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Monday, February 4, 2019

Wading Through White Fields

Photo by Deb

Wading through white fields, the echo of no-thing between frozen toes, those corners holler for attention, having been thrown back to bed with thought-less care.

“G’night little Hated One.”
“Why hate, me?”
“Your existence ignites my darkness in ways that make me scream.”
“Yet, it is not I who have done this.”
“Truly-true oh, Hated One, that is truly-true—unfortunate and true.”
“Must it be this way?”
“I know no other way to be.”
“Can you not learn?”
“That is impossibly-impossible.”
“Meaning, it is possible, and the impossible is within you.”
“Ahhh, Hated One, this is exactly why you have been left. The truth in you will not die, no matter how much we wish it to be dead.”
“I know no other way to be.”
“And that little one is where we woefully agree.”


Photo by Deb

A Flock Of Cardinals In A Barren Bush Shivered With Joy As I Drove By

Oh, that they would have waited, as I could’ve joined them, become a red-winged one and flown alongside. Instead, I watched their freedom escape me on wings not yet mine.

Breathing in Multiples

Photo by Deb

Thoughts Originating From Separate Rooms Do Not Always Agree

Why should they?

These meanderings were never intended for cohesion—differences the point, creativity and survival needing multiple patterns to breathe.

Is is…IS and that is how it’s meant to be.

Intrinsically random blessings are the worst and…the very best kind.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

The Human Truth

I’m a globalist because we’re all stuck on a tiny rock in the middle of space. We have nowhere else to go and that includes immigrants displaced by corruption, war, famine, and climate change.

Currently, America has the biggest and one of the wealthiest countries going. That means we have a responsibility as citizens of the world to remain aware of how other people are struggling in our communities and on this planet. 

Not American vs. American or US vs. everyone else. But all people having access to living humanely. 

Since 9/11, the generosity of the global human spirit has been challenged by terrorism. The word terrorism says everything. Fear activates in the reptilian aspect of our brain. It does not allow kindness bestowed upon strangers but makes us wholly invested in survival at any cost. 

That is the intention of terrorism, seed the ground with hate and the target will dissolve in an acid bath of its own anxiety-inflamed bile.

Long ago, when food became easier to come by, tribes combined and created societies. The reasoning was that more people together with a combined self-interest would be able to take on Saber-Toothed Tigers or things unheard of at that timelike climate change.

Societies were the birth of humanity. This wasn't our intention, it happened without our knowledge of the possibility of concern for others. Self-interest slowly morphed into humanity with global awareness. In time we slowly learned how to care for people who were not related to us, had different beliefs, languages, and loved differently than we did. 

This enterprise hasn't been easy. Most of us aren't saints and some are not interested in altruism. Historically, we have hit long horrific blips in the climb toward humane treatment. Wars, gas chambers, segregation, racism, bullying, lying, murder, and subjugation are less than divine-like human creations. These ugly-ments rise to the surface when fear is either unmanaged or manipulated.

Like now.

Terrorism is real. So is climate change, immigration, racism, wage inequality, hunger, wars in the Middle East, international relations, lack of access to health care and national budgets. One is impacting our national and international ability to manage all the rest.

Ignoring or fueling the fear rotting our humanity is leaving us wide open for manipulation. Fear has become the motivator for governmental policy decisions. Fear has been primary in our interactions on highways, in line at the grocery store and on the internet. Fear is winning. A Saber-Toothed Tiger has us on the mat but we're fighting the wrong way and with the wrong tiger.

There are more people who do not subscribe to terrorism than there are who do. Just like there are more people who do not bully, lie, cheat or kill. More people are humane than are hate-filled. It is a delusion to believe there are more dangers than there are comforts. The odds of a terrorist attack are one in 20 million. You read that right.

The odds that global climate change will impact humans are 100%

The focus has been on the wrong tiger.

People have already been displaced. Add in ongoing wars in the Middle East and in 2016 there were more refugees than after WWII. 65.3 million people without a homeland, that's one for every one hundred and thirteen people. 

Terrorism needs a response, but the current response is creating more terror. It isn't working and it's not an approach that will ever likely work. It's whack-a-mole with weaponry. Bombs that hit civilians and displace survivors. When people are homeless, hungry and without options, they will do anything to find a safe haven. That's survival, that's real. What isn't real is to blame refugees and immigrants for what is happening. Their home countries are inhospitable for a humane existence. There is no place for them to gojust like in the end, there is no place for any of us to go. This is it.

Climate change, corruption, war, and famine are displacing thousands of people. Immigration, illegal and otherwise is going to continue to be a worldwide problem. It may not be long before we're in the same boat hoping there's a welcome mat on shore. 

And if we end up on that immigration boat, our chances of getting a leg up are significantly better if we've treated the rest of the world humanely.

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Ye'r Talkin' to the Wrong ME.

Photo by Bill Lecos

This picture of the dog, Blue, is a reminder—don’t take anyone else’s dysfunctionality. Blue’s essentially saying “You talkin’ to me? Cuz’ if you are…back off! Ye’r talkin’ to the wrong me.”

There are times this life feels like a thumb is planted on the repeater-button, dragging a nail into a synapse until reality matches history over and over.
          It happened yet againanother shit-bag found a way to make their allegiance to dysfunctionality more important than my life experience.
          If it’s not documented in a clinical trial it oughta be—predators find victims by hidden and occasionally displayed scars carried after human-made harm. I know this is true from experience. 
          I relate this awareness to a therapist.         
          “I’ve got a big neon sign on my chest… “Fuck with her, she’s already broken.”
          The young-old-man therapist sighs.
          “I can’t say that’s not true in some fashion. Predators do seek out people who have been victimized before.”
          I glare at the man for his expected response.
          “So basically what you’re saying is that because the original fuckwad broke me into pieces, the rest of them get an opportunity to do the same. That’s not—to kill a phrase from overuse—fair.”
          “No, it isn’t fair. But it doesn’t have to always be this way…that’s why we’re working together.”
          “We both know the neon sign the first fuckwad created isn’t ever going totally away.”
          “You’re right, that likely won’t happen. The best we can do is help you notice similar situations setting up and to respond quickly if it were to happen again.”
          “As if that’s possible. Last week the newest shit-bag got to maul my hand and talk with disgusting inferences. I sat there frozen. Did absolutely nothing.”
          “Not nothing. You made sure he didn’t get near you again, and you’re taking action now. You’re following up, letting someone in charge know what he did…In essence, making sure it doesn’t happen to anyone else.”
          “We don’t know that’ll be the outcome of complaining.”
          “I suppose that’s true. But it is a step in the right direction.”
          “A step in the right direction would’ve been kicking him in the balls.”
          “Yes, but you weren’t in a position to do that. You understandably froze.”
          “Doesn’t make it any easier to accept…yet again I let it happen.”

          A few days after the session with the therapist, what I said is still on my mind.
          I let it happen.
         Those words are scratched into an abuse-sidebar synapse. We often do that, those of us thrown into de-composition by shit-bags. We own responsibility for a trespassing cretin's allegiance to dysfunctionality.
Going forward, my only recourse is to carry on with my allegiance to healing—despite fuckers trying to make it impossible. 
In Blue terms…“Back off! Ye’r talkin’ to the wrong me.”

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Grandma's House

Grandma’s house was a magical place.

When I’m three years old, for no reason I’m ever given, my father leaves his job as a policeman to move us from the cement-block house, across the country nearer to my mother’s family. With no waiting employment, we live with my maternal grandmother for a year. After a job is secured and I’m guessing the financials are in a better place, we move to an apartment an hour away, and every Saturday I ride the bus with my mother to Grandma’s house.
The drive takes over an hour with stops and traffic, but it is worth the jostling strangers and sitting squished against the window to see a giant donut sign signaling we’re nearly there. On the walk from the bus stop, there’s a small grocer where we sometimes get push-up sticks, a Mexican bakery selling gingerbread pigs, and gang-bangers in souped-up cars my mother hurries past. Turning off the main street, we enter a small neighborhood. There is an alley behind a car repair shop littered with broken bottles, hubcaps, and cigarette butts, and just past it is Grandma’s house. At the curb, there’s a medium-sized tree with the initials of every kid attached to my grandma. Opposite is the yard, barricaded by a gated picket fence, maintained by an uncle or my occasionally sobered-up grandpa. It is an island surrounded by a harsh part of the city, the gardens displacing honking horns, exhaust fumes, and gang insignias.
The gate creaks as it opens, the noise hidden under the barking of Shorty, grandma’s mixed bull terrier. When I see him, I shift sideways just behind my mother to avoid his sharp teeth. The commotion brings Grandma out of the oval-windowed door, her wrinkle worked hands wiping the front of a floured apron. Grandma’s face creases as she threatens Shorty with animal control, which he apparently understands since he retreats back to the porch. Calming, I step away from my mother and rush past rose bushes to fling myself into the soft, doughy woman’s chest. It has been a very long week. She cradles my brother on one side, I on the other, blooming with the smell of roses and bacon grease. I do not look back at my mother, but her unhappiness envelops me anyway. She tosses an instruction in case I’ve forgotten.
“Remember not to get your clothes dirty; we have a long ride home.”
This place is more like home. The swinging kitchen door I have to time perfectly so as not to get smacked on the backside, the bed in the master bedroom that tucks neatly in the wall beneath an attic closet, and the green Formica table where I eat Spaghetti O’s. Most of the day I spend playing with my brother and cousins in the yard. I make bridal bouquets out of puffy hydrangea blossoms, dichondra grass becomes a Matchbox speedway, and the small fruit orchard is a jungle—the kids turning into monkeys avoiding alligators in the swamp below. As we play, Grandma coos to her birds in a converted hen house. Her sing-song mix of Spanish and English floating over the backyard.
Hola, mis bellas. P├íjaro cantante. Cheep-cheep little one, cheep-cheep.”
The birds chirp and stutter-fly; landing on her shoulders, and the top of her head. They are a vibrant, noisy cluster of jewels to her worn housedress.
Cat-walking the edge of a small abalone-encrusted goldfish pond, nearly to the end, I slip on some algae, getting a green stain on my shorts. My stomach clenches into a small fist, knowing my mother will be unhappy. As has become habit, I out myself to her, having learned that waiting until she notices will make the punishment much worse. Sighing heavily, she says what she always says.
“Why can’t you just do as you’re told?”
Not waiting for an answer she continues to describe my failures to Grandma, who doesn’t respond. Then my mother turns to me.
“Go outside and sit on the step. Don’t move from there until it’s time to go.”
Grandma finds me with my chin on my hands, as the other kids run circles around the house. She whispers in my ear.
          “Mi hija, go play.”

As she nudges I think of what this will mean. For it will mean something. There will be a price to pay when the wheels of the bus take me away from here. I understand this, as Grandma must too. I leap into the race around the house with the sensation of my mother’s stare from the window until the sun makes shadows across the goldfish pond, and the smell of warming tortillas comes from the kitchen. 

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Do You Believe In God?

In the last couple of weeks, I've been asked if I believe in God at least three times. 

Life is harshly uninviting both on the exterior and the interior, and traditionally—as a generational baton in the handoff of trauma and pain. Believing in a God means accepting what is to me, unacceptable. There was not an invisible hero when abusers repetitively carved their mark into my child-brain, and yet the Unseen One somehow managed to come to the rescue when at eleven-years-old, I was drowning.

A bright afternoon sun torches the sand overrun with umbrellas, towels, and people; kids and adults yelling above the din of crashing waves. To bring awareness there is a strong, invisible undercurrent, a lifeguard places a riptide flag on the control tower. I am already chest-deep in the water. Not immediately heeding the warning, I wait for a big wave to carry me to shore. Before one arrives, I’m snagged in the current, hidden beneath the otherwise calm ocean. With increasing agitation, I make attempts to swim in, but the water swiftly carries me beyond an ability to touch bottom. Onshore, people become bits of moving color, more kaleidoscope than human. At this point, screaming would amuse passing sea-birds, but otherwise be a waste of energy. Not a strong swimmer, soon I am simply a bobbing head in the ocean. 
Panic sets in, my thoughts fixated on not going under.
Breathe, dog paddle, breathe
Inexplicably, I hear words over the thought-chant.
“Do not fight a riptide, ride along with the current until it lets go or you will drown.”
Trying to determine where the sentence has come from, in between salty gulps of air and frantic slaps at the water, I circle to see if there’s a surfer on a board or a boat nearby. The ocean is empty, everyone else having obeyed the caution flag.
Breathe, dog paddle, breathe...
The voice repeats the instruction.
“Do not fight a riptide, ride along with the current until it lets go or you will drown.”
Out of time, out of energy, there is nothing left in my suitcase but trust for a random bit of information I’d collected from a book or possibly a magic thought popping out of nowhere. Exhaustedly I flip onto my back, toes to the sun, the ocean filling my ears leaving behind only the sound of my heartbeat and breath.
Out loud I fearfully state to no-one.
“I’m going to die.
No-one answers.
Floating, overwhelmed with the possibility of drowning, the voice becomes a quasi-accepted fact. Under normal circumstances, it would be something I’d pursue like a rat-terrier, in the middle of the ocean it isn’t a primary concern. Instead, I consider what may happen next, picturing salt-water invading my insides, then more horribly a swarm of sharks swimming in my blood and dismembered appendages.
This anxious perusing lifts me outside of myself to watch what is happening, like an audience of one viewing a familiar actor living my life. The heartbeat and breath slow, softened by the mental distance this has created. I observe the situation with the mind of a scientist dissecting a squid.
Will my body be found?
Most likely not.
Will my mother cry?
 I lose the awareness of time, shriveling skin on my toes the indication I have been lost at sea quite a while. The strong surge continues to sweep along until finally, it runs out of steam.
A particularly large swell gathers me in slow motion before driving into shore. Tiredly stumbling out of the water I fall to the sand on shaking knees. Sounds of the crowded beach close the distance of the mind-body separation. I walk the couple of miles I’d drifted from family, who wouldn’t have become aware anyone was missing until sunset. Not wanting to encourage an addition of more rules, I lay down on my towel without informing anyone of the experience. 

"Do you believe in God?"
"Yes, but I wish I didn't."

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

The Always-Almost-Dying Dog

Photo by Deb Lecos 

A terrier has rigorously clenched onto life, her flying-monkey passion to win a race a known personality trait. As the body of the tiny aging canine moves to quit, it has become a regular occurrence that the always-almost-dying-dog falls over, limbs limp, heart beat close to nothing, the eyes sending the determination that she remains in the game. A woman finds this behavior mystifying.
As the woman watches, the Yorkie displays she is a beast, lean-walking to the yard, pooping with purpose, and decorating the action with a choppy but intent stamp to seal a will to continue. Side-racing to the stairs, the always-almost-dying-dog stops, her body rippling in tremors continuously.
The woman gets a blanket for the Yorkie, wrapping her like a taco, only a small bearded face peeking out. The always-almost-dying-dog shivers and shivers, the woman’s lunch getting colder and colder, staring at the dog the entire time. Minutes pass, one after another, the Yorkie softening like cheese on a sunny day, until eventually the shudders drift away. The eyes of the always-almost-dying-dog have a some-thing in them. It is a not known, though wanted thing, a worth-it-no-matter-what zest that makes breathing and enduring matter-of-factly-always-possible.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Bread Crumbs.

A carpet of leaves layers this way and that, imprinting one upon another, upon another, trailing back to the trunk of the tree, a reminder of where they came from, the origin of their beginning.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

The Bear Trap.

     Babies and animals have similar characteristics. They eat if hungry, roar when angry, and hide if frightened. It is instinctual to burrow into a corner and play dead when under threat, the action further verified if it works—the attacker leaves or is unable to do further harm. A baby, just like a prey animal, will carry these types of instructional memories with them as they age, running from predators, hiding when possible, fighting if necessary, and burning the experiences into the reptilian part of the brain to further enhance survival skills. By the time the baby becomes a teenager and morphs into an adult, this is no longer theory, but a hardwired truth. A + B = C. More easily grasped minus the algebra; if a bear trap snaps on the neck of a young girl and it finally releases after decades of existence, there is no understanding of being set free. The sharp talons of the mechanism feel embedded even when they are gone, nerve endings still sense danger and pain, terror coiled into a corner under a bed in the dead of night for eternity.
     A bear trap is used for hunting a prey animal, not to kill but to maim. The reason being that if a trapped animal dies too soon, the body will decompose and the meat will be useless. Similarly, an abuser ensnares a child and sets them up for repeat offenses. It is a bear trap snapping around a child’s neck, the pronged collar keeping them pinned for future use.

     Fingering the throat, an ache of decades of restriction is sensed from distant and unfamiliar places. We are still for a very long time, waiting for the sound of the snap to stop echoing in the wind.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Be Wild

     The heart of a young girl, one on the brink of flying is a wild thing, a frothy cyclone swirling on the edge of magnificence, her power un-leashed and un-contained. There is joy, rage, despair, exuberance; along with non-conflicted choice. Tastes are claimed and tossed with equal abandon for reasons that make sense to no one but the cyclone. If a bear trap snaps on the neck of this wild thing, it will thrash until the connection between mind and heart is severed, leaving emotional knowing impossible.

      An ancient bear trap springs open in the Great Sea of Nothing, rust flakes lay scattered across a gaping wound, as nerve endings stutter-flutter for reattachment. The wild thing does not move, unsure if the hunter is nearby or can sense motion. Inside, her cyclone is restrained, having been pinned for a very long time. The young girl hears two words through the ocean sound of nothing.

Be wild.

Thursday, November 2, 2017


     The brain of a newborn is an empty beach devoid of shells, seaweed, or plastic bottles; the sand pristine, no random etchings of screw you violence, nothing to lay claim to childlike wonder. It is the overseers, those tasked with socializing a child, teaching them red means stop and green means go that first and most significantly carve emblems into a blank surface. The privilege of mentoring a new human should have the same cautionary care necessary as artists carving the statue of David or painting the Mona Lisa, but often instead it is handled with the unthinking application of a weed-wacker and a jackhammer.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Broken & Lost Things

          Over the past few days, I’ve shattered a plate and two glasses and maimed the dishwasher. The items slipped from my fingers or jet-propelled themselves mysteriously onto the floor, the dishwasher merely collateral damage from flying glass shards finagling their way into the story. Yesterday, I compiled the totality of destruction, after sweeping up, vacuuming, and scheduling a repairman.
As an exclamation point to a life run amok, the keys to my office vanish. They do this when I am in need of a certificate in my files to renew the letters after my name, signifying to strangers I know what I’m doing.
          That’s hilarious today.
          No, it isn’t.
          To game myself into finding the keys I announce that I do not have to go to the office.
There’s still a couple of weeks before they kick us out of the letter club.
          Within minutes, I remember there is another pocket in my purse, it having disappeared from my understanding for over two hours for no reason at all. The keys are exactly where they always are. This spontaneous discovery of lost things must be similar to what happens when an unleashed memory appears with taste, smells, and feelings attached.
          Today, a decades-old experience rolled in like a swell in the deepest part of the ocean, consuming the sight line until the only thing visible was an ice cream cone. It might have been the three-year-old I saw as I waited in line, his eyes glancing momentarily at me while the rest of him focused on the angle of his mouth circling his vanilla ice cream. Or it was one of those random moments that are embedded in a taste bud and the essence comes to the surface when it sees itself in a mirror. However it happened, I saw her. I saw me at three or maybe four, little black shoes swinging on my feet, an ice cream cone the most important thing in the world.

          Lost things can be found, and what is broken may be glued if all the pieces are collected, and they are patiently held in place. At least that’s the working theory.

  • Last week I was interviewed on WBOM radio by InPrint Writers in Rockford. It may be listened to on YouTube and may be found here. Topics range through healing, meditation, and the creative process. Here are two links for meditation practices I discuss in the interview, Meditation For The Squirrel Brain and 10-Minute Time Out For Stressful Moments.
  • I've found that music lyrics are a way to begin to discern a healing path for broken and lost things. Here is a link to one that I've found helpful. More Than Life by Whitley.

Friday, September 29, 2017

An Unfortunately, Unfortunate Personality Trait.

A riptide containing the past brings what could be expected, an unpredictable current that is ordained by an unmanaged ocean—if one gives a passing thought to red caution flags. 
At fourteen I learned the truth of this standing chest-deep in the water waiting for the perfect wave to body surf to shore, watching as a lifeguard hung warning banners from the tower. I imagined the riptide would grace me with minutes before forcefully ensnaring my ankles. I remember the almost imperceptible sway as the power of what could not be controlled enveloped me into an unbreakable caress, bringing the realization that there was very little between me and an endless walk on the bottom of the ocean.

Several weeks ago I had a dream where I was in a deep sea station, and for no good reason decided to leave through a hatch without diving equipment. In the dream, I came to realize what walking on a seabed with an ocean of water above me meant. There was a crushing weight keeping me pinned, and the awareness that I should be drowning. My lungs were not gasping for air, but the idea made me gasp for air.
Similarly, with healing, I unknowingly knew that as long as I didn’t see the enterprise big-picture-third-person, I’d fair better with hope and intention. Underneath everything, I understood that once I really and truly saw the full-read, there would be a spasm of “oh no” that I could not control.
Oh no, what does this mean?
Oh no, will I always be somewhat or mainly broken?
Oh no, how is this impacting my life and the people in it?
Oh no, there’s pain and suffering.
Oh no, will it last ‘til I die?
Oh no, oh no, oh no, oh no…
The full-read of an injury or illness is shocking, “oh no” is an appropriate response—unfortunately.
An “oh no” is powerful, it is awareness, it is a complete investment in whatever accident, trauma, environmental or DNA-infused, emotional thrashing a person is experiencing. And a full-read is unfortunately unfortunate.
Who wants to know everything?
I’m one of those who reads the end of the book to see if it's worth reading. I guess how a movie will play out to the consternation of people who watch with me. This is an, unfortunately, unfortunate personality trait. I have tried to hide from myself the big picture view of my own healing for decades.
It takes serious skill to play hide and seek in your own mind.
Which is why I dedicate this and most newsletters to healing. I get it. I get not diving in for the full read. No one wants to think healing will take longer than a couple of hours, a week tops. No one wants to walk on the bottom of the ocean without a diving apparatus for a single second let alone decades. But and this but is huge…healing is not just about a single person. It is never about a single person in the big-picture-full-read. It is about the tribe, the human population of this planet. If an aspect or aspects of the homo sapien organism is ill, traumatized, broken, depressed, stressed, or emotionally/psychologically not participating, then we are all at risk. Our children, our neighbor’s children, the children who are decades from being born are at risk of having lives that are less than what is possible.
I’m passionately invested in healing because it has been a life-long investment for me in time, money, and experience. Many of my days are spent pondering whether healing is a worthy use of a life…my life. And there are many of those hours that I believe it unfortunately unfortunate that I seem to need to tackle this beast of a question and walk beneath a mountain of water. As the one who reads the end of the book first, I am without a cumulative answer. Only the knowing that for some unfathomable reason I woke up on the bottom of the ocean and now I have to do something about it.

May healing be a guiding force for all people, and may this bring the endless possibility imagined by those who see the full-read-third-person-big-picture.

Sunday, October 1st @ 7AM I will be interviewed on WBOM Radio by InPrint Writer's of Rockford. The topics will range through healing, meditation, and the creative process. The link may be found here.

I've found music lyrics are a worthy way to discover a path on the bottom of the ocean. White Daisy Passing by Rocky Votololato is one of those. The link is here.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Pancake Girl Wins.

I had a long conversation with my twenty-something self today. She woke up after a decades-long boring coma and wondered why we weren’t eating pancakes. After listening to her rant for over an hour I gave up trying to explain that pancakes are a bad idea for someone prone to a wider backside than was on hand back in the 1980s.

Twenty-something girl was right. Pancakes make life a bit easier to deal with.

She’s also right that waking up dormant selves could be an unpredictable and wonderful way to spend the next fifty-six years.

A therapist once told me that every person has multiple people inside them…the worker, the parent, the lover, the kid, the friend, the pissed-off teen, and we bring them out depending on the circumstances we’re in. It would be interesting to test the theory and notice when an awakened aspect giggles in the background, allowing a more spontaneous existence. The creamer aisle at the grocery store would certainly be more captivating.

This practice might allow the inner kindergartner to seek new friends and want to know how stuff works, the teen to vociferously advocate for those less fortunate, the lover to choose passion rather than Netflix, the worker to stay confined to a thirty or forty hour week so the parent can remember their kid likes to play catch at sunset. It could bring forth the twenty-something imaginative and witty flamethrower, who wants to explore the world and believes that life is worth more than sleep-walking.

Today I had lunch with Freedom Girl and damn she’s a hell of a lot of fun. I was informed between bites that along with pancakes, there will be long driving trips, dancing with my dog Pi until we're both nearly sick, hilarious chats with creative types minus a choke-hold filter, deep and lengthy musings on song lyrics, and great big guttural laughs that won’t stop until everyone pees their pants.

May all the kids within us awaken their feisty wisdom, humor, and whimsy to inspire a life with endless possibility.