII | 0 Comments »

Them darn vows

That’s the problem with vows. Say ‘em one day, fulfill ‘em the next.

So even though I ain’t got one goldurn thought anywheres inside this empty head o’ mine, I still gotta post. Post on, blank man.

Hi! My name is Tom, what’s yours?


Filed under: Words and Stuff | Posted on December 19th, 2010 by LWIII | 4 Comments »

The meaning of nothing

What is the meaning of nothing? That’s what I want to know.

Especially since nothing is everything in my new philosophy/insanity(?) that All is not only One, but it’s the same. Where then meaning? The meaning of meaning is meaningly meaningless if meanings mean meaningless meanings. That is to say, what’s up dude?

It’s about three. There’s two things, opposites perhaps, then there’s the one thing between them, the killer app. It’s all about that one thing between the two. A viewpoint?

I’m guessing,


Filed under: Philosophical Brevities | Posted on December 17th, 2010 by LWIII | 0 Comments »

Life takes a holiday

What’s up with death these days? This whole vampire/zombie kick has me blowing chunks. I feel like one of those guys in the tales who goes to sleep for a century and wakes up and now death is good.

I ain’t got nothing special against death. Being the philosophical type I understand there’s no life without it, and life is worth death. Or used to be. Now death is the beaniest! Who needs life anyway?

The reason I’m going off (like I told myself I wouldn’t do while blogging) is there’s this guy in my apartment building who hung a six-foot plastic Grim Reaper on his door for Halloween, in an ominous hooded black robe, bony fingers hanging out. Freakin perfect for Halloween, but now it’s Halloween all year. He won’t take it down. Every time I drag my fat sad carcass up the stairs here at home, when I get to the top, there looms Death.

Now, in the spirit of Santa one might imagine, the guy’s hung Christmas ornaments for earrings on the skull. Come the Fourth of July no doubt Death will wave Old Glory. Here we go Deaaath, here we go!

Pop culture is the vampire. It sucks the heart out of our brains.

Still breathing, sorry,


Filed under: Life | Posted on December 16th, 2010 by LWIII | 0 Comments »

Everything is everything

Still wondering…and have to fudge with a double-post, to uphold, kinda, my vow of a post a day until next year. Can it really be true that joy and agony are the same thing?

Guess I’ll find a purty picture to put in here, to try and make this post at least worth the click. Love ya bunches!


Filed under: Wonderment | Posted on December 15th, 2010 by LWIII | 2 Comments »

A love poem

I see a man, a holy man, a one-stuck herculite hungry man,
   a yearning man, a wordless man,
a man who never learned the way, a man with oh so much to say,
   without a mouth to say it with.

I see a man so full of love it almost overrides his fear,
   it does, in fact,
but not enough to get him there.
   I see a man with such a wish it goes beyond the mortal star
to fix upon the infinite sphere
   and tear again that ancient scar so deep inside him no one’s where.

The wish of fury ultra meek
   so tender that it cannot speak of anything that lurks within
or remotely resembles sin.
   I see a man so pure of heart that almost it must come apart
whenever doubt, the hidden seed,
   becomes the word,
much less the deed,
   and grows into a heartbrake along the avenue.

A man I see much less like me than I like him,
   a man of dim bewilderings and brilliant sense,
a man whose borders are a fence of steel
   to sense surround the feeling firmament within,
a fence of sense and practicality to fend the pain of personality
   and ward invaders from the safe parameters within.

I see a man whose being cries for love whose code forbids it,
   who says stick it
and intends to leave it stuck.
   I see a man who worked and sweated and says what am I
who worked so hard
   to just ask why now I am old and feeling cold and lonely?

Why, he says with every doubt, did I always shut me out until
   I lost myself out there
and lost the chance to ever share that part of me?
   I see a man whom I will ever love, a man whose yearning matches mine:
to reach out and touch and say yes,
   to smile and laugh and feel free,
to make mistakes and admit it,
   to become the one who sounds the son and finds deep waters.

I see a man who tries with every fiber of his being to become
   something new
encased in a rock of old and hating it.
   I see a man with inspirational courage.
I see a man of shaken faith.
   I see a man of questioning love.
I see my father.

by Tom Howe

God bless,


Filed under: Words and Stuff | Posted on December 15th, 2010 by LWIII | 0 Comments »

A bad secret

But no one should shatter the old words, unless he finds the new word that is a firm rampart against the limitless and grasps more life in it than in the old word.

~ Carl Jung

This is the kind of bad secret that it’s not a good idea for most people to know, or believe anyway. That’s why it’s bad – the kind of thing only very advanced beings should understand, because there is no possible benefit for a normal person like you or me, unless you’ve gone beyond knowing somehow and need no rampart against the limitless. If you believe it, there’s not much difference between you and an insane person, other than you act normal when the occasion warrants.

Don’t know if I believe it or not yet, but I know it, and I feel infected with the seed of insanity. Strange thoughts lurk in the murk.

So beware, if you are of a philosophical bent, prone to deep probing wonderings past the boundaries of quotidian reality, this one will make you crazy. The first original deep thought I’ve had in quite some time, a secret that has not been taught to me by any book or spiritual source, but by my own questing mind.

I would really kinda like that I know this – if it didn’t make me feel so crazy. My rational mind says it can’t be true, but in so many ways it feels really right to me, in my bones, and in my deep understanding-ness, that part there’s no word for. Maybe the crazy part, I reckon.

On the face of it, this idea is silly, which is why you have to go by the ass of it. Prepare to enter flip-flop world, where everything is is not, what? Feeling-brain, ON.

It starts with the belief that all is one. That everything in the universe and out of it is so tightly interconnected that it’s indivisible. Not that hard to believe. Makes sense to me anyway.

Listening not to me but to the Logos, it is wise to agree that all things are one.

~ Heraclitus

The knowledge of the unity of all is good for you and good for others as well. Therefore all is one.

~ Ellam Ondre

We are all one.

~ Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh

We are one, after all, you and I. Together we suffer, together exist, and forever will recreate each other.

~ Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

That which is above is from that which is below, and that which is below is from that which is above, working the miracles of One.

~ Hermes Trismegistus

Part of the reason I believe in the unity of all is language –  there are no everythings. There is only everything. One thing, everything. It’s generally thought of as something of a baseline Buddhist belief, that true oneness is overlaid by our perceptions of things, that we create divisions where there really are none. “Pleasure, pain, loss gain…all the same.” And whatnot.

That’s Part A.

Part B came after I watched the movie Inception for the third time in two days. I was caught up in the dichotomy of dream versus reality. That movie is a great primer for confusion.

As the top on the table sat spinning at the end of the movie, for the third time, still unable to decide whether to fall or keep spinning, my mind spun too, between the polarities of everything, not merely dreams and waking.

The difference between dreams and waking….

The difference became for me not between dreams and waking but between difference itself, how dreams and waking both build each other and the only real difference is in the difference.

Then it hit me. There is none. And not just dreams and reality. The only thing between anything is the word between.

Everything is everything. And I don’t mean identical, I mean the same. A bagel is a pork chop is a streetlamp is an otter is a stump. Everything is exactly the same as everything else. There is no difference between any two things because they are literally each other. It doesn’t matter what two things one picks, there is no difference between them in the least, for they are only one and the same.

Infinity is the same as zero. Evil is good. Good is evil. A penis is a vagina. Mother is Father. Father is Mother. Theatre is hetero. All the really weird things you can think of that are most the opposite of anything else are not just another side of the same coin, they are the exact same side. They are that.

Everything is everything,


Filed under: Spirituality | Posted on December 14th, 2010 by LWIII | 15 Comments »

Why the world is like this

First of all, like what? For many people, most perhaps, it would be why is this world so harsh and unjust, why is there so much pain and misery and unending drudgery? For others (the rich ones most likely but this ain’t politics so we’ll let that pass) it would be why is the world such a wonderland of beauty, such a conucopia of delight, such a miracle of blessings and ever-renewing bounty for the soul?

For me, I belong to the second group, kinda. I have a hard time finding fault with the world as it is, or at least the ground rules for that world. Humanity sticks a spoke in things sometimes, but that’s as it should be too. The old reap as you sow effect, and we are often crappy sowers. Majorly crappy.

That too is as it should be to my mind, since you can’t just pull wisdom out of a hat around here, you have to earn it, and the human race is pretty darn young, as species go. We’re trying a whole new thing here on Earth. None of the other mammals ever had the guts to grow a brain. Not a very pleasant experience at times. Quite an unruly organ, the human brain. Hard to ride.

Give us a few tens of millenia and we may bust that bronco. At present our minds ride us.

Time will heal, I hope.

There is one thing in this world I have a problem with, however. Our world is to me a miracle, every bit of it, a wonderland of geometry and biology, with each bit fitting exactly right. Except one: that little unfit bit I refer to as me. To live well in this world of gravity and entropy and time and chance it takes a certain kind of human – one with grace and courage and will.


Many writers get their inspiration from injustice and the problems of the world. I don’t see that in the same way. Were I to rail against the problems of the world all I would do is talk about how pusillanimous I am, constitutionally incapable of beating down reality with my forehead. Suppose I could start a screed against procrastination. Join the Anti-Procrastination League and stamp out injustice!

The world is like this because you are like that.


Filed under: Philosophical Brevities | Posted on December 13th, 2010 by LWIII | 2 Comments »

Vow news

A picture

A picture

Ran a hardware diagnostic program on my computer yesterday – FAIL. It said the hard drive is about to crap out any moment. Wondered why things been getting hinky.

Hoping that day isn’t today, but will need to replace the drive. Basically I’m wiping my computer’s brain. It will still work, there just won’t be any information in there, not even a blessed operating system. May take a while for a non-geek, at least in the computer sense, to get things running again (backup city here we go, do dah, do day) so if I miss a post it won’t be that I don’t have anything to say, but because I can’t say yet, because the ol’ computer is down.

Your friend in excuses,


Filed under: Life | Posted on December 11th, 2010 by LWIII | 1 Comment »



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