The mechanism

I was asked about the rules I set for my daily meditations, the genesis of this blog, by someone wanting to start one of their own.
The sketch: Fifteen minutes to use the materials on hand in my immediate vicinity; only that in arms length is usable. One sketch is allowed, what I start, I finish - for better or worse.

The text: Fifteen minutes to capture what is on my mind, but only fifteen minutes are allowed to type it up and make edits. I recently added a 150 word stricture, no more; no less. Once it’s done, it’s done and that text is linked to the sketch from that day. Both fiction and nonfiction allowed.

The connection: The sketch and the text ideally inform each other but are not necessarily directly related. Sometimes it’s illustrative, sometimes symbolic, and sometimes the connection so obscure as to boggle the mind.

Eric in a Word: corvine
Book of the Day: American Heroes - Edmund S. Morgan
Song of the Day: Moanin' - Charles Mingus
Religious Figure of the Day: Coronis
Medium: computer


The unicorn of indecision

It had become a struggle. Like mounting mountains in tea box tennis shoes. There weren’t as many obstacles as paralyzing arrays of opportunities falling about my head. I felt desiccated by decision so I drank four cans of inspiration and dashed away on the unicorn of indecision. My body left behind as I rose aloft. The world below bisected by a spiral golden horn I could see past and decipher the kernels from the nuts. The nuts dense, the kernels lights. One rich, imbued with a meaty flesh; the other golden and delicate readyto burst with potential. And I scream, “You fucking unicorn you just made things worse! Damn horny beast, no wonder you can only get virgins, they’re the only ones gullible enough to fall for this crap. Put me back in my body. Asshole.” In my body once again I choose the black ones, they go with everything.

Eric in a Word: ultrafidian

Book of the Day: Chagall: A Biography - Jackie Wullschl├Ąger
Song of the Day: I like Birds... - The Eels
Religious Figure of the Day: Haoma

Medium: ink, tea, and white out on irish breakfast tea box top


A change is in the air.

I have decided to change this blog going forward a bit. It had begun to feel stale and I had developed a strong ambivalence about it lately. So for a while at least I will no longer feature extended entries on my internal ramblings and external experiences, but rather limit and expand the written portion. From this point on all of my writings will be exactly 150 words, but the content will expand to include fiction as well as nonfiction. I also hope to create a more thematic flow throughout. I encourage anyone reading to comment on the quality of the writing and take occasional guesses at what's fiction and what's not and enjoy the theme. So below is my first entry in the new format (this explanatory text doesn't count):

It was just after two when the goats appeared, emerging from the night fog like four-legged furred devils come to chew my soul. If I had been cruising at more than a walk there would have been a road of bones and skulls to chew. As it was the apparition rattled me disproportionately as their eyes reflected the light and I noticed the horizontal slits narrow in the harsh glare. They stopped, I stopped and we observed the time spent stretched like a reconstructed face - recognizable but alien. What brought us here, together? The ironic hand of higher powers flooding the mundane with mystery? Or merely a chance encounter with Dionysian livestock returning from a midnight bender? I don’t know, but the goats handled it better than me. Five seconds of eternity and they continued into the field disappearing. I restarted and continued- pale, shaky, changed, holier than before.

Eric in a Word: incanous
Book of the Day: The Making of a Philosopher- Colin McGinn
Song of the Day: Woke Up New - The Mountain Goats
Religious Figure of the Day: Juno Caprotina
Medium: ink on irish breakfast tea box top


Friends was a lame show and set unfair expectations

Someone I considered a friend died last week and I had few friends to begin with. In order to ease my way through the emotional turmoil I have been reflecting on the nature of friendship and what a friend is to me. I have a hard time making friends nowadays, yet I make friendly acquaintances much easier than ever. It is bridging the gap from one to the other with which I have difficulty. I have thought a lot about why, but have no specific answer, but rather a host of answers, many of which smack of self-fulfilling pity. And yet, I find myself continually struggling to overcome these barriers despite realizing how shallow they are. I guess that's the reason I am writing this down and posting it to the world (or at least the few people who read the blog), perhaps put it other there publicly will help me find a way around them.

My definition of “friend” may be too narrow- I consider someone a friend when I feel comfortable enough with them to have both deep meaningful conversations as well as the shallow trading of barbs. When I feel I can trust them to accept me as me. When there is a resonance between us that allows some things to go unsaid, some things to never be said and some things that should never be said to be said without fear of a friendship ending.

I am a very private person – This blog aside, I don’t generally offer personal opinions or information about myself. If asked I will answer any question honestly and often in too much detail, but offering is something I always hesitate to do. I probably expect too much effort.

I have a very diverse set of interests – This is great when making acquaintances and meeting people, but when developing deeper relationships it often becomes a barrier for me. My problem is not the diversity so much as my natural penchant for making obscure and strange connections between extremely diverse things. It all feeds into a personal perception that people don’t understand me or just think I am odd. So I am left with a feeling that I am just a joke to those I want to know better.

I am completely awkward about initiating “hanging out” - I am sure this has its root in deeper self-esteem issues (see above answer). My first assumption is that people have better things to do than grab a beer with me or just hang out.

Time – I don’t have a lot of it and neither does anyone else. I guess this means I’ve “grown up”, oh bother. Just grabbing a beer more often than not involves dueling PDAs and at least one reschedule. It is hard to make friends when you always feel under the gun. And having both parties prioritize getting together seems much rarer in this urban setting despite the greater variety of activities to partake of.

Eric in a Word: absquatulate
Book of the Day: Regarding the Pain of Others- Susan Sontag
Song of the Day: Blackbirds - Erin Mckeown
Religious Figure of the Day: Saint Moses the Black
Medium: graphite, ink and white out on manilla envelope